How To Find Opportunities to Work Abroad

There's a lot a person can gain from working abroad: job experience, cultural awareness, expanded horizons. If you are interested in working abroad, whether for a short time or permanently, you may not know where to find such opportunities. With the wonders of technology and globalization, it can be argued that the search for work abroad has become easier than ever before. Here are some tips for finding opportunities to work abroad.

  1. If you're employed, check with your company. Many companies, especially large ones, have branches abroad and chances for employees to travel and work in other countries. Check with your company's human resources department to see if your company has any opportunities like that. If they do, HR can explain to you how you can get in on the program. If they don't, for instance, if you work at a small company, they may have contacts abroad that can still be of use to you once you make your interests known.
  2. If you're in college, check school resources. Colleges and universities usually offer many resources that can help someone looking to work abroad. The school career counseling center can help point you in the right direction. Study Abroad programs may include programs which offer work options, or lead you to programs which do offer such options. Alumni connections may be able to connect you with opportunities to work abroad. Even faculty who have lived, worked or studied abroad may be of use. So, explore what your college has for resources and put them to use. If you have already graduated, break out that alumni card and see if you can still use services at the college.
  3. Look at U.S. companies with branches worldwide. Many of our biggest American companies have branches worldwide. Investigate companies that interest you and see what work opportunities may exist. Of course, just because a company offers a work abroad option doesn't mean you will be able to get a job with that company - but if you really want to work overseas, you might as well apply to companies where doing so is an option. Check with human resources for all the requisites of the job.
  4. Look at companies existing where you want to work. If you have always wanted to work in France, look at companies in your field that are established in France. Maybe they have American branches you can contact. Maybe you can apply to work for them directly. The Internet has opened up much of the international corporate world to at least cursory investigation by interested potential employees. So get surfing.
  5. Consider teaching English. One of the most commonly advertised work abroad opportunities involves teaching English. These jobs exist just about everywhere in the world. Some require specific training, others offer training to applicants. If you are interested in this kind of work, such a job might be your ticket to working abroad. Just be very careful when picking a program, because while some of them are clearly excellent and established, some of them are not and may leave you high and dry in a foreign country. Not exactly the experience you were looking for. Many of these jobs can be found on Internet job websites like Some also advertise on college campuses.
  6. Look at volunteer opportunities. If you want to do some work abroad, but don't necessarily have to make a big salary while doing it, there are many opportunities (from the Peace Corps on) that offer people chances to work in foreign countries for a small stipend. These opportunities are often related to a person's field of expertise, but they usually also include some general fields anyone can fit into. Who knows, maybe volunteering can be the toughest work abroad experience you'll ever love.
  7. Investigate government options. Anyone knows, these days, a career in the military will likely end you up overseas. But military careers are not the only government jobs that involve overseas work. The State Department, including the diplomatic corps, involves many positions that are located abroad. National security-related jobs, like the CIA, certainly provide those opportunities, too. Even the Justice Department has some foreign field offices. You may need special language skills or training for these positions, of course, but they may be worth your looking into.

Working abroad can be exciting and rewarding. If you have an interest in working abroad, why not look into some of the many options for this kind of employment? The world is waiting.


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