Whether you’re looking for a brief experience abroad or a long-term career, Career Advancement can help you find international opportunities that match your interests.
If you are an international student seeking jobs in the U.S., please visit the Office of International Affairs website for information on necessary visa procedures for employment.
Experience or Career?
Are you seeking a professional experience abroad, or looking for a steppingstone to an international career? Making this distinction will help you focus your search and create criteria to look for when reading postings.
Know Yourself and Your Goals
Know Yourself: Assess your skills and capacity for flexibility and independence. Depending on your comfort level some experiences may be better for you than others. An appointment with a Career Advancement adviser can help you determine what experience might be best.
Determine Your Goals: Why do you want to go abroad? How long do you want to work abroad? What do you hope to gain? Do you have any health or mobility issues that may cause location restrictions? Do you want to live near other expatriates or be immersed in the local culture/language? Do you want to live with a host family, on your own, or with roommates? These are all important questions to ask yourself.
Know Your Resources
Whether you want an international career or an experience abroad, you will need to decide whether you want to use a program or service to find opportunities, or arrange an experience on your own.
An independent job, internship, or volunteer search abroad does not require up-front fees, but it does require significant time, patience, and initiative on your part. Don’t underestimate the time and costs associated with arranging your own opportunity: you should plan to provide for your own insurance, plane tickets, housing etc. It is also smart to create an emergency fund equivalent to a month’s salary or a plane ticket home from your destination.
Programs that arrange employment, and in some cases accommodation and paperwork, can take much of the difficulty out of preparing for an international experience, but in many cases charge fees for their services. You should always carefully vet any program you plan to participate in by doing research using websites such as Transitions Abroad and asking lots of questions of both program employees and former participants.
Know the Requirements
Before you go anywhere outside of the United States, you should ensure that you are complying with the local regulations regarding international visitors.
Please check requirements for acquiring a passport, visa and needed vaccinations. You can find useful information on individual countries through the U.S. Department of State website, as well as the Centers for Disease and Control. To help you research different opportunities, Career Advancement is pleased to offer Going Global, available to students through UChicago Handshake. Going Global offers job and internship listings as well as city and country guides for a number of destinations.