International Work Experience

Key Information when considering a Work Placement Abroad

Coronavirus Updates

Your health, safety and wellbeing are our primary concern, we are continuing to monitoring advice and guidance issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office.

The guidance advises against all but essential travel to certain countries.

We advise students to continue preparations but to avoid making any financial commitments to cover flights, accommodation, insurance or payments to internship providers as circumstances can change at very short notice.

Below are the Q&As in relation to Mobility during Coronavirus

  • Is it possible to do a placement abroad in the 2021/22 academic year?

    We are monitoring advice and guidance issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office. The guidance advises against all but essential travel to certain countries.

    We advise students to continue preparations but to avoid making any financial commitments to cover flights, accommodation, insurances or payments to internship providers as circumstances can change at very short notice.

    The University’s Insurance company, UMAL, have confirmed there will still be cover for Covid-19 related emergency medical expenses but that Covid-19 will be excluded from travel curtailment and disruption claims.

    As of 26 January 2021 some countries will require either a negative pre-departure test result (NAAT or antigen) or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 provided by a licensed health care provider or public health official. The student should check the process with the airline before travelling. A period of self-isolation will be required on arrival to the host country.

    J1 visas are not currently being issued until at least 31 March 2021.

  • Will the University Insurance cover me in all aspects of Covid-19 while I am abroad?

    The University’s Insurance company, UMAL, have confirmed there will still be cover for Covid-19 related emergency medical expenses but that Covid-19 will be excluded from travel curtailment and disruption claims.

  • What happens if the Office Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice changes before a I am due to travel?

    Before a student travels you should be monitoring the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website regularly to keep up to date with the latest information for the country they are planning to visit. The student should check the living in country guide for the host country being mindful that their placement may not be able to continue as originally planned.

    If a student receives approval for their mobility before travel but FCDO guidance for the host country changes before the date you indicated you are travelling, the student should not travel. The student must re-submit a Risk Assessment form for re-consideration.

    A Travel Risk Assessment is not required for placements in the Republic of Ireland.

  • What happens if the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office guidance changes while I am in work placement abroad?

    If the advice changes while the student is already overseas, the student should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others while keeping in contact with their placement provider who will provide advice. The student will be covered by University Insurance. In relation to COVID-19 there is no cover for cancellations/rearrangements. There will be cover for emergency medical expenses only. We will contact students affected to provide further information about recommended next steps.

  • What should I do if I have already made financial commitments and are now unable to travel due to COVID-19?

    If a student has made a financial commitment, they need to speak to the placement provider about either postponing their start date or a cancellation. The student can also contact employability and careers for further help. Please remind students that the university advises against making any financial commitments due to the current pandemic.

Post Brexit Travel to EU Information

The UK left the European Union on 31st December 2020. This brings with it new rules and restrictions in areas as travel and border controls. This may have an impact on students travelling to the EU for work placements.

Below are the Q&As in relation to travelling to the EU following Brexit.

  • Will there be any impact on travelling to the Republic of Ireland to do a work placement?

    Living, working and travelling in Ireland or the UK, isn’t going to change a lot because of the Common Travel Area and the rights it gives to Irish and British citizens. The Common Travel Area is not reliant on membership of the EU, and dates back to before either the UK or Ireland were EU members.

    Further information is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

  • Where can students with a UK passport find information on travelling to EU countries post Brexit?

    The UK Government’s current guidance on travelling under UK passports to EU countries is that UK nationals will need a minimum of six months remaining on their existing passport prior to travelling to Europe.  A passport checking service has been provided on the website.

  • What are the changes post Brexit for students intending to travel to EU for work placement?

    The student needs to carefully review and understand the conditions for the host country. Information relating to the requirements for each country can be found in the Living in Europe section of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.

    Separate rules will apply to countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. Check each country’s Travel Advice page for information on entry requirements.

  • Which countries are part of the Schengen Area?

