November 8, 2022, by Leah Sharpe
Explore Work Experience Opportunities Overseas in Summer 2023
As we look ahead to 2023, it is a good time now for students to start considering their options and making plans. Overseas experience provides students with the opportunity to build a wide range of skills and professional competencies whilst at the same time adding that unique experience of immersing yourself in different cultures and ways of working.
Students can find a wide range of opportunities through providers or intermediaries via websites such as Go Overseas and we provide some useful guidance on how to select opportunities, what to look out for in terms of costs and more on our Careers website.
Want to hear what a student thinks? UoN student, Sam, shares her experience of volunteering abroad in 2022 with ThinkPacific, just one of many organisations you can find who offer exciting opportunities overseas.
A summer with a difference in Fiji
By Sam, International Relations and Global Issues graduate
At the start of August, I had the pleasure of travelling out to Fiji and participating in one of Think Pacific’s month-long Community Build Expeditions after receiving support from the University’s International Work Experience Grant.
Think Pacific offers volunteering projects in Fiji directed towards the needs of local communities, run in partnership with the Fijian government. Think Pacific’s in-country projects have contributed to the improvement of the health, education, sports development, and life skills of young people in Fiji.
For three weeks my fellow volunteers and I lived in Nadavacia village, located along the Northeastern coast of the island Viti Levu, where we built a medical dispensary. This project aimed to contribute to the Fijian government’s National Development Plan by improving access to healthcare and promoting early intervention.
Alongside the build, a major component of the project was all about cultural exchange. As volunteers, we were divided up into pairs and then allocated a host family to stay with during our time in the village. This meant that I was able to immerse myself into village life which included experiencing getting woken up by cockerels at sunrise and eating meals with my hands instead of using cutlery.
The youth in the village also ran several engaging sessions on Fijian culture, which allowed me to further expand my cultural awareness. I was able to learn about their sustainable farming practices and how their traditional way of life has adapted over the years.
Having the opportunity to stay with a host family was by far the biggest highlight of the project. I felt extremely lucky to be welcomed into the family with open arms and be treated as one of their own. And because of their incredible generosity and hospitality, I have now left Fiji having gained a massive extended family and formed bonds for life!
I believe that this whole experience has fostered my own personal and professional development. Throughout the course of the project, I have strengthened my ability to successfully adapt to challenging environments, communicate with a variety of audiences and hone my teamwork skills. As a result, this has helped me to prepare for my upcoming graduate employment with the Financial Conduct Authority and made me feel like a more confident individual.
It is important for students to consider the cost implications of heading overseas. The University can offer support through the International Work Experience Grant which opens for applications early next year. For a small number of eligible students there’s an opportunity to access funding through the Turing Scheme to join ThinkPacific.
Want to find out more about ThinkPacific before applying for the scheme? Attend the information session on Thursday 17 November.
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