"How was your trip?"
This question always left me speechless. I didn't know how to explain how amazing my study abroad experience was. I would say things like, "I cannot even describe it" or "it changed my life." All that does is leave the other person asking why or how. We did so much during our break, semester, or year-long program that it is almost impossible to answer this question. Learning how to explain this to a friend or family member may not seem like a big deal but learning how to talk about your experience to a potential employer may be the deciding factor that gets you your dream job. Here are some tips on how to articulate your experience abroad.
Simply explain what you did on your program
This can include cultural experiences, types of classes, sight-seeing, spontaneous moments, your favorite moment… literally anything that you did on your program.
Did you become passionate about anything while you were abroad?
During my programs, I became passionate about helping underprivileged children through teaching a kindergarten class in Jamaica. I also became passionate about sustainability while hosting a beach cleanup with children in the local community. What types of events or activities did you participate in during your program?
What skills did you gain while abroad?
There are many skills that one could gain during their program. Common ones include the following:
What skills did you find yourself utilizing throughout your program? How can you explain this to an employer?
There are so many ways one could articulate their experience abroad. These are just a few. When asked how your program was, rather than simply stating “amazing,” try one of these three. Sooner or later, your response to this question will become second nature.