Submitted by Janna K. Behrens

Why Go Abroad?

Amherst students may choose to work abroad for a wide variety of reasons. Some work abroad because they did not have a chance to study abroad during their academic career; others work abroad because their time abroad sparked an interest in working abroad. Some students choose to spend a summer working abroad before graduation; others choose to spend Interterm in a foreign country doing volunteer work or interning. Students may work abroad for the adventure, for the cultural experience, to improve language skills.

General Information

Dickinson College's site includes links, information about organizing searches, and visa info
Escape Artist looks at working and living abroad, links abound
One Small Planet: working, traveling, studing and volunteering on Earth
Transitions Abroad: informational site with articles and links
University of Michigan: international employment information and links
U.S. State Department: travel and living abroad information

Visas and Work Abroad Programs

All countries require that foreign visitors obtain a working visa or a worker's permit before working and/or residing for long periods of time. Often those wanting to work abroad are in a tough position: governments will only give visas to those who have already secured a job, but employers will only give jobs to those who have working visas. It is for this reason that work exchange programs are so desirable to those looking for jobs abroad. These companies provide workers with the proper paperwork needed to work abroad including working visas, tax file numbers, etc. Also, they often help workers find housing and job once they've arrived in the foreign country.

Types of International Opportunities and Application Deadlines

Short term paid work abroad
Apply 3-4 months before the date you would like to arrive in a foreign country. Different programs have different deadlines. Consult their websites for the most up to date deadline information.

Teaching abroad

September – deadline for Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship positions
December – deadlines for major TESL programs in Asia, including JET, Princeton-in-Asia, Erlham College , etc.
January – March – deadlines for various other TESL programs (Apply early!)

Volunteering abroad
Apply 9 months in advance for Peacecorps and other long-term volunteer programs.
March - May – deadline for short-term 'work camps'

Internships abroad


November 1st – deadline for US State Department internships for the summer
December 1st – deadline for many science and engineering internships
Match 1st – deadlines for State Department internships for the fall
July 1st – deadlines for State Department internships for the winter

Consulting Jobs Abroad

Abt Associates , International consulting
McKinsey and Company , Consulting, international branches
Monitor Consulting , Consulting, international branches

Teaching Abroad

Amherst's teaching abroad informational page
Amherst China Initiative, teach in China 
Chinese Culture Center
, teach in China
Council on International Educational Exchange , teach abroad in China and Thailand
ESL Lighthouse , teaching ESL in Asia
JET, Japanese Exchange Teaching . Language teaching in Japan
Worldteach, Inc. , international teaching programs
Teaching Jobs Overseas
Teach Abroad , Teaching jobs in Asia and Europe
Embassy of Spain Teaching Assistant Program
Embassy of France Teaching Assistant Program

Think Tanks

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research , Think tank, informational site about the company
Brookings Institute, Think tank, company informational site, foreign policy, economics and governance
Institute for Policy Studies , think tank, internship opportunities
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace , informational site about the organization

Volunteer Positions Abroad

Explorations in Travel , Volunteer placements worldwide (for women only)
Idealist , a project by Action Without Borders , search engine for nonprofit organizations, jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities
International Volunteer Program , Volunteer opportunities in France and the U.K., housing and meals provided
One World , a nonprofit working to prevent further environmental destruction, volunteer positions available
I-to-I Volunteer Abroad, Volunteer programs related to media, health, community planning, and conservation
The Global Volunteer Network offers volunteer opportunities in community projects throughout the world. Our vision is to support the work of local community organizations in developing countries through the placement of international volunteers. We believe that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs, and we provide volunteers to help them achieve their goals.

Government Organizations

Academy for Educational Development , Internships and employment on a variety of USAID programs
Central Intelligence Agency , Employment and Internships
Council on Foreign Relations , foreign policy jobs and internships
Defense Intelligence Agency , foreign military intelligence, job opportunities
National Security Agency , employment opportunities
U.S. Foreign Service Employment , foreign diplomacy, job opportunities

International Health Jobs

General Information
International Health is a growing field. With the increase in world travel and globalization health problems are no longer local issues. Epidemics such as HIV/AIDS have caused a worldwide realization of the far reaching effects of health problems that were at first considered to only affect certain areas and communities. This realization has caused an increase international health opportunities. Even though there are more opportunities than ever before in international health, it still takes a lot of time and patience to find something especially as a student or recent graduate.

