Maybe you’ve heard it since you were three-years-old and wanted to be either a firefighter or a doctor when you grew up. Or maybe you just started hearing it as you counted down the last few months, weeks and days of high school. Soon you are asking yourself, “what should I do with my life?”
While in college I was not filled with wanderlust, in fact I had planned to stay in New York City and work my full time job as a corporate event planner once my four years of university were complete. So it came to my surprise that on graduation day in 2005 I felt a bit of regret. This regret was not studying abroad.
So what exactly is Intentionally Designed Experiential Education Programming?
We love hearing from past participants on their experiences since interning with GE. Below you'll find a reflection from Katie Hunsberger, Summer 2015 Sydney intern. Thanks for sharing, Katie!
With over 5,500 alum from our international internship program we are often asked “how do I get a job abroad once my program is finished?” Global Experiences International Internship Program is the launch pad for many intrepid globetrotters to build the network and confidence necessary to work abroad. Here’s some simple options for getting that first foot on the career ladder overseas once you finish your program and graduate from college.
US citizens can work legally and travel in Australia for up to a year on the working holiday visa . Unemployment is low in Australia but Americans enjoy a solid reputation for their great customer service, confidence, and work ethic. Struggling to find that entry-level job in your field from abroad? Consider part time work in cafes, restaurants and service related businesses while you explore professional opportunities face to face, a much better way to land that dream job. If nothing else, Oz has the highest minimum wage in the world so you can always support yourself while living in this incredible country. Check out the GE network and connect with alumni for a warm intro to opportunities in Australia.
Ireland is a hotbed of activity for startups and is now considered the center of entrepreneurship in Europe. US citizens are eligible for a working holiday visa for Ireland in the year after they graduate and if you happened to have been an intern in Ireland on the Global Experiences program you have probably already have some professional contacts so reach out to them! Ask for informational interviews at organizations where you’d love to work and let them know you are exploring some options to work in Ireland for a year.
One of the easiest avenues to working and living abroad is teaching English as a second language. It is an experience that has launched many people into global careers, including Global Experiences Co-Founder Stephen Reilly, who taught English in Hong Kong before going on to visit more than 50 countries. Global travel also inspired Mitch Gordon of gooverseas.com, who credits his international teaching experience as the catalyst for starting the fantastic business he created, which helps students and young professionals find unique study, travel and work opportunities abroad. Online courses are a great way to get certified to teach and the International TEFL Academy is one of the best in the business.
During your internship with Global Experiences you were building a network of connections in your professional field whether you realized it or not at the time. Always keep in touch with the people you meet. Share your goals and ask for advice. You will be surprised how helpful they will be. The GE Alumni Community on Linkedin is also an amazing resource of professionals, many of whom have been in their career for 5, 10 or even 15 years by now.
Your international experience is valuable to many US based businesses, or overseas businesses with offices in the US. All areas of the economy have some global component and your first hand knowledge, network and language skills can be a great way to land your first full time job. You may also consider joining the growing field of International Education, and share your love of the world with others. GE is always hiring- so check out our careers page.
The main thing to remember is perseverance is the key. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t come together quickly or an opportunity doesn’t present itself. Keep to it and you won’t be disappointed. If you want it bad it enough, everything can happen…and it will.