Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: international

International students and working in the UK

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📥  Advice, Careers Service Update, Finding a Job, International Students, Tips & Hints, Work Experience

It's that time of year when lots of newly-arrived international students are coming into the Careers Service and asking what sorts of jobs they can be doing while also studying, in order to maximise their employability.

Now, this is not as simple a question to answer as I might like. And the consequences for international students if they get things wrong as regards what work and when are severe.

Fortunately, the experts in international student affairs, UKCISA, recently published an excellent blog on the subject which I am reposting in full, as it is comprehensive and accurate. I encourage any international student readers to have a look.

The source blog, with links, can be found here:

https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/blog/6257/A-working-definition

This is, of course, different from the work you can do after your studies - for individualised advice on this please contact our Student Immigration Advisers

There are many potential work opportunities for students, but does the Tier 4 work restriction allow you to do them? Andrew Humphrey looks at the ever-evolving world of work and business opportunities -- and the almost-never-evolving Tier 4 work conditions.

The world of work is changing. Many of us who work in the education sector can choose to work remotely from home, and we have opportunities for self-employment and for voluntary work. Plus, the tools of entrepreneurship and e-commerce are at everyone's fingertips these days. For me personally, as well as my job as an adviser and trainer with UKCISA I do some voluntary English teaching for a refugee charity, I am an independent Manager for a direct sales company, and I help my friends' 12-year-old son with his food blog and related social media.

So that’s all great for me, but what about you?  

Most Tier 4 students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time, although some are restricted to 10 hours, and some have a work prohibition. Check your visa vignette or biometric residence permit for your work conditions, and see UKCISA's guide to working during your studies.

If you can work, I'm sure you are keen to maximise your opportunities for paid work, for gaining work experience, and for the other social and cultural benefits of working. But have the changes in technology, communications, business practice and work culture in the UK that benefit me also expanded the work you can do within the Tier 4 work restriction? 

Yes. And no.

If you need to check whether a specific activity is allowed under your Tier 4 work conditions, it all starts with paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules which defines "employment" for all types of visa. It says that  “employment includes”:

paid and unpaid employment,
paid and unpaid work placements undertaken as part of a course or period of study
self employment
engaging in business or any professional activity
That word “includes” allows for other activities to be considered employment.  The specific types of employment that a Tier 4 migrant can take are listed in Paragraph 245ZW(c)(iii) of the Immigration Rules.  This says that you can take “No employment, except…”, followed by a list numbered (1) to (8) of what you can do. The list confirms that:

“Paid and unpaid employment” is fine, within your 20 (or 10) hours per week restriction during term-time, and with no time limit in vacations.
There is a prohibition on working as a Doctor or Dentist in training, in professional sports including coaching, and on working as an entertainer. 
“Paid and unpaid work placements undertaken as part of a course or period of study” are separate from "paid or unpaid employment", so you can do both at the same time.
Being “self-employed” or being “engaged in business activity” is not allowed. Being self-employed normally means you are not on the employer's payroll but rather you manage your own workload, pay and tax. There is guidance on the gov.uk website to help ascertain if you are self-employed. For "business activity" the Tier 4 policy guidance for applicants gives three examples, including setting up as a sole trader. The three examples are “not an exhaustive list” but rather “examples of the types of circumstance in which you will be considered to be engaged in business activity.” 
You can work as a student union sabbatical officer.
If you apply to switch to Tier 2, Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme or Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, you can start the specific work that is allowed under those schemes.
Neither the Immigration Rules nor any related immigration guidance go into any further detail. This means that if your proposed employment does not fit securely into this definition, or if it is a "grey area", doing the work would be risky.  And what are the risks exactly?  Well, the Home Office treats work conditions very seriously.  They can remove you from the UK if you work too many hours or if you do work that you are not allowed to do. If you are removed, you may face a ban on re-entry for a certain period of time. The employer also faces penalties. Strictly speaking, your university or college is also obliged to report to the Home Office any students who are working illegally.

As an international student adviser, I am obliged to warn you about these dangers of illegal working, but please do not panic. 

First, stay focused on your current main purpose in the UK: full-time study.  

Second, remember that a Tier 4 visa specifically and explicitly does provide opportunities for work, but in effect just the sort of part-time and vacation work that international students have done for many generations. While this can be frustrating, it is very important to not take risks. It may seem preposterous for me to warn you against trading on eBay or babysitting, as I do below, but that is because the Immigration Rules and guidance lack any nuance about work that does not fall fair and square into standard part-time and vacation work for an employer.

