Finding a placement outside your home country can take longer to organise, so you'll need to start planning sooner rather than later. You may need to consider the following issues:
Your language skills – are you able to communicate fluently in the workplace as well as in social situations?
Cultural issues – you'll need to understand the local customs and culture to make the most of your time
Finance – paying for flights, accommodation, and living expenses
Living in another country, if you do not have family or friends in the local area
Do your background research into the country thoroughly in terms of costs, cultural issues and other aspects – there's plenty of information online and in travel books such as the Rough Guide and Lonely Planet publications.
Passport Career is a great resource for students thinking about a global career.
Accessible only to current students at the University of Nottingham, you will find advice and guidance on over 80 countries, have access to monthly webinars and get career, CV, application and cultural advice.
Log in/register for Passport Career
Where do I start?
If you are thinking about looking for work experience abroad, it is important to do your research and preparation properly.
Firstly, think about what you really want to do. What is your career aspiration? What skills and experience do you want to gain? With this in mind, you can look for opportunities that compliment these requirements.
Secondly, think about whether you want to use an agency or not. An agency might set up a placement for you but there may be a fee, or you can source your own opportunity and make the arrangements yourself.
Whatever you decide, make sure you ask all the questions you need to decide if you are happy with the offer. Not sure what questions to ask?
The link below takes you to the questions we suggest you ask when selecting a gap year provider. Those questions will help you to assess whether an work experience provider or agency is right for you.
Take a look at some questions to think about asking
Passports and visas
Depending on where you plan to travel, you may need to have six months left on your passport. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for more information on this and which countries you need visas to enter.
International students needing advice on passports and visas should contact the International Office.
Passport Career is a great place to start when searching for advice.
You can also look for online reviews from others who have used the agencies or providers you are interested in, or try to find other students who have taken part in work experience abroad and might be able to answer your questions.
If you are applying for the International Work Experience Grant then we may be able to put you in touch with a student who has been through it before.
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health and safety
Always make sure you have adequate health insurance for your stay. Don't scrimp on this as it is important to be properly covered.
If you are from the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can apply for the European Health Insurance Card, but this does not replace travel insurance.
Employer insurance practices in overseas countries vary widely. You should check that both you and the placement provider have suitable cover in place for your placement activities.
Our Information and Guidance for Students on Placements provides comprehensive advice on the minimum types and level of insurance cover recommended for your protection.
It is important to always have an emergency contact in place, with a plan of how to contact them.
The Fit for Travel website is a great place to look for advice on how to stay safe and provides advice on travel insurance.
Internships agreements for overseas internships
If you have secured an internship overseas, the host employer may require you and the University to complete an internship agreement. It is common in France (the agreement is known as a Convention de Stage) and Spain (it is known as Convenio de Colaboración).
Where an internship does not form part of your course requirements, the University is unable to sign an agreement provided by the host employer. We are, however, able to provide a University-approved form for use by students who are registered with the University for the full duration of the proposed internship period. Please read the guidance document in full before using this document (see right).
If you have any enquiries, please contact email@example.com.
Further sources of opportunities
The list below provides examples of organisations who offer opportunities overseas. This list is not exhaustive and is for information only.
Global exchange programme with thousands of international internship vacancies
Explore the Study, Work, Create section for internships overseas
Internship and work experience opportunities available around the world
Worldwide internship opportunities
Global Vision International (GVI)
Volunteer placements with worldwide development programmes
Advice on accessing opportunities in UK universities, and fees and funding information
Teaching opportunities in China
Pan American Health Organisation (World Health Organisation)
Internships offered in various PAHO/WHO offices throughout North and South America
Database of international graduate jobs and internships
Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE)
Summer internship programme in Germany for biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering undergraduates
Volunteer expeditions to the Fiji Islands working with children and young people
Volunteer placements in Sri Lanka empowering local communities through English development, sport, marine and wildlife conservation, and textile and design
Twin Work Experience
Leonardo da Vinci programmes of free work experience opportunities in Europe
Twin Work and Volunteer Abroad
Internship programmes in France, Germany, India, Canada, Australia and Ghana
Work Experience in Europe
Private and public organisations offering work experience, internships and placements in Europe
Worldwide opportunities in business, health, animal welfare, human rights and more
UN Headquarters New York
200 internship positions per session, with three sessions per year
Also take a look at our working abroad page for more information and resources about working overseas. Our taking a year out pages contain useful links and a list of questions to ask organisations who arrange work opportunities abroad.