Careers Beyond the Border

September 17, 2007

In the last hundred years or so the world has changed so much. Now it takes just seconds to converse with someone in another country versus weeks. And traveling between the borders is a common occurrence. We now live in a global community where we can and do actively participate in the world outside our borders. Because of this global view more and more people are choosing to study and work abroad. But where do you find these opportunities to explore the world? The study abroad experience is easy. Check out the Center for International Education where they have a lot of different learning opportunities around the world.

Finding a career or just a summer job abroad may be a little more challenging. Looking for a position locally is hard enough, but add in the distance factor (thousands of miles) it becomes even more challenging to locate and obtain those positions. There are a lot of different resources you can use to help you with the Career Beyond the Border dilemma. But take caution on setting all your hopes and dreams on landing your first job abroad.

“Every year, the Career Center sees numerous students who have studied or traveled abroad, and who want to continue to gain international experiences through working abroad after graduation. The reality is that finding an international job is a very challenging task, and professional jobs overseas are not generally available to entry-level applicants. However, there are opportunities and programs available for upcoming and recent graduates for work abroad experiences. Many of these programs have application deadlines well in advance of your graduation date, and some require fees for processing paperwork for visas, so if working abroad after graduation is one of your goals, it is important that you begin to explore programs and application requirements as soon as possible.” –Linda Robinson, Full Time Job Coordinator at the Career Center

Some things to try to help boost your resume in order to gain a Career Beyond the Border:

  • Rack up the time spent abroad—the more experience you have in other countries will benefit you—think more than just one semester
  • Hone your foreign language skills—what company will want to hire you if you cannot speak the language of the country you will be working in?
  • Try to get an internship working abroad or try a service organization in another country to gain experience

Check out the links on the Career Center’s website for more help on locating information about working abroad (http://www.cofc.edu/~career/helpfulweblinks-location.html#international)

Also look at Making the Difference a website devoted to federal jobs in international relations. You may not work immediately in another country but these will give you the exposure that is essential to you and your career goals.

Do you have any advice for other students seeking experience in other countries?

 




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