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Leveraging Your USAC Experience

USAC also offers information and ideas on how to highlight your international experience on your resume and in future job interviews. It is important to relate your newfound skills from abroad to marketable, employable traits that organizations are looking for to set yourself apart from other candidates.

Setting Yourself Apart

Your study abroad experience can be utilized to your advantage even if you aren’t necessarily interested in working overseas. Typically 2% of US college students study abroad and generally a potential employer will want to hear about your time abroad. You may find work with a company that has an international focus. Even if your future career isn’t explicitly international in theme or scope, you have a brand new skill set that is applicable to any future professional situation.

By studying abroad, you have already taken steps to set yourself apart and get a competitive edge for future opportunities. Employers and admissions committees to graduate and professional schools may not be looking for international experience for its own sake, but they are definitely looking for the skills and attributes you have gained while abroad. They are looking for people who can listen to and understand other points of view, who can literally and figuratively think globally; people who can jump right in to new situations with initiative and a willingness to learn, problem-solve, and think on their feet; people with good communication, conflict-resolution, and relationship-building skills, and the good patience and humor that comes with them. You gained all these things and more while abroad! And they are as marketable as the foreign language proficiency, internship and volunteer experience, and increased knowledge you picked up while abroad.

Put Your Experience to Use

Resumes, cover letters, applications, interviews, group projects, civic, and community involvement—there are numerous places and situations, in addition to the classroom, where you will put your experience abroad to practical use. You have general transferable skills such as independence, confidence, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills that give you better knowledge and understanding you can put to use immediately.

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