Working abroad

Updated on 7 July 2023

Take a gap year or do a summer placement abroad.

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Arranging work abroad can take time so make sure you start your planning early.

If you don't have a clear idea on what you want to do, these questions may help you to get started:

  • What are you hoping to get out of your time abroad?
  • Do you want to work or volunteer?
  • What type of work or volunteering project interests you?
  • Which country or countries do you want to visit?
  • How long do you plan to spend abroad?
  • How does it fit with your longer term career plans?
  • How much money will you have saved?

Consider your budget as working abroad can be costly. Things to budget for can include:

  • flights
  • visas
  • inoculations
  • health insurance
  • accommodation
  • in-country transport
  • monthly living expenses
  • fees to placement organisations

Deciding where to go

Where you decide to go to will depend on the time you have available and also what you want to do. You should consider visa and foreign language requirements. Spend some time researching the countries you are interested in.

  • GoinGlobal has information on worldwide employers, including career guides and a job/internship search
  • Go Abroad has information on overseas and European opportunities for international and home students who wish to get some international experience
  • TARGETjobs has country information

Your safety abroad is also important. You should check the latest updates available on GOV.UK related to travel advice by country.

What you can do when working abroad

There are many options that are open to you you could work, volunteer or even learn a new skill. The list of choices for your time abroad is wide and research is key. Some of the options you may consider are:

  • a working holiday taking up temporary work combined with travel
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
  • EU and British council internships
  • working with children on a Summer Camp
  • joining a volunteering project
  • going on an expedition
  • gaining an internship related to your degree

If you are hoping to gain experience related to your degree, you could also consider UK graduate schemes from large international organisations that may include some time abroad or the opportunity to transfer abroad.

Convention de Stage / Convenio de Colaboración

Students undertaking work placements in France will probably be asked for a 'Convention de Stage'. In Spain, you may require a 'Convenio de Colaboración' and in some other countries you will need to utilise the Tripartite Agreement. All of these are a three-way agreement between the student, the University and the host company.

If you are asked to supply and sign such a document, please consult with your School Office in the first instance.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

Many organisations will offer TEFL qualifications and vacancies. There are many TEFL qualifications and courses, so research is vital to ascertain which qualification is best for you.