Third, beware of taking advice about working from other students or from people on internet message boards. For a professional student immigration adviser like me it is worrying and discouraging to see students asking anonymous strangers online for immigration advice when they have access to trained, professional and FREE immigration advice at their university.  Your international student adviser is always the best source of information about any aspect of student immigration and visas. See also UKCISA's detailed guide to working during your studies here on this website.

What follows are some types of work that students ask about, and my replies about whether it is safe to do them within the Tier 4 work conditions. In every case I am referring back to the definitions above. 

A quick note about income tax in the UK:  income tax is normally deducted by your employer from your wages or salary under the Pay As You Earn scheme. If you receive income from other sources, for example tips, rent from a property you own, or other one-off payments this income may be liable for income tax.  For more details see the UK government's guide to who needs to file a tax return.

 

Professional sport
You cannot work as a professional sportsperson. This is defined in paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, and it normally means someone who is working in professional or semi-professional sport (paid or unpaid). It does also include someone who “in the past derived … a living from playing or coaching, [and who] is providing services as a sportsperson or coach at any level of sport”. However there is an exception if the current activity is “solely for personal enjoyment and [you are] not seeking to derive a living from the activity”.  So a student with a background in professional sports can coach a sports team as long as it is unpaid. This unpaid work counts towards the weekly 10 or 20 hours limit.

Any other sporting activities you do would normally be amateur, not professional. This includes being on a local or university sports team, and taking part in more formal organised events like the London Marathon or the Great North Run where you can participate alongside professionals.  

Large international sporting events often recruit temporary staff but this would come under the normal rules for part-time work.

 

Entertainer
You cannot work (paid or unpaid) as an entertainer. “Entertainer” is not defined in the Immigration Rules, but the Home Office's Business Help desk has stated (in an email dated 3 September 2015) that "We take it to mean … taking part in entertainment in any way other than as an amateur".  "Amateur" is defined in the Immigration Rules at paragraph 6 and it means “solely for personal enjoyment and not seeking to derive a living from the activity”. Therefore acting or performing as an amateur or just as a hobby is not working as an entertainer, and you can do it.  

There is also an exception for any performance that is an assessed part of your course. This is a concession contained in the Tier 4 sponsor guidance only (paragraph 6.8), not in the Immigration Rules.

See the separate information below on performing in television talent shows.

 

Resident Warden “on call”
If your total number of hours on duty, including overnight, are within your weekly maximum 10 or 20 hours anyway (including any other paid or unpaid work you are doing), that is fine.

However if counting all the hours on call, including any when you are not actively working or even asleep, would take you over your weekly 10 or 20 hour maximum, we advise that you get individual advice from both the Housing Services and the Human Resources departments at the university before accepting the job. The university may consider the whole on-call period as your working hours and pay you accordingly, or they may not.

In 2016 the Human Resources magazine Personnel Today published an interesting article about this issue, including links to relevant Employment Appeal Tribunal cases.

 

Selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.
You can do this as long as you are not “trading”. The UK government's guidance on working for yourself says that “you’re probably not trading if you sell some unwanted items occasionally or you don’t plan to make a profit.” 

However one of the specific examples of “trading” is if you sell or make items for profit or if you “sell online, at car boot sales or through classified adverts on a regular basis”.  The information says “If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader. This means you’re self-employed - even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).”

 

Volunteering
Volunteering does not count towards your maximum 10 or 20 hours if it meets the definition of volunteering in the Tier 4 policy guidance (paragraph 315):

Students who are volunteering do not have a contract, they must not be a substitute for an employee and they must not be doing unpaid work – i.e. receiving payment in kind (although they are sometimes reimbursed for reasonable travel and subsistence expenses). Volunteers usually help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation.

Any other kind of unpaid or voluntary work that does not meet this definition will count towards your weekly 10 or 20 hours maximum.
 

Online business, e-commerce
You cannot run a business at all while you are in the UK. The Immigration Rules give no exceptions for online businesses or for businesses where all the clients are outside the UK.
 

Passive income from affiliate marketing, clicks on your YouTube videos, etc.
While this is not one of the three named examples of “business activity” in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (paragraph 308), it would reasonably be defined as a business activity, so best not do it while you are in the UK.

Someone who has become a YouTube celebrity after studying in the UK is Seong-jae Kong, known as Korean Billy. As part of our 2017 conference, Billy spoke to UKCISA about his time as an international student in the UK and how it has inspired his new career.
 

Working for an employer outside the UK
If you are physically outside the UK, your Tier 4 work conditions are irrelevant.  You need to check what are your work rights in the specific country where you are working.  However any work you do when you are physically in the UK, for example working for a non-UK employer remotely or doing a "virtual internship" with them counts towards your weekly 10 or 20 hour maximum. This is because the work restriction has no specific exception to not count work undertaken remotely for an employer who is outside the UK.

