Many international students, even if they want to pursue an international career, will return to their home country to get started in their careers, as this is most often the easiest and quickest way.
Where to Start
Whether you are looking to start your career in your home country or in another country outside the US, you will still need to:
Short term employment
Many companies offer short term assignments to foreign workers for a fixed period stated in the employment contract. If you receive an offer like this, it is important that you take the time to fully understand the conditions that go along with the offer.
Longer contracts and immigration
Some countries have special agreements for immigration regarding specialty occupations where these is a shortage of qualified people. These agreements allow foreign job seekers to enter the country on a work visa with the option of becoming a permanent resident after a given number of years.
How do I look for jobs back in my home country?
The first thing you should do is to check for graduate recruitment services back at your undergraduate institution in your home country. You may find that career services at local universities are still willing to give you information and advice on opportunities back home. There are some further points of contact that you may want to explore in your search:
- Local professional organizations, chambers and societies for business, science, medical services, accountancy and law.
- The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), if they have an office in your country.
- Government departments, import/export businesses, travel companies and multinational companies may also be useful sources of information and international opportunities in your home country.
What about working in other countries?
Most countries around the world have immigration procedures and policies that require foreign workers to apply for a work permit or employment visa. Usually, you need to have an employer who is prepared to offer you a job and support your immigration request. Most countries require applicants to be outside the country before they apply. You may be refused permission if you do not follow immigration rules carefully. You should consult the relevant embassy or high commission of the country or countries you are interested in for more information.
What job search strategies should I employ for applying to non-US jobs?
Do your research:
- Find out the timetable for graduate recruitment in your target country or countries.
- Familiarize yourself with immigration and language requirements.
- Research job application methods - online, resume, CV, application form - as well as the presentation styles specific to the country.
Going Global and Prospect's country database will help you in your research phase and provide you with useful tips and advice. Information is included for 50+ countries and explores issues such as visa and language requirements, vacancy sources, work placements and applying for jobs.
Prepare relevant documentation:
- Have photocopies of your main academic transcripts and certificates as they are often required as part of your employee paperwork. Some employers may ask for certified copies. In this instance, you should contact your university department for more information.
- Photocopies of your birth certificate and passport may be required for some of the countries you apply to.
- Ensure you always send your documents to the address the company has given you. They may have recruitment service centers that process all applications, in which case you will be asked to send your documents to a different address from the main office.
- Application acknowledgements usually take several weeks to come through, although some companies don't acknowledge the receipt of applications.
How do I find international employers?
You will need to do research on global companies operating in the industries you are interested in. Here are some resources to help you find out more about international companies and careers:
- Going Global
- American Chamber of Commerce
- Embassy websites
- Alumni associations and departments
- Career Services
Preparing to leave
As an international student, you may want to gather your references from people who can comment on your academic and work experience and performance before you leave the U.S.
You may also want to ensure that you have joined any professional organizations or associations and subscribed to any websites or professional magazines to keep yourself updated on your industries of interest.
How do I coordinate my relocation from the U.S.?
You are responsible for making relocation arrangements for yourself such as flights, shipping your belongings, insurance and financial arrangements, unless your job offer included relocation support.
Where can I get advice?
Career Services can offer you advice and help with your applications and any selection process you are involved in. Schedule an appointment by calling 217-581-2412. International career websites will also give you some advice on applications, resumes or CVs and interviews for particular countries you are interested in.