Many students visit the UVA Career Center as they explore the idea of a global adventure and inquire about international career-related resources. If the idea of a job, internship, or volunteer experience abroad sounds intriguing, the information below will help you initiate or continue your planning.
- Step 1: Determine your why and start early. What motivates you to pursue an opportunity outside of your home country? Why is it important to you to be in a new cultural context? Take stock of the questions you'll need to answer. Read "What to go abroad? Here are 12 things you need to do" as it outlines all aspects of working overseas, including how to know if working abroad is right for you, choosing your overseas career opportunity, planning travel and navigating international work laws. Know that time frames differ according to unique situations, but allow yourself at least 6 months-1 year to research opportunities, network with helpful contacts, apply, and obtain the proper visas.
- Step 2: Determine which country or countries/region of the world is of most interest to you. Use GoinGlobal to find information on specific countries.
- Step 3: Review the resources and tips below. Supplement them by conducting your own search for print and web resources especially those that are specific to the country or region of the world of interest.
- Step 4: Connect with alumni. There are 6,000+ alumni on LinkedIn who indicate they live outside of the US. Alumni living abroad or who have worked for multinational organizations can be a great support to you as you navigate this process.
- Step 5: Sign-up for the Global Career Updates and Schedule an appointment with a career counselor. Discuss your ideas and develop a strategy for your search. Make an appointment online via Handshake or by calling (434) 924-8900.
Gaining Experience at UVA
Securing a Global Internship Program
Start here by viewing this recording of our annual Securing a Global Internship Program. Learn about the different pathways specific for UVA students and hear from current students and alumni who landed international internships and applied learning opportunities.
The Career Center's Internship Placement Program and the International Studies Office offer a unique opportunity to participate in an academic internship in multiple locations.
Each year thousands of UVA students study abroad during the academic year and summer. Many programs also offer internship opportunities for students. You can search in UVA's Education Abroad database for those that offer internships.
This program is a part of Education Abroad in the International Studies Office and develops relationships with businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and UVA alumni abroad to provide students with valuable, individualized employment experiences.
Students interested in healthcare can attend events to learn from global health leaders, participate in health case competitions and receive funding for global health research projects.
Job Search Resources at UVA
Start here by viewing these recordings of UVA alumni discussing their paths to international careers in international law, finance, international diplomacy, and careers after study abroad.
Did you know that UVA has ranked as the #2 Peace Corps Volunteer producing school in the nation? UVA has a long history of developing and supporting Peace Corps applications and volunteers. The Career Center has partnered with Peace Corps to host a Campus Representative. You can stop by their drop-in hours during the academic year or use Handshake to schedule an appointment.
The Office of Citizen Scholar Development is the fellowships office of the University of Virginia. They use the process of applying for fellowships as a catalyst to further the development of students and alumni as citizens and scholars. Many of these opportunities support study and research abroad. Some options to consider include the Fulbright US Student Award, Fulbright UK Summer Institutes, UK Fellows, Schwarzman Scholars, Critical Language Scholarship and more!
Teaching English abroad can be a great option for students post-graduation as often the job requirements and training align are a good fit for recent graduates. If you have content knowledge in a specific subject, a teaching degree or are multilingual this experience can also be helpful for landing an education opportunity abroad.
Make & Leverage Connections
Among other personal contacts you may have overseas, university alumni who work and live abroad can offer tips and advice on relocating to a new country and sourcing opportunities.
By creating a profile, you can search for UVA alumni who live in other countries. Also join the Global Career Community on LinkedIn—a subgroup of the University of Virginia Alumni, Students and Friends Group.
UVA Alumni Clubs exist in many countries outside of the U.S. and will host meet-ups and events for alumni. There are 20+ clubs throughout the world from South America to Europe to Asia!
VAM is a program that matches students with UVA alumni who volunteers to provide insights about their process of choosing a career. Many alumni participating have worked abroad or currently live outside of their home country. You can search alumni by where they live when using this platform.
Resources in Handshake
Handshake not only houses job and internship postings of their own, but our subscriptions to other databases that are normally fee based. You have FREE access to these sites. When logging into Handshake, the “Resources” section can be found under "Career Center" then click “Global Resources” to access the following resources:
Going Global is a country-specific career and employment database that contains more than 30,000 pages of constantly-updated information on topics such as: work permit/visa regulations, resume writing guidelines and examples, employment trends, salary ranges, networking groups and cultural/interviewing advice. World-wide job openings, internship listings, and corporate profiles are also included.
Search for international non-profit opportunities on Idealist. You can find both full-time jobs and internships here.
Search the UVA Library for the following titles:
- The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas
- Global Citizen; International Voluntary Work
- Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands (Cultural guides for professional etiquette internationally)
Other Web Resources
- Work Abroad (University of Michigan)
- U.S. State Department: Resources for the job search abroad from the U.S. State Department and the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. Includes articles with tips on the job search and how to find agencies abroad who are hiring.
- Transitions Abroad: Overview of many topics, articles, resources. Use the text box search at the top to find information on nearly any international topic.
- GoAbroad: Portal to intern, work, volunteer, and teach abroad databases, searchable by location and interest areas.
- Researching Visas: Select your country of interest, and review the visa section of the embassy’s web site. If you need assistance determining your eligibility for visa subtypes, contact the visa information or consular services office at the embassy.
- Foundation for Global Scholars: Resources for interning and working abroad.
- Guide to International Jobs in Government: Free downloadable guide with details on international opportunities in the U.S. government.
Fee-based placement organizations
The UVA Career Center does not endorse these programs. Many organizations help place participants into internships, jobs, and volunteer experiences for a fee. If you decide to go with one of these organizations, it is important to know upfront what the cost will be to you. If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a program, make an appointment with a counselor at the UVA Career Center.