Work Abroad Advisor
Student Internship and Work
Ensure a Successful
By Jane Cary
- Make a list of alumni living
in the city and country where you’ll be.
- Talk with students who are
back from your future study site. Did any work or
perform an internship while there? How did they arrange
- Read the sections of all
work abroad websites and books that mention
the country or city where you’ll be.
- Browse the TransitionsAbroad.com
website for more information on work
- Maintain a “contacts” notebook.
Include the name, address, phone number, email address
of every interesting professional you meet.
- Contact alumni. Meet them
at their place of business or socially. Express your
interest in staying on after your program of study
ends, or your interest in returning after graduation.
- Check the local Yellow Pages
and the daily paper want ads for future reference.
- Look for schools that teach
in English. What qualifications do their teachers
- If in a homestay, take every
opportunity to meet the family’s friends and
extended family. Network.
- Practice the local language.
Meet the “natives” in all walks of life,
constantly. Read the local and national papers and
- Introduce yourself to older
Americans living locally. Learn about where they are
or were employed and how they obtained their positions.
- Pay attention to the living costs
of the host country and figure out how much money
you would need.
- Have a standby friend at
home pick up and save summer job and internship information
- If graduate study in that
country is an option, get information while you’re
- Visit your Career Center early
and often to learn about its services for job-hunting
seniors; attend all relevant job-seekers workshops.
- Find out if firms with offices
abroad recruit on campus. Don’t be distressed to
learn that you might have to work in the U.S. first.
- Ascertain whether you will need
a higher degree to obtain the job you want. What graduate
entrance exams are required? Where in the U.S. or abroad
can that degree be earned? Make time to gather and pursue
short-term and more permanent work-abroad resources.
- Prepare your resume. Make sure
it describes your experience abroad and all the skills
you acquired, including language competency.
- Keep in touch with all the contacts
you gathered abroad. Write to them, stating your serious
interest in returning to work in that country after graduation
(if you are serious).
- Investigate short-session programs
that teach the Teaching of English as a Second Language.
Do they help with job placement?
- Assess your financial situation.
How much money must you earn before you go? How long
can you afford to live abroad?
- Find a friend to job hunt with.
Two heads are better than one: you can share leads and
Jane Cary wrote
this piece while the Associate Director of Career Counseling
and the Study Abroad Advisor at Amherst College, and has since
moved on to Williams College.