As unemployment continues to remain high in the U.S, many Americans are looking abroad for new opportunities. Aside from the opportunities, a change in landscape will offer a new and exciting experience to grow and learn in a different culture, gain valuable skills – learning a new language – and expand your global network. But moving to a completely different country is a big and risky decision. Here are a few steps to consider:
Setting Goals: Where do you want to work? In what industry or field? What are the skills you want to gain? When do you want to go?
Finding the Opportunities: Begin researching and connecting with organizations you want to work for. Even if an organization is not hiring, it is still beneficial to build connections and gain insights about living and working in that particular country. Other options to consider are: teaching, “paid” volunteer programs (Peace Corps and UN Volunteers), teaching or research fellowships, and study abroad (graduate or undergraduate programs).
Evaluating Your Options: While landing an opportunity is important, considering other challenges that you may face will help you make a more informed decision. What are the costs (airfare, housing, etc.)? How do you apply for a work visa? How long should you stay abroad?
Like finding any other job, it all takes time. Take the necessary time to learn what kind of career you want to develop and your reasons to go abroad. In the meantime, you can learn a language, save up for your trip, and network with people who have studied or worked abroad.
~Hai Chi, Career Peer Advisor