Working abroad is a great way to experience a different culture, gain work experience in your field of study, and work for outstanding companies and organizations. You will get a different perspective on how to live and work and you will learn different ways of approaching and solving problems in a professional environment. Working abroad is sure to be a great experience both personally and professionally.
You should be familiar with all circumstances in your host country that could affect your health and safety Health Insurance Coverage.
The U.S. Department of State website will allow you to check the status of a country’s travel advisory, as well as important tips and information for students. Register your travel abroad with the US department of state prior to your departure, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) https://step.state.gov/step/
Speaking the native language is not always a requirement for working overseas, therefore check with the company that you are targeting. Be aware that you are entering a new country and a new culture. Find out as much information as you can about the country you are visiting including language, cultural do’s and don’t, economic problems, and national attraction. Talk to other students and family members who have traveled to these countries. You can also visit the International Student Support Services to find out if we have any current students attending RIT from that country. This is a great way to gain first hand knowledge about your destination.
Prepare for the unexpected! One of the obstacles that you will probably encounter in preparing for an international work experience is the documentation.
Passport – If you don’t already have one, apply for a passport. The cost for a new passport is $140 and it typically takes about 4-6 weeks to arrive. If you’re in a hurry, you can pay an additional fee for expedited service to receive the passport within 2 weeks.
Visas/Permits – All countries require special permission for foreigners to work in their countries. For co-op students, Visas may or may not be required. Check with hiring company for more information.
For additional information regarding passports, visas, immunizations and testing, and additional fees, visit the U.S. Department of State site.
Have local currency with you when you arrive in that country, so you can pay for transportation and other expenses. Credit cards like Visa, Master Card and American Express are widely accepted around the world. Your ATM debit card might work overseas as well, but check with your financial institution before leaving the US. For information on currency conversion click here.
When working overseas, housing is usually the responsibility of the student or individual looking for a job. Available accommodations will vary by country and specific locality. There are certain organizations that specialize in providing housing, for a cost, to a student on internship or co-op assignment. Below are links to some of these organizations as well as general search sites.
move.com – Online database of apartment rentals for U.S., Canada and other countries.
liveabroad.com – Resources for overseas living, geared towards full time work assignments.
ihousesworldwide.org/ is an association of International Houses from across the continents, they provide students of different nationalities with the opportunity to live and learn together in a community of mutual respect, understanding and international friendship. Locations: Australia, United Kingdom and Canada.
- Obtain co-op credit for your work
- Gain valuable work experience and develop new skills
- Understand global issues by experiencing them first-hand
- Expand your cultural horizons
- Develop your foreign language skills
- Expand your professional network
- Make new friends
- Review the Work Abroad Partners on our website
- Attend a Work Abroad Information Session
- Meet with Maria Richart for more information
- Take language courses appropriate to your target country
- Determine when you would like to work abroad
- Make sure your passport is up-to-date
- Invest enough time working with our office to find the right affiliate to meet your needs
- Cost varies depending on your destination
- By using the work abroad providers/affiliates, work permits and service fees may be included. None include plane fare, or room and board
- Some overseas jobs may pay enough to cover living expenses, but plan on taking enough money to travel and cover your living expenses as salaries are much lower than US salaries
- There is No Financial Aid for working abroad
Start looking at least 6 months before you are due to co-op or looking to move overseas. This is not a short process and can take a long time to establish the connections and get the paperwork needed to work abroad. If you don’t already have one, get a passport. Research countries, organizations and processes by usings sites like Going Global (which is available as a link in RIT Job Zone). It contains more than 10,000 job resources.
For students: At the time that you become eligible to co-op, you are eligible to work abroad. For students enrolled in engineering or technical programs, we do recommend that you pursue these opportunities after your first or second co-op. You will have the advantage of having work experience and will be better prepared to approach the international work environment.
Not necessarily, but it will depend on the company or organization that you’re working for. Most large corporations will have some English speaking employees and can actually benefit from hiring an English speaking student. Other companies may want you to speak their native tongue in order to conduct business and deal with co-workers and customers. Find out what the language requirements are for a specific company before making any commitments.
Yes. Most work abroad opportunities have been through our partner organizations such as Cultural Vistas, Global Experience, etc. Want to learn about some of their experiences? Click here
Associate Director for International Outreach
57 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
Students, if you are interested in meeting with Maria first send this email message with some information about yourself and your work abroad goals.