Feeling stuck in your study abroad job search? It’s time to mix it all up.
Start right now by stretching your definition of study abroad jobs. A study abroad advisor position may be your dream job but there are plenty of jobs in the field that can be just as fulfilling and use your global skill set. If you’re really good at communication, consider a job in international admissions. You’ll travel internationally, meet students from all over the world, and get paid to talk about international education. If you’re into the programming side of study abroad advising, you’d do well planning welcome events for international students as a program coordinator in international student services. Broaden your search to include positions beyond the study abroad advisor position.
Get unstuck by knowing all your job search resources – job boards, LinkedIn, Twitter -and the relevant search terms. Search beyond universities and include international education companies. Find people inside those organizations who are open to having conversations about their job and your skill set. Impress them with your passion for and knowledge of the international education landscape during informational interviews.
Think you can do all of this? Of course you can. Apply your problem solving skills, creative thinking and adaptable mindset – the skills you gained from your study abroad experience – and use them in your job search.
Read on to see how to take your job search to the next level.
Master the job boards
As the host’s of America’s biggest international education conference, NAFSA is probably the first place you’ll look. It’s also the first place everyone else looks too, so competition for these jobs will be fierce.
The Pie News
This London-based international education news site lists mid-level jobs, mostly based in the UK with a smattering US-based and entry-level jobs. While you’re there, subscribe to their smart content to keep up with international education trends so you can impress future employers with your knowledge of the international education industry.
From entry-level jobs in social media at the School for International Training to program managers to executive level jobs in international development, World Learning is an excellent resource for anyone looking to apply their global skills in an international programming context. Find jobs in universities and international organizations where employers value your global skill set.
Search “study abroad” to make your life easier with this massive database of university jobs. This website has a fab international search feature which brings up opportunities at universities all over the world. You might be able to put those international skills to work at a university outside the US.
Create Saved Searches with Keywords, Not Titles
Jobs in international education come in all shapes and sizes. Entry-level study abroad jobs might be listed as Administrative Assistant, Program Assistant or Program Coordinator without anything indicating study abroad or global in their title. A study abroad advising job, which is a step up from entry-level, could be listed as a Assistant Director of Global Programs, Study Abroad Program Manager, or even Academic Advisor. Use “study abroad’ as the catch all term to pull up jobs with study abroad experience as a prerequisite (but don’t assume that’ll get you the job as everyone else applying has that experience too). “International student” and “international education” are also good terms, especially if you’re looking for positions in international admissions and student services. Set up multiple saved searches on LinkedIn, Simply Hired, and Indeed using each of those terms.
Get on Twitter
Seriously. Both NAFSA and Pie News have Twitter feeds specifically for jobs in international education. Even better, the international education community is very active on Twitter and often share jobs tagged with #intled and #studyabroad. Pick a hashtag and pair it with “job” to find them. Put your LinkedIn profile in your Twitter bio and ask the study abroad professionals how they got their job or advice for job seekers. Retweet their articles on study abroad. You’ll gain visibility in the international education community and get some great advice. When future international education employers Google you, they’ll see that you are engaged with the study abroad community.
Think Beyond the University Box
Don’t limit your search to universities. Several study abroad companies offering language and study abroad programs have rad jobs. Try IES Study Abroad and CIEE Study Abroad, Education First (EF) . Look at websites like Go Abroad and Go Overseas. You’ll work with other globally curious people, motivate people to explore the world, and get a chance at international travel. Look for jobs in volunteer tourism organizations where you’ll work with students looking for meaningful travel programs and international education programming.
Learn How to Informational Interview like a Boss
Forget writing about your passion for study abroad in a cover letter. Show your passion by reaching out to people in study abroad and talking to them about their experience. Informational interviews done right will impress future employers, give you insights into a company (to find out if you’re a cultural fit), and make you stand out when a job opens up. They are the secret sauce in your job search but few people use them to their advantage. If you’re new to informational interviews start with this super helpful post from The Muse, How to Ask for a Job Without Asking for a Job and follow the links at the end for more tips. Then spend some more time on that site because they have all the smart content you need to improve your job search.
And don’t forget, you need more than just passion to get a job in study abroad. You need mad skills.
Ok, now it’s your turn. What’s working for you in your job search? Share below or find me on Twitter at @pdxnicolle.
Need help planning your global career? There’s a class for that.