You may have chosen a particlaur expensive country to live in or require more money for trips and excursions. This is now an opportunity to get work experience or take up a part time job. Working abroad can give you some great skills allowing you to enhance communication and interpersonal skills. These will be requested of you in any job interview. There are plenty of opportunities to work abroad. You can spend some time working abroad – whether it’s short-term or part of your longer-term career plans.
Getting work experience while travelling for example music festivals, teaching English, copywriting presents lots of opportunities and advantages, there are many factors to consider
When is the best time to work abroad?
We would recommend finding working in the second half of your placement. This may allow you to continue to work over the summer period. You will have then settled into your routine and be familiar with the way of life. You may wish to find work abroad temporarily, or if resettling is part of your long-term career plan, you can find work linked to that country. Some countries for example Australia require you to have worked certain amount of hours in country to apply for a visa. There are hundreds of different options, from completing an internship or fixed-term position, to relocating to another country for a couple of years or even permanently after your degree,
Some multinational companies may also provide the opportunity to work temporarily in other offices around the world. Spending some time considering and defining your priorities and preferences means you are more likely to be successful. We also recommend that you secure employment over the summer period before your placement begins.
Where should I work abroad?
There plenty of opportunities to work in a field you may not have considered before. Being a native English speaker can open plenty of opportunities to teach English. This maybe through conversation classes or practical teaching. Asian and Spanish speaking countries are very keen for native speakers to practice with and will pay. Many universities will have an internal job side student union or a website promoting work. You can speak to your host university for connections. There maybe paid internships, copy writing roles for native speakers and roles in hospitality
Be aware of cultural differences and differing application methods when apply. Abroad may not be as strict with the job and interview application. Explore requirements for specific countries to help you get a better idea and consult your host university before applying.
You should also look at visa/ work permit regulations and the practical implications of travel and relocation.
Country-specific recruitment websites and resources
- GradLink Africa - specialist careers site for African students studying in the UK.
- Prospects Work in South Africa - tips, resources and careers advice about working in South Africa.
- Hotjobsng - job portal for graduate and internship opportunities in Nigeria.
- Target Jobs working abroad – working in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and USA
- GradLink Canada - specialist careers site for Canadian students studying in the UK.
- GetHighered Jobs in China - exclusive access to jobs in China for students studying overseas
- 51job - leading recruitment website in China with 100,000s of jobs
- LockIn China - dedicated job search portal for Chinese returners
- GradConnection - for graduates jobs and internships in China, Hong Kong and Singapore
- UK/China GradLink - specialist careers site for Chinese students studying in the UK.
- Beginning your Career in China - a guide produced by Leeds University Business School for returning Chinese students. It gives details of preferential policies encouraging Chinese students to return to China and also covers job hunting, Chinese CVs, recruitment websites and the Chinese companies graduate recruitment program.
- Resources for Job Hunting in China and Hong Kong - produced by the Careers Centre, giving resources to help returning students find opportunities.
- Resources for Job Hunting in India - produced by the Careers Centre, giving resources to help returning students find opportunities.
- UK/India GradLink - specialist careers site for Indian students studying in the UK.
Other Asian countries
- GRADUAN - vacancy portal for Malaysian nationals.
- Resources for Job Hunting in South East Asia - produced by the Careers Centre, giving resources to help returning students find opportunities.
- Gradlink ASEAN - specialist careers site for students from the ASEAN countries studying in the UK.
- GRADMalaysia - a career portal for students to find Malaysian employers and look for jobs or internships.
- Resources for Job Hunting in Japan - produced by the Careers Centre, giving resources to help returning students find opportunities.
- GradLink Bangladesh - specialist careers site for Bangladeshi students studying in the UK.
Australia and Pacific
- Target Jobs working abroad – working in Australia and New Zealand
- Grad Australia and Prosple New Zealand – graduate job search in Australia and New Zealand
Europe and Middle East
- EURES - The European Job Mobility Portal
- GraduateLand - Europe's largest career portal for students and graduates
- Graduate Jobs in Europe - top graduate recruiters by country
- GradLink Gulf - specialist careers site for Gulf national students studying in the UK.
