Working Overseas is gaining prominence as a new arena in which to find work. More people are looking at overseas employment as an option, to make a difference in the world, and to bring new meaning into their lives. On this page, I will share with you what I’ve learned about the process of finding Global/International Career Opportunities. This information may open up exciting opportunities for you.
You can go “Overseas” to work at any stage in life:
- High School Students
- College & University Students
- Graduate Students and Working Professionals
- Mid-Life Career Changers – Over 40’s
The Top 10 Signs You’re Ready for a Global Career
- You have an adventurous approach to life.
- You like to try new experiences.
- You are curious about other cultures and different world views.
- You’d like to learn another language.
- You’ve travelled or would like to travel abroad.
- You have friends from other cultures.
- You may have participated in an international student exchange or home stay program.
- You may have studied abroad, as part of your education.
- You may be a Third Culture Kid
- You are flexible, resourceful, tenacious, creative.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s your attitude that counts here. Global Careerists come from anywhere: China, Brazil, Europe, America.
They are people who appreciate the world at large, its people, cultures, history, architectural marvels, natural beauty, and of course the fascinating intercultural communications that happen, when different cultures interact in the world of work.
How do I get “Overseas Experience”?
Some people go overseas early in their lives, as kids with their parents, whose work takes them abroad. They may be overseas for years.
There they attend local schools, and learn the language(s) of the country, or countries the family moves around to. They are lucky because they’ve already made a network of friends whom they can call on to help them, if they want to continue living and working overseas. These are called Third Culture Kids or TCKs.
As a High School Student you can begin preparing to become a Global Careerist while still in High School. You might choose to go overseas and spend a year, or part of a year of your education, living with a family, while attending school in one of over 40 foreign countries.
You can volunteer with one of the many International Student Programs or Youth Exchange Programs; or you can go on short, organized Work & Learn trips for students, or participate in short-term Cultural Home-Stays in foreign countries.
during her “gap” year, after high school
I created the Blinknow Foundation as a vehicle to share my ideas with other young people, especially children in the U.S. I believe that in the blink of an eye, we can all make a difference. ~ Maggie Doyne
Take a look at the sites below, and see what interests you.
Caution: Before you sign up for any volunteer program, check the terms and conditions very carefully.
- http://www.sci.ngo/ – Volunteer work camps for 2-3 weeks in the summer
- http://www.globalroutes.org/ – Teen Community Service Programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America
- http://www.afscanada.org/ – Provides intercultural learning and volunteer opportunities for students, young adults, teachers and families through International Youth Exchange Programs
- http://www.asse.com/ – Youth Exchange in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand
- http://www.goabroad.com/volunteer-abroad – Youth Exchange-many different programs to research and find one that suits you.
- http://www.kibbutzprogramcenter.org/ – Live on a Kibbutz in Israel – over 200 Kibbutzim available
- http://www.ayusa.org/ – High School Study Abroad programs in 17 countries like Japan, Australia, France, Germany, England, Switzerland, Italy . . .
- http://www.worldlearning.org/ – Operates International Education and Development programs in more than 70 countries worldwide
College/University Students can increase their ‘Global Awareness’ by doing overseas internships, Work & Learn summer projects, or by applying to complete part of their degree program abroad.
- http://www.eldis.org/go/jobs/volunteering-and-internships/ – The Institute of Development Studies (eldis) based in the UK,
lists Volunteer & Internship Opportunities in International Development.
ABOUT THE PEACE CORPS
The Peace Corps partners with 60 Graduate schools to offer students the opportunity to combine a graduate degree with Peace Corps experience.
In addition, for one year after your return, you will have noncompetitive eligibility status for appointments to US government executive branch agencies.
Here are links to some of the Best Programs for University Students & Grads:
- http://www.internationalstudent.com/ – International Student offers comprehensive info for International Job Seekers and Study Abroad Opportunities.
- http://swap.ca/ – The Student Work Abroad Program – SWAP offers Working Holiday Programs to 12 world destinations.
- http://www.earthwatch.org/ – Earth Watch offers Work & Learn Programs in 49 countries.
- http://www.globalroutes.org/ – Global Routes offers Gap-Year/College Internships in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
- http://www.ymcainternational.org/ – YMCA International offers Work & Learn Programs – features the International Camp Counselor Program in Britain.
- http://www.wfp.org/about/vacancies/internship/ – The World Food Program has University or Grad School Internships.
- http://www.worldteach.org/ – World Teach has Year-long Internships Teaching Life Skills in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa. No formal teacher training required.