 

Digital nomad
A digital nomad is someone who harnesses technology, cyberspace and portals like Fiverr to create a freelance online working life that disregards international borders. They may spend time living in different countries, either making a living from freelance work conducted and sourced online, or through sources of "passive income".

This a very attractive idea in theory, and technology makes it perfectly feasible, but in reality it is only possible if your immigration status in the country where you are staying allows you to do freelance work. Your Tier 4 work conditions do not allow it, so you cannot be a digital nomad while you are living in the UK.

 

Owning or dealing in shares
You can buy and own shares, but if you own more than 10% of the shares in the company (including if they are held in trust for you) you cannot work for the company.  This is one of the specific examples of “business activity” in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

If you regularly buy and sell shares in order to make money, this is likely to be seen as “business activity”. If you make a dividend income from shares you own, you must pay income tax on this income.

 

Bitcoin mining
Neither the Immigration Rules nor any related guidance makes any specific provision for Bitcoin mining. It would be safest to assume that it is a “business activity”.

Separately, HMRC clarified in 2014 that any profits from Bitcoin mining are liable for income tax.

 

"Gig economy" jobs:  Uber, Deliveroo, DPD, MyHermes, etc.
This sort of work is self-employment so someone with Tier 4 leave cannot do it.

Some recent employment law tribunal cases have encouraged some of these companies to give their contractors some of the benefits of being employees. Uber is currently challenging this but whatever the outcome of the challenge, it seems likely that such work will still be seen as self-employment.

For more information about how gig economy jobs fit in the working regulations, see the May 2017 Department of Work and Pensions report on self-employment and the gig economy. 

 

Direct sales: Amway, Avon, Tupperware, Thermomix, etc.
You cannot do this because independent consultants for direct sales companies are self-employed.  The company will not check your right to work because they are not your employer:  it is up to the individual consultant to monitor their own self-employment and any attached responsibilities, including whether their immigration status allows them to do the work.

 

Incoming from owning a property
Owning a property and deriving an income from rent is not self-employment, but you must pay income tax on the income you receive from rent.

 

Television talent shows, media appearances and contests of skill
In this tabloid newspaper article about a Chinese couple who entered the "Britain's Got Talent" contest in 2017 the producers of that specific programme say that participating is not considered employment and that winning the cash prize is not payment for employment.

If you decide to enter a contest that involves skills or performing, whether it is televised or not, check at an early stage whether the organisers have the same view that it is not employment. Of course, you will also need to check whether your academic schedule allows you the time to participate. 

It is possible that a paid or compensated appearance on television or in other media may be seen as a business opportunity.  However students with Tier 4 visas do sometimes participate in the popular academic television quiz show University Challenge. A very popular contestant in the programme's recent season was Eric Monkman, a postgraduate student from Canada. Monkman later returned to the UK to do a journalism internship and during this time (presumably now with a work visa) he was able to work on the BBC Radio 4 programme Monkman and Seagull's Polymathic Adventure.

 

Writing and publishing
When you formally publish your writing, even self-publishing on Amazon, you are usually hoping that that people will buy it and that you will earn some money. Therefore it is highly likely to be seen as a business activity and you may not do it under a Tier 4 visa.

To avoid this, if you want to publish your writing or other work purely as an artistic expression or leisure activity, do it through a (non-monetised) blog or personal website. 

 

Focus groups, clinical trials
If you take part in a focus group, clinical trial or other similar experiment you are normally given some cash and usually some food and drink. The organisers will need to check your identity, usually your passport, but this is for their own statistical purposes not to check of your right to work because they do not consider it employment but "paid volunteering".

However, it would not meet the narrow definition of "volunteering" in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (see above), so it does count towards your weekly maximum permitted working hours.

And while it is not self-employment, HMRC advises that payments for taking part in very well-paid clinical trials could be seen as income that is liable for tax:

There will be no tax or NIC liability arising on the individual if the sums received do no more than reimburse the individual’s reasonable costs of participating in the trial or research, including costs of travel and subsistence.

However should the sums paid exceed those reasonable expenses then the excess may fall to be chargeable to tax as Miscellaneous Income, potentially giving rise to personal tax liabilities of the individuals which should be notified to the Inland Revenue under Self Assessment.

 

Babysitting or dog-walking
Missing your young relatives? Wish you could have a pet in your student housing?

