Traveling abroad and interacting with different cultures can be a valuable experience for many students as part of their educational or career goals. UCCS has a variety of programs that offer students a chance to experience what it is like to live and work in countries outside of the United States.
The T. Rowe Price Center has plenty of resources to assist students who are interested in working abroad, from interview tips to compiling personal experience and more. The center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located on the first floor of University Center, room 114.
Kenar Houghton, a peer advisor at the Career Center, spoke about the process of finding an international job and the on-campus resources that can help students interested in studying, teaching or working abroad.
Houghton stressed the importance of knowing the specifics when beginning a job search.
“Asking yourself why you’re interested in an overseas job and understanding what kind of skills … you might need as well as making sure you’re as specific as possible is going to be super helpful during your search,” she said.
For those interested in teaching abroad, websites like TeachAway or the International School Association are available. According to Houghton, teaching English as a foreign language requires a Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification, which you can get through TeachAway.
“You can look for opportunities outside the U.S. to finish your degree, or you can take a break from graduating with your bachelors’ before coming back for your master’s to gain experience,” Houghton said.
Websites like Go Abroad are specific for students who want to take a gap year from school and experience life in another country.
For students who are more interested in interacting with families in different countries and working in the agricultural sector, they can look to Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF).
“You [can] apply to live with a host family somewhere in a different country. They pay for your room and board, you stay there for free, and you get paid to work on their farm or whatever business they uphold,” Houghton said.
When applying for an international position, Houghton pointed out the importance of having a Curriculum Vitae (CV). Similar to a resume in the United States, a CV is used in many countries to show experience. The Career Center has resources to help students with planning and writing their CV. Additionally, countries may vary with the information they require on a perspective employee’s job application, CV or cover letter.
“Everywhere is going to be different with the kinds of expectations they hold for your application,” Houghton said. “Some countries expect you to list information that you would not legally want to list on an American application, things like your nationality, your age, your marital status, personal interests or how many children you have.”
An important detail Houghton and the career center emphasize is understanding different cultural expectations, not just when searching for a job in the United States, but especially when conducting an international job search.
“Something to keep in mind as maybe a Person of Color or a woman going to specific countries where maybe there are certain laws or policies that prohibit things because of your gender are going to be important to keep in mind in your research,” Houghton said.