- Target Jobs working abroad – working in Europe, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
- Resources for Job Hunting in the Middle East - produced by the Careers Centre, giving resources to help returning students find opportunities.
What jobs can I do abroad?
Equally important is to have some idea of the type of work you wish to do and in which employment sector.
If you are seeking work at a graduate or professional level, you are much more likely to be successful if you are focusing on a few options and therefore able to sufficiently target your applications.
Make sure to regularly explore MyCareer for a range of excellent vacancies and job opportunities. Search for (in the vacancy type) 'Global Careers' to identify range of excellent opportunities abroad.
How can I make an application stand out to global employers?
If you’re planning to work outside the UK after graduation, here are some tips about how your experience of studying in Leeds can be a great advantage for your future career:
1. Make your Leeds experience matter
Your qualification from the University of Leeds will certainly attract the attention of graduate employers. Besides a world recognised qualification, studying in Leeds has most definitely provided you with a range of skills that employers will truly appreciate.
It is very likely that after your studies you are now more self-confident, independent and you adjust to new environments easily. Think about what skills you have gained from your everyday life, studies, extra-curricular activities or work in Leeds and make sure to emphasise them when applying for jobs abroad.
2. Emphasise your knowledge of other languages and cultures
More and more employers are seeking out ‘global graduates’, culturally aware and experienced employees who can work effectively in an increasingly global workplace.
There are several ways in which you can impress future employers. Make sure to mention any knowledge of other languagues you might have; involvement in activities that aim at bringing students from different cultural backgrounds together; any short or long Global Opportunities or Global Community initiatives you’ve taken up during your degree.
Visit the Language Zone to find way to keep up your language skills or if you’d like to get some knowledge of another language.
Make any knowledge of other languages and cultures stand out, employers will notice them.
3. Keep in touch with your academic tutors and employers
References written by your university supervisors or previous employers will look very strong on your job applications. Make sure you ask them for recommendations about your work.
Keeping in touch with them can lead to new opportunities and partnerships so make the most of the contacts you already have. You can use LinkedIn to help you do this, particularly the alumni tool.
Things to consider when choosing to work abroad
The clearer your objectives are, the more likely you are to be successful. Consider the following questions:
- How competitive is the job market in your chosen field?
- Do you have the necessary skills including the required language skills?
- Are your qualifications recognised in your target country?
- Do you need relevant work experience?
- Is a further qualification necessary or advantageous?
- Are your prepared to work at a lower level initially?
- If so, what are the chances of progressing?
Useful resources for working abroad
- University of Leeds Global Community - gain intercultural skills as a Leeds student. Get to know students from over 140 different countries by coming along to the Global Café or join the Intercultural Ambassadors programme, a volunteering scheme that will connect you to students from all over the world while making an impact in our city community.
- TargetJobs: working abroad - Tips for working in different countries and answers to your working abroad queries.
- Prospects: working abroad - Information on what to consider, the various options and vacancy sources.
- Global Graduates - Advice on taking advantage of global opportunities, including articles from students about their experiences.
- GoinGlobal - which has advice on working in different countries and a database of opportunities. You must use the GoinGlobal link in the 'Resources' tab of your MyCareer account to access via our subscription.
- Global Careers - we are regularly hosting workshops, webinars, presentations and info session focused on global careers and world of work abroad. Majority of the events are recorded so you can listen to them again. Explore our employer-led or alumni-led webinars, skills-based webinars and more - and see what you could learn. For any upcoming events, head to MyCareer and in events search for 'Global Careers'.
- GetHighered - Offering you access to thousands of opportunities, internships and jobs overseas. You can also attend many events, browse through country guides and even access a dedicated 'jobs in China' portal.
- MyCareer - Make sure you regularly explore MyCareer for a range of excellent vacancies and job opportunities. Search for 'Global Careers' (in the vacancy type) to find a range of excellent opportunities abroad.