- http://www.viaprograms.org/ – Volunteers in Asia – sends 30-40 English Teachers each year, to Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, and China. They will train you.
Graduate Students and Working Professionals might choose to enter the international job market, working overseas through “Internships“.
What are Internships?
Internships are just like real jobs. They are one of the best ways to overcome the major hurdle, when looking for a job overseas, and that is, a lack of experience.
An internship working overseas allows you to work on a specific project and to build on your academic skills and previous work experience. You may not be paid a salary, more likely you’ll get a living allowance or stipend. But you will receive guidance in structuring your internship, from a mentor or supervisor, with the goal of furthering your knowledge and practical experience in the field, in a way that you can leverage later towards an “International Career”.
Some organizations will even consider an internship proposal that you design for yourself, if you can design it to be of value to the organization.
- http://www.peacecorps.gov/ – The Peace Corps sends volunteers overseas, to work on development-related 27-month projects.
- http://www.internjobs.com/- A global database of Internships and Entry-level Positions for students, recent graduates and career changers.
- http://www.unicef.org/ – UNICEF recruits for 6-16 week Internships in International and Social Development.
- http://www.worldbank.org/ – World Bank has 150-200 internships each year for post-grads, also 2 year Junior Professional Associates Programs.
- http://www.who.int/employment/internship/en/ – World Health Organization Internships at the Geneva Headquarters for graduates in health-related fields.
- http://www1.wfp.org/careers/internships – World Food Programme Internships for those currently enrolled in a University or Grad School Program.
Over-35’s who want to make a difference, to be on the front lines of helping create a better world, can look at Careers in International Development.
Depending on your experience, you could be involved in Aid Programs in Developing Countries, working in consulting, business, administration, in government and educational institutions, non-profit organizations or private firms. You could also start your own consulting business.
But before you give up your job, check to see if your company has overseas offices that you may not know about. One of the best ways to move overseas is to get transferred by your company.
Are you thinking of working overseas in a Western Industrialized Country?
The main problem is that that they may want to keep foreign workers to a minimum. The point is: they don’t really need you, so they have created laws to make it difficult to get into their countries.
There are two tricky obstacles to overcome, which make getting an international job in these particular countries challenging.
- First, you need international experience, but it’s hard to get it, if no one will hire you. That’s why it’s preferable to go the volunteer route first.
- Second, to work overseas, you need a work permit. But to get a work permit, you first have to prove you have a job. And an employer has to prove that they can’t find a local, as qualified as you, to do the same job.
The easiest way around these issues, is to work in an unpaid position, as an intern, volunteer, go through your own company to their overseas office or try to get into a work exchange program. There are always ways around these things, if you are flexible and determined.
Here are some major websites to start your search:
- http://www.unv.org – UN Internships on Humanitarian Efforts – need 7 years experience in your field.
- http://www.charityvillage.com/cv/main.asp – Charity Village, offers the Best Job Search Site for Non-Profits with over 5,000 organizations.
- http://www.devnetjobs.org/ – DevNetJobs is an up-to-date International Job Bank Database with positions posted by over 400 development organizations.
- http://www.ifrc.org/ – All you could want to know about The Red Cross and Red Crescent Network, with an excellent Job Board.
- http://www.eldis.org/news/jobs.html – The Institute of Development Studies (eldis) is a British website with a large List of Job Postings, plus links to other sites and postings at selected development agencies.
- http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/- Doctors Without Borders is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries, for Health Care Professionals.
More on Teaching English Overseas
NOTE: All of the above websites are subject to change, at any time. Always check for the latest information.
Links change very quickly. If you find you cannot access a link, go to the root of the web address, and access it from there.
The quality of service can vary among recruiting agencies. Be sure to check out their references, by asking to talk with former recruits.
Study their advertising, terms of service, policies, and contracts (before you sign). Your best bet is to talk to several former recruits and ask a lot of questions.
Select from the links below to find out more about Living and Working Abroad
- LIVING OVERSEAS - AN ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE
- OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENTS FOR: - High School Students
- TEACHING ENGLISH OVERSEAS
- THIRD CULTURE KIDS
- THE CHALLENGES OF OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT
- TIPS ON LEARNING FOREIGN LANGUAGES
- GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE - WHAT IS YOUR INTERNATIONAL IQ?
- WHAT KIND OF PERSON DOES WELL 'LIVING ABROAD'?
- DEALING WITH 'CULTURE SHOCK'
- REPATRIATION - COMING HOME
- REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK
- CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION
- College & University Students
- Graduate Students and Working Professionals
- Mid-Life Career Changers - Over 35's
Follow this 4-Step Career Assessment Program
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