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Working abroad


Excerpted from Work Abroad by William Nolting., with permission from Transitions Abroad

Numerous special programs offer placements in specific jobs (paid or unpaid) along with a work permit or assist you in procuring a short-term work permit and help with a job search once overseas. Work abroad programs are limited in duration, lasting from two weeks for short-term volunteer programs, to a summer, six months, or as long as one or two years for teaching abroad or long-term volunteering. There are four main types of work abroad programs.

1. International Internships.
Internships offer the most direct connection to international careers. Available in a wide range of locations and disciplines, internships are equaled in this respect only by volunteer options. Internships for academic credit are plentiful (they charge tuition); paid internships are rare. Typical duration is one semester.

2. Volunteering Abroad.
Volunteers usually work and live together with ordinary local citizens. Types of work range from archaeology digs to social services in worldwide locations. Volunteering is excellent career preparation for those interested in working in developing countries or careers with non-governmental organizations.

3. Teaching Abroad.
Teaching foreign languages abroad is one of the most accessible options for long-term (one to two years) working abroad. A college degree is required by most programs. Jobs are typically in Asia or Eastern Europe. Experience or coursework in tutoring or teaching is recommended. Additional teaching abroad options are available for those with teaching qualifications at the secondary school or university level.

4. Short-Term Paid Work Abroad.
Typical types of short-term paid work abroad include restaurant work, temping, childcare (au pair) and farm work; though enterprising students do find work of a professional nature. Short-term work abroad programs for students or recent graduates offer the best chance for you to earn your way abroad; however, there are up-front costs for program fees, airfare, and initial spending money. The typical duration is up to six months.

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