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Study Abroad

Marketing your International Experience

                 Marketing International Experience – Why it Matters

A 2003 RAND study surveyed 135 Human Resource managers from 75 companies. By consensus, the most important employee skill sets were²:

  • Substantive content/technical knowledge of the primary field of business,
  • Managerial ability, with emphases on teamwork and interpersonal skills,
  • Strategic international understanding and
  • Cross-cultural experience

Cross-cultural competence ranked 5th out of 19 attributes that ‘Make a successful career professional’ according to the same study.

A 2008 study found that the top 4 skills that employers value from someone who has studied abroad are³:

  • Interacting with people who hold different interests, values, and perspectives
  • Understanding cultural differences in the workplace
  • Adapting to situations of change
  • Gaining new knowledge from experiences

Marketing your International Experience: Resumes, Cover Letters, Interviews

Possible international activities to include and highlight on your resume, cover letter or during an interview:

  • Education/Study Abroad
  • Coursework with a global component
  • Projects exploring a multi-cultural topic or with an international team
  • Clubs and community involvement
  • Internships and work assignments
  • Research
  • Extensive Travel
  • Veteran/Military Experience

On a resume, study abroad/international experiences are typically added to:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Skills

Other areas where international experience may appear on a resume:

  • Internships or work-abroad → under Work Experience/Relevant Experience/Experience
  • Extensive travel or cultural experience → under its own category: Cultural and Travel Experience
  • International and cultural skills → under Summary of Qualifications, or under its own category

Example of Study Abroad on a Resume:

Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies                 University of Washington Bothell                 Expected June 2014

  •  Cumulative GPA 3.7
  •  Awarded CUSP scholarship for Spring 2012
  •  On-campus student involvement and leadership within the Latino Student Union 

Study Abroad                                           Community Development in Zambia                         Summer 2013

  •     Fieldwork and research with Zambian citizens and health education community
  •     Developed cross-cultural communication skills through collaboration with Zambian students
  •     Enhanced global perspective through increased understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues faced by local populations

 Resume and Cover Letter Word Banks:


How to Talk about Study Abroad in a Job Interview

Marketing your International Experience Handout

Study Abroad and Economic Competitiveness: A Research Summary²

Study Abroad to Career: Using your experience abroad for future professional benefit³


Workshop Date(s):

  • Wednesday, August 6th 1:00-2:30pm
  • Friday, August 8th 1:00-2:30pm
  • Friday, October 3rd 1:00-2:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 7th 3:30-5:00pm

All workshops will be held in room UW1-103
Register (required)