How to start an international career

16 November 2020
International student from Sri Lanka in Brisbane

Starting your international career

Working overseas for an international company can bring exciting travel opportunities, immerse you in a new culture and build your global network.

How to move abroad and get a job

If you are ambitious about launching your international career, then you’ll need to start with a clear plan. Here are seven things to consider if you want to start a career abroad.

1. Study abroad

Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to gain international experience and build networks for the future as you make friends from around the world. It also demonstrates drive, determination and the ability to work in multicultural environments, all of which are highly valued among international employers.

2. Gain an internationally-recognised degree

Employers around the world will be looking for graduates from globally respected institutions as they are trusted for their teaching, research and facilities. A degree not only deepens your subject knowledge and independent study skills, but also develops the critical thinking you need to advance your career. If you want to go further, a master’s degree can really help you stand out.

3. Learn a language

Being fluent in an additional language to your mother tongue impresses future employers and can increase job opportunities at home and abroad. International companies will usually have a common language of English as they are working with clients, suppliers and employees around the world, and Mandarin and Spanish are also widely spoken. Fluency in any of these languages can mean more jobs for international students as demand for these skills is ever-growing.

4. Be flexible

It’s unlikely you’ll land your dream job straight out of university – although if you do, well done!

Early on in your career it’s important to try different roles to develop a range of skills and learn what you enjoy through internships, volunteering and part-time work. If you are interested in working in Australia, check these simple tips and guidelines.

5. Do your research

When considering international job opportunities, think about the type of job you want to do and the lifestyle you want to lead. According to Australian job site, SEEK, the industries with the happiest workers include Consulting and Strategy and Banking and Financial Services.

You’ll also want to think about where you want to live. A large global city like Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, might tempt you with jobs at big corporate companies, but this is likely to be more competitive when it comes to applying for jobs. Compare this to working in a start-up or starting your own business, where you might see more immediate impact from your work.

6. Build transferable skills

Communication, time management, problem solving and teamwork are the types of in-demand and transferable skills employers are looking for. During a degree you’ll develop these skills and more as you work on group projects, presentations and regular assignments.

Personal development from studying abroad: Pratibha shares how she’s developed her independence by moving from Nepal to study in Australia.

7. Think forward 

What careers will be demanded in the future? When mapping out your career goals, it makes sense to consider the most in-demand jobs and growing industries as well as what you are interested in. For example, having a technical mindset can set you apart as technology careers, such as cyber security, are only going to continue growing. 

Start your international career with Charles Sturt University Study Centres

Charles Sturt University Study Centres offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that focus on developing the skills you need to pursue your career. Industry-focused courses in Accounting, Business or Information Technology develop theoretical and practical knowledge, designed to prepare students for international careers of the future.

The Study Centres also offer career support services to help you if you need advice or have questions such as ‘how to make my career successful?’ or ‘how to prepare for an interview?’. They also provide support with job applications, internships and careers events. 

Internships are an excellent way to bridge the gap between university and starting your career. You can gain experience in a specific area, discover your interests and connect with employers to build your network. Charles Sturt University Study Centres can help facilitate this with an exclusive internship program for graduates. 

While there aren’t many jobs that require international experience, it can be the difference between two strong candidates. Careers Development Manager, Chantal Abdurachman, says: “The main advice that I would give a student is to start working on their career portfolio right from the start. When you come to study, it's not just about learning, it's about working towards your end goal and that's your career.”

Smiling Careers Development Manager holding sign saying 'My Charles Sturt University career'

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