Work Experience: Choosing to go abroad

 

If you're looking for a way to bump up your CV, and you want to get away from the UK for a while, you could always look into doing work experience abroad.

Working abroad will not only help you develop skills in your chosen area, but will be great to show to potential employers, who are likely to be looking for someone with something extra - they want a well-rounded person with 'life' skills who can easily adapt to different environments. There are loads of companies to choose from, and loads of countries you can work in. The world is your oyster, but the down-side is that it will cost you, and there are extra issues to take into consideration.

Hidden costs

Placements start from around £1,000 and can be anything up to £4,000 depending on where you go, who you go with, and how long you go for.

It’s worth bearing in mind that sometimes these placements have extra costs associated with them. Most companies won’t include, for example, flights to and from the country, but they may include insurance. Sometimes they won’t include certain meals or visas. Make sure you check their website carefully, or speak to a representative about what is included and excluded from the price before you book a placement.

Health comes first

As with travelling anywhere, it’s important to take care of your health – you’ll be of no use to anyone if you fall ill! If travel insurance is not already included in the price of your placement, make sure you sign up for insurance that will cover you for the length of your stay.

Be prepared and take a mini medical kit – plasters, painkillers, insect repellent and water purifying tablets are a good place to start.

Speak to your doctor about the vaccinations or tablets you may need to take before you travel. Arrange an appointment at least two months before you’re due to go, and discuss with them exactly where you are going. They will be able to advise you if you need any vaccinations, booster shots or malaria tablets for the region you’re visiting.

Research the company you want to go with

Sometimes the company you go with can make or break what should be an incredible learning experience. Check message boards and online forums for information on companies, particularly negative experiences. Don’t just read the testimonies from happy customers on their website or brochure – ask for an email address of someone who has been on your placement previously, and email them with any queries or worries you may have. If the company run them, go to an open day where you’ll have the opportunity to speak with staff and previous volunteers.

Research the country you’re going to

It sounds obvious but it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into. Is it generally safe for tourists there? Have there been any problems in that area in the last couple of years? Will you be staying in accommodation with other volunteers or with a host family? Are you able to travel on public transport alone to and from your work placement? If you like going out, do some research on the night-life in the city you’re going to, and how much it’s likely to cost you. It’s also an excellent idea to check up on cultural customs and the local law – you don’t want to accidentally insult your host family, breach cultural dress codes or end up on the wrong side of the law!

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: Nursery Nurse Leeds November start...

EBD LSA required - Vale of Glamorgan

£60 - £65 per day + plus free travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: The J...

EBD Teacher - Food Technology Specialist

£100 - £181 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: The JobTo plan and deliver all ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?