Working abroad

Maybe you didn’t get the chance of taking a year out from University. Or were not able to fit study abroad into your academic plan.

If this is the case and you now want to try a summer job in a new location, work abroad programmes could be for you.

See the world

Working Abroad can be a cost effective way to see the world. Some countries extend student work visas for recent graduates.

If you are a European national, you can work in all member states of the European Union (EU) and other countries of the European Economic Agreement (EEU).


If you are only looking for work abroad during your vacation and you don’t want to spend loads of money, you might want to consider the WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) scheme.

These provide board and lodging in many foreign countries in return for a small amount of work.

It’s a great way to meet interesting people and see a different side to a country. You can also move around a fair bit as most countries now have loads of members in the scheme.

Do your homework

You may not find it so easy to get a job in other countries – but it can be done. You need to check out the working visa rules.

To ensure success in a foreign recruitment process thorough research and planning are essential.

You first need to decide where you want to go, and what job you would like to do.

If you want to work at graduate or professional level you will have to do some research to find out if your qualifications will be recognised in your chosen country.

If not, you need to find out what else you need to do.

Find out about visas

Most countries have restricted visa and work permit rules, and the application process is lengthy. Short term work and placements can be easier to arrange as there are official government visa schemes already set up to obtain the right work permits.

You should apply for work permits from the UK as they can be very difficult (or impossible) to get overseas.

Most people find temporary work in the hospitality industry, working in hotels and bars, in the retail sector and as seasonal labourers in agriculture.

Temporary work permits for USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are also available through government exchange programmes.

Stay safe

You should also think about your safety when traveling abroad.

Working abroad is a great way to gain independence and build self-confidence, but it isn’t worth doing so at the cost of your health.

Disabled workers

If you are a disabled traveller, you will have to do some research into the suitability and safety of working abroad.

It’s sensible to disclose your disability before agreeing to travel abroad.

Another important consideration is travel insurance. Many policies do not cover claims arising from ‘pre-existing medical conditions’ – any illness or health problem that existed before going to work abroad.

This means it is important to choose the correct policy if you are a disabled person or have a long term illness.

Who can help?

European Employment Services (EURES) – the European job mobility portal, offers information on jobs and learning opportunities in Europe. Visit their website at

For Information, tips, advice, links and jobs for a successful working holiday, gap year or job abroad visit
Interexchange is an International Exchange Program specialising in Au Pair and childcare service, Work Abroad, Internships, and summer camp programmes. Visit their site at

For details of overseas work and travel programmes, visit the Bunac website

You can find out about the WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) scheme on their website at

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