You can do dog-walking or babysitting while you are in the UK, but under the Tier 4 work restriction you can only do it unpaid.  This might seem overly strict, but remember that providing any service for payment, including babysitting, dog-walking or anything paid “cash in hand” is likely to be seen as self-employment or, at the very least, a "business activity".

My advice is treat these activities not as paid work but as a social opportunity and as a chance to experience aspects of the local culture different from your student life.

If you miss your young relatives, why not offer to babysit for free.  Think of the non-financial benefits: it's a fun and interesting opportunity to meet some local families and children and see how they live. Plus free WiFi and snacks usually come as standard.

Student housing normally does not normally allow pets, but the website BorrowMyDoggy.com connects you with local dogs who need walking and company, or where the owner just wants to give non-pet owners the chance to spend time with their dog. Walking a dog may give you an insight into the British public that you do not normally see, especially in cities: people will smile, stop to pet the dog, and ask you its name, breed, age, etc. Try it!   

 

Andrew Humphrey is an Advice and Training Officer at UKCISA. References to and quotes from the Immigration Rules and related guidance were correct at the time of publication, but they may change.

My story: working internationally - broadening your horizons

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Uncategorized

Broadening your horizons – working internationally

international horizons

Working abroad can be an incredible experience. I have worked in three different countries; USA, UK and Norway (I am Norwegian) and I have volunteered teaching English in China and Argentina. I have had some amazing experiences which I don’t want to change for the world, but at the same time it is important to be prepared and realise that applying for jobs and working abroad may bring its own issues as well. This is my personal story on how working internationally has changed me, broadened my horizons and made me who I am today, but I will also share some important lessons as well.

 

Thinking about working internationally?

Thinking_(2808468566)

You want to work overseas and have a real wish to explore the world? Then go for it! However, do consider any language, visa or work permit requirements of the country you are going to. Finding a job in Argentina without speaking Spanish will limit the job opportunities straight away. In addition, if you would like to work in Norway you are pretty much limited to bar and café work if you do not speak Norwegian. You may also have visa limitations. After going to University in the US, I had a year’s work permit, which I was sure I could extend. I was six months in to a job I loved, with colleagues I loved in a city I loved (Seattle), when I found out that the work permit could not be extended. I did not have a job that fit the visa requirements and had to leave the country within the next 4 weeks, saying goodbye to everyone in the process. My lesson to you is therefore to research as much as possible before you go!

 

Applying for jobs internationally?

5

Be aware that applying for jobs and selection processes may be slightly different depending on which country you are looking to work in. After 15 years in the UK I moved back to Norway in 2014. Networking and who you know is very important with regards to applying for jobs in Norway and as I had not kept many social networks, I discovered that in the interview process many of the interview attendees already worked for the company or knew someone in the company. In addition, the interview questions were personality-based (similar to strength-based), as they did not care too much about your skills or experience but instead they wanted to figure out whether you, as a person, would fit in the company. The whole interview normally just turned into an informal chat. Being used to competency-based questions from the UK I must say it took a couple of interviews to adapt! Researching how different countries have different selection processes and also what websites to look at to find work, is therefore important.

We have some excellent links and resources on our website, also Prospects and TargetJobs have wonderful resources and country guides for you to look through,

 

Working internationally

1422252629_how-to-find-a-job-abroad

So you have researched where you want to go and have successfully applied for a job overseas. Well done, your year(s) ahead may be full of new adventures, new friendships, perhaps learning a new language and, of course, a new job. In my last job in the US I worked at a US-Asian NGO and I learnt so much in few months I was there (before my visa expired) and met some amazing people from the US as well as many Asian countries. In some ways it laid the basis for the person I am today, I learnt to work with people from different cultures and with different ways of communicating and working. For example, any decision whether small or large always had to be made together, so I attended lots and lots of meetings in this job with people from all levels of seniority. In addition, I learnt the importance of company health insurance in the US and the very limited number of holiday days you get! In Norway, on the other hand, I learnt that in addition to your normal sick days, as a mother (or father) you get additional sick days for your child. You learn quickly that there are different ways of working, of communicating or solving issues. These are just some of the charms of working abroad and will really benefit you in any jobs and teams in the future.

Apart from the job, you now have the opportunity to explore the city and the country you are in. Be a tourist, be a local, try new food, connect with people, learn new customs, find new activities, explore your new life! I still think that some of the best seafood I have ever had is from Seattle harbourside, the best food overall is from China, I have visited old castles and palaces, volcanoes and mountain ranges, learnt that I actually do like walking in nature and have met some wonderful people along the way.

