RESUME ADVICE

How to Include Study Abroad on a Resume

One of the most influential things on your resume could be studying abroad.

It can be for as little as a semester, or as long as a year or more.

No matter the duration, listing your studying abroad can be a great asset to your resume.

It shows that you have the guts to take a risk and that you are interested in other cultures.

Of course, there is no way to summarize your whole experience in a few short bullet points.

But don’t even consider leaving it out of your resume.

When the HR managers see you have studied abroad, they will be all over you.

The difficult part of listing your studying abroad is how to do it right.

But that’s why we’re here.

In this article, we are going to learn:

  • Why should you include your study abroad on your resume?
  • Where should you list your study abroad on your resume?
  • How to list study abroad on your resume?

And after we are done with the why, where and how, we are going to leave you off with some great examples of everything we have covered.

If your studying abroad is not the only thing about your resume that worries you, we’ve got you covered with another great article - How to Make Your Resume Stand Out.

But if you are hard on learning how to include your study abroad on your resume, stick around.

Why should you include your study abroad on your resume?

The main reasons for including your study abroad on your resume are that you are either a recent college graduate or your experience is highly relevant to the job position.

But there are actually more important perks to that.

And we are going to go through the most significant ones.

Sets you one step ahead of other candidates

Hiring managers have very limited time to spend on a resume.

There are hundreds of resumes going through them on a daily basis.

Listing something unique about you can catch their attention and improve your chances of getting your interview.

And one of the best things to list here is study abroad.

Explains limited job experience

Being a recent college graduate would not mean that your potential employer is not looking for work experience.

Many college students work while studying, and that really helps them get a job after graduation as well.

But by including study abroad in your resume, you both explain your limited job experience, and show something unique about you.

Shows off your skills

Study abroad shows your potential employer that you are willing to take a risk.

But more importantly, it shows them that you are independent enough to learn in a new environment.

That most probably means that you are independent at work as well.

It also shows that you are open-minded and collaborative, as you had to work with people with different backgrounds from yours.

On the other hand, if you have plenty of relevant work experience, you probably don’t need your study abroad on your resume.

But in any other case, don’t miss out on shining a light on that.

Where should you list your study abroad on your resume?

Before figuring out the placement, you need to think about what you want to include on your resume.

Take a stroll down memory lane and think about your study abroad.

List anything you can think of that seems relevant.

Think about what you learned, the people you met and the places you visited.

Don’t forget about the skills you developed and the interests you have taken on.

When you are done with your list, go through it and see which items are relevant to the job position you are applying for.

Once you have the relevant items from your study abroad, it’s time to think about where to list them on your resume.

There are three main options.

You can list your study abroad in your:

Other less used options are listing it in your Resume Objective or in an additional section of your resume.

Depending on what you chose, you should also consider the three main resume formats in order to get the best out of it:

How to list study abroad on your resume?

So far, so good.

The first hard step is done, you know where you want to place your study abroad on your resume.

But we have the biggest challenge ahead - how to list it?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with each of the three main placements.

In Your Education Section

Listing your study abroad in your Education Section is the most typical way to go.

What you want to do here is draw attention to your education, so that your study abroad would be well noted.

The degree on which you would want to do that depends on your work experience.

If you have plenty of experience, you would not want to clutter your resume with your education.

In that case it would be more than enough to just mention your study abroad with the institution’s name, years of studying there and the degree you earned.

But if you are a recent college graduate, you would want the attention to be mainly on your Education Section.

That’s why you should swap your sections and make your education section the first under your Resume Header and Contact Information.

Don’t forget that you can expand your education section as much as you want.

And that’s exactly what you would want to do here.

You can include:

In Your Work Experience Section

Listing your study abroad in your Work Experience Section is a great way to go.

But on one condition - you should have successfully managed to study and work at the same time.

Also keep in mind that you should stick to Internships and  Volunteer Work on that occasion.

Apart from that, there is nothing really specific.

