Finding work overseas

Working overseas can be advantageous in many ways. You can gain practical skills in a different environment, be exposed to diverse cultures, and make contact with a wide range of people.

It can also demonstrate your ability to be independent, your willingness to take on new challenges and your ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds. These are all assets that will enhance your CV.

Deciding where to go

You may have a particular area of the world in mind when you are considering overseas experience.

Things to consider:

  • Culture - is this something you would be able to cope with and enjoy? For example, you may feel more able to adapt to an Asian culture, or you may want to challenge yourself by stepping outside your comfort zone.
  • Language – are your language skills developed enough to live and work in the country of your choice?
  • Visa requirements – do you need a visa to work in the country? Are there any restrictions on the sort of work you can do and for how long you can work? (You’ll need to look at embassy websites for the country you want to work in to find the answer to these questions. Try the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic and Consular list).

Students may choose casual, voluntary or temporary work or a graduate position when working overseas. With graduate positions, you’ll be competing with graduates from the country you want to go to, so you should identify the extra skills, qualities and experience you have to offer.

A number of graduates choose to work in New Zealand initially (perhaps for an international company) for a year or two before working overseas. Some international companies offer overseas secondments to employees who want to travel and see the world.

Resources covering many countries

  • GoinGlobal
    This subscription website contains detailed information on finding employment in over 40 countries. Access has been provided by CDES, please login to MyCDES and click on the GoinGlobal link under Shortcuts.
  • Prospects country-specific information
    These pages, written for UK graduates wanting to work overseas, provide info on the job market, language requirements, job application process, contacts, links to further information for around 52 countries, and more.
  • Gapwork.com
    A site promoting gap-year opportunities in foreign countries.

Australia

  • myfuture
    Australian government careers site including useful info on work and employment.
  • Graduate Careers Australia
    Australian graduate careers and employment website with career planning information, resources and research. Visit their Graduate Opportunities site for their job board and additional information for job-seeking students and graduates.
  • cvMail Australia
    Online application system for law firms around the world.
  • Careers OnLine (COL)
    Australian job search and career development website.
  • Australian Government - Department of Home Affairs
    Includes information on the right to work in Australia.
  • Hi Wages
    Employment website for part-time, casual and temporary jobs in Australia.
  • GradAustralia
    Find out about jobs in Australia for recent graduates.
  • Job Outlook
    A careers and labour market research information site. Job Outlook is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business.

Pacific

  • Pacific Island Jobs
    Online job portal for sustainable development opportunities in the Oceania region. You’ll also find details about volunteering, internship and scholarships.

Asia

  • GRADUAN
    Career and employment resource for Malaysian graduates.
  • Careerjet
    Employment search engine for Malaysia and other parts of Asia.
  • JobStreet.com
    Malaysian site with job vacancies in Malaysia and across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Hong Kong civil service vacancies
    Civil Service vacancies advertised by the Hong Kong Government Civil Service Bureau.
  • Working Holiday Scheme
    Information about the Working Holiday Scheme from the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Government.
  • JET Programme
    The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. For New Zealand applicants, more information is available on the Embassy of Japan in New Zealand website.  
  • TaLK Program
    The Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK) Program invites university students and recent graduates to teach english to elementary school students the rural areas of South Korea.

United Kingdom and Europe

  • Europlacement
    Information about international internships, traineeships or graduation assignments aimed at students and higher education institutions.
  • Prospects.ac.uk
    UK graduate careers site with job vacancies.
  • reed.co.uk
    Online UK recruitment agency.
  • Jobted
    UK job vacancies. 
  • REd Teachers
    Recruitment for teaching positions in the UK.

United States of America and Canada

  • CareerOneStop
    American careers and job vacancy website. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • HigherEd360
    Advertises opportunities available at colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.
  • Riley Guide
    Curates online employment opportunities and job resources.

International organisations

International working holidays

  • Raleigh International
    A charitable organisation which enables young people to grow volunteer on team-based community, environmental and adventure projects.