Working abroad

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

International work experience is much more than improving your language skills.

What are the benefits of international work experience?

Working abroad is a good option if you want to challenge yourself, familiarise yourself with different professional cultures and further your competence.
Work experience from abroad may help you find employment in Finland too. You get an opportunity to gain new kinds of work experience, while distancing yourself from your current situation in life and looking for a new direction for your career or studies. Working abroad improves your language skills, expands your network and teaches independence through working in another culture. Perseverance, productivity and curiosity are also key factors in international competence.

Together with Demos Helsinki, the CIMO Centre for International Mobility carried out a survey in 2013 on the perspectives of employers and students on the significance of international competence in professional life. Read the Hidden Competence report (pdf).

Time spent abroad may also clarify your career goals. As with other decisions related to careers, you should think in advance about what you wish to gain by working abroad and how to achieve it.

Job-seeking documents

In other countries, job application documents and their required elements and styles of expression may differ greatly from Finnish practices. Find out the customs of your target region. Information on the job-seeking conventions of different countries is available online. Make use of Google and write, for example”, “Italy + CV” in the search field.

Information, in compiled form, is also available through several portals:

References from prior employers are particularly important when applying for positions abroad. Letters of recommendation should be translated to the language of the target country, preferably with contact details for the referees included. If you have stayed in the same country earlier during, for example, a traineeship or volunteer work, it is advisable to ask for references also from local contacts.

Positions available abroad can be searched through job-seeking portals. 

Take practical matters into account

When planning to leave to work abroad and before beginning the journey, you must look into many practical matters related to work, housing, social security, taxation, work and residence permits, as well as potentially taking your family with you.