Routes to working abroad
How to find employment opportunities overseas: international employers, jobs in Europe, internship and work abroad programmes.
Working in another country has been a traditional route for many Irish graduates looking to gain new perspectives and to further their career development. In the current economic climate, it is growing as an option for recent graduates.
How can you get a job abroad?
Graduate internship programmes
Graduate programmes can be a very effective route to getting a job abroad. Current programmes available include:
- IBEC Export Orientation Programme: a 12-month placement including a minimum of six months’ international experience.
Many large employers have their own international graduate placement initiatives and generally accept applications from graduates from a range of disciplines.
Applying directly to companies requires resourcefulness, focus and planning. Start with the websites of multinational employers and look at international jobs and recruitment websites. Scan national and international newspapers for vacancies and consider sending speculative applications. See international recruiters advertising on this website and in the gradireland directory (available from your university careers service).
Work abroad programmes
These are a useful way of gaining a foothold in the job market, particularly in countries where the visa system is restrictive. These programmes allow you to work for a period of between 12 and 24 months as a new graduate.
See our Work experience abroad section for information on current schemes.
Working in Europe
Each year, opportunities are available for graduates to work within European institutions.
- Eures: EU jobs network
- Internships and traineeships at the European Patent Office
- Traineeship office at the European Commission
Tips on finding a job abroad
It can take time to secure a graduate job abroad. Temping is worth considering and can provide a steady income and networking opportunities. There are a number of international temping agencies recruiting at all levels across most sectors.
Most countries have definite preferences regarding the format of CVs and covering letters. Research and familiarise yourself with the job application and recruitment practices in your chosen country.
Deciding on a country, city, sector or language will help you to refine your job search. Visit your careers service to research country-specific job opportunities, vacancy sources, application procedures, visa information, international work programmes and casual work. Talk to your careers advisor about your plans and expectations.