Many students decide to gain overseas experience, either through summer internships or full-time jobs after graduation. While there are many benefits one will receive from having an overseas experience, there are some important aspects to consider before you can begin your trip. Review "How do I work abroad?" page in the International Module, part of the Career Development Toolkit, to get a jump start.
Clarifying Your Goals
If you are considering an international job, gap year, internship, or volunteer experience, it is important to identify your goals for the experience. Would you like to:
- Target a specific country or a particular organization?
- Improve your language skills?
- Gain experience in a particular career field?
- Pursue a “working vacation” where you earn money to support travel to a variety of places?
- Establish a long-term career abroad?
- Learn about different cultures?
- Work abroad and then return to your home country?
- Volunteer to help a specific cause or community?
- Develop your intercultural competency?
Understanding Your Skills and Experience
After identifying your goals, consider your skills and experience. Do you have:
Foreign language skills?
- Technical knowledge or skills?
- Business knowledge or experience?
- Significant experience in your field?
Make a list of what you have to offer an employer. If you are having trouble identifying your skills, you may want to speak with the International Career Advisor about resources to help you identify your skills.
Focusing Your Search
After considering your goals, skills, and experience, start narrowing your search by identifying 3-5 keywords that are the most important to you: these keywords could be a country name, a language, career area, or even a job title. If you would like assistance with identifying these keywords, please meet with the International Career Advisor at Career Services.
In addition to the resources below, each sub-page contains resources on about the potential benefits of an international work, internship, or volunteer opportunity.
Career and Personal Assessment resources are available through Cornell Career Services.
- Resource Library has books on international careers, gap years, internships, and volunteer opportunities.
- Transition Abroad provides an overview of international opportunities, resources, and logistical considerations.