A huge range of opportunities are available for students and graduates wishing to work abroad. Here are some ideas of the type of work open to you...
The majority of casual employment is in the hospitality and tourism sectors, such as hotel and bar work or working as a holiday rep. Other typical jobs range from fruit picking to au pairing. Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America offer the best opportunities.
Find out more about internships in the UK and abroad.
Overseas projects are often based in the developing world, working with local communities tackling issues around health, social care, education and conservation.
For all volunteering opportunities, you should have a realistic idea of the contribution you can make and what is expected of you. Ensure that you have everything in writing before you go. Organisations should be able put you in touch with a returned volunteer who can give you first-hand information. Speak to your careers service if you are unsure about the organisation.
To find international opportunities, your local volunteering centre can be a good starting point. They may be able to recommend some matching agencies as well as specific organisations.
For additional information, see volunteering.
Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is a very popular way for new graduates without specialist experience and skills to obtain work overseas. Teachers are employed in commercial language schools, state schools, education and development organisations, and large companies. There are more structured teaching programmes specific to individual countries as well. See English as a foreign language teacher.
There are also international schools operating all over the world in need of qualified teachers. Experienced teachers are recruited to teach the normal range of subjects at primary and secondary level.
Getting posts overseas can be competitive and you must have a good academic record. For research and lecturing positions abroad, see:
For more information, see higher education lecturer.
There has been a steady growth in the volume of consulting business undertaken by British companies overseas, and many UK companies plan to branch into new and emerging markets. Consultancy work, especially for experienced professionals, can be found with both large international companies and smaller niche businesses.
The creative arts industry offers good opportunities for work abroad, from touring musicians to artists promoting and selling their work. The European Commission Culture Programme aims to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the sector.
The financial sector is a global industry with major financial centres throughout the world. However, with the decreasing numbers of visas available and banks demanding that their graduates have knowledge of the region they will be working in, it is very hard to land your first graduate job overseas. Working abroad is more likely once you're established in your career. For further information, see accountancy, banking and finance.
The oil and gas sector offers many opportunities to work overseas, predominantly in Africa and the Middle East. Working for an international energy company does not guarantee that you will work abroad though, as many companies choose to employ local people. See energy and utilities.
Setting up a business overseas is a much bigger undertaking than becoming self-employed in the UK. As planning and setting up in business in a foreign country can be very complex, many people use the services of a specialist consultancy to advise them.
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