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How to Put Study Abroad on a Resume & Cover Letter [10+ Examples]

How to Put Study Abroad on a Resume & Cover Letter [10+ Examples]

Some say studying abroad looks good on a resume. Others see it as “academic tourism.” Here’s how to put it on your resume to get that job—no matter who reads your application.

Maciej Duszyński
Maciej Duszyński
Resume Expert at Zety

Your study abroad experience gave you useful skills and broadened your horizons.

 

The bad news is—

 

If you don’t show it right on your resume, employers won’t care.

 

To really boost your chances of getting hired, you need to show how your international experience can benefit them—when they give you that job.

 

Don’t worry.

 

You’re about to learn how to nail it.

 

This article will show you:

 

  • Where and how to put study abroad on a resume.
  • What skills to focus on when describing your international experience.
  • How to incorporate your student exchange into a cover letter.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

sample resume templates

Sample resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Looking for other resume writing resources? Check out our guides:

 

 

1

List Study Abroad on Your Resume in Various Sections

 

First things first:

 

Not all types of resumes need to include your study abroad experience. For example, an executive resume will be just fine with a brief mention of your most recent educational background.

 

Putting study abroad on a resume makes perfect sense when you’re preparing a:

 

 

In other words, when your professional experience on a resume isn’t huge yet.

 

Now that you know when to add study abroad to a resume, let’s take a look at where to put it.

 

Education Section

 

This is the most typical place to put your study abroad experience on a resume.

 

Put it right below the school you attend or graduated from. Just make sure the formatting is consistent across all entries.

 

Remember to put the school name and location, dates, and degree earned.

 

And—

 

If you have little or no professional experience, you might want to put the resume education section before the experience section.

 

Pro Tip: If you’re using our resume builder, you don’t have to worry about inconsistent formatting.

 

Here’s how you can add study abroad to your resume education section:

 

Study Abroad on a Resume—Example

 

2015–2018

U.C. Berkeley, CA

BA in English and Psychology

Dean’s List all semesters

 

2016–2017

University of Warsaw, Poland

Concentration in Language Studies

Fulbright U.S. Student Program—English Teaching Assistant

 

Remember: you can expand your resume education section to accommodate all information relevant to the position. These include relevant coursework, Dean's List, GPA on a resume, or cum laude on a resume if applicable.

 

Professional Experience Section

 

This resume section is a perfect place for listing study abroad on one condition:

 

If you managed to combine work and study.

 

Should you choose this option, just see to it that the formatting is consistent for all entries.

 

Here are some basic rules for making a powerful resume experience section:

 

  • Add the job title, company name, as well as dates worked.
  • Put your duties and achievements on a bullet-point list.
  • Be selective and don’t add more than 6 bullets.
  • Remember: focus on the experience relevant to the position and tailor your resume.
  • Start your study abroad bullet points with action words: taught, collaborated, etc.
  • Try to put numbers wherever you can to demonstrate your real impact.

 

Take a look at the example below to see how to include study abroad in your resume work experience section:

 

Study Abroad in a Resume Experience Section—Example

 

2017–

SEO Juice, Los Angeles, CA

Content Specialist

  • Wrote 70+ high-traffic articles optimized for search engines.
  • Prepared copy for 20+ landing pages and microcopy for 5+ products for various clients.
  • Collaborated with external agencies to optimize existing pages and blog articles.

 

2016–2017

Best English School, Warsaw, Poland

English Teacher

  • Taught general English lessons to groups of up to 10 cross-cultural adult learners.
  • Prepared and conducted 100+ business English lessons to Poles working for international corporations.
  • Collaborated with a team of teachers and teaching assistants to develop cultural awareness among teenage students.

 

Pro Tip: Don't forget to highlight your key achievements for a resume in a dedicated subsection of your resume job description section.

 

Skills Section

 

The benefits of study abroad programs for your future career development are massive.

 

The Learning Abroad Center at the University of Minnesota has identified a skill set you may gain during your study abroad program. Some of the skills include:

 

 

Remember: focus on your top skills on your resume, don’t list everything you can do.

 

And—

 

Pick out the skills you can easily prove by making a reference to your resume education or experience sections.

 

Resume Objective Section

 

The resume objective is a short opening paragraph that introduces you to the recruiter in the form of a written elevator pitch.

 

A well-written resume objective should focus on your transferable skills, and show the recruiter how they make you a perfect fit for the role.

 

Here’s what your resume objective could look like:

 

Study Abroad—Resume Objective Sample

 

A tech-savvy and hard-working fresh graduate from U.C. Berkeley with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Psychology. Eager to support XYZ Media as a content specialist with strong communication and research skills. Previous study abroad experience as an English language tutor in a cross-cultural environment.

 

Obviously, depending on what position you’re applying for and what company you want to join, you will need to highlight different aspects of your study abroad experience on a resume.

 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to mention your knowledge of foreign languages on your resume. It’s also a skill you developed thanks to your international experience.

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

2

Include Study Abroad in a Resume Cover Letter

 

Should you write a cover letter?

 

Yes!

 

Over 50% of recruiters would like to read yours.

 

A cover letter is another opportunity for you to put study abroad experience in the limelight.

 

Especially when it’s pretty recent, and you don’t much professional experience to brag about.

 

Just like in the case of your resume, focus on what’s relevant and leave out all the rest.

 

Follow these tips and learn how to write a cover letter quickly and effectively:

 

 

Here are some ideas on the phrasing you could use to describe your international experience in your cover letter:

 

How to Mention Study Abroad in a Cover Letter—Examples

 

  • My study abroad experience in France gave me a cross-cultural perspective on international communication issues.

 

  • As an international exchange student in Spain, I learned how to effectively communicate in a cross-cultural environment.

 

  • My semester abroad in Japan taught me how to quickly adapt to new environments and effectively cooperate with people of diverse backgrounds.

 

  • As an international student with the University of Thessaloniki, I understood the benefits and challenges of working within a culturally diverse project group.

 

It makes the most sense to include such information either in the second or third paragraph of your cover letter.

 

Why?

 

This is where you’re explaining why you’re a great fit for the position or describing the value you’ll bring to the company.

 

Pro Tip: Learn how to answer the toughest interview questions to show your study abroad experience was an opportunity for you to develop.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Here’s how you can put study abroad on your resume:

 

  • Add study abroad to your resume education section. Make sure to add the details relevant to the position you're applying for.
  • Put study abroad in the resume experience section if you both worked and studied.
  • Include study abroad in your resume skills section to show off the skills you acquired in an international environment.
  • You can also mention study abroad in your resume objective at the very top if it’s recent or you don’t have much work experience.
  • List your study abroad experience in a cover letter as well to highlight how it will benefit your employer.
  • Always tailor your resume to the position, and pick out the study abroad skills and experience that match the job offer.

 

Not sure if studying abroad looks good on a resume? Still have mixed feelings about how to put study abroad on your resume? Give us a shout out in the comments below! Always happy to help.

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Maciej Duszyński
Maciej Duszyński
Maciej is a career expert with a solid background in the education management industry. Worked with people at all stages of their career paths: from interns to directors to C-suite members, he now helps you find your dream job.

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