 

After working internationally

ADAPT2

So, you have decided to come home again from working overseas.  I have learnt a lot from working abroad, but it is my ability to adapt to different circumstances and different people which I value the most. You learn different ways of working, different ways of applying for jobs and you get to know a different country, often getting to know the country “the local way” if you stay long enough. In addition, I have learnt a lot about myself in the process, increasing my self-confidence and awareness of myself and other people, whatever area of the world they are from.

Employers in the UK really look positively on people with international experience, as they bring back valuable skills, a creative outlook, different experiences, networks and the ability to adapt to any situation and communicate to people from a variety of backgrounds.  Maybe you can find a job in an international company that can take advantage of your expertise in a specific country? I have found that my international experience has interested employers, it is usually a topic of conversation in interviews and I have gained employment at least in some part owing to my experience overseas. Therefore, if you feel up to the challenge and think you will truly enjoy and thrive living in a different country, then go for it! It will be an adventure of a lifetime and you will change as a person.

Want to get to know other people who have worked abroad? Have a look at our international case studies.

So what happened to me?

I still work “overseas” as I have found my second home here in the UK, learning to live life “the local way”.  Now I can’t imagine to be anywhere else. I have lived here for nearly 16 years in total. So be aware that “a few years working abroad” may turn into a lifetime........

 

 

 

Considering further study? Why not consider studying internationally?

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📥  Advice, Career Development, Postgraduate Study, Tips & Hints

This tine of year is a prime time for students to think about embarking on a course of further study, most often at masters level but also at PhD level.
So with many courses internationally being taught in English - and not just in English-speaking countries - you might want to consider spreading your wings and going elsewhere for your higher degree.

As well as considering the normal things when thinking about further study - what subject, what course, what institution - there are some other things that are particularly important when thinking about studying abroad.

Firstly, the timescales for applying may be different from here and are almost certainly longer - the Fulbright Commission who advise on studying in the US have a lot of information about timelines and recommend you start in your penultimate year ideally.

You may need to sit a test - have a look at our web pages on studying abroad to get more information about the sorts of tests and how to prepare for them.

Funding may also be an issue and is one of the reasons that you may need to start early. But of course, one of the attractions of studying especially in Europe is that education fees are substantially less than here. Do check though, the duration of the course - a UK masters course will be normally 1 year but the standard in mainland Europe is 2 years.

Do also pay attention to any information you get about study styles and cohort sizes - lower fees sometimes mean larger classes and more lectures, rather than the small group seminars which are a common feature of masters courses in the UK.

For more detailed information about studying internationally, specific to individual countries, have a look at the AGCAS country profiles for studying abroad. Considerations here include how much of the host nation's language you speak, what the city you'd be based in is like, and what the common customs are that you should be aware of. You could always take advantage of our Foreign Languages Centre to brush up your languages before you start!

Applications may vary considerably - some institutions require only a CV and transcript, others want a personal statement which can be very detailed. So if you would like advice on how to put one together, or some feedback on the application you are preparing, please do come in and see us.

 

Developing a global outlook

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📥  Advice, International Students, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

In today's increasingly international world, it is becoming quite common to hear organisations talking about wanting individuals with an international outlook. But what is this?

At its simplest, it is an awareness of difference and a willingness to accept and work with that difference. So when you are on holiday in Spain, you find yourself slipping into the way of eating later in the evening because that is the accepted way of doing things there. And you don't complain loudly abut it - at least not if you want to have a meal that tastes good and is served with a smile. You may even try to use a few words of Spanish while you are asking directions or shopping for souvenirs.

So it is with the world of work. Global outlook is a willingness to look outwards. To work with those who are from different cultures, understanding that there may be differences in the way you speak, or the jokes you tell, or other cultural norms - and taking account of that when you do business with those people.

If you want to build a career that spans countries, either by working in a British organisation that operates internationally, or an international company that has a base here, then it pays to develop this cultural sensitivity and also an interest in what is happening in other parts of the world.

And if you are really serious about it, why not think about developing a second language (for the Brits among us who only speak one!)? There are plenty of resources here at the University to help with that, including the Foreign Languages Centre, Self-Access Language Centre, Students' Union Cultural Societies and the simplest of all, talking to the many international students that have chosen to study here.

To deepen your understanding of other cultures and make it easier to work internationally, read news stories about world events and also try reading them on non-British producers - the English version of Al-Jazeera is very good for giving a non-British perspective on events both home and away.

Embracing the global nature of university and work life will develop skills such as tolerance, sensitivity (think emotional intelligence!), flexibility,m adaptability, and inquisitiveness and open-mindedness. Many employers value these particular characteristics, so what have you got to lose?

 

Making full use of your gap year!

