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Working abroad and international job search resources Job seeking

If you're thinking about working in another country, there are a few things that are useful to consider.

  • The type of work, will it be temporary or more permanent?
  • What you want out of it, to progress in your career or to gain experience of living and working abroad?
  • Researching the local labour market and learning about working conditions including tax arrangements.
  • Finding out about specific requirements for the location and your area of working including visas and language requirements, see the information on Brexit further down this page.
  • Researching where to find and apply for jobs, start with the international job search engines and directories we have listed later in this article.
  • What skills you might offer as an international worker and what challenges you might face compared to a local graduate such as how well you speak the language and navigating the working culture.
  • Finding out if you need to get your Open University (OU) qualification recognised and how to go about doing it.

A good place to start your research is the Prospects website which has a range of information about working abroad by country.


The OU cannot advise you on how Brexit may affect your status or career plans. However, as the United Kingdom has left the European Union, you could be affected if:

  • you're an OU student or graduate with British nationality considering career opportunities within the EU
  • you're an OU student or graduate and citizen of an EU country but currently resident or planning to reside in the UK.

The UK government provides information about current policy and changes under Brexit guidance.

International recognition of your OU qualification

Many employers outside the UK will recognise UK qualifications and many understand that an OU degree is equal in academic standard to a degree from any other UK university. Smaller employers may be less familiar with the OU, and you might need to provide additional explanatory information. If you intend to use your qualifications to seek work or do further study abroad, then check whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career, and ideally before you enrol on any course.

You can apply for official recognition of your degree, but it’s a complex process as each country has its own legal and administrative framework, so check with prospective employers and only seek this if it’s necessary.

For more information about how you can use your OU qualification abroad when looking for work or further study see the OU's guide to recognition of qualifications outside the UK.

Needing professional body membership or status

You may also need professional body membership or professional status, in addition to your degree for example in Chartered Engineer jobs. If this is the case, you'll need to find out if your chosen degree will allow entry to the next qualifying stage. This could include additional professional examinations and/or a period of accredited work experience.

Secondments, work experience and internships  

Larger international employers may offer secondments (if already working for the employer) or transfers abroad so it may be worth researching companies to see what opportunities they have and where their head offices are based.  

If you're looking at work experience or internships, there may be specific schemes available or companies that will manage placements, although always consider what costs may be involved. The Prospects working abroad pages have information on summer jobs and internships. 


Networking can be important; try using LinkedIn as a tool to research what opportunities there may be and potential contacts and groups. Specialist recruitment agencies in the country could also be useful in helping you identify opportunities. 

Here are a few job search sites to help you get started.



  • Job Rank

    Employment directory web rankings of job websites in 200 countries.

  • Exec Appointments

    Executive-level job search website offering worldwide opportunities.

  • iHipo

    International jobs and internships searchable by industry and location.

  • StepStone

    Worldwide network of recruitment agencies.

  • Glass Door

    Comprehensive global jobs portal.

  • Overseas Jobs

    Features overseas jobs and international employment opportunities.

  • Career Builder

    Useful portal for searching jobs in various countries, including links to individual country websites for more tailored information and jobs.

Careers and Employability Services support

Job search, applications and interviews work differently in different countries. Our Careers and Employability Services can support you on what you need to consider and how to research answers. However, unless you're applying within a multinational organisation, it'll also be helpful to discuss your approach and get feedback on your application from experienced professionals in your field in the host country.

Last updated 5 months ago