Maximize Your Experience

Students who have an international experience during their time at UNC Charlotte should leverage what they learned and how it impacted them by incorporating their experience into their resume and drawing from it during an interview.

impact of study abroad

When students study abroad they develop valuable transferrable skills that will help them land a job and perform well after they graduate. Research shows that studying abroad benefits students beyond what they learn in the classroom.

reentry workshop

Each fall and spring semester, UNC Charlotte Education Abroad offers the session, Time to Unpack: Study Abroad Reentry Workshop. Here Study Abroad Alumni will be able to learn more about ways to process their time abroad and leverage those experiences when applying for jobs.

resume building

Having a strong resume is the first step to the job application process. Study Abroad Alumni should add their international experience to their resume, which could ultimately influence whether or not they are called in for an interview!

  • Under the ‘Education’ section of a resume, students should list the name of host university or institution they studied at
  • Students can consider listing any relevant courses they completed abroad or projects they worked on that tie into their degree
  • When building a resume section, be sure to use the following formula: Action Verb + What did you do + Skill or outcome (optional)
  • Don’t forget to read over what the job is looking for in an applicant, and then align your resume to their qualification requirements to show that you’re the perfect candidate. Find key words that include those transferable skills that you gained abroad
  • Being sure there are no grammatical errors or misspellings is a must
  • Have someone read it over for you. If they can do it within less than 30 seconds, and be able to talk about your skills and experiences, good job.
  • Everything should look pleasing to the eye. The fonts, except your name, need to be the same size so it’s easily readable

interview preparations

Interviews can be nerve wracking, but they don’t have to be. What could be easier than a Study Abroad Alumni talking about one of the most positive and influential semesters of their lives? Preparation is key and leveraging what was learned abroad could really impress the employer.

  • Take some time to really reflect on the experience abroad. Consider the impact, obstacles encountered, and skills acquired
  • Students should identify what transferable skills they learned abroad (e.g. problem solving, communication, flexibility, etc.) and how those skills will assist them in performing the job well
  • When asked a question that is drawing on an experience, students should use the CARR method: C = Context (describe the situation and circumstances), A = Action (what did you do, how did you do it, and why?) Result (the effects of what you did to resolve the situation) R = Relevance (how they way you handled this situation and the skills you utilized will be an asset to the company)
  • Before the interview, students should anticipate questions they may be asked, such as “Why did you decide to study abroad?” “Why did you choose that particular host country?” “What did you learn from your study abroad experience?” These questions can be difficult to answer on the fly, so take the time to rehearse them beforehand

career center

The University Career Center offers a ton of resources for students, including mock interviews to help students represent their most confident selves. They offer 20-30 minute on-campus, phone, and virtual interviews. Schedule one today!