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📥  Finding a Job, inspire, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Making full use of your gap year!

gapyear-samerica

Before I took a year off to go travelling, I was worried that I would return to unemployment and worst of all, having to go back to living with my parents!! However, returning to the job market after a year away, I found myself with a whole new skillset, with new ideas and experiences and last but definitely not least, I returned with a sense of direction and passion which re-affirmed my career path in guidance and advice. So what did this year away teach me? How can what I learnt help you take full advantage of your gap year?

I learnt a new language - After a year in South America I was near fluent in conversational Spanish. I did a beginner’s course while in Buenos Aires, and this course taught me all the basics needed and gave me the opportunity to connect with the locals. In addition I practised my language skills as much as possible, whether that meant on the bus, in the hostel or on a night out.

Learning a new language can open up doors with regards to employment opportunities, not only in other countries but also in international jobs in the UK.

I volunteered teaching English - I had already taken a CELTA  course before I went travelling. With a CELTA I could have easily found a paid teaching job in Argentina but I decided to volunteer, teaching in disadvantaged communities.

Because of my teaching experiences abroad, I had a range of options teaching English when I returned to the UK, although most were low paid. With a CELTA qualification and teaching experience abroad, you will easier be able to teach English in the UK. Although I did not pursue a career in teaching, I continued volunteering teaching English when I returned to the UK.

I learnt that I had no problems travelling alone - I travelled alone almost the entire time and loved it. I found that I never ever got bored, was able to be social whenever I wanted to and had 100% trust in myself to find my way around.

Travelling alone was one of the skills that was highly valued by employers after my travels, and was one of the reasons I gained employment as an international student recruiter, working and travelling in the US for three months.

I learnt that I love people and their stories - What I loved most about travelling was meeting people of all different cultures. I made some intense friendships along the way. I also met random people on busses or ferries who would tell me their life stories. I cherished almost every human encounter and enjoyed listening to what they had to say, whether that was an American woman travelling the world to deal with the grief of losing her mum or listening to Inca women in Bolivia talking about the historical impact of Spanish imperialism.

Increasing my people skills and interpersonal skills re-affirmed my desire to work in guidance and advice. My travelling experience and my increased cultural awareness were also some of the reasons why I gained employment in international student support.

Travelling gave me new energy and direction - One of the reasons why I took a year out was to “find myself”, and I somewhat did! I came back full of ideas about what I wanted to do in both my life and my career, I came back with tons of self-confidence and with a belief that I could do whatever I wanted, as long as I put my mind to it.


So how can my learning experiences from my gap year help you take advantage of yours? Well, here are some pointers:

  •      Think about doing something else than just backpacking, such as learning a new language or volunteer, doing something you are interested in. Employers will look positively on using the year productively
  •      Really think about the different types of skills you acquire, such as people skills, organisational skills or increase in confidence. Show examples of them in an interview, employers will take them seriously!
  •      Think about what you learnt about yourself during your year away. How can this benefit the role or the company/organisation you are applying to?
  •      If you are applying to international jobs, show evidence to employers about your ability to travel, alone if you did that, make decisions, solve problems, communicate in a different language or manage different cultural encounters. These skills are highly valued. Perhaps some of the people you met along the way could help you gain employment abroad? Networking is key.

But most of all, fully immerse yourself in the travelling experience, meet people of all different cultures and enjoy the freedom and confidence that travelling gives you.

Bath Careers have more information about how to take advantage of your gap year: http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers/get-work-experience/gap-year/index.html

 

 

 

China Disability Scholarship!

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📥  Diversity, Internships, Work Experience

Applications for the 2016 CRCC Asia and the British Council China Disability Scholarship are now open.


Now running for a fourth year, the scholarship was established in January 2013 to offer students with a disability the opportunity to participate in CRCC Asia’s award-winning China Internship Program. With the support of the British Council in China, CRCC Asia is able to offer two fully-funded places on the 2016 China Disability Scholarship, one in Beijing and one in Shanghai.
The Disability Scholarship Program is run in conjunction with the British Council in China and is specifically designed for academically excellent students with a disability. The successful candidates will undertake a two month internship working with the British Council in Beijing or Shanghai in summer 2016. The interns will live in the centre of each city, gaining transferable business skills and hands-on experience whilst working in an international setting. They will also benefit from CRCC Asia’s full social program with cultural activities, Chinese language classes, and professional networking events. Upon completion of the program, the students will be able to boost their CVs with their international internship experience, stand out from the crowd and prepare for their career ahead.

The recipients of the 2015 Disability Scholarship were Laura Gillhespy (Beijing) and Jasmine Rahman (Shanghai), graduates of the University of York and Durham University respectively. Both Laura and Jasmine recorded their time in China through weekly blogs. Since completing their internships, both Laura and Jasmine have returned to China to pursue their careers. To find out how they got on, you can read Laura’s blog here and Jasmine’s blog here.

