Students Studying Abroad: Before You Go & While You're There
Career Services, University of Pennsylvania
Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania has noted some ways for students to better connect study abroad to their future career objectives. Some of the suggested steps students can take before and during study abroad are listed below.
Make an Appointment with a Career Services Counselor Before You Leave
Career Services can provide guidance and information about preparing for graduate school and/or looking for internships, summer or post-graduate positions, and for tips on things you can do while abroad to enhance your profile for future employment and study.
Looking for a Summer Internship or Job in the U.S. while you are abroad
The key here is preparation. You can do several things before you leave which will make your job search easier. Have your resume critiqued and sample cover letters reviewed. Assemble a list of potential employers.
Preparing for Graduate or Professional School
If you plan to apply to graduate school during your senior year, you will need to visit school websites & review application criteria and timelines no later than the summer after junior year, and will need to arrange when and where to take the required graduate or professional exams. A pre-graduate study advisor in Career Services can help you with graduate and professional school applications.
Letters of Recommendation
You may also want references from professors with whom you study overseas. Frequently, conventions surrounding letters of recommendations from non-U.S. faculty are different from those accepted here. It is common for European references to be more reserved than American ones, so a sentence like, "Her work was entirely adequate" from a British faculty member may be high praise, but by our standards, seems quite guarded. If you anticipate using letters gathered from faculty overseas for institutions primarily in the U.S. or other English-speaking countries, try to have them written in English, if possible.
- Get involved in extra-curricular activities, volunteer, or participate in an internship.
- Connect with alumni in your host country
- Gather contact information for everyone you meet who could expand your network and/or serve as a reference when looking for internships or jobs later.