Working abroad and internships can be combined with study abroad (before, middle, after) to help you gain experience in a completely different environment than in the classroom. A part-time job while studying abroad is a unique opportunity for students interested in earning money and gaining valuable international experience.
Depending on the country, you may or may not work with your studies. Some countries require an additional visa. Popular student jobs include on-campus opportunities, bar, and restaurant jobs, education and tutoring.
Study Abroad Internship Programs
The easiest way to combine study abroad with work experience is to choose a study abroad program that includes an internship or service-learning experience. See International Internships for more about study-internship programs.
Things to Consider about Working while Studying Abroad
- Working abroad may provide a more immersive experience and can aid in achieving language fluency.
- There may be additional fees (tuition) for study abroad internship programs or work placement programs.
- Do not expect to finance study with part-time work. At best, it can provide extra spending money.
- Carefully investigate whether and under what circumstances work is allowed by a specific country for foreign students who are studying abroad. Check with both study abroad program administrators, and with the country’s embassy, as one or both may forbid work by foreign students. Students may also need a work permit in addition to a student visa. Most embassies have information about working as a student or temporary work permits on their websites. For web sites of all foreign embassies in Washington, see the Electronic Embassy. For first-hand reports on working abroad, see Transitions Abroad magazine.
- Working while studying at an overseas university can be difficult; students may have trouble balancing work and academics in a foreign environment.
Post Graduate Work While Studying Abroad
Fulbright is an example of a program available to support a year of overseas study (not necessarily for a degree) after graduation. U-M students and alumni should apply for the Fulbright through the International Institute.
Direct enrollment in a foreign university is a possibility for post-graduate studies. Tuitions for direct enrollment are low in some countries (low, for example, in much of continental Europe and many regions outside of Europe, but higher in popular destinations such as Britain, Ireland, and Australia). Student status may allow you to work part-time or during vacations in some countries.
The main disadvantage of attempting to work your way through an overseas university is that you may find yourself marking time, neither making headway towards a degree nor progress in a career. You would also want to be sure that a degree earned from an overseas university would be well-recognized in the U.S., as would be a degree earned from a U.S. university.