Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Go Global Expo in Boston, which was produced by Verge Magazine. This event was targeted for anyone who is interested in either working, studying or volunteering abroad. I have always set a long-term career goal to work abroad, but as I enter the early stages of my career, I have also considered other options, such as completing my master’s degree, interning, or volunteering in another country.
This event featured many exhibitors that offered global opportunities for all ages, as well as hourly seminars with professionals who have significant international experience. I gained a ton of insight that is really useful for anyone who is interested in going abroad. More specifically, I took away several important points to consider when pursuing an international career:
1. Have a clear vision
– Where do you want to go? What are you okay with doing? How high up the ladder do you want to be in your career?
2. Identify companies where you could see yourself working in
– What are its entry points?
3. Network with like-minded people
4. Do your research and get involved
– Find and join organizations that work locally, but carry projects abroad
– Join local chapters
5. Stay informed with international news
6. Learn a second language
Completing an internship abroad is another great way to gain international experience. This is something I have considered for a while now, but it is definitely easier said than done. Finding a paid communications-related internship, with a work visa and housing arrangement included is extremely hard to find. After hearing what many of the speakers had to say about interning abroad, I came to the conclusion that going through an internship provider is the best way to do so, especially if you are seeking opportunities in the fields of public relations and marketing.
While you receive placement in an internship geared towards your interests, there is a program fee you have to pay if you choose to go through a provider. However, by paying this fee, you are guaranteed in-country support, security and safety, housing, orientation, and overall structure. The best providers to choose from are those who only offer opportunities in a few select countries in more specific fields, as opposed to those who basically promise you the world. By focusing on a few countries, these providers have closer relationships with your prospective company and are more involved with them.
To get you started on your search for gaining international experience, I have compiled a list of the exhibitors who were present at the Go Global Expo. These are excellent resources for anyone who is looking to intern, study, or volunteer abroad. Enjoy!
- Across The Pond
- Edinburgh Napier University
- Laureate Hospitality Education
- Northeastern University College of Professional Studies
- Queen’s University Belfast
- Queen’s University- School of Business
- SEG- Swiss Education Group
- University of Reading
- University of Sheffield
Volunteer & Gap Year
- Cross-Cultural Solutions
- First Abroad
- Global Citizens Network
- Globe Aware
- Leave UR Mark
- Maximo Nivel
- Doctors Without Borders
- Operation Crossroads Africa
- Shamwari Conservation Experience
What other resources and search tools have you found helpful for finding opportunities abroad? Please share in the comments.
Catalina Gomez is a graduate of Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Communication. She specializes in public relations and has experience working with lifestyle and consumer brands. Catalina is also an active member of the Hispanic community and currently resides in Maryland. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.