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Want to go abroad after you graduate? How to find work

There are plenty of good reasons to look for an internship or graduate job overseas. Perhaps you’re looking for a change of scene after studying for your degree in the UK; alternatively, you might still be studying, and hope to broaden your experience by spending some of your university vacations living and working elsewhere. You might want to start your graduate career overseas and have a particular specialism in mind; depending on what you want to do, you could find a wealth of opportunities by being willing to relocate. If you are an international student, you might be looking to return to your home country or hoping to start your career in another location.

You might also be interested in taking part in an exchange programme, volunteering, or teaching English as a foreign language. It will help you to focus your internship and job search and make the most of your time working abroad if you take some time to consider what you want to get out of it, and how it fits in with your long-term career plans.

You’ll find more information about your options in our advice on working abroad.

Advice and information for international students

Our advice for international students covers topics such as job hunting both in the UK and abroad and getting work experience in the UK. We also explain the UK’s points-based system for immigration in our advice on visas and permits for international students who want to work in the UK.

Advice to help you find work abroad after you graduate

Our working abroad articles set out to help you get a job in different countries by listing major industries and employers, skills in demand and language requirements in different countries. You’ll also find out what it’s like to work there – for example, what are the working hours, and what level of income tax you might be required to pay – and what it’s like to live there, with information on topics such as the cost of living, healthcare arrangements and laws and customs you need to be aware of.

If you’re considering living and working in any of the following countries, read our advice to find out more about your options.

Working in Brazil

Working in Canada

Working in Germany

Working in Mexico

Working in New Zealand

Working in Norway

Working in Saudi Arabia

Working in South Korea

Working in Sweden

Working in Switzerland

Working in the United Arab Emirates

Working in the US

You’ll find advice about working in many other countries in our working abroad section.

What are the most popular destinations for UK graduates?

Research published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in 2017 identified the following countries as the most popular destinations for fresh UK graduates who had been based in the UK before starting their studies:

  • France
  • United States
  • Spain
  • China
  • Ireland
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Canada
  • Switzerland

Overall, 2.5% of UK graduates who finished their degrees in 2016 were working overseas six months later, and they were employed in 175 of the world’s 195 countries.

What kind of work could you do overseas after graduation?

You will need to take the following factors into account when making decisions about working and living abroad after graduating:

  • Which country do you wish to work in?
  • What kind of work do you wish to do?
  • How long do you wish to stay for?
  • What are you hoping to get out of the experience, in terms of both personal development and your career?
  • Will you need a visa or work permit, and if so, of what type? If you have specialist qualifications or skills that are in demand and are seeking relevant employment, this may affect the type of visa you need to apply for.
  • Are there any other requirements you need to take into account, for example, will you need to show the country that you wish to work in that you have a certain amount of savings?
  • Is it feasible to travel to the country you wish to work in and then find work, or do you need to secure employment in advance? This will depend on the nature of the visa or work permit regulations that apply.

For insights into opportunities in different countries overseas, explore our working abroad advice.

 

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