Like all job and internship searches, finding a job internationally requires research. You'll soon find that there is no "one path" to obtaining a job overseas. Some people work for a company domestically and then transfer to an office located internationally. Others qualify for positions by having a specific qualification (e.g. language proficiency, degree, technical skill) that lands them that "plum" job abroad.
Often international job seekers have questions on how to work legally abroad. Most countries around the world - including the U.S. - require an official work permit or visa in order to be legally employed in that country. To learn about a country's visa requirements, please visit the U.S. Department of State Country Profiles.
Below is a helpful checklist as you begin research for your international job search.
- Take an assessment. Learn what types of jobs and industries are the best fit for you.
- Know the approximate time period you would like to work abroad. Are you looking for a short-term work experience before applying to graduate or professional school? Are you interested in a career in international affairs?
- Research alumni who are working abroad. How did they get started in their field? What preparation do they recommend? Sample scripts can help you craft your personal message if you are not sure how to initiate contact with an alumnus.
- Research companies and industries and read job descriptions of openings that sound appealing by browsing through "Resources," below. Make a list of the skills you have and the skills you need to obtain in order to qualify for positions that are of interest to you.
The Going Global Career Guides are the ultimate international job seeker's guide! Updated continually, this massive research tool contains more than 10,000 resources for finding employment at home and abroad.
Uniworld is database with information on American firms operating overseas as well as foreign companies operating in the U.S. You can search by region, country, industry, and much more. This is an excellent tool if you are looking for short term and long term employment overseas.This website posts weekly job vacancies at many international organizations - both in the private, government, and not-for-profit sectors.If you want to work in France, the French-American Chamber of Commerce has excellent information on how to conduct the job search for a position in France. They have a visa-sponsorship program once a student/graduate secures a job, which is valuable to share with prospective employers.
The Riley Guide
Directory of employment information found on the internet and aims to help "provide instruction for job seekers on how to use the Internet to their best advantage."
For a job search in Canada.
Specializing in jobs in Brussels, Belgium.
General site for short and long-term positions.Employment and recruitment for jobs in the UK, best suited for residents of the European Union since most jobs require a work permit.
Volunteer, teach, work abroad, and language study abroad; articles by authors who have lived and worked abroad with country-specific recommendations and advice. Some programs listed are fee-based.Research non-profit organizations around the globe, but also browse job, internships, and volunteer openings. Some programs listed are fee-based. Information on starting a non-profit, etc., too.Lists study, volunteer, intern and work abroad programs (some fee-based).Peace Corps
Program for U.S. citizens interested in spending two years (plus 3 months of training) living and working alongside people in a community in a developing country.
Go Volunteer Abroad, a website where you can find volunteer opportunities around the world through their searchable database. Most programs are fee-based.
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, volunteer with survivors of the genocideAmerican Jewish World Services, summer volunteer (fee) or 10-month volunteer opportunity in India (fellowship, no fee).BUNAC, short-term work visas in the France, the U.K, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Volunteer programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Fee.DAAD, study and intern opportunities in Germany, some have fee,others funded.i-to-i.com, gap-year volunteer and travel abroad, reasonable fees.Interexchange, volunteer and work abroad programs for adolescents and young adults, fee.International Volunteer Program, volunteer in France or the U.K. Fee.Global Volunteers, gap-year volunteer programs in micro-economic and human development.Global Volunteer Network, gap-year volunteer programs around the world for all ages.Tevel b'Tzedek, up to four months volunteering/interning in Israel, Nepal, HaitiUnited Planet, emphasizes cross-cultural understanding in volunteer and intern abroad programs.World Teach, 9-12 month teaching opportunities, some posts subsidized, others fee-basedWWOOF, wide network of organic farm opportunities for room and/or board. Agreements vary by farm.
Council on International Educational Exchange , teach abroad in China and ThailandJET, Japanese Exchange Teaching . Language teaching in JapanWorldteach, Inc. , international teaching programs
The English Opens Doors Program, teaching English in Chile
Association for International Practical Training, helps Americans obtain legal work authorization abroad.
Find housing, read blogs, postings, and other advice from people living abroad.
Financial information on living in the European Union.