Career Development

Studying, interning, or researching abroad is a life-changing experience no matter where you’ve been. Education Abroad programs provide unique skills and experiences that many employers are looking for and many Education Abroad alumni use in their career development.

What Can Study Abroad Do For My Career Path?

According to a recent graduate study (opens in new tab) by the Institute for the International Education of Students, 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 skills did you use to see the situation through? You may not even realize it, but the different skills you fostered abroad can make you an attractive candidate to employers both at home and overseas while also helping you in your day-to-day once you land the job.

  • 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 education abroad experience sets you apart from others who do not have global 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 develop those skills further? 

  • Learn more about how education abroad impacted former Penn Staters' careers by connecting with alumni in your field of interest via the Penn State Education Abroad LinkedIn (opens in a new tab). Request an informational interview with people in positions you are looking for about how they got into the field and what skills helped them get there.
  • Meet with a Career Services counselor (opens in a new tab) to learn how to write an effective resume and articulate your study abroad experience in your job search
  • Continue to build and maintain your network. These can be the best places to find out details about upcoming job openings and professional development events.
  • Visit our Returnees and Alumni webpage (opens in a new tab) to learn more about upcoming events, how to share your experience with others, and how to get involved in the international community at Penn State