It takes guts walking into the International Office and saying “I want to study Abroad”. Not only does it take guts, but it takes initiative and lots of planning once you get started on the process. All of that is in the comfort of our UT Campus, imagine being in another country trying to communicate to someone who speaks another language! Studying abroad tests your senses, communication skills, adaptability … I could keep going but I’ll spare you.
Eventually you will be getting ready for that job interview that you have worked so hard for in your college career. Don’t ruin the opportunity by undermining your accomplishments, your goals and experiences. So if you’ve studied abroad already, you’re a rock star and you need to relay that message during your interview.
You shouldn’t be surprised to find that many jobs are looking for the exact skills that you gained while studying abroad. With the technological advances our world has accomplished, we are so much more connected and integrated as a whole. This means that the chances of you meeting someone who is from another country, while walking on Guadalupe St., are large.
Story Time: I missed my bus stop on Guadalupe St. and ironically this other student made the same mistake. Since we shared the same frustration of missing our stop and needing to get somewhere by a certain time, we naturally started conversing as we walked back. He told me he was from Punjab, India and I immediately told him about my study abroad trip in Australia because I met a lot of students from Punjab, India (as well as many other countries). I was able to talk to him about some of the customs that I learn from my Indian friends abroad. I was immediately able to relate to a student from India who missed my same bus stop, because I had studied abroad. Are you getting my drift here?
Studying Abroad is a network system, and opens our world to other cultures, beliefs and ways of being in which we bring back home with us a more diverse way of perceiving things and communicating to others. THAT is what many companies are looking for.
So, amidst answering that mind boggling question of “Why should we hire you,” don’t forget that you have had experiences that other interviewees possibly haven’t had. Experiences that have taken you outside of your surroundings and forced you to test skills you would have never used had you not exercised the idea of studying abroad.