Illini Post Grad: International Employment Opportunities

Are you looking for an opportunity to explore career opportunities abroad? Below are suggestions and experiences from current and past College of Education students on where to start for work abroad. 

 

Shirice with students in Shanghai on ChristmasShirice Harris
M.A. Student, Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership


 

 

'Upon graduation ten years ago, there were so many paths before me, I was not sure which to choose. All I knew was that I enjoyed traveling and loved teaching. I applied for positions locally and nationally, hoping for something to pan out while I save money to travel - until it hit me that I could live abroad instead of just traveling. I asked around for advice, searched the internet, and learned of American schools recruiting teachers to move abroad to teach on international campuses. 

I contacted a friend living and teaching in China at the time. Her experiences fascinated me. I researched various companies and spoke with recruiters. Eventually, I contacted the school where my friend worked. Long story short: I submitted my resume, interviewed over Skype at 3am, and got the job offer! Filled with excitement and anxious to meet the visa deadlines, I submitted all my paperwork to the Chinese embassy, called my mother to share the news and practiced saying Ni Hao over and over. My friends and family couldn’t believe I was moving to China in two months. In fact, my siblings thought it was a practical joke. It was not. I sold, gave away, donated and threw out any possessions that didn’t fit in my two suitcases. It was such an exciting time in my life, as I stepped out on faith. Embarking on my journey to China, was the furthest I had ever traveled at that time and I was all alone. I did not speak mandarin, read or write it. Upon arrival, I was brought to dinner, shown my (company-owned) apartment, and escorted to campus for a tour and brief orientation. I was the newest English Language teacher at Aston English School in Jinan, Shandong, China.

This moment took place eight years ago, in March 2011. Since then, I have worked and lived in three countries, traveled to eleven, learned basic Mandarin, grown as an educational professional, and as a person in general. I also met my husband while living abroad. Now, I am pursuing my Master's in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership, and I work as a Research Assistant in the International Programs office in the College of Education. I owe so much to my experiences living and working abroad. I encourage everyone to consider it.

 If you are interested in pursuing your career overseas, here are schools and recruiters I personally recommend: