Working Abroad

The decision to expand your horizons abroad can be realized through a variety of means. Finding the right opportunity for you requires time and effort.

Point to Consider

  • Why do I want to work, volunteer, study or travel abroad – what are my expectations?
  • What skills do I have and what skills will I gain through an experience abroad?
  • Where can I find financial support? If I cannot secure support, do I have the financial means to go overseas?
  • What work/study visa or citizenship requirements and health insurance coverage are required

Work Exchanges

University of Toronto Study Abroad Supports

  • Association Internationale des Etudiants en Science Economique et Commerciale (AIESEC) –, 416-978-5433
    • This international trainee exchange program is specifically set up for business student
    • It will place you with a company and help orient you to the country when you arrive
    • You must pay for your own room, food, and travel expenses as well as an administration fee and arrange for your own visa
  • Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP), 416-978-2406
    • This year-round program allows you to go abroad and work in short term positions, such as office administration, retail, hospitality and other service industries
    • There is an application fee that pays for your visa and two days’ accommodation and orientation when you arrive
    • You are responsible for finding your own job in the host country
  • The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) –, 613-533-2030
    • Very similar to the AIESEC exchange, this program caters to engineering students andsome students in technical science areas
    • Most positions are 8 –12 weeks long during the summer. Wages are sufficient to cover expenses while in the host country, not airfare
    • There is an application fee which is partially refundable

Before You Go

Before you travel, it is important that you conduct research so you can have a safe and enjoyable experience. Check out the following:

International Opportunities Fair

Every January the AA&CC, in collaboration with the ISC, sponsors an International Opportunities Fair. You will be able to speak directly to representatives from a variety of organizations with interests around the world including internships, exchange programs, short term study and travel.

Government Programs

  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) -
    DFAIT manages a number of programs: some provide Canadians with opportunities to develop their knowledge of the world; others provide foreigners with opportunities to learn more about Canada
  • Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) –
    Provides information on the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) which is available for Canadian graduates (ages 19 to 30 inclusive), part of the Career Focus stream of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES)
  • Public Service Commission (PSC)
    Provides direct links to the human resources departments of more than 20 international agencies that Canada belongs to, including the United Nations and the World Bank. Many of these links also include information on student internships
  • Canadian Foreign Service Recruitment Program –
    If you wish to work in a Canadian Embassy or consulate, you must go through the Foreign Service Program. Normally a recruitment campaign is launched every fall through the PSC website. Note the process is very lengthy and may take 6-18 months. It is also very competitive, so do your research and be prepared
  • International Experience Canada
    Created to facilitate travel and work abroad for both Canadian citizens interested in going abroad and non-Canadians interested in coming to Canada. Canada negotiates bilateral reciprocal agreements with countries around the world to offer travel authorization and temporary work permits for up to one year


  • If you are considering working abroad, set-up an appointment to visit a local consulate
  • Consulates can provide you with information about employment visas, job opportunities and local laws

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)

  • There are many not for profit organizations operating in the developing world
  • Projects are in a wide variety of areas including education, health, housing, economic stimulus, environment, emergency relief and human rights
  • The Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) provides information about many of these organizations on their website:


Please note: While every effort is made to avoid errors, practices do change. This tip sheet is intended as an informational document only.

Last update: September 2014