International students: How your university can help you get work experience today!

Gaining work experience while still at university will not only minimise your skills gap, it can also provide you with new opportunities that could lead to your dream job. As an international student, it’s important to sell your skills and show employers that you have gone the extra mile to stand out. How exactly can you gain this working experience before you have graduated from university?

Where can you find work experience?

There are many areas that you can gain work experience in your chosen industry while still studying. Universities offer a range of schemes including volunteering, internships, placements and global work experience opportunities. In today’s competitive market, work experience can give you the edge over other applicants and provide you with tangible evidence of your skills. These examples can be used in your applications and in interviews when delivering your answers. Work experience can open up your opportunities and can also provide you with an extra reference when it comes to applications.

How do university schemes work?

Finding a work experience scheme at your institution is as easy as visiting your careers team! They’ll be able to tell you about the available opportunities and how to apply. Schemes such as the International Talent initiative at UWE Bristol give such opportunities to international students. They provide the link between students and employers for internships, placements and work opportunities. They work with national organisations such as Santander where international students can share their international expertise and get paid for the opportunity.

What are the benefits?

By finding work experience, you’ll be able to enhance your CV, utilise your unique skills as an international student, and, in some instances, be paid to learn. These opportunities can not only give you a confidence boost but also help you build that vital network of contacts. Extending your professional network while studying can set you up for more opportunities after university by giving you a wider pool of connections. These schemes are also useful to those looking for career options not directly linked to their current degree. It can also be a way of exploring a new industry while gathering transferable skills for your future.

What next?

Make an appointment with your careers team and ask what work experience or university schemes are available to you, then get applying! When it comes to looking for global roles, don’t forget to sign up to GradLink for the latest jobs and careers advice for international students. It’s free to register and by uploading your CV onto our database, you’re even more likely to get noticed by our partnered employers including IBM, Deloitte and EY.


By Jen Garmston Published: Jun 20,2018