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Finding a summer placement abroad

If you're looking for an international placement, there are many organisations offering work abroad and study abroad programmes.

Every year, many students undertake an international placement experience during their summer vacation. 'Work abroad' and 'Study abroad' programmes suit students who want to take their academic abilities to another country. The main destinations are North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. There are many international/overseas programmes offering opportunities to students and many of these focus on summer/vacation or ‘adventure type’ placements.

An international experience offers you all the advantages of regular work experience and also gives you the opportunity to see the world and experience other cultures and work environments. As well as being a great way of becoming fluent in another language, it shows your ability to be independent. For lots of students, international experience has provided a chance to do something different. What’s more, this is an interesting addition to your CV and can give you a competitive advantage when you’re applying for graduate jobs.

Planning for your international placement

The internet makes it easy to organise work overseas and most organisations allow you to apply online for an information pack. Remember to find out:

  • Information from other participants – is there an online forum?
  • How long the company has existed
  • Examples of successful programmes
  • Cancellation terms for contracts – will you lose a deposit?
  • Whether travel insurance is included
  • What support is provided while you are away – is there an established network?

Organisations offering placements abroad

Overseas programmes offering work experience include:

  • Washington Ireland Programme Summer internships in Washington, open to all students born in Ireland. 
  • IAESTE Mainly for science and engineering students wishing to spend a vacation working abroad.  
  • AIESEC Student society offering overseas placements. 
  • BUNAC International work and travel exchange programmes.  
  • Camp America Summer and longer placements.  
  • IST Plus Working holidays in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

USIT and the Council on International Educational Exchanges also provide information on work abroad and volunteer programmes.