By Kelly Cleary
In the past couple of weeks I’ve talked with several students who want to work or intern abroad either short or long term this summer or after graduation. Career Services offers many resources and programs to help students navigate an international job or internship search. My Go Abroad Young Man (or Woman): Working Abroad to Advance Your Career blog from last year highlights some of the reasons why I almost always encourage students to pursue international opportunities if they have the inclination.
If you are considering this path, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Clarify your goals – the clearer your intentions, the easier your search will be.
- Start early — Finding opportunities and sorting out visa requirements takes time so the earlier you start looking the more likely you’ll find an opportunity that best fits your interests and goals.
- Think about what is most important to you: location or type of work. If you absolutely have your heart set on working in London, you may want to be more flexible about the type of work you do. On the other hand, if you know you’re committed to international public health issues, there may be many international locations with interesting positions.
- Familiarize yourself with visa requirements for the location(s) of interest to you. To successfully find work overseas, you will first need to understand and fulfill any visa requirements. More information on visas can be found on our web site and in the GoinGlobal country guides (available through our Online Subscriptions page.)
Here are a few resources to help you get started:
- Top Resources for Finding Opportunities Abroad online presentation
- Career Services’ International Opportunities page
- Career Services’ International Internship Guide
- PennLink & iNet — Career Services job and internship databases
- Teaching Abroad Resources
- Action Without Borders (Nonprofit Jobs)
- Penn Online Subscriptions (GoinGlobal, Uniworld, Devex, Current Jobs for Graduates, Ecojobs, Human Rights Jobs, JournalistJobs ) available through the Career Services Library (Pennkey required).
- Career services online videos with advice from current students and staff:
- General Networking tips including how to conduct an Informational Interview. This should be an essential component of any international job search!
A “Consumer” Note:
When searching for job and internship opportunities in PennLink or elsewhere, please keep in mind that employers are generally able to enter their own jobs into our system. You should use your own judgment when applying for opportunities. For example, with so many teach abroad options out there, it’s hard to know which schools and programs are the best bet for you. This article from Transitions Abroad, “Teaching English Overseas: Don’t Be A Victim” and the related articles on the page should be a helpful primer. You should always feel comfortable asking to talk to an “alum” of the program or someone who taught there in the past.