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Transferable Skills

These are skills and abilities that are obtained through experiences you will have abroad that will translate toward a job. Transferable skills are applicable, and what employers will look for, in your cover letter, resume, and interview. There are a variety of ways transferable skills can be obtained.

As you reflect on your experience abroad, did you:

  • Do a specific project or research applicable to your field of interest while abroad?
  • Travel independently?
  • Learn to work with a more diverse group of people than you had previously been exposed to?
  • Resolve a conflict based on misunderstandings of cultural differences?
  • Learn new activities, languages, hobbies, or skills?
  • Come to understand how to listen, watch, and learn from what you observe?
  • Discover something new about yourself that can relate to the position you are seeking?
  • Volunteer or participate in an internship or service learning project while abroad?

Your answers are the start to these specific transferable skills you list on your resume and application, or the particular example you use in an interview. You will want to effectively communicate not only the skills and experiences you have, but how those attributes will benefit the program or organization to which you are applying. Remember, just mentioning you studied abroad is not enough. You should elaborate on the skills and abilities developed because of this time abroad.

Other skills and qualities you may have developed while studying abroad:

  • Foreign language proficiency
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability
  • Confidence
  • Independence
  • Listening and observing
  • Responsibility
  • Organization
  • Crisis and Resource Management
  • Patience
  • Enthusiasm
  • Initiative
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Perseverance
  • Time management
  • Increased understanding of global, economic, and political matters
  • Appreciation of differences and cultures
  • Rapport and relationship building skills
  • Ability to achieve goals despite obstacles
  • Capacity to learn quickly in new situations
  • Capability to handle stress and difficult situations