6 Ways to Launch an International Career

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We understand, studying abroad was a great experience! Did you know that you can use your experience to help start your career? It’s true, there are jobs out there for intelligent, adaptable, open-minded, travel-hungry, change-seeking people just like you.

Here are some of the opportunities that you can apply your global curiosity into a career beyond college!


Cultural Training & Global Relocation

Cultural training companies offer a range of relocation services such as language help and cultural training. You could be part of a team that helps individuals or families who are relocating to a new place abroad.

Check out job offerings at companies, such as:

Fulbright Scholar Program (Research or Teaching)

Landing a Fulbright grant allows you to pursue an individually-designed study or research project.  You can also participate in the English Teaching Assistant Program. 

Similar scholar programs for recent graduates include:

Volunteering Abroad

Is giving back more your focus? Then check out the Peace Corps. There’s a reason why their motto is “Make the Most of Your World” –  they are looking for changemakers just like you!

For any other opportunity around the world, your most comprehensive resource is to start with GoAbroad’s Volunteer Abroad Listings.

Teaching Abroad

International Schools
Teaching at an American or international school abroad is a great experience and not as difficult as you think. This way, you use your teaching degree as intended – to teach science, math, language arts, at the age level you are certified for, and you’re in a location surrounded by a culture that you love! 

Check out International School Services or TeachAway to get started.

Teaching English abroad is also another popular way to go back abroad again.

Check out options like:

International Education

There are a range of careers in the study abroad field. You can either work with a study abroad provider or in the study abroad or international student office at a college or a university.

Study Abroad Providers
A study abroad provider, like IES Abroad, offers study abroad programs to students from any college or university – the provider plans and carries out all details of the study abroad experience, before departure and then once on-site. 
Jobs are available primarily in the United States, but there are a few international posts. For example, we have our headquarters in Chicago, but have Centers in 35+ cities around the world. Get started with GoAbroad’s provider list.

Study Abroad Offices at Universities
Most U.S. universities or colleges have a study abroad office on campus. Search using “study abroad”, “abroad office”, or “international students” when looking at the universities job openeings online to find some unique jobs supporting incoming and outgoing study abroad students.

If you’re interested working in the study abroad field, you can also follow job openings (both on campus or at a provider) in study abroad through NAFSA’s SECCUS-l listserv.

Government Work (Diplomats, Consular Staff, Foreign Service)

The Foreign Service can also provide opportunities for internationally-focused career, with the potential for overseas placement. 

Foreign Service Officers work in one of five different career tracks: Consular, Economic, Management, Political, and Public Diplomacy. Please not that you must pass the Foreign Service Exam to be able to apply for these jobs.

Other related opportunities include:

There are ever increasing opportunities to develop an exciting international career in today’s globalized economy. The above is a snapshot of these opportunities. More and more companies are also including study abroad as a requirement in their job descriptions. Try searching “study abroad” when you’re on job search sites and you might be surprised what you find.

Whether you spend a few years living and working abroad after you graduate, or you work overseas until you retire, the skills and experience you gain while studying abroad can help you launch a successful international career.

Get inspired by professionals who share how study abroad shaped their careers in our Alum of the Month interviews.

Amy Ruhter McMillan is the Associate Vice President of Marketing at IES Abroad where she has worked since 1998. In her current role, Amy oversees all marketing-related aspects, including advertising, design and branding, public relations and outreach, internal and external communications, all print materials, and web presence. Since 2008, the Marketing Department has won more than 60 marketing-related awards for print materials, your world [redefined] campaign, its Study Abroad Film Festival, and IES Abroad’s 60th Anniversary Book, to name a few.

Amy has a degree in English and Writing, and a minor in Spanish from Valparaiso University in Indiana. She also studied abroad for a semester in Cambridge, England. She attended Hong Kong International School for grades 5-12. As a result of her upbringing in Asia and subsequent personal travels, Amy has visited more than 35 countries.

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