Finding a Job Overseas

With Determination, Snagging an International Job Could Happen

Each year, more American expats leave the country in search of something new and exciting. Sometimes they’re looking for an extended vacation and other times for a door to living in another country long-term. By following these strategies and options, you can make your dream of living and working abroad a reality.

Bridge the Gap with an Internship

Internships aren’t nearly as hard to snag as full-time jobs, but the downside is that they usually don’t pay. If you can afford to suck it up for a couple of months, though, an internship can pave the way for a full-time job abroad.

If you’re still in college, take advantage of the career services department to ask about international internships where you’d like to work. Some international companies have special arrangements with certain colleges, and that may be a way in.

If you’re not in college, finding an internship can be a little tougher, but start by figuring out where you want to go and then research companies you’d like to work for in that area. Contact a human resources representative to start contact about a potential internship.

Once a company knows you and has worked with you, they’ll be much more likely to spend company resources to secure your visa and bring you on as a full-time employee.

Take Advantage of Transfers

While it doesn’t always furnish an immediate opportunity to move and work abroad, it’s often a good idea to start for a multi-national company that would allow transfer opportunities in the future. While you may have to sweat it out for a couple of years, these companies often have the resources to pay for your move and possibly even your housing in your new home while you work there.

If you pursue this option, you may even have the chance to live and work in several foreign countries for the same company over your career, all while not worrying about a steady paycheck.

Line it up Before you Leave

There are lots of web sites and books that are full of resources for international job-seekers that you could search out from home while you save money and plan your trip. If you’re determined, you should leave no stone unturned. Reading individual countries’ immigration sites can often provide information about the kinds of workers those countries need at the present time, which can help you target an industry where you’re more likely to find an opening and a company willing to sponsor your immigration process.

Profit from Your Youth

If you’re under 30, there are several countries, like New Zealand and Australia, that will offer you a working holiday visa to stay for several months and work while you’re in the country to fund your travel. Ask at the college career services office or search online for working holiday programs to find out about eligibility and participating countries.

Go and Cross your Fingers

The last option, if you’re not having any luck, is to save your money and take the plunge, hoping to find a job once you’re in your new country. Make sure you have enough money to last at least a month while you job hunt, and be sure you have enough money to get back home if your plans fall through. Then knock on anyone’s door who will listen, and work on achieving that dream of being the international worker and traveler.

Overall, immigration to a new country where you want to live and work in the 21st century is tough, but not impossible. Take heart, have patience and remember to explore all your options in order to end up in your dream place, working your dream job!

French and English, Canada’s Official Languages

Two of the Many Tongues Spoken in a Country of Many Nations

The languages of a country can tell a great deal about its history, culture, and people, especially when those languages are legally designated as the official tongues for government and schools. Many countries have only one official language despite the many other languages that might be in everyday use in homes and schools.

Other countries, like Switzerland, have four or five official tongues. In Canada, the historic struggle between the French and the English to possess the northern colonies of the New World resulted in the establishment of two official languages. Although they now compete for use with many other languages, they still remain the two dominant languages of the country.

The Official Languages of Canada

The official designation of French and English as Canada’s official languages only hints at the country’s linguistic diversity. The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) lists 86 living languages in use among the 32, 271,000 people in the 2001 Canadian census, with English used by 20,000,000 and French by 6,700,000. One of the main dialects of English is spoken in Newfoundland, where the speech patterns and accent resemble the dialect of Ireland. Canadian French, in contrast, has four main dialects, which include Québécois, Franco-Ontarien, Acadian (Acadien), and Shippagan.

Each dialect has its own unique terminology and usage which might cause moments of confusion for visitors from other parts of the country. In British Columbia, for example, a telephone line within an organization is called a “local,” while in many other parts of the country, it is an “extension.” Similarly, the term “dainties” to designate small cakes and cookies eaten at special events in Manitoba is largely unknown in the rest of the country. Besides these regional differences are the many Canadians who speak foreign languages such as Welsh, Polish, Bulgarian, and Arabic or indigenous languages such as Algonquin, Cree, and Micmac.

Official Languages in Government and Daily Life

Despite having two official languages for Government of Canada documents and services, most of the provinces are officially unilingual. According to the Government of Canada website, English is the most commonly used tongue except in Quebec, where French is the official language. Only New Brunswick, with a large French population among the English speakers, is officially bilingual.

Having two official languages has affected daily life in Canada, with instruction manuals and food labels printed in both languages, French language classes available in many schools, and many bilingual services in government offices. Although languages such as German and Ukrainian are commonly used in some parts of the country, people almost everywhere in Canada will understand at least one of the official languages.

With two official languages and many other tongues spoken throughout the country, Canada has many ways for its people to communicate.