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 The International Job Search 



What options should I consider before I begin the international job search?  

  • Should the work be directly related to my career goals?
  • Should the work be non-career-related work, but in a specific country?
  • Do I want a working vacation through several countries?
  • Is this going to be short-term employment or a starting point for an international career

What should I do next? 

  • Take stock of your skills and experiences
  • Create a list of languages, technical skills, business experiences, or other related abilities you have to offer an employer

How can I research companies in other countries?  

  • Use the internet to determine a country's overall employment picture
  • Review international newspapers. The State Department's Country Commercial Guides are a great resource for up-to-date information
  • Join and network with an international professional group in your career field

Do I need a work permit? 

  • Yes
  • Work permit visas are normally available only through application by an employer who has offered you a job. The employer must prove that you have unique skills and abilities that are not possessed by the local citizens. The process is long and expensive, so begin searching immediately!

What are some alternatives to getting a work permit? 

  • Consider volunteering abroad first to practice languages and social skills
  • Work exchange programs through companies to college students or recent graduates
  • Study abroad programs offer a structured environment and creates networking opportunities
  • Scholarships through organization like Fulbright and the Rotary Club are available to recent graduates

What type of work abroad programs should I know about? 

  • International internships to gain academics credit without pay. They are the most direct connection to an international career
  • Short-term paid work abroad programs are usually temporary or restaurant work, professional experiences are rare. Prepare for up-front fees and a six month permit
  • Volunteering on archeological digs or in social services is great preparation for those interested in working in developing countries and other fields
  • Teaching English as a foreign language is accessible for long terms, especially in Asia and Eastern Europe

Work Abroad Programs 

  • These organized programs offer a variety of services an costs which should be carefully compared before committing to a program

International Internships 

  • These offer the most direct connection to international careers.
  • Internships offering academic credit are many, but paid internships are rare. These internships may be offered abroad, or with an international company office within the US.

Short-Term Paid Work Abroad 

  • These experiences might include temp work, restaurant work, and some professional positions.
  • Short-term work abroad programs provide the best opportunity for you to work abroad, but there are usually upfront fees for participation.
  • Locations are usually in Europe and last six months.


  • Work ranges from archaeological digs to social services.
  • These experiences provide excellent career preparation for those interested in working in developing countries.


  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language is one of the most accessible options for long term working abroad.
  • Opportunities usually exist in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Work Abroad Program Links 

If considering international employment through organized programs, be sure to take stock of all of your options. Compare costs and services offered through each program. Some organizations to consider then thinking about work abroad programs are found below.

  • AIPT: Association for International Practical Training
    • Offers several training and cultural exchange experiences
    • Placement is related to the applicant's ability to create a reciprocal position in the US for a student coming from abroad.
  • American-Scandinavian Foundation
    • This organization offers paid long and short-term positions within private industry and technical universities in chemistry, computer science, forestry, horticulture and engineering; usually available in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
    • Offers work/travel programs to Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada
  • CDS International
    • Knowledge of German language skills and US Citizenship is required.
    • Intensive language training in Germany is involved, followed by an internship with a German company.
    • Applicants should have at least one year of experience in the desired field of placement.
    • Provides a work permit, orientation upon arrival, and help finding a job and housing.
  • GVI's Careers Abroad
    • This site offers links to jobs as well as field work. Fieldwork applications require a 10 week GVI expedition to apply. Information about GVI expeditions can be found on their website. Listed jobs may require expierence in the general area of study. Opportunities range from outdoor expeditions to research expierences and teaching English as a foreign language.
  • InterExchange
    • Dedicated to promoting international understanding though affordable intercultural and educational work/training programs
  • Indeed
  • Windsor Mountain International
    • This experiential learning center offers a range of summer and residential travel programs. Both jobs and internships are available. Applicants must be 22 years of age, have experience working with teenagers and skills and knowledge in specific program areas. Room, board and salary are provided.
  • Peace Corps
    • The Peace Corps seeks volunteers in agriculture, education, forestry, health, engineering, skilled trades, business, the environment, urban planning, youth development, and teaching of English. Known internationally, the Peace Corps provides an opportunity to volunteer for two years in a developing nation. The Peace Corps is very competitive, and has a rolling application deadline.
  • YMCA International Camp Counselor
    • Summer camp counselor positions are available in 24 countries.



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