International Search: Full-Time

Full-time work in another country is an excellent way to learn about your field, develop global leadership skills and experience life in another culture. Create a clear set of goals for working abroad, research your host country thoroughly, including the requirements to work there legally, and market your strengths to potential employers. Networking is a key component in finding a job abroad.

Types of Full-time Work

International full-time work opportunities frequently sought after by Brandeis students and alumni fall in several categories:

  • Locally-owned organizations or businesses
  • The overseas branch of a multi-national (i.e., the office of an American firm or firm from your home country operating in another country)
  • Organizations that routinely hire people from other countries, such as research labs, hotels and international NGOs
  • Companies to which you have been referred through contacts and/or networking

Key Considerations

Before you begin your search for international full-time opportunities, there are several important issues to consider.

Your Field Abroad: What is currently happening in your field in your host country? How do people usually get work in your field in your host country (apprenticeship, personal referral, past experience in the company's "home office," newspapers, etc.)? Does your host country allow foreigners to work in your field and, if so, are there restrictions around what you can do on the job?

National Employment Landscape: What is unemployment like in the country? Is it easier to find work in your field of interest in some cities or regions than others? How much money do people in your field make in other countries and does the amount allow you to meet your financial needs and professional and personal goals? Are there other things happening in the country that would affect your job search?

Visas and Legal Matters: What are the requirements to work (unpaid or paid, any amount, however small) in your host country? Are you eligible to work legally in your host country? What are the procedures and time frames to gain proper authorization? International students at Brandeis who want to work in the United States should seek expert advice at the ISSO.

Health and Safety: Be sure to check on any specific health and safety issues in your country of interest as you are conducting your research.

Time: Create a realistic plan for how much time you can spend abroad. Can you meet your most important goals? Can you fulfill any personal obligations you might have? Is that sufficient time for a company or organization to “invest” in hiring you as an employee?

Skills: What skills are you “marketing” to potential employers? Are they a good match with your field and the employer’s needs?

Multinational companies: Many multinational companies reserve overseas work for employees who have completed training or a certain number of years at the firm. Will your target company allow you to start overseas or will you begin in the “home” office and build toward overseas assignments?

Best Search Strategies

As with traditional job searches, some jobs are advertised and others are communicated “person-to-person.” Breaking into the job market in a new country requires strategic thinking and action. Organize your search in three ways:

  1. Get into the network through personal contacts, cold calls, industry research, alumni, ex-patriot organizations and professional associations.
  2. Tap into specialized websites that broadcast job opportunities in worldwide and country-specific formats.
  3. Join professional associations in your field and check out their websites; these ready-made networks are a rich source of information, contacts, and jobs.