Searching for Opportunities Outside of the U.S.

UVA Career Center – July 8th, 2015

This information is designed to assist you, the international student, with the job search process. This guide is particularly targeted towards students in F-1 or J-1 visa status.  However, other foreign nationals or those with newly acquired American citizenship may find some of the information included to be both relevant and useful.  

In addition to this content, international students should also contact the International Studies Office (ISO) before seeking any form of employment (paid or unpaid) whether as a student or in preparation for graduation so that you are aware of all applicable restrictions, requirements and deadlines.  Remember it is your responsibility to connect with ISO to obtain the most current information as the rules are constantly changing. 

Given the shortage of U.S. work visas, it would be wise of you to at least consider looking for employment in your home country or another country outside of the U.S. The international job search strategy includes the same elements as the U.S. job search. 

Exploring Resources

The UVA Career Center has a large number of print and electronic resources, which relate to finding a job in the global marketplace.  Some of the material is designed for American students who are searching for employment abroad; however, much of the information is just as relevant for an international student seeking employment abroad.  
  
The International Studies Office can provide information on a variety of organizations that assist international students in seeking employment outside the U.S.  Stop by the ISO periodically to see if new information is available.

Gaining Work Experience

Use the numerous international resources and directories available through the UVA Career Center to identify a company with a subsidiary in your home country.  

REMEMBER:  If you are contemplating summer work overseas, it would be to your benefit to check with the International Student Advisor regarding your visa status for re-entry into the United States to continue your academic program.

Networking Your Way to a Job 

UVA Faculty Members

Begin talking with faculty members about your career plans.  Many faculty members have worked or studied abroad and maintain professional contacts with colleagues overseas.  U.Va. hosts visiting faculty from abroad who arrive with current information and contacts in their home countries.  

UVA Alumni

U.Va. alumni living overseas can be valuable resources for information on employment opportunities.  You can utilize LinkedIn to contact alumni overseas.  Consider joining the following LinkedIn groups:

Also, the UVA Alumni Association has developed 20+ alumni chapters overseas. Visit uvaclubs.virginia.edu for a complete list and contact information. While you should not contact alumni to "ask for a job," it is certainly appropriate to ask for information, advice and/or referrals.  

Professional Associations

Many professional associations have an international membership.  Visit the websites of these organizations to request information on their publications, student rates, and overseas chapters. These links may lead you to knowledgeable people and, possibly, job opportunities.

Remember Your Family and Friends

Finally, don't forget to write home.  Not only will your family and friends be happy to hear from you, but you can ask them for information on the job market.  Family, friends, and former employers can all provide you with job leads while you are busy studying in the United States.  In addition, these contacts may also be in a position to serve as references.  References from the U.S., unless internationally known in their field, will not lend as much weight to your application as a well-known figure in your home country.