Teach Abroad: Skill Building

July 25, 2017

Applying the skills you acquired teaching abroad to your future career. Not teaching? No problem!

Teaching abroad is a life-enriching experience and it is sometimes easy to minimize the work you did upon returning – especially when you are facing a job hunt. You know what you experienced was amazing and that you have gained significant skills for your future; articulating it confidently can be a challenge.

You may have been inspired to pursue teaching as a career, and even if that is not the plan, many skills that you have acquired can be transferable to a diverse platter of professional fields. Color your resume using some tips below to steer your career in the right direction.

For those returning from teaching abroad and looking towards your career ahead, or those who are on their way out to teach, read on to learn how to make the skills you have to apply to the future you envision for yourself. Also, keeping these tips in mind while abroad may support a more intentional teaching experience and meaningful impact on your students, school and yourself!

API Alumna Sarah, teaching in Thailand.


Intercultural skills are increasingly valuable in the field of business. Especially as the world continues to grow more connected. Your culturally immersive experience abroad as a professional has never been more in demand. Highlight the ability to navigate ambiguous situations without losing sight of the main objective. Think about the leadership skills you gained while you facilitated a goal-oriented group. Think of a time when you had to think on your feet and solve an issue at hand in or out of the classroom; address it as an outcome of practicing your problem-solving skills.

International Relations

It is common that former teachers abroad later transition into a career in international relations, another field where extended international experience is highly desired. Not only did you live abroad, you were able to thrive emotionally and professionally within a new culture. This involves reaching objectives as part of an intercultural team (teamwork), the ability to navigate and nourish intercultural relationships, and enhanced global thinking skills. If you are looking for a government career, mastery in foreign languages can also contribute to enhancing your profile, especially “less commonly taught” languages such as Chinese languages, Arabic, Thai, etc.


Communications professionals need to demonstrate strong skills related to interpersonal communication, writing, public speaking, the ability to motivate audiences, language acquisition and a heightened understanding of grammar/language structure. Hey, not many people can say that they can easily switch from one language to another within the same conversation; it’s a true skill.


Although in most cases one needs some sort of formal degree in order to teach in public schools stateside, your teach abroad experience can help you get a job in a private institute, school or charter school, or at least get you accepted into a teaching certification/degree program. Offer specific examples of methods you used to engage students and how you took different learning styles into consideration in your planning. Stories about how students succeeded in meeting any particular educational standards are notable. Emphasize any extracurricular activities you collaborated in to prove your commitment to the students or community. Having training is always helpful; considering TEFL certification may prove to be especially rewarding, both in the classroom and for the future.

Has the teach abroad bug not yet left your system? Visit our website to learn about the teach programs that API offers.


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