Application deadline is 1st April 2016. 

 

Extra events for International Careers Week!

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📥  Careers Service Update, Event

We have been finalising some last-minute details, but are now pleased to announce some extra events as part of International Careers Week.

On Wednesday afternoon, we will have the return of our popular One-stop CV clinic run jointly with the Academic Skills Centre. Just drop in between 3.15 and 4.15 and our team of experts will be able to give you feedback on your CVs according to your needs - either for English language or structure and content, or both.

And on Thursday lunchtime, Becky Gallagher from the Students' Union Joblink service is doing a presentation on internships and work experience with local companies, highlighting the Santander internship scheme they have been running for the last few years. This scheme is open to international students, several of whom have taken it up, hence its inclusion in this week's events.

To have a look at the full schedule, do visit our events listing, I'm sure there will be something there to interest you. And if not, please do get in touch with us using the Comments facility - we'd love to know what you'd like next year's International Careers Week to contain!

 

Get ready for International Careers Week!

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📥  Career Development, Event, International Students, Networking, Uncategorized

Next week sees the return of our annual internationally-themed week of events. We have tried to have a little bit of something for everyone so do have a look at our events for that week to see what takes your fancy!

The week kicks off with Mars China coming in to talk about their management leadership opportunities for Chinese students wanting to return home after their studies.

We then focus on Japan, with DISCO International talking about opportunities for Japanese bilinguals - as well as PwC talking specifically about their opportunities for international students. With UK recruitment currently tightening up for international students, this is a great opportunity to meet a company who embraces internationalism. Also that day we host Withers & Rogers talking about the future of global organisations and how IP Offerings and protection are a key way to enhance that.

Thursday brings the Fulbright Commission here, offering their annual tips session on Postgraduate Study in the USA. We know that many of you are interested in this, so do come in and speak to the experts!

Added to all these external presentations, our Careers Service experts are offering a programme of workshops to help students both home and international prepare themselves for an international career. There are two assessment centre group exercise sessions - it's peak season for assessment days just now so book your slot soon. We also have repeat sessions of our popular workshops for international students looking at covering letters and also interview skills. If you are finding these hard to master then come along and learn how to demystify them and feel more in control of your approach.

You may have heard us talk about networking and advise you to develop and make best use of your LinkedIn profile. If you know you should but aren't sure how, book onto our workshop on Wednesday afternoon which will give you tips and strategies to boost your profile and show you how to extend your reach by leveraging the Bath Connection.

Finally, we are delighted to say that this year we are working with Alumni Relations who are offering one of their highly successful Get Connected sessions right here on campus on Thursday evening. It also has an international focus and the experts are all either international alumni or alumni who have worked overseas during their careers. Added to this they are launching a Get Connected webinar on Friday, for those of you who'd like the chance to ask your questions remotely.

Hopefully this will have whetted your appetite but do remember, if you'd rather just come in and ask one of our Advisers your questions, we are available every day for 1:1 appointments - we're looking forward to seeing you!

 

Job-hunting in the UK? 9 things you need to know.

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📥  Advice, Applications, For Taught Postgraduates, Graduate Jobs, International Students, Networking, Tips & Hints

 

For many international students, starting their job search in the UK is one of their top priorities. But if you've just arrived here, how should you start? What are the key things to be aware of? And is there anything to avoid?

Especially if you have only just arrived and are still experiencing an element of culture shock, decoding the UK recruitment market might seem like a big ask. So have a look at our handy guide to job-hunting in the UK and start feeling more in control!

 

1. Recruitment starts early

The top firms, who recruit a lot of graduates, like to start early and give themselves plenty of time to select the graduates they are looking for to start in 2016. Even though start dates vary between July and September, some schemes are already open for applications. Many organisations recruit on a rolling basis, which means they continue until all positions are filled. So applying early to them works better; leaving it later means you may miss that opportunity. However, some companies do advertise much later so there will always be jobs to apply for.

 

2. 'Graduate' jobs are for postgraduates too

In the UK, Masters degrees are not as common as in many other countries and also not required by the majority of recruiters. So postgraduates will need to apply for the same positions as graduates from Bachelors degrees. From the company's point of view, the training they give you will still be the same. However, you may find as a postgraduate that you are able to progress through the company at a higher rate, as you will have additional experience.

