Working internationally can be a life-changing adventure and a chance to gain in-depth knowledge of another culture and yourself. It’s also a valuable addition to a resume. Whether you are interested in an international career, or simply a temporary position abroad, seeking an international work experience while you are a student can be ideal as there are numerous special programs available only to students and recent graduates.
As with any job search, consider that it can take time, energy, and perseverance to research and find international work. Also, you must obtain the necessary visa or work permit to work in another country. Many organized programs that offer work abroad positions will help facilitate the visa process.
Three key considerations to keep in mind as you begin your search, as outlined by Amanda Wilson, Career Advisor at the UI Pomerantz Career Center, include:
- Know the requirements for visa and work permits. These requirements differ from country to country, and obtaining a visa or work permit can be a lengthy process. Electronic Embassy and Overseas Jobs have links for foreign embassies’ websites, where a country’s visa and work permit requirements are usually listed.
- Know how the job search differs abroad. Job search etiquette and the format of a resume, a CV, or an interview differ depending on the country and region. See Going Global or Quintessential Careers Global Career Resources for helpful articles on these topics.
- Know where to find opportunities. Ask friends, family, colleagues, past employers… use your network of resources. The list of international job search websites included here is not comprehensive, but will give you a good start.
You might also consider taking the Global Leadership Initiative course, a 1 credit online workshop (pass/fail), to explore leadership while you're abroad. This online workshop is supplementary to a study abroad, international internship, or cross-cultural experience and focuses on developing the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are paramount for global leadership competence.
Work Abroad Resource List
AIDE Abroad: offers a wide range of internship, work, teach, and volunteer opportunities worldwide.
BUNAC: Work visas for US citizens up to 12 months, destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada.
Career Forum: Search postings and job fairs for Japanese-English bilinguals.
Cultural Embrace: Cultural Embrace offers resources for a variety of schedules, budgets, and interests.
Cultural Vistas: Provides fellowship, internship, and work placements for students and young professionals.
Devex: Works to connect international development professionals in a global network. Information provided about organizations, projects, news, and jobs.
Directory of Foreign Firms Operating in the United States and American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries: This resource covers over 200 countries and 20,000 industries with two separate search engines for multinational business contact information.
Escape Artist: International job search engine and resources.
GoAbroad.com: Volunteer, Teach, Intern, Jobs, EcoAdventure Travel.
GO! Overseas: Lists Study, Teach, and Volunteer abroad programs across the world.
Going Global: Provides global career information and resources, including internship listings, employment trends, and work permit/visa regulations. *UI campus users can create a free account – sign up through the link on the Career Center website.
HelpX: Cultural exchange for working holiday makers to stay with locals and gain practical experience.
Idealist: Idealist connects people, organizations, and resources with a focus on practical solutions to social and environmental problems.
International High Potential Network (iHipo): This site provides international job listings in many fields for students and young professionals seeking jobs, internships, graduate programs and traineeships in many parts of the world.
Jobware International: Search for jobs throughout the world, with postings in English and German.
Quintessential Careers: Global Job Resource organized by region, with links to an extensive number of global job search sites and helpful descriptions of each site’s contents.
ReliefWeb: A source for humanitarian information, crises, and events worldwide, plus job listings.
Riley Guide: International Job Resources: An extensive collection of job search sites by country/region and international employment resources and articles.
SWAP Working Holidays: Work in Canada allows American college and university students to travel and work in Canada for up to 12 months.
Transitions Abroad: A resource for work, study, teaching, travel, and living abroad.
Verge Magazine: A resource to help people experience the world in a meaningful way, through opportunities for study, work, and volunteer abroad.
WorkAway: Provide volunteer work in exchange for food and accommodation, worldwide.
Teach Abroad Resource List
Aclipse: Connects college grads with teaching jobs in Asia.
AIDE Abroad: Offers a wide range of internship, work, teach, and volunteer opportunities worldwide.
Amity: Teach English in Japan for one year, Bachelor degree required.
Aptus Brazil: Gain practical TEFL experience while having a cultural experience in Brazil.
AST Korea: Nonprofit organization focused on cultivating global talent for education, offers teaching placements throughout Korea.
Central European Teaching Program: Places native-speaking English teachers in classrooms in Hungary, typically 6-10 month contracts.
Council for International Education Exchange Teach English Abroad: CIEE offers teaching positions with programs in Chile, China, Dominican Republic, South Korea, Spain, and Thailand.
Dave’s ESL Café: Teaching positions for TESOL, TEFL, TESL around the world.
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship: Offers a classroom placement to help teach English while serving as a cultural ambassador for U.S. culture.
Global Routes: Teach, volunteer, or intern in Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand.
Intrax Teach Abroad: Teach English in Chile, Peru, Korea, Taiwan, China for 6-12 months.
The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET): Recent graduates assist with international exchange and language education in local governments and schools throughout Japan.
North American Language & Culture Assistants (Spain): Spanish language students expand their skills and cultural knowledge while teaching English and North American culture to Spanish K-12 students.
Reach to Teach: International recruiting agency for ESL teacher applicants. Placements in South Korea, Taiwan, China, Georgia.
SIT TESOL Certification: 4 week intensive 130-hour certification course in TESOL offered in various locations around the world from North Hampton, MA to Bangkok, Quito, Brisbane and beyond.
Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK): No teaching experience or Korean language skills required. Earn money to teach English to elementary students after school (15 hours per week). Includes extensive orientation. Flight and accommodation paid. Six months or 1 year.
Teach and Study Program (Israel): Offers a two-year work and study program, resulting in an MA in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) from Bar-Ilan University.
Teach for China: Fellows serve for two years as full-time, core-subject teachers in under-resourced areas of China.
TEFL Worldwide Prague: Earn your TEFL (TESOL) certificate in the heart of Europe, 4 weeks.
U.S. Teaching Assistantship Program in Austria: Provides US university grads an opportunity to work at secondary schools throughout Austrai as teaching assistants.
World Teach: Non-profit NGO based at the Harvard Institute for International Development, places volunteers throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Some programs offer TEFL certification.