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Supporting Students & Graduates in developing and implementing career plans

Consider the option of working abroad

Why do I want to work abroad?

Working internationally can give a graduate a means of seeing the world or an opportunity to 'just do something different'. Other graduates may see working abroad as an integral part of their career plans. Working overseas should be an interesting and rewarding experience, an opportunity to live and work among people of different cultures and traditions.

Translating a vague wish into an international job can be difficult but some 10% of UL graduates take the plunge and chose to work internationally after their primary degree. If you wish to follow this route, much will depend not only on your qualifications and your skills but also on your determination and planning.

What can be gained from working abroad?

  • Knowledge of other cultures
  • Improve or learn a foreign language
  • Independence from living and working in another country

What can you lose from working abroad?

  • Place on career ladder if you are away too long
  • Knowledge gained might not be applicable when you return
  • If you spend too long travelling and working, employers might think that you cannot settle down

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What information do I need on working abroad?

Wanting to work Internationally is not enough on its own. You must carry out adequate research into what you want to do and where you want to do it. The clearer you are about what you want to do, the greater your chances of success. Developing a job-hunting action plan can help you to clarify your objectives and organise your search.

Start by:

  • Deciding on a target country.
  • Research the country, particularly information relevant to the employment market, the recruitment process and visa requirements.
  • Check the sources of information including careers and recruitment websites, international career guides, company directories, national newspapers, international job fairs, etc.
  • Research carefully the skills and qualifications you will need.
  • Target a sector(s).
  • Identify potential employers.
  • Familiarise yourself with the standard application procedures used.
  • Consider spending some time in the country of your choice after you complete your work and budget for this.
  • Send targeted applications.
  • Keep a file with details of all your applications.

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Volunteer work overseas

Voluntary work can be a superb way to gain valuable experience and at the same time give something back to the community - whether through teaching, building water and drainage systems or sifting archaeological remains.

However, if you are going to be working as a volunteer, check out the sponsoring organisation and make sure that you are wholly satisfied about the arrangements - in particular:

  • Medical insurance should be provided
  • Return travel ticket should be given to you
  • Accommodation should be fixed and appropriate
  • If staying with a host family, what payment are they receiving for your upkeep?
  • What work will you actually be doing?
  • What hours will you be working?

Try to talk to someone who has already volunteered with this organisation to find out what it is really like.

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International seminar

As a part of the annual programme of careers events, we will organise a seminar focusing on international work. This event will be advertised and you should make a point of attending as part of your planning process.

Sources of information

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Page last modified: September 17 2014. Any comments to webmaster. Disclaimer

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