Opportunities Abroad

Work Abroad

Students interested in working abroad must choose between short-term or long-term work opportunities. Short-term work usually means three months to a year abroad and frequently means vacation-type jobs, as opposed to professional jobs. Most of these opportunities are for students only, and you must be a student at the time of application. Long-term work opportunities, however, require more research by you, the student, on the country in which you wish to work. Customs for hiring employees will differ by country, and you need to be aware of these differences. To be able to work abroad for a longer period of time, you will need a work visa from the country in which you will be working. This will usually be provided by your employer; therefore, it is important to secure a position before heading abroad. Most U.S. companies with international branches will expect you to work in the U.S. for a time before they will consider you for an international position. Start with the UGA Career Center.

Intern Abroad

Internships abroad can take on several forms. If you are interested in an internship for academic credit, you will most likely be looking for a study abroad program that offers internships in conjunction with an academic course. In most cases that means that you will not be paid, and that you will be paying for the study abroad program as you would for any other study abroad experience. To transfer credit from a study abroad internship to UGA, you will need a letter from the department that agrees to accept the credit. That letter should be attached to your Credit Approval Form (under student forms) before you turn it into The Office of International Education. Additional information on internships for academic credit can be found in the Study Abroad Library (1324 S. Lumpkin Street) or by searching for internships (under Field of Study) from the IIE Passport web site. Start with the UGA Career Center.

Volunteer Abroad

Volunteering abroad can take on many forms, in terms of cost, time commitment, and type of work. Assignments can last from a couple of weeks to a couple of years. Some volunteers pay a large fee which covers their airfare and room and board while volunteering. Others, however, pay a small fee and have room and board covered, but take care of their own airfare. Finally, volunteers in certain organizations (such as the Peace Corps) are paid a living allowance, and have their transportation covered. Many international volunteer projects encourage and train volunteers to do fundraising before departure to cover their costs. Start with UGA Career Center resources.

Teaching English Abroad

Teaching English Abroad positions are usually advertised as EFL (English as a Foreign Language) as opposed to ESL (English as a Second Language), which is usually the name for a similar class in the U.S. The requirements or qualifications for these teaching positions vary. For some positions, the only requirement is that you are a native English speaker. Almost all positions require a Bachelor's degree, although it need not be in English or Education. Some positions will request teaching certification (especially those in K-12 international schools), while others will request either a certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or less frequently, a Master's in TEFL/TESOL(Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Frequently jobs requiring lesser qualifications are filled by people who are already in the host country, rather than through U.S. recruitment. Start with the UGA Career Center.

Teaching in International K-12 Schools

Teaching programs come with a program fee that include major expenses and usually arrange for housing and job placement. For students without teaching experience or teaching certification, a teaching program may be the most viable option. On the other hand, students with a teaching certification and/or teaching experience, regular job services (web sites that list jobs, job placement programs, etc.) are a great option. These job listings are usually in schools that are either American, international or bilingual, and seek teachers whose native language is English to teach a variety of subjects, including English as a Foreign Language (EFL). These positions frequently require a Bachelor's Degree and sometimes teaching certification (depending on the location or the nature of the program). Some schools would also like you to have had two years teaching experience in the United States. The web sites listed below are for both teaching programs and regular job services.

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificates

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificates come from 114 hour (minimum) courses offered around the world by various organizations. The best-known and most-requested certificate is the University of Cambridge Royal Society of Arts (RSA) CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). Courses to obtain this certificate last from one-month to a year and are offered in several locations in the U.S. The courses usually cost from $2,000-$3,000, depending on the school. The courses are geared toward people who are interested in teaching adults English, and cover the English language awareness, teaching methodology, difficulties in teaching English, classroom management, resources and materials, writing lesson plans, evaluating student levels, and observed teaching. You must be at least 20 years of age to take the course. Taking this course is an excellent way to prepare for going abroad to teach, and increases the likelihood of finding a good job.