Find International Opportunities

Many students dream of working abroad. It's exciting, and a great way to increase language skills or prepare for further international work. But is it right for you? We can help you evaluate your personal goals, resources, and skills in light of the realities...

  • It can take considerable time and effort to locate career-related work abroad.
  • To work legally overseas, you must acquire a work permit. It may sound exciting to work without a permit, but you risk possible fines, deportation, low wages, exploitation, and lack of legal protection.
  • Don't expect to get rich. It is experience rather than money that you gain.

General Resources for International Experiences

    BUNAC (British Universities North America Club)
    UIUC's ACDIS Internships Directory
    UIUC's Study Abroad Internships
    University of Michigan's Work Abroad
    Transitions Abroad: The Guide to Learning, Living & Working Overseas
    Going Global (login to access this resource)

International Internships Explained

  • AIESEC: a student-run international organization that sponsors an international internship exchange program. UIUC has local chapter of AIESEC which coordinates management, technical, and development international traineeships.
  • AIPT: placement assistance for US students in most majors and career fields looking for international experiences and J-1 trainee sponsorship of non-citizens looking for experiential training in the US.
  • IAESTE: international exchanges for students in engineering, technology, sciences, agriculture, applied arts, and related fields
  • The UIUC chapter of IAESTE coordinates international on-the-job training for students in technical fields.
  • GoAbroad: listing of internships, volunteer positions, and apprenticeships worldwide

Volunteering Abroad

Some projects pay expenses, many provide room and board, and some projects charge a fee to participate.

  • Peace Corps: one of the best-known international volunteer programs, offers a 2-year experience with stipend. Shorter experiences are available through work camps. Talk to our campus Peace Corps representative at The Career Center for more information.
  • Volunteers for Peace: short-term international voluntary service programs
  • International Volunteer Programs Association: membership organization for international volunteers looking for organized opportunities

Teaching English Abroad

Teaching English can be an accessible and popular avenue for working overseas. Often a bachelor's degree and being a native English speaker is all that is required. Formal ESL credentials are not always required although they will open doors to university jobs, higher salaries, and positions in tighter markets. Volunteer ESL experience is always a great advantage. Application dates are often mid-year (January, February).

Short-Term Paid Work Abroad

For a minimal charge, work exchange programs arrange work permits for participants prior to leaving the U.S. After arriving overseas, participants find jobs waiting tables, tending bar, caring for children, or doing seasonal farm work. However, about 10-15% of participants arrange their jobs prior to departure and target career-related fields.

  • CIEE: work, study, and teach abroad for US students, plus seasonal work in the USA for international students
  • BUNAC: work, volunteer, and teach abroad programs for current students or recent grads; opportunities for work in Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand

Always Check

Before making your final decision, always check with past participants and ask questions. Programs you are considering should be ready and willing to give you contact names. If they cannot or will not, be extremely cautious! Want more information? Contact us at The Career Center or the Study Abroad Office.