Foriegn job opportunities

By Kelli E. Christiansen

When looking for a job, remember at least two things: working abroad is always a possibility and the NIU Career Planning and Placement Center has information to help.

The career planning and placement program provides free information for students and graduates searching for jobs. CPC Annual is one publication which lists national and foreign job opportunities for all majors.

The center also devotes an entire section to foreign work opportunities, with booklets to browse through for information.

Few students go to the center looking for foreign job opportunities, said Rita Hammett of the center. “Sometimes they do,” she said. “Especially students who are foreign.”

Hammett said some foreign students come to the center looking for opportunities to work in their native country.

The number of graduates working overseas is “minimal,” said Center Counselor Vickie Oliver. “Maybe one or two go on to work overseas, but usually placement is continental.”

The center supplies information on job-hunting strategies, lists of internships and graduate programs, work opportunities in the United Nations and other international programs and information.

Most opportunities for overseas work are for academic openings, Oliver said. “Most are for teaching positions with the federal government on military bases.”

“Two of our students went to Costa Rica,” said Betsy Smith, coordinator of elementary education clinical experiences. “But the number of students who go on to teach overseas are few and far between.”

The reason so few students work abroad is because, in the academic field, employers generally require at least two years experience, Smith said.

She also said this would be the case in most fields of study. This notion is backed by the book “101 Ways to Find an Overseas Job,” found in the center.

The book states finding a job overseas might be difficult because “employers often have to prove that a foreigner is uniquely or better qualified than a local.”

If gaining two years of experience is not a problem, benefits for jobs abroad can lead to top salaries, transportation, housing and paid utilities, according to the newsletter for Habitat for Humanity, a Christian organization.