You may dream of working overseas, but it can be daunting with so many different areas to choose from. So, how do you go about looking for international jobs?
Before you start, establish what kind of area you want to work in. There are many types of jobs that can take you overseas ranging from teaching and community development to analysing foreign policy and aid. Take some time to think about where you would like to go and what sort of work you want to undertake. If you have a specific country in mind, find out what kind of work is available in that country, what the usual requirements are for those positions, how you can enhance your employability, what future employment opportunities might be gained or are available in this area and most importantly what you can get out of it.
You will need to plan at least 1 year ahead before your anticipated departure date so that you will have enough time to save money for accommodation, living expenses and so forth. Don't forget to investigate the cost of living including the average price of accommodation, how readily available it is, whether you will be staying with friends or in a home stay or whether the company/organisation has arranged accommodation. It is also a good idea to get your passport and visa in order during the early stages of planning to ensure smooth sailing prior to your departure. Most opportunities abroad will require you to submit a resume and covering letter so before you start sending out your applications, why not make use of the career services available to you? Is your resume or cover letter the best it can be? Have you won any awards or received honourable mentions in or outside of university? Seeing a careers counsellor can not only help you establish career goals but can also provide assistance with resumes, cover letters, and approaching prospective employers.
The best approach to finding yourself overseas opportunities is the 'do it yourself'' approach. Once you know what area you want to work in, make a list of all the organisations you can find who specifically work within that area and check out the kind of vacancies they offer, i.e. Volunteer, Internships, Fellowships, etc.
This list below is by no means exhaustive - once you start to look you will realise just how many resources there are, particularly as many of these sites have comprehensive 'links' pages:
- ACIL Australia - An international consulting firm committed to achieving a better and more sustainable quality of life in developing countries. Have designed and managed over 500 projects in 63 countries in Asia, the Pacific Islands and Africa.
- Amnesty International - A human rights organisation campaigning for the unconditional release of prisoners of conscience, fair and prompt trials for all political prisoners and an end to the death penalty and torture.
- AusAid - Manages Australia's overseas aid program, which helps design and set up projects to tackle the causes and consequences of poverty in developing counties.
- Australian Business Volunteers - A not-for-profit, non-Government organisation. Aligns itself with the aims of the Australian Government's overseas aid program: to help reduce poverty and create sustainable development.
- Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development Program(AYAD) - Aims to strengthen mutual understanding between Australia and the Asia-Pacific, making positive contributions to development. Skilled young Australians, aged 18-30 are placed on short-term assignments (3-12 months) in developing countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
- CARE Australia - CARE Australia is the largest non-political non-religious overseas aid organisation in the country, providing humanitarian assistance across the globe.
- Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade - Aims to advance the interests of Australia and Australians internationally.
- International Association for Volunteer Effort - Promotes, celebrates, and strengthens volunteerism worldwide. IAVE has currently approximately 800 individual and organizational members in about 100 countries.
- International Committee of the Red Cross - Mission is to work on a strictly neutral and impartial basis to protect and assist people affected by armed conflicts and internal disturbances.
- International Volunteers for Peace - Runs work camps made up of teams of volunteers from different countries, working on short-term (2-8 weeks) community projects in many countries. Participants must be self-funded and there is a small registration fee.
- International Women's Development Agency - Works with women in developing countries to support efforts to improve their life choices and those of their families and communities, and to advance women's human rights. Focus on groups of women that are particularly marginalised or suffer poverty or oppression.
- Involvement Volunteers Association - Aims to make volunteering readily available to 'young people' who are seeking to assist others by volunteering outside their home country while learning from their experiences (so far our young volunteers have been between 16 and 75 years).
- OneWorld - Brings together latest news and views from over 1,600 organizations promoting human rights awareness and fighting poverty worldwide.
- Oxfam - An Australian, independent, not-for-profit, secular, community-based aid and development organisation.
- Pathways Australia Established in 2001 as a specialist provider of management support services to the Not-For-Profit sector and companies wishing to develop their community support programs.
- People and Planet - Largest student campaign in Britain working to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment. Check their website regularly for updates on career opportunities and graduate internships.
- Plan - An active community of children, supporters, staff and volunteers in over 60 countries. For over 65 years, Plan has worked with children to help transform their lives and bring sustainable improvements to their communities.
- Save the Children Australia - The world's largest independent movement for children, working in over 100 countries and comprising 28 national organisations of which Save the Children Australia is one.
- UN Volunteers - The volunteer arm of the United Nations. Created in 1970 to serve as an operational partner in development cooperation at the request of UN member states. Reports to the UN Development Program and works through UNDP's country offices around the world.
- Volunteers for Peace International Work Camps - Services include providing consultation and a placement service for work camp hosts and volunteers, linking people with programs. Programs foster international education, voluntary service and friendship.
- Washington Internship Institute - (WII) An educational non-profit organisation, committed to individual development through excellence in experiential education. Active learning by participants, including disciplined reflection about individual goals, intercultural competence, and personal attention from WII staff, are at the heart of WII's mission.
- World Vision - Non-denominational, Christian humanitarian aid and development agency.