International Student Blog
Work Experience

How Important Is Past Work Experience?

While there are many different questions likely running through a prospective international student’s head, one of the questions in mind is likely this one: How important is past work experience?

It’s a valid question. Not to mention, there are many challenges an international student has to go through when it comes to getting accepted into a study abroad program and passing the visa interview.

The real answer is this: Some schools look at past work experience with more weight than others.

Having past work experience, ideally, can only help a student. After all, it shows work ethic, it shows initiative and the list of qualities could go on and on. If the past work experience is in your study field of choice, then that likely looks even better to universities.

With that in mind, when it comes to studying abroad in the United States, there are plenty of other factors that typically outweigh past work experience. Of course, it depends on the university.

For example, GPA, test scores and letters of recommendation tend to be more important than past work experience. If you don’t have the necessary GPA to get into your university of choice, or if your test scores aren’t where they need to be, then that is going to outweigh your work experience, to say the least.

Not only that but it is also crucial for an international student to be able to show he/she can afford to study overseas. Of course, that requirement tends to be more important when it comes to the visa interview as opposed to the process that is getting accepted into a university. Whether you have past work experience or not, and whether you can prove you were accepted into a good program in the United States or not, if you can’t prove you can pay for your studies, then you will more than likely get denied at your visa interview.

There are so many important steps when it comes to an international student studying overseas. Getting into a study abroad program is a huge first step, but after that, the student still has to secure a visa during the visa interview. That alone is an entirely different process, and we encourage international students to study and do plenty of research before they take the visa interview.

Work Experience

Having past work experience can certainly help you when it comes to getting accepted into a study abroad program, especially since it shows work ethic, leadership (depending on the job), passion, responsibility, etc., but it typically won’t break you when it comes to getting accepted. On the other hand, having past work experience can show off the fact that you are a well-rounded student, which is something that typically holds a lot of weight during the admissions process in the United States.

Other activities that can help show you are well-rounded: Sports, volunteering history, special hobbies (such as playing an instrument), etc.

While being a well-rounded individual is very important to colleges and universities, it’s also important to stand out from the crowd. Believe it or not, your likes and interests can help in that department, and so can your past work experience, especially if it shows off unique skills or relates to your studies.

Needless to say, American universities expect a lot out of their students, so if an international student is looking to gain admission into a college in the United States, he/she needs to shine out via good grades, test scores, letters of recommendation, activities outside of school and things of that nature.

The important thing is to look at the admissions requirements for each school you apply to. While many universities are looking for the same things — such as good grades and test scores — some colleges might be looking for other very specific requirements. Likewise, some schools might put a lot of weight on past work experience while others won’t.

So, How Important Is Past Work Experience?

Although it isn’t typically the No. 1 thing universities look at, it tends to be a nice addition to your school resume, especially if it helps to show off your talents outside of the classroom or really relates to your studies.

If you’d like help with the admissions process please email us at:

International Student Loan

Understanding the application requirements and admission requirements for international students can be tough, but getting an international student loan can be even tougher. In addition to admissions help, Nomad Credit is happy to help you navigate the difficult process and help you find the potential loan options available to you.

Nomad Credit can help you find your funding options. Please visit us at to search for your student loan (also known as education loan) options Please don’t hesitate to email us at if you have any questions.


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