Professional Development

In today's job market, it can sometimes be difficult to make yourself stand out from a pile of prospective applicants. However, individuals that have studied abroad have an immediate competitive advantage over applicants that may not have any international experience. That is why it is imperative to learn how to communicate and present your study abroad experience on your cover letter, résumé, and during an interview.

To help with this, we have created a Career Resources Guide, which is jam-packed with everything you need to make your study abroad journey shine in all your professional avenues.

The Career Resources Guide covers topics such as:

  • Marketing your study abroad experience in your cover letter and resume
  • Preparing for different types of interviews
  • Careers in international education
  • Accepting a job offer
  • Applying to graduate school
  • Going abroad again

To access the Career Resources Guide, please log in to your Student Portal, then click "Alumni Resources."

 

How can I highlight my study abroad experience at a job interview?  

A potential employer may not have experience abroad and may not understand what volunteering abroad entails and how it has impacted you. It is up to you to effectively communicate the skills and proficiencies you acquired abroad that will benefit their organization. Keep in mind that even though the numbers are increasing, less than 1 percent of the U.S. college students have spent a semester or more abroad. Even fewer have spent their time volunteering in a community abroad, so you are part of a very unique group. Do not underestimate the power of this experience!

 

What skills or proficiencies have you acquired or enhanced while you were abroad?  

Skills that professionals with international experiences cite as being particularly useful in their careers include:

  • Enhanced cultural awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences
  • Foreign language proficiency
  • Adaptability
  • Greater flexibility
  • Awareness of global, economic, and political issues
  • Ability to maintain an open mind and be tolerant of others
  • Clarification of goals and improved self-awareness
  • Resource management
  • Problem solving

Reflection

Remember all those reflection and academic pieces you completed during your ISA Veritas experience? These materials can be utilized to communicate the value of your experience. By reviewing and organizing your experiences, you'll be able to give insightful comments about your experience at any time. Consider which stories or challenges encapsulate skills and knowledge from your education abroad experience.

  • Share an example of how you set priorities to achieve a desired outcome in your study abroad experience.
  • How did your volunteer abroad experience enhance your knowledge, skills, and understanding of your intended career field?
  • Share an example of a travel situation that helped you build your understanding of human motivation.
  • How might this make you a better professional in your field?
  • Share examples from academic, social, work settings. How did these influence your ability to interact successfully with others?
  • Share an international experience in which you had to resolve a conflict or solve a problem. What skills and personal qualities did you tap into?
  • Share an example of a volunteer abroad experience in which you took initiative to achieve a greater result.
  • Share an example of a time when you may have been in danger or afraid. What did you learn from it? Why?
  • What was the most significant thing you learned about yourself through your study abroad experience? Why?

-Linda Gross, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2003

 

How can I present my experience abroad in a cover letter or résumé?

Cover Letter:

It is important to address the specific job you hope to acquire in your cover letter. These questions can help you focus.

  • How does your experience relate to your field?
  • What are the transferable skills?
  • How might your international experience uniquely benefit a professional in that field?

Résumé:

Be sure to locate your international experience in the best place or places on your résumé for your intended job. If you participated in ISA Veritas volunteer placement, list the experience as a professional experience rather than as an activity. Example: "Pharmacy Assistant Volunteer, Farmacia San Miguel, Valparaiso, Chile"

If you participated on a study abroad program, consider listing the program in your education section. Example: "American University of Rome, Focus: Italian. January 2019-May 2019"

 

I am interested in sharing my experience abroad with others; what can I do?

Continue developing your stories. It is a great way to reflect on your experience and discover new insights and skills you gained abroad.

Internship Opportunities
Your international experience doesn't have to end when you come back to the US. Get involved! Local and international activities can help you adjust to being back as well as help you integrate your time abroad into your academic life and long-term goals. Don't forget to apply for the Global Ambassador program! 

Create Your Own Blog - Create a website all about your experience abroad, or be a contributor to the ISA Veritas student blog!

Your Local or School News - Contact your hometown, neighborhood, or university newspaper. They may want to feature your experience.

 

Careers with ISA/Veritas

ISA/Veritas is headquartered in Austin, Texas. We are always looking for passionate and energetic individuals to join the ISA/Veritas team. In fact, many of our staff members are ISA/Veritas alumni.

The minimum qualification for most ISA/Veritas candidates is completion of a Bachelor's degree. Some positions require further qualifications.

If you are interested in working for ISA/Veritas in the United States, please note that most positions are based out of Austin, Texas. If you are interested in a position abroad, you must have legal permission to work in the country of interest to be considered for employment.

Visit the Careers with ISA/Veritas page to see up-to-date job postings and to submit your application. If you interested in working for ISA Veritas specifically, please send a cover letter and your résumé to info@veritasabroad.com.