International Health Medical Education Consortium
This is the best general listing for any opportunities in medicine or public health in the international arena. Go to the resources link and they have links to both organizations doing work in international health as well as guides and advice on international health as a career.
World Health Organization
The Center for International Service Learning
Click on health professions student link on the home page for a description of the different projects. Most programs are 2 weeks and cost between $1000-$2000. There is the possibility of collecting aid and donations, which lower the price the student must pay to around $600, depending on the program. It is important to keep in mind that this organization is religiously affiliated. There are reports of students having a wonderful time on this program, but a few have said that they felt as if they were on a missionary trip.
Global Volunteers , health or environmental projects that are 1 or 2 weeks, 18 different countries (including the US ), cost: approximately $2,000.
Child Family Health International
415-863-4900. Programs for pre-medical students 21 years and older or medical students of any year. Their programs focus on clinical experience, but offer a variety of topics including tropical medicine, health disparities, and clinical rotations. Programs are in India , South Africa , Ecuador , and Mexico . The programs in Latin America include classes in medical Spanish, but there is no language prerequisite. One session is approximately 4 weeks and approximately $1,500, but does not include airfare to site.
International Cooperative Education , paid summer internships related to health in Belgium , Germany , Finland , Japan , Switzerland , and Singapore

Other Opportunities

Arms Control and Disarmament Agency , informational site about the agency, fellowship opportunities
Association for International Practical Training , global training and cultural exchange, internships available
CDS International , training opportunities in Germany and Ecuador, paid internships
Center for Strategic and International Studies , a company providing world leaders with strategic insights, job and internship opportunities
European Council of International Schools , promotes excellence in international education, courses and internships available
IGC Internet , bringing communication technologies to grass roots organizations and nonprofits, scroll to the bottom of the page for job and internship listings
International Association of Students in Economics and Commerce , Info. about private sector internships, student and alumni network, international traineeship exchanges
The World Bank , providing development assistance, job opportunities and internships
Reuters , a global information company, finance job opportunities


Before Leaving

  • Meet with the Director of International Experience in the Career Center
  • Contact any people you know in the city or country where you'll be
  • Make a list of alumni living in the city or country where you'll be
  • Talk with students who have returned from your future work site
  • Read all of the information provided by your program
  • Read up on the city and country in which you'll be living
  • Consult some of the websites listed under the General Information section of this page
  • Get the appropriate immunizations

While Abroad

  • Register with the embassy/consulate abroad
  • Register with the local police department if required
  • Familiarize yourself with the local customs and become aware of your surroundings
  • Beware of local water and food – be aware of what is and is not safe for you to eat and drink
  • Become aware of the health care services available in your town or city
  • Maintain a notebook with contact info of family and friends at home as well as people you meet abroad
  • Contact Amherst alums
  • Check the local Yellow Pages and newspapers for want ads for future reference
  • Look for schools that teach in English (if you're interested in teaching at an English-speaking school abroad)
  • Practice the local language – even if you're in an English-speaking country, there are always new slang phrases and nuances to the language
  • Meet locals
  • Introduce yourself to other Americans and foreigners living abroad
  • Pay attention to living and travel costs – make a budget and stick to it!
  • Have a friend or family member at home collect information about internships and jobs in the US for after you return home
  • Get information on Graduate School programs (if you are considering Grad School abroad)

After Returning

  • Keep in touch with the contacts you made abroad
  • Visit the Amherst College Career Center
  • Assess your financial situation
  • Prepare a resume--be sure to include your experiences abroad!
  • Research jobs and Graduate programs in the US and abroad
  • Find a friend to job-hunt with--the process is much more fun when completed in pairs!

[Researching organizations: questions for potential internships]

[Using your language skill]