You need to list it just like you would list any past job:

  • The name of each employer
  • Their location
  • The title of your role
  • A few bullet points.

Don’t forget to list them in reverse chronological order.

That’s a great way to stick out in front of other candidates and show your potential employer that you didn’t spend all your time abroad partying.

In Your Skills Section

Another place you can list your study abroad is in your Skills Section through the skills you’ve gained.

Think about all the soft, hard and technical skills you gained while abroad and list those which seem relevant.

If you learned a new language there, don’t miss out on including it along with your proficiency level.

Any specific job skills you have picked up while studying abroad would be a great asset to your resume.

Just remember to make them relevant to the job position you are applying for.

Where else to mention your study abroad?

While you may decide to include your study abroad only on your resume, you can get even more out of it.

Including it in just two more places can greatly improve your chances.

Including it in Your Cover Letter

Your Cover Letter is the second most important document in your job hunt.

So why not put your study abroad in the spotlight one more time.

It is especially essential to do so if you are a recent college graduate and don't have much experience yet.

You can share with your potential employer once again your experience abroad and all the skills you have gained, including the languages you have picked up.

Just remember - make it relevant to the job position you are applying for.

Updating Your LinkedIn Profile

One thing you should never ignore is updating your LinkedIn profile with anything relevant.

Consider your profile’s education, experience and volunteer section for good potential spots for your abroad experiences.

Don’t forget to add some bullet points to emphasize on your accomplishments and the skills you gained.

Consider updating your description so that you emphasize on your study abroad once again, and make sure you include any languages you learned in the correct fields.

Examples of Including Study Abroad on Resume

As we promised, we are not going to leave you without examples of everything we talked about.

So let’s get started and show you how to include your study abroad in every appropriate section.

In Your Education Section

When using your Education Section to list your study abroad, you can use this simple template:

[INSTITUTION NAME] | [CITY/COUNTRY]

[DEGREE EARNED] | [DATE]

  • Relevant Coursework: [RELEVANT COURSEWORK AND PROJECTS LIST]
  • Honors: [HONORS LIST]
  • GPA: [GPA]

You can also include anything else that seems relevant, but that should do nicely.

In order to get a deeper understanding of the template, we’ve got an example for you as well:

University of Pennsylvania | Philadelphia, PA

Computer Engineering | June 2018

  • Relevant Coursework: Computer Sciences, Software Engineering
  • Honors: Dean's List 2017-2018
  • GPA: 3.9

In Your Work Experience Section

As we mentioned earlier, including your study abroad in your Work Experience Section is like listing any past job.

The model should be pretty clear to you, but we are going to go through it once again, just in case:

[COMPANY NAME] | [CITY/COUNTRY]

[JOB POSITION] | [DATES]

  • [ACCOMPLISHMENTS]

And just that we are sure there is no misunderstanding, here is one great example:

Google | Mountain View, California

IT Intern | May 2017 - May 2018

  • Any accomplishment you have
  • Any accomplishment you have
  • Any accomplishment you have

In Your Skills Section

Finally, the last place you could include your study abroad on your resume - your Skills Section.

You can include them like any other skill.

So, for example:

  • Languages: Fluent in Italian and Spanish, Advanced in German
  • Computer Skills: Windows and Linux operating systems, Git, Visual Studio Code
  • Programming Skills: C#, C++, Java, Python, Ruby
  • Interests: International travel, learning about new cultures, photojournalism

Takeaways: How to include study abroad on your resume?

We are all done.

Now you know how to include study abroad on your resume.

You are now ready to get the hiring manager’s attention and really show off what you learned abroad.

Don’t forget - pick the right resume layout according to the section you include your study abroad in.

Check out our examples once again and make your promotions get you your next interview in no time.

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Kal Dimitrov
Kal is a resume expert @ Enhancv. He frequently publishes blog posts around resume writing, cover letters & job applications. Kal also runs a Career Accelerator Bootcamp for young graduates.
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