Working Abroad

For those who wish to work abroad, below are a few extra things to keep in mind beyond what’s needed for the typical job search.

8 Tips to Plan Your Career Abroad

1. Start your international job search early.

It generally takes longer to secure something abroad because of visas and work permits, additional rounds of interviewing and relocation issues.

2. Think about what sort of experience you want to have abroad.

Do you have a particular career that you would like to explore, such as international development, international law or international education? Or do you want to strengthen your skills in a particular language? Maybe you don’t have a goal in mind except to do something “challenging – unique – exciting”.

As with any job search, you may want to have a couple different options that you are pursuing.

3. Learn about the employment regulations for specific countries.

Each country has different laws regarding foreign workers. Students or recent graduates frequently have more opportunities to go abroad through various summer or short-term exchange programs. Permission for full-time employment is usually employer-initiated, however, and may not be something you can secure without first receiving a job offer or having an employer interested in hiring you.

Contact embassies and consular offices to learn more.

4. Explore online resources that are all about life and work in countries around the world.

Start with the U.S. Department of State, the best resource for U.S. citizens considering travel abroad. Then browse some of the other online resources for working and living abroad.

5. Use Chambers of Commerce.

These organizations represent joint business interests of the partner countries and can offer valuable information about cultural exchange and internship experiences, as well as help identify organizations that may be prospective employers.

Use the World Chambers Network to look up the chamber of commerce for any country in the world.

6. Take advantage of the global Princeton alumni network.

Alumni who are living and working abroad can offer advice and valuable insight to available opportunities and strategies for pursuing them. Use TigerNet in three ways:

  • Directory Search: Identify alumni in specific countries and industries of interest
  • Regional Associations: Get a list of Princeton clubs around the world
  • Online Discussion Groups by region: Read messages and post requests (discussion groups are open only to alumni). Not sure what to say? Read our tips for connecting with alumni.

7. Consider a Princeton-affiliated program or other 1-2 year program for recent grads.

Organizations such as Princeton in Asia, Princeton in Africa and Princeton in Latin America develop international fellowship opportunities for students, as well as outside organizations such as WorldTeach or the JET Programme in Japan.

8. Revise your resumes and cover letters to meet cultural standards.

Resume styles and content vary from country to country, as well as norms for interviewing. Use Going Global and other online resources to understand these differences.

In some instances you will be asked to submit your resume in another language. Make sure this version of your resume has also been reviewed by a native speaker if you are not one yourself.