Help Others Succeed
Are you passionate about people-centered work that transforms communities? You may want to consider building your future in Education + Human Services.
This career path is for those who want to become future educators, practitioners, scholars, community leaders, and change agents. Together, these professionals strengthen communities, address systemic issues, and support others through direct service, outreach, prevention, and advocacy. They are dedicated to the growth, development, and needs of individuals through work that includes teaching, child development, counseling, psychology, social work, social services, speech-language pathology, human resources, NGOs, and nonprofits.
If this sounds like you or who you want to become, learn how you can move forward to help others.
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Gain Experience: International Education
For complete information on internships, student jobs, research opportunities, extracurriculars, and more, review our starter tips to Gain Experience in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.
As you seek to move toward a career in international education, you may be wondering how to begin building your skills and qualifications. While you are at UCSB, there are many opportunities to gain experience in the field, and to determine if it is a meaningful fit for you!
Types of Experience
Click the items below to obtain an understanding of a few key areas of experience to identify during your search.
One of the best ways to learn if you want to work internationally or with international students is by studying abroad. The UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) offers not only study abroad programs, but also Internships. Some programs will either have internships “built-in” to the program, meaning the host country and UCEAP will assist you in finding an internship abroad because it is a required part of the program. Other programs will require you to “secure your own” internship, meaning that the program permits you to have an internship while abroad, but you will generally need to acquire this internship on your own. Many of the featured programs have internships working in community services, education, and development.
The UCSB Educational Abroad Program (UCSB EAP) also offers the UCSB EAP Freeman Foundation Internship Scholarship, which can fund internship opportunities abroad for students studying in China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand.
UCSB EAP Resources for Returnees
UCSB EAP provides dozens of valuable resources to its students even beyond the program end date. Students interested in pursuing international careers after returning from a UCEAP program should go to the International Career Opportunities page on the UCSB EAP website. The Life After UCSB packet provides information on obtaining internships, going to graduate school, and finding careers in other countries. You can also join the UCSB EAP Alumni Group on LinkedIn to help you stay connected and, hopefully, further your career goals with like-minded, well-traveled individuals. Returnees can also apply to become a UCSB EAP Student Ambassador to serve as a resource and share their experiences with peers.
Student involvement, leadership, and communication skills are important qualities that international education employers seek in potential candidates. Get involved with campus organizations that can improve your intercultural skills, your ability to work with diverse populations, and your understanding of global contexts.
Consider getting involved in a student organization that works with international students, such as the International Students Association or the International Student Advisory Board. These organizations are open to both international and domestic students. The International Student Advisory Board publishes articles about the international student experience on their blog, attends classes to gain intercultural communication skills, and advocates for a more inclusive campus. The A.S. Global Gaucho Commission is another campus organization that directly supports undergraduate international students.
Consider participating in an academic research project related to international affairs/education, language acquisition, and/or global affairs. For examples, the SKILLS (School Kids Investigating Languages in Life and Society) project teaches linguistics to high school students in Santa Barbara County. As a member, you can attain skills in teaching, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups of students.
There are many different volunteer abroad programs, internships, and fellowships that can help you get started in international education. You can teach in classrooms, build schools, improve the environment, and more. It is important to do your research when choosing a program to go abroad with. Reading the reviews, researching the organization, and understanding how they provide support to their volunteers are all crucial to ensuring your time abroad is safe, fun, and educational.
Here is a sampling of opportunities and organizations:
- Build Abroad: Opportunity in which you can build schools, homes, and better infrastructure for communities in need. This experience can help you get a feel for living abroad, help you develop valuable life skills, and give you a better understanding of what it is like to live and work in under-resourced areas.
- Cultural Vistas: Nonprofit organization that assists people all over the world find professional opportunities abroad. The organization has 30+ programs that send students and professionals to 25+ countries per year to learn, to teach, and to experience a different culture. Cultural Vistas has opportunities for students and professionals to apply their skills abroad and in the US.
- EducationUSA (EDUSA) Internships Abroad: Internship program that provides opportunities for U.S. students to intern overseas through EducationUSA Advising Centers or virtually to meet and share experiences with prospective foreign students.
- English First (EF): Well-established and accredited company that has been sending people abroad to teach English for over 50 years. Through this program, you can gain international teaching experience and there are opportunities for promotion within the program, allowing you to gain a multitude of experiences.
- Peace Corps: Popular and reputable volunteer organization that sends its volunteers all over the world to provide social and economic development assistance to countries in need, many of these volunteers teach English in schools abroad. It is worth noting that Education is the Peace Corps’ largest program area, so there are tons of opportunities for you to get involved in education abroad. UCSB alumni are one of the leading groups that sign up for the Peace Corps, so there is a deep-seated history of Gauchos teaching abroad through the Peace Corps.
- Princeton in Asia (PiA): Nonprofit organization associated with Princeton University that aims to connect the US and Asia through intercultural exchange. PiA has around 150 fellowship and internship opportunities in 20 countries and regions throughout Asia. Fellowships and internships through PiA are service-oriented and focus on global issues, like education, public health, and environmental sustainability.
- United Planet: Nonprofit organization that sends students and professionals around the world to become a global citizen and create a more peaceful, cohesive and sustainable world. Through this program you can develop valuable teaching skills that have universal applications.
- U.S. Department of State Internships & Fellowships: Government opportunities for students to gain insight into U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy and to build valuable skills.
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