Career Development

What Can Study Abroad Do For My Career Path?

Studying abroad is a life changing experience no matter where you’ve been. According to an Institute for the International Education of Students Recent Graduate Study, when compared to their graduated cohort that did not study abroad, study abroad alums:

  • Find employment more quickly.
  • Earn a higher starting salary.
  • Find jobs more closely aligned with their college majors.
  • Are more likely to be accepted into graduate school.

Skills Learned Abroad

Take a moment to reflect on your experience. Can you remember when you were abroad and were faced with something unfamiliar? How did you adapt, and what kind of skills did you use to see the situation through? You may not even realize it, but different skills you fostered abroad can make you an attractive candidate to employers both at home and overseas.

  • Cross-cultural sensitivity.
  • Language ability.
  • Tolerance for ambiguous situations.
  • Increased confidence.
  • Experience with making travel arrangements.
  • Intercultural communication.
  • Increased problem-solving abilities.
  • Appreciation of diversity.
  • Awareness of world politics, economics, and social events.

What’s the Next Step?

You know that your study abroad experience sets you apart from others who do not have international experience. So how can you utilize your time abroad in your career beyond a simple line on your resume, and what if you’d like to further develop those skills? 

  • Attend some Returnee Events to get helpful tips on both “unpacking” what you’ve learned abroad and translating those experiences into skills you can add to your resume.
  • Meet with a Career Services counselor to learn how to write an effective resume and to articulate your study abroad experience in your job search.
  • Search for International job opportunities by country at Penn State Career Services’ Country Guides.