International Careers and Graduate Study Abroad

Are you interested in working abroad or earning a graduate degree abroad? If so, there are many opportunities for recent graduates, but it’s best to start planning well before you graduate. Use this page’s resources to help you on your global pathway.

Working Abroad

Prior to beginning your global job search we recommend watching some of our free Beyond120 Skills Modules located in our Career Readiness Canvas course including:

These modules give valuable advice for beginning the next step in your journey. You’ll also want to think about questions such as:

  • How long do you want to be abroad?
  • Do you have a specific field you want to work in?
  • Do you have a particular country or region you want to live in?
  • Is proficiency in a foreign language required for work or study?
  • What visa restrictions are in place for working or studying in your country of interest?

There are a few different pathways if you want to work abroad. One is to secure a position with a U.S. company or organization that has a global presence. Make it known that you hope to one day be able to work abroad. Many people get opportunities to work for their employer in international locations once they’ve become established employees. Another option is to apply directly to jobs in international locations. To do this, you’ll also want to begin researching visa requirements for working abroad. Just like someone can’t travel to the U.S. and start working without the proper visa, you can’t go to another country and work without one either. In many countries, work visas may only be given to people working in certain industries with labor shortages or are given if you have an employer willing to sponsor your work visa. Applying to established programs such as the Peace Corp or becoming a Foreign Service Officer also offer pathways to international careers.

Tips for Your Search

Network. Use LinkedIn, our mentor connect platform, faculty mentors or similar resources to start identifying potential mentors and industry contacts that may help you in your job search.

Consider creating an E-portfolio. E-portfolios can be a great way to showcase your skills and experiences as an undergraduate for potential employers to see. UF offers regular workshops on creating e-portfolios through our Office of Global Learning. They’re also a part of the International Scholars Program.

Educate Yourself. Now is the time to start following the news from the country you want to work in. Learn about current issues, the labor market, work culture, etc. The more you know the more impressed they’ll be in an interview.

Prepare Materials. Make sure your resume and cover letter use local spellings and customary formatting. For instance, in some countries it’s expected to include a picture on your resume. Don’t forget to complete our “Job Materials for a Global Search” module on the Beyond120 Canvas course to learn more.

Research Visa Requirements. Almost all countries are going to require that you have the proper visa or work permit, so start learning what the requirements are now.

Program Pathways to Work Abroad

Foreign Service Officer or Specialist: The U.S. Department of State offers opportunities to become a foreign service officer, foreign service specialist, or civil service professional. They work in 270 locations overseas, and throughout the United States. Together, they help to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system. Learn the steps to becoming a FSO or FSS.

Teaching Abroad: If you’re interested in teaching abroad, you should complete our Teaching Overseas as a Global Pathway module in the Beyond120 Canvas course found in the Skill Development section. This will walk you through things to think about if you are considering teaching overseas. Many students choose to teach English abroad, but other types of teaching positions may be available, often in International Schools overseas. If you’d like to get training in Teaching English as a second language be sure to look at our TESL minor and certificate programs.

The links below go to some organizations that offer teaching options. There are many other private organizations offering teaching position, some even offer remote or online jobs.

Peace Corps: The Peace Corps is a service opportunity for individuals who want to immerse themselves in a community abroad, and work with local leaders to address some of the greatest challenges of our time. Learn more about becoming a Peace Corp volunteer. UF also offers a Peace Corp Prep program to students interested applying for the program in the future.

Work Permit Programs for Recent Graduates

Work permit programs can help you find a position abroad or help you get a work permit once you’ve found a position. Often they are for students who have earned their bachelor’s degree within the previous 12-24 months, but this varies by program.

Program Resources
  • American-Scandinavian Foundation: Offers work authorization services for students who have arranged for an internship and housing in several Scandinavian countries.
  • BUNAC: BUNAC offers work permit services for current students or recent college graduates in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. BUNAC is also able to secure work authorization for students who have secured internships in Britain.
  • Cultural Vistas-IAESTE: Program provides domestic and international students/ graduates work permits for several countries only after they have a job offer. Program permit lengths vary up to 18 months. Contact IAESTE directly for specific country details.
  • French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC): The FACC offers work permit services for students or recent graduates (ages 18-35) who have secured a short-term job offer in France. Permits are valid for up to 18 months. The program is restricted to U.S. citizens.
  • IENA: IENA offers work permit services for current students or recent college graduates in Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. This program is available to U.S. citizens only.
  • U.S.-Ireland Working Holiday Visa: This program allows U.S. students and recent graduates (within 12 months) to spend up to 12 months working and traveling in Ireland. Applications should be submitted to the Irish Embassy or consulate.
  • Work & Travel Ireland (A division of USIT Ireland): This program includes 4 month and 12 month work permit options in Ireland as well as the first night’s housing and a comprehensive orientation.

International Internship Programs

While many students do an internship while they’re still an undergraduate, there are some internship programs that have options for recent graduates too. Internships abroad are often unpaid and usually are 6 months or less. Internships focus on helping students gain an entry-level exposure to a specific field under close supervision. These are just as much learning experiences as work experiences.

See our Global Internship listings for a sample of opportunities as well as our information on Interning Abroad.

Graduate School Abroad

Did you know you can do a master’s or doctorate degree at universities abroad? You can! In fact in some cases getting a graduate degree abroad can save both time and money. But there are many factors to consider before applying:

  • What is the language of instruction? If you are fluent in another language that widens the possibilities, but if not, you’ll need to look for programs taught in English.
  • How will you pay for it? While some graduate programs abroad can be less expensive or even free, keep in mind that many programs will not qualify for U.S. Federal Financial Aid. Some universities may have their own loan programs for international students, but others may not. Be sure to look at the list of schools that participate in the Federal Financial Aid program.
  • What is the cost of living? Be sure to factor this into your budget before deciding.
  • What are the entry requirements? Just like many graduate schools in the U.S. use tests like the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT for admission, other countries may have their own exams. You may also need to take a language-based test if you’re applying in a non-English speaking country.
  • What is the transferability of the degree? Some degrees like medical or law degrees from abroad may not qualify you to work in the U.S. in that profession.

Graduate Program Scholarships: Many UF students also get prestigious Graduate Study Abroad Scholarships that help fund their course of study. Contact Kelly Medley at if you have questions about these programs.

Additional Resources

Resources for International Careers and Graduate Study Abroad