Please note: A link to resources on this website should not be construed as an endorsement by Career Advancement or the University of Chicago. Students and alumni are encouraged to use caution and judgment when evaluating services related to work abroad and consult Career Advancement advisers with any questions or concerns related to the advice and resources provided here.
There are many different paths to an international career. One thing they have in common, however, is that the preparation for these fields does not necessarily take place abroad. Students interested in an international career can start preparation early by developing the technical and language skills demanded by the field before they go abroad.
Career Advancement is pleased to offer students access to Going Global. Going Global is an electronic resource that offers international job and internship search engines and detailed country guides that include country-specific information about the job search process, including international resume and cover letter formats. To access Going Global, log in to UChicago Handshake and click on the Resources tab under the Career Center dropdown menu.
Employment by the United States Federal Government offers a number of opportunities for work outside the United States.
In addition to the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), there are many other agencies in the Federal Government that offer positions overseas. Career Advancement helps students explore and prepare for government careers through the Careers in Policy and Social Impact.
The United States Department of State offers careers abroad through the Foreign Service Officer program. See the State Department careers website. Students interested in a career with the State Department should consider applying for the State Department Internship program, as well as more general preparation like building their language skills, professional skills, and international knowledge.
Make an appointment with a Career Advancement or Careers in Policy and Social Impact adviser for more guidance on getting started in a government career.
Students hoping for a posting overseas long-term should focus on building their professional skills through substantive internships either in the US or abroad, and considering seeking employment with either a multinational or an international company operating in the United States.
Another option in some countries is to search for a “local hire” position. The availability of this option depends on the work permit restrictions of your particular destination. Networking is key to securing these types of positions.
Securing full-time work with an NGO or International Organization depends not only on language and professional skills, but also a demonstrated commitment to the cause or issue that is advocated by the organization. Paid employment with these organizations is often quite competitive, so it’s never too early to begin preparation.
Volunteering, either with the Peace Corps or a similar organization, is another way to get started in the field. See the volunteer abroad section or the Careers in Policy and Social Impact program for more information.
Here are some helpful resources related to international development jobs, including links to job boards. Some listings are free to view. Others require a membership—cost varies depending on the length of the subscription.
Job boards of international development jobs
Alliance of US-based NGOs. Contains a membership directory.