Student Work Abroad Programs
"The bad news about working abroad is that you can’t just hop a plane to any country and start looking for a paid job. To work would be illegal without a permit, which you cannot acquire without a job offer, and—Catch 22—very few employers will offer you a job if you don’t already have a work permit. The good news is that a number of organizations can help you cut the red tape and acquire a legal work permit or place you in a job.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to experience total cultural immersion, or to simply earn your way through an adventure abroad, here’s a good place to start. The emphasis is on exchange, since your participation in most of these programs enables someone from abroad to have the equivalent experience in the U.S.
The two main work abroad program types are:
- The CIEE and BUNAC Work Abroad exchanges, which enable students to get a work permit in advance, then look for a job on site with assistance from overseas offices.
- Overseas job placement programs offered by a number of U.S.-based work exchange organizations."
Nolting, Assistant Director Education Abroad at the University of Michigan International Center
Student Internships and Work Abroad Programs from InterExchange
InterExchange, a nonprofit organization with more than 40 years of cultural exchange experience, offers work and volunteer programs for U.S. & Canadian citizens in 20 countries, including Au Pair, Teach English, Volunteer and Work & Travel programs through InterExchange Working Abroad.
For non-U.S. or Canadian citizens, InterExchange offers several inbound cultural exchange programs, including J-1 Visa sponsorship for international interns and trainees hosted by U.S. businesses; au pair placements across the United States; U.S. summer camp jobs; and work and travel programs in the U.S. Visit our website for more information.
Contact: Interexchange, Inc., 161 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013, USA.
Tel.: 212-924-0446; toll-free 1.800.597.3675.
AIESEC is a worldwide student-run organization which generates thousands of paid internships each year in nearly 110 countries. The internships range from those with a business or technical focus to teaching English. You can only apply through campus chapters.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; aiesecus.org
* American-Scandinavian Foundation
Offers placements in Finland for teachers of English as a foreign language. Teachers work in public schools, private institutes, or private firms. Time commitment is from 2 months to an academic year. Eligibility: native English-speaking U.S. university students or graduates age 21-30 who have completed at least their junior year in college. Housing is arranged but participants are responsible for rent. ASF also offers placements for engineering, business, and agriculture students throughout Scandinavia. ASF can also assist with work permits for those who have a job offer.
Contact: email@example.com, www.amscan.org.
* Camp Counselors USA, Outbound Program
Offers programs in Australia and New Zealand which are similar to those of BUNAC and Council. The Australian program requires student status while the New Zealand program does not. An “educational work-travel program” in camps and orphanages all across Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union. Placement in camp with full room and board and a symbolic stipend (not enough to cover program fee). Minimum requirements include experience with children, knowledge of the appropriate foreign language desirable but not always required, and teaching/coaching experience. Fee includes roundtrip airfare from New York, visa, travel insurance, orientations (not training) in New York and Moscow, and support during the 4- or 8-week program.
* Center for Interim Programs
The Center for INTERIM Programs was founded in 1980 to match clients’ interests with a database of thousands of non-academic but structured opportunities worldwide (from art to zoology, Australia to Zimbabwe) many of which provide room and board.
Offers paid internships in 70+ countries for students of engineering and science. Lowest fees of any placement program.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.iaeste.org.
International Cooperative Education Program
In existence since 1971, this program places several hundred students each summer into paid, not-for-credit internships. This program is more structured than most and seems to take care to provide individualized placements. Some of the jobs pay well enough to allow modest savings, and others pay enough to cover living expenses. ICEP internships last 2-4 months and are offered in Switzerland, Germany, France (Bordeaux region), Belgium, Argentina, Chile, Japan, and Singapore. Type of work ranges from ordinary jobs to demanding internships in retail sales, supermarkets, hotels/restaurants, agriculture, offices, hospitals, banks, computer science, engineering and many more areas. Applicants must have studied the appropriate foreign language for at least one academic year—note that ICEP’s director interviews you in the foreign language! Relevant foreign languages include German, French, Italian, Dutch, Finnish, Chinese or Japanese. Participants must be between the ages of 18-30. Citizens of most countries are eligible. Best to apply in the fall, or no later than February. Fees: After the initial interview, there is a fee for the extensive application process. The application fee is refunded if no placement can be found, but you forfeit the fee if you turn down a placement offered to you.
Contact: email@example.com, www.icemenlo.com.