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Working abroad

Working abroad image - plane

Buckle down and find a job, or travel the world? You don’t have to choose! By taking a job abroad, you’ll gain incredible work experience you won’t find anywhere else—and experience a new country while you’re at it. If you’re a co-op student, check out your international co-op options.

Seeking
work abroad

Search for international jobs

Search for international jobs

Log in to our job board to look for international jobs. It's updated regularly with new listings, so check back often!

Want to look on your own? Peruse our list of external job posting sites or check out Going Global, a database available to all members of the UVic community with a Netlink ID. It provides information on countries and companies and offers job postings in more than 25 countries.

Volunteer or intern abroad

Volunteer or intern abroad

Here are a few resources to get you started. Need help? Ask your Co-op and Career office for more ideas.

  • Aga Khan Foundation Canada: A non-denominational, not-for-profit international development agency that promotes sustainable and equitable social development in low-income countries in Asia and Africa.
  • AIESEC Global Internship Program: Each year, provides over 300 AIESEC Canada members the opportunity to work in a foreign country in management, technology, education and development.
  • Australearn: Study and intern in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
  • Backdoor Jobs: Features short-term internships, seasonal jobs, volunteer vacations and work abroad.
  • Campus Access: A directory of internship and volunteer opportunities offered by different organizations.
  • Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)’s International Youth Internship Program
  • CDS Summer Internship Program in Germany
  • Charity Village: Posts free volunteer opportunities across the country and internationally, and offers many ways to give to the charities of your choice.
  • CrossContinental Solutions: Offers affordable and flexible intern and volunteer abroad programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America with meals, accommodation, on-site support hotline and more.
  • Cross-Cultural Solutions Canada: A not-for-profit organization that operates international volunteer programs in twelve countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 
  • DAAD: German Academic Exchange Service
  • E-Volunteerism: The electronic journal of the volunteer community.
  • Energize Inc: An international training, consulting and publishing firm specializing in volunteerism.
  • Europlacement: Internship opportunities across Europe.
  • Global Vision International: Volunteer work, internships and career opportunities in over 20 countries. A great resource if you’re looking for working holidays, field experience or careers overseas.
  • Global Volunteers Network: Offers volunteer opportunities through partner organizations in China, Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Thailand and Uganda.
  • Going Global: A database available to all members of the UVic community with a Netlink ID. It provides information on countries and companies and offers job postings in more than 25 countries.
  • iAgora: Entry-level job and internship opportunities abroad for young people.
  • Idealist: A great resource for international jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities. Set up a personal profile to receive daily updates of new postings.
  • International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)
  • InternChina: An internship agency offering placement services from experienced European and American staff in their own offices in China.
  • Internships in Argentina and South Africa
  • Lattitude Global Volunteering: International youth development charity offering volunteering and gap year placements for under-25-year-olds.
  • NGOAbroad: Provides frugal, customized international volunteer options and helps you enter international humanitarian work.
  • Quaker United Nations in New York: Unpaid internships (with stipend) to learn about core peace and justice issues; normally, recruitment is in December and January.
  • TravelWorks: A gap year provider offering volunteer project placements in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania in the fields of childcare, health care, education, wildlife conservation, environmental protection, infrastructure and tourism.
  • UN Volunteers: A UN organization, administered by the UN Development Programme, that supports sustainable human development globally through volunteerism.
  • Uniterra: Canada’s biggest international voluntary program, present in 13 countries, which offers citizens and organizations the chance to contribute to millennium development goals (MDGs).
  • Volunteer for the Visayans: Promotes international education about the people, culture and economic hardship of the Philippines through volunteerism and cultural immersion.

Work as an au pair

Work as an au pair

As an au pair, you can experience a new country and gain practical household and childcare experience. Normally, you’ll live with a family and get free room and board and a small salary in exchange for your services.

How to find an au pair placement 

Agencies are the safest way to find an au pair position—if your host family situation doesn't work out, they’ll help you make other arrangements. You can find many agencies through an online search, or chat with a career educator for advice. Once you’ve settled on an agency, check its reputation through the Better Business Bureau or the consulate of the country you plan to work in.

Teach ESL abroad

Teach ESL abroad

As an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor, you can teach students of all ages. Many ESL students are business people or college students planning to attend English universities. 

Qualifications for teaching English

You don’t need a certification to teach English abroad, but having one of the following will give you more options and higher pay.

  • TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) refers to teaching English where English is not regularly spoken, such as in a classroom in Korea or Taiwan.
  • TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) refers to teaching English in an environment where English is spoken outside the classroom, such as teaching English to new immigrants or international students in Canada.
  • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) refers to teacher training programs for non-native speakers of English. It’s often used as a generic term to include all types of English language classes, including TESL and TEFL.

Where to get certification in Victoria:

  • UVic Linguistics Department offers an Applied Linguistics Diploma. This one-year program is for students who already have a bachelor's degree and want to specialize in teaching English or another language as a second language.
  • UVic Continuing Studies offers a TEFL certificate.
  • Victoria International Training Academy is a TESL training centre in Victoria that works with UVic’s Continuing Studies and Faculty of Business.
  • Oxford Seminars is a private company offering in-class TESL certification courses.

Résumés and interviews

Your résumé for an ESL teaching position should be straightforward, without abbreviations or acronyms. Emphasize your teaching experience, education, knowledge of other languages, international experience and general people skills.

When you email your application to a potential employer, copy and paste your résumé into the message instead of submitting it as an attachment. In an interview, you’ll need to speak clear, standard English (no slang or jargon). You should also dress semiformal, as many countries have stricter dress and behaviour standards than Canada.

Where can you work?

You can secure an ESL teaching job before you go, or find one once you’re abroad. Both options have benefits and drawbacks. Do your research and contact your Co-op and Career office for guidance once you’ve chosen a country.

  • Europe:  Southern Europe, including Spain, Portugal, and Italy, needs qualified ESL instructors. Eastern Europe is also an ESL hotspot, especially in Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. Remember to factor in the cost of living—Europe can be expensive.
  • Asia: Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are the most popular countries for ESL teachers, and offer the highest salaries (and higher living expenses).  Other in-demand regions are China, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Indonesia. 
  • South and Central America: Growing economies and more disposable income mean more teaching opportunities in South and Central American countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. However, salaries in general are not high (although living expenses may be much lower!).
  • Africa: Many African countries appreciate volunteer ESL teachers, but paid positions are rare.  As a volunteer, your food and lodging will likely be covered but you’ll need to pay other costs yourself.
  • Middle East: Public institutions and private schools hire ESL teachers in places like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Lebanon. They offer higher wages if you have professional credentials.

Resources for ESL teachers

Work in Australia after graduation (Engineering students)

Work in Australia after graduation (Engineering students)

Graduates of UVic's Engineering programs may qualify for a unique Australian visa program that allows you to work in Australia for up to 18 months. You can find details here.

Before
you leave

Secure a work permit

Secure a work permit

You’ll need a work permit to work outside Canada. Find out how to apply at International Experience Canada. You may also find information through the Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP).

Canada has mobility agreements with various countries to help students secure work permits. You can apply for work permits online—just click on the country youre interested in to be directed to the foreign consulate in Canada. You can also go through the Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP), which can help you secure a work permit through these mobility agreements.

Working in the USA

To work in the USA, you’ll need a J-1 visa. To apply, contact CDS InternationalSWAP can also provide J-1 authorizations for work terms between May and October. To learn more, read our fact sheet about J-1 visas.

Working in Australia

To work in Australia, you’ll need an an occupational trainee visa. First, your employer must apply, get approval for sponsoring the visa, and send you the approval number. You'll use this to apply for your Austrailian visa.

Working in the United Kingdom

To work in the UK, you must apply for a work permit through the Youth Mobility Scheme. For tips, read this fact sheet written by a student who applied for a UK work permit through this scheme.

Take an international orientation course

Take an international orientation course

Before you leave, you should complete one of these international orientation courses:

Funding
opportunities

UVic funding

UVic Co-op and Career provides several funding opportunities for students seeking work abroad. Many UVic offices also provide funding support for students seeking to work or study abroad, including:

  • Office of International Affairs: Student International Activities Fund and Irving K. Barber British Columbia International Scholarship Program.
  • Student Awards and Financial Aid: They can help you look into funding options offered by UVic, including grants, prizes, scholarships and bursaries. They can also point you in the right direction to find external sources of financial aid.

External funding databases

  • Community of Science Funding Database: COS Funding Opportunities lists over 400,000 funding opportunities worth over $33 billion. Students at UVic can access this subscription service through any computer on campus. 
  • International Scholarships database: A database of grants, scholarships, loan programs and other resources to help you work and study abroad.
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