Securing your first job as an international student: A Guide

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Searching for a job and securing a job as an international student in a foreign country can be a challenging task. It is filled with uncertainties, and the journey can be tiring. Oftentimes, prospective international students look forward to the opportunity to study and work as a means to help with the cost of their education expenses. However, securing a job in a new country where you barely know anyone can be quite a difficult task. Hence the need for proper guidance. In this article, we’ll explore the various factors to consider and important tips you can apply to help you secure a job as an international student in a foreign country. this guide will empower you with the necessary information you need to increase your chances of securing a job. Do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more useful updates. 

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Challenges International Students face while securing a job

In the process of trying to secure a job as an international student in a foreign country, there are likely challenges you will face that will make the process seem difficult. However, access to the right information can give you the right insight as to how to handle some of these challenges. If you’re a prospective international student looking forward to studying and working abroad, some of the difficulties you’re likely to face include: 

1. No prior job experience 

Applying for a job without any prior work experience in that field or country can be quite difficult. Sometimes, organizations may find it difficult to hire a worker without any previous work experience. Before finally traveling abroad as an international student, it is best to make inquiries and familiarize yourself with the options available before making a move. 

2. Employer’s Perception

Foreign employers might have some form of bias towards international students being that they come from a different culture and country. Additionally, employers may think they sometimes need to pay for the training of the prospective employees and this can be a limitation for international students desiring to secure a job. 

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3. Your current status as an international student

Generally, in every country, international students are restricted to a certain number of hours they are permitted to work weekly. These restricted number of hours, in turn, restrict the type of jobs international students can apply for and get. Consequently, it also reduces their salary amount at the end of the day. Hence, international students will have to look for alternative financing options to fund their education expenses while they are abroad. 

4. Language Barrier

Again, the language barrier is another limitation for international students who want to work abroad. This can pose a big problem if the language in the study destination of the international student is different from the indigenous language of the student. This means that the student needs to first learn the language and familiarize themselves with the culture before any other thing. 

Is it possible to work abroad without a degree?

Yes, it is possible to work abroad without a degree. However, keep in mind that it will be quite a difficult task. Also, it is possible to apply for season-based jobs abroad. 

What types of jobs can I apply for abroad? 

Some of the job types you can apply for as an international student in a foreign country include: 

  • Hotel breakfast attendant
  • Landscape labourer
  • House Sitting
  • Hotel housekeeper
  • Freelancing
  • Hotel front desk clerk
  • Server
  • Nanny
  • Bartending
  • Event planning intern
  • Tour guide

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How can I secure a job abroad with no prior experience?

This is one of the major questions on the minds of international students who desire to secure a job abroad. We have listed and explained some tips below that can help you secure a job abroad as an international student. They include: 

1. Learn to prioritize networking

This is one of the ways you can secure a job abroad as an international student. Since you are in a foreign country and do not know anybody, it is best you prioritize networking and relate with people of like minds or people who can help you achieve your goals. 

One of the ways to prioritize networking is by associating with your school’s alumni. Additionally, you can also research companies that recruit international students on your own and reach out to them by leveraging social media and the internet. Speaking to your professors or your lecturers at the faculty can also help as there can be internship or assistantship roles that you may be recommended for. 

2. Leverage on the internet

Social media and the internet have paved the way for lots of benefits and opportunities. As an international student desiring to secure a job abroad, leverage the internet and social media to research job opportunities you can be qualified for. 

LinkedIn is a good place to start, you should tailor your search to the specific role you are applying for and the current location you are in. Additionally, do not forget to properly optimize your LinkedIn profile to meet the expectations of your employers as there is a possibility that they might go through your profile. 

3. Optimize your resume/CV

You must learn how to properly optimize your CV to fit your current location and the role you are applying for. When working on your CV ensure the template you are using is acceptable in your current region, if not it can reduce the chances that you have. Additionally, ensure that your CV is up-to-date and there are no grammatical errors or any form of errors included. 

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4. Prepare adequately for the interview

Furthermore, another phase you cannot ignore is the interview phase. Before securing a job as an international student abroad, you’re going to be interviewed. Make sure that you prepare adequately for your interview. Dress properly and arrive at the venue on time. 

Additionally, you can research the role you are currently applying for and the company so that you will be able to give intelligent answers to the questions that you will be asked. Also, keep in mind you be confident during the interview. 

What skills do I need to have to secure my first job as an international student?

Generally, some of the skills you need to garner to help you as an international student who desires to secure a job abroad include: 

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Being able to take initiative
  • Resilience
  • Proactiveness and so on. 

In addition to all these, before you apply for the job and call for the interview, ensure that you have gone through the job description and you meet the eligibility requirements. 

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What does the job application process entail? 

Generally, the recruitment process involved in securing a job abroad as an international student includes the following: 

  1. Filling out the online application to include your details, education history, and work experience and upload your CV/resume
  2. Once you are done with the first phase and it is successful, your potential employer may reach out to you to take certain tests or assessments. 
  3. If you emerge successful, you will be contacted to attend the interview. This may be physical or virtual.
  4. Finally, if your interview is successful, you will be contacted and offered the job. 

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MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require a cosigner or collateral before an application. Reach out to us today, and let’s help you begin the process.