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How to get work experience abroad

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When looking for work experience, only the bravest seek out chances to do unpaid labour abroad.

With a language barrier to surmount and different rules and regulations in place, the whole mess can sometimes become too much for most people to deal with. But for those who do manage to make it past these problems, it can be more rewarding than any experience in England, and carries a much higher pedigree in certain circles.

Get your language together

If you do decide to apply, know that you will almost certainly have to have language skills before you can go any further. It’s a fact of the process, and it will no doubt help you gain the most from your experience. But at the same time, it’s highly likely that good English skills will be to your advantage. With the inexorable spread of the language reaching new heights, you’ll find that a native and fluent command of English coupled with a grasp of another can really put you in good stead abroad.

Check out the internet

It’s also probably not a bad idea to look into online internships – these mean that you can technically gain international experience without ever leaving the comforts of home. It’s highly likely that any work like this will be for translation, so don’t go looking for diverse work that you can do online. To really stand a chance with most employers overseas you’ll have to get used to the idea of travelling there.

Work out the costs

While this is no bad thing, you may find that costs can get prohibitive – try and look for something that at least includes accommodation costs as part of the experience. Otherwise you’re spending way more than you normally would, and most students these days can’t afford to wind up in that level of debt. If you do go, it’s sure to be the time of your life, and you’ll get to use your language in a completely new way.

Ultimately, it all depends on where you see yourself ending up after university. If you’re likely to stick around in the UK, it’s best to focus on positions there. But if you see yourself going international, then overseas experience can be a boon to your future dreams and career options, showing that you understand the intricacies of working in a country that can actually be vastly different to anything encountered in Britain. Just remember that there’ll be barriers to surmount and you’re sure to have a bright future wherever you end up.

Do you have any advice on finding work experience abroad? Let us know below!

Photo: Images Money / Flickr

Nicholas BuxeyHow to get work experience abroad

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