If I’m being honest, classroom time was one of the least valuable experiences I had while studying abroad.
I know, I know; that’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true: It’s the experiences that take you outside the classroom that make studying abroad…well, studying abroad. You can take classes anywhere in the world, but it’s going out and exploring new place that you’re in that makes studying abroad such a rewarding experience.
But that also means that the experiences you have outside the classroom while you’re studying abroad are hard to quantify. It’s easy to show how your internship or classes line up with specific skills employers are looking for, such as proofreading, implementing a nutrition plan or entering data into a spreadsheet. Figuring out how to include study abroad on your resume is harder because the skills you develop while studying abroad are soft skills.
Luckily for you, soft skills are essential in today’s economy. Seventy-five percent of interviewers will cut an interview short if you don’t display the right soft skills. That’s because employers want to know that you know how to adapt to different situations, make good decisions and communicate with others. In fact, the top three soft skills that employers look at for entry-level positions are all skills you can improve by studying abroad: adaptability, oral communication and problem-solving. While you can certainly learn these soft skills during college, studying abroad means you’ll be thrown headfirst into situations each day that require you to develop these skills—and develop them quickly.
Studying abroad isn’t an option for every student, of course. But if you’re considering it and aren’t sure it’s worth your time and money, think about how the experience will positively impact your future career. Click on this link to read more about why studying abroad is great for your future career.