University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Connecting UW Students and Employers

Find a Job Overseas

Please note: If you are already in a major, your home career services office may have major-specific career resources to aid you in your search.

U.S. citizens wishing to work outside the U.S. encounter similar work restrictions as those placed on persons trying to enter the U.S. Each country has its own work authorization restrictions. The U.S., for example, allows many technically-educated international persons to enter the workforce under the H-1B visa. H-1B visas are limited in number by the US ICS, however, so not every interested candidate receives work authorization.

The first thing to consider is the length of time you would like to work abroad. "Short-term" describes an experience of up to 18 months whereas "long-term" is over 18 months. There are significant implications for work authorization based on which time period you decide to pursue.

Keys to Success

Get ready to invest some time and effort! Locating an opportunity abroad probably won't happen overnight. It will take significant planning, effort and persistence. You can definitely improve your chances of landing the dream job abroad. Language skills and knowledge of a country's culture are beneficial. Strong academics certainly enhance your possibilities. Each country has different visa requirements, so visit the specific foreign embassy to learn more. Finally, be prepared for additional expenses, which can develop when you least expect them.

You should begin to look into booking your plane ticket one to three months prior to departure from the U.S. There is a wide range of ticket prices, so you should shop around. Student travel agencies may be a good place to start, but certainly the Internet, frequent flyer, and travel agencies are also good resources. We recommend starting with STA Travel. They have student priced airfares and are accustomed to working with students who are participating in overseas programs.

If you locate an internship overseas, IAESTE can provide you with the necessary work documentation for your stay. IAESTE United States utilizes its network of more than 70 counterpart countries to supply you with the necessary work documents to work abroad for up to one year. This service allows U.S. students to overcome the largest stumbling block to working abroad-the visa!

For more information, please contact:

IAESTE United States
10400 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 250
Columbia, MD 21044-3519
Phone: 410-997-3068
Fax: 410-997-5186

This information is provided from the IAESTE website.

If you secure permanent employment overseas, the employer must collaborate with their domestic authorities in order to provide you with the necessary work authorization for your stay. You must obtain a work visa prior to departure from the U.S.

Healthcare and health insurance are areas of preparation students frequently overlook in planning their overseas experience. Make sure you have health insurance that will cover your potential needs while overseas. Students often mistakenly believe their parents' HMO coverage or their American university's insurance will cover them. You must do research on this - it may or may not be true. Check with the insurance provider. If your current insurance policy will not cover you overseas, you should purchase health insurance specifically for the time of your overseas stay. There are many insurance companies that provide basic and emergency healthcare coverage to travelers and students abroad. In some countries, nationalized health care will provide basic care for you while in country; however, if you are traveling (for example, students in Europe frequently travel to other countries on the weekend), you may not be covered.

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents working abroad should consult the IRS for tax information since each situation is different. The "Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad", (Publication 54) in Tax Information Publications is available by contacting the Internal Revenue Service.

Curriculum Vitae
CVs are often requested in other parts of the world instead of the US resume. Your career services office and campus libraries have resources to help you prepare one. You can also find country specific tips at

Short- & Long-Term Approaches

You will need to pursue many approaches for obtaining opportunities abroad!

Apply directly to an overseas employer

Your career services office and the campus libraries offer materials available for check-out to help you locate employers abroad for potential short-term and long-term opportunities. The internet is also a terrific tool. US Chambers of Commerce abroad provide great information on local economies.

International Search Websites

Internship placement organizations

There are many internship placement organizations to help you obtain short-term employment. The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) is a reputable organization well-known for placing students in technical internships around the world. The annual registration deadline is January 1. UW-Madison's IAESTE student group is one of the most active in the nation. Each year several students are offered the opportunity to work abroad through the group. New members are encouraged to join, so become active with IAESTE today!

CDS International is a non-profit organization founded in New York City in 1968. CDS is committed to the advancement of international practical training opportunities that stimulate the exchange of knowledge and technical skills and contribute to the development of a highly-trained and interculturally-competent workforce. Each year, CDS serves over 1,800 young professionals and students from 50 countries through a variety of work/study, internship and study tour programs.

Other placement organizations include:

International placement fairs (Long-term Prospects, by Invitation Only)

There are many international placement fairs across the U.S. Watch for announcements on campus and search the regional newspapers for placement fair announcements. Chicago and Minneapolis are nearby cities that host a variety of fairs throughout the year.

Combined study and work abroad

Study and work abroad programs allow you the opportunity to participate in short-term opportunities. The Institute of International Education administers a program called Global Eł. This program provides opportunities for students at member institutions to receive academic credit for courses taken at an overseas institution, and practical training in a foreign setting for a summer, semester, or academic year.

Arcadia University Center for Education Abroad

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has an International Academic Programs office located at 250 Bascom Hall, to provide you with more information about studying abroad. Please contact the Study Abroad Resource Center for more information.

Intern employer

Many employers coming to campus have facilities around the world, offering potential short-term work experience to qualified candidates. Review employers coming to campus through your career services office and research their international locations. Show an interest in working abroad and inquire about overseas contacts.

As you gain experience with an employer and consistently do an outstanding job, continue to demonstrate an interest in working abroad and you may be rewarded.

Faculty contacts

The faculty at UW-Madison is comprised of a very diverse group of people from around the world. Speak with your professors and state your interest.

If you are currently enrolled in a foreign language or cultural course, arrange to speak to your professor about specific contacts, as part of building a dynamic contact network.

Government post

The government often posts long-term opportunities abroad within specific branches. For details and opportunities, see The National Security Agency, U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Commerce, Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Information Agency, Peace Corps.

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