 

3. Vacation time - when it is and when it isn't

Non-EU students are able to work for 20 hours during semester time and full-time in vacations. This means that internships in the summer vacation period are not available to postgraduate students, as their intensive Masters courses count that period as study time, allocated to the research and writing of the dissertation. Check with your Department, and also the International Student Advice Team, as to when you are able to start full-time work following the submission of your dissertation.

 

4. Don't be in a rush to write your CV

Many students come in and get CVs checked, only to start their graduate job hunt and realise that CVs are not always needed or asked for. Instead, focus on thinking about what jobs you would like to do. If you know, that will make your job search more strategic and targeted. If you don't - don't panic! Come and speak to us - we are experts at helping people work out what jobs interest them and what skills they enjoy using.

 

5. Do something non-academic!

Employability in the UK is about a whole range of skills, not just academic excellence. Organisations seek graduates who are great team players, have the emotional intelligence to work with a range of people and situations, and that can communicate well with others whatever their status. To develop these skills, join a club or society, take up a sport and/or get a part-time job.

 

6. Learn the language of employers

For organisations here it is really important to hire graduates who share their values and beliefs - such graduates are more likely to make decisions and choose actions in the 'company way'. So attend some employer presentations, talk to past students and visit the Careers Fair to get the inside track on what matters to each company. That way, you will find out which companies match your own beliefs and values - and you'll be a lot happier working for them.

 

7. Get connected

You may already be familiar with the saying 'It's not what you know, it's who you know'. It completely makes sense, then, to try and expand your network so that you know more people, and in more places. We encourage students to put together a LinkedIn profile and start building a network - initially within Bath, and with friends elsewhere, and then expanding to include organisations you would like to work with, Bath alumni and outwards. If all this sounds really hard - come to our LinkedIn Day in October or come and speak to one of our Advisers.

 

8. Read the news

Or watch it, or listen to it, or stream it on the phone when you are waiting for the bus. Companies prize business awareness very highly - if you know what is happening in the economy, or which company your target organisation has just merged with, or what effect the cold weather will have on biscuit consumption, you will come across as exactly the sort of well-informed graduate likely to be snapped up. And starting now means you can do little and often, rather than having to cram it all in in the two days before your interview.

 

9. Get some expert advice

Careers are complex. The pressure to make 'the right decision' or submit 'the perfect application' is hard to resist. If you would like just to talk it over with someone, or have a friendly pair of eyes look over the answers to your application questions to make sure you are doing yourself justice, then please book an appointment. We are very much looking forward to seeing you! And remember - coming early means you're more likely to make better applications - please don't wait until you have had 20 rejections to come and see us. We can still help you - but better to come in after 2 or 3 rejections to check you're making the most of your applications.

 

 

The British Council UK Alumni Recruitment Fair China

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📥  Advice, Graduate Jobs, Labour Market Intelligence, Networking, Sector Insight

Did you know its International Careers Week? We have a packed week of live links with employers, on-campus presentations and skills sessions such as how to use LinkedIn to build networks. That's not all, our blog this week will feature opportunities and advise tailored to support your international job hunt.

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We are aware a number of our Alumni may be looking for work or are looking to take their careers to the next level.  The British Council will be running a UK Alumni Recruitment Fair and a series of career development workshops in China from 21 to 29 March 2015. This year they are working in partnership with Zhaopin.com to invite well-known businesses to take part in the event. This is a chance for Chinese students to gain a better understanding of the job market in China, explore job opportunities, and seek guidance on their long-term career ambitions. Participants will also have opportunities to talk directly with business representatives who will be on site to offer career development advice and information on job opportunities with their companies.

Chengdu session
Time: 13.30 - 17.00, 21 March 2015 (Saturday)
Address: Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel (No.15, Section 1, Ren Min Zhong Road, Chengdu)

Guangzhou session
Time: 13.30 - 17.00, 21 March 2015 (Saturday)
Address: China Hotel, A Marriott Hotel Guangzhou (No. 122 Liu Hua Lu, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou)

Shanghai session
Time: 13.30 - 18.00, 28 March 2015 (Saturday)
Address: Crowne Plaza Shanghai (No.400, Fanyu Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai)

Beijing session
Time: 13.30 - 18.00, 29 March 2015 (Sunday)
Address: Landmark Tower Beijing (No.8, North Dongsanhuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing)

Please refer to the below link for further information on the event and registration details:
http://www.alumniuk.org.cn/cn/baomin/xyhd/xyzhaomu.aspx?aid=369

There is no admittance without advance registration. Students must register for the event in advance at www.alumniuk.org.cn. Students can get further information by visiting www.alumniuk.org.cn or contacting alumniuk@britishcouncil.org.cn and following @留英校友会AlumniUK on Sina Weibo.