    The Schengen area covers 26 countries ("Schengen States") without border controls between them. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. These countries apply the common visa policy for short stay visas.

  • Will a student require a visa to travel to the EU?

    A student will require a visa if their intended stay in the territory of the (EU passport free zone) Schengen States is of no more than 90 days in any 180day period ("short stay visa”). The visa issued allows the student to visit any of the Schengen (EU passport free zone) States during the same trip, within the validity of the visa. A Schengen visa is not appropriate, if you wish to remain in a Schengen country for longer than 90 days.

    To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, a student must meet the entry requirements set out by the country the student is travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit. Further information regarding entry requirements can be found at the Travel Advice page of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.

  • Where would a student find information on how to apply for a Schengen visa?

    To check if a student needs to hold a Schengen visa and where to apply for one, contact the embassy or consulate of the host country. If the student does not need a visa for the Schengen country which is their main destination or first point of entry do not forget to verify whether they need a visa for the other Schengen countries they may wish to visit.

  • What health care do I need to consider when travelling to EU?

    The Department of Health and Social Care guidance states that all UK nationals planning to reside in, work or study in EU or EFTA states  should check country-specific guidance that has been issued on Gov.UK and NHS.UK ( about healthcare arrangements.

    It is important that before travelling the student has a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), or travel insurance with health cover.

    You may not have access to free emergency medical treatment and could be charged for your healthcare if you do not have an EHIC or GHIC when visiting an EU country, or travel insurance when visiting Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. If you have an EHIC it will still be valid while it remains in date.

Travel Risk Assessment Form

All students will be responsible for completing a Travel Risk Assessment Form prior to commencing their mobility.

This form is required for all placements outside the Republic of Ireland. Information provided will help us and the placement tutor/co-ordinator assess the potential risks of the student’s mobility.

The form must be submitted a minimum 2 weeks prior to departure.

The aims of the form are to:

  • Help the student to prepare for their time abroad.
  • Identify in advance any problems the student may have during their time abroad relating to the environment in which they will be living and working, the activities they will be undertaking, and your day-to-day life.
  • Consider ways of reducing the potential for these problems by using the information and resources available here at the University before the student leaves.

Students must not travel without receiving University approval.

Why Go Global?

Graduate employers increasingly seek recruits with multicultural awareness, adaptability and awareness of global business networks.  International work- experience help you to develop these highly transferable skills which are proven to increase employability.

By travelling overseas and experiencing different work environments, people, cultures and organisations, you will not only develop your technical and professional skills but can confidently demonstrate to prospective employers that you are resilient, independent and adaptable, making you a valuable asset to their business.

Where do I look for international vacancies?

Even if your degree course does not include a compulsory industry-based work placement, many of our international work placement programmes can be completed during your summer break.

Use Handshake when searching for international work-based learning opportunities such as volunteering, summer internships and 12-month placement opportunities.

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic some partners have cancelled or delayed the promotion of programmes. Some partners are offering virtual programmes, giving students then opportunity to work remotely with international employers. Check Handshake regularly for updates on new opportunities available.

Ulster University are working in partnership with HigherEd – an online global career platform for students and graduates seeking international work placement opportunities.  Hundreds of quality global internship and placement opportunities are available and updated every week from employers such as Amazon, Pespi, Nike, Google, Santander and L’Oreal.

Register on HigherEd and find internships, placements, and graduate positions that are relevant to you from companies around the world.

Start building your global network by signing up to the Alumni Networking Programme and use LinkedIn to monitor vacancies with your employers of choice.

Edge Accreditation

All short-term summer volunteering roles and internships are Edge Accredited activities under Category 5 - Developing a Global Vision.

Visit the Employability section of our website to find out more.

Funding Your International Placement

Details regarding funding will be updated soon. Funding applications usually open in semester two.

Keep checking your emails for further details.

Support Available from the Employability & Careers Team

  • Advice on how to source and secure an international work placement
  • Regular updates on the short-term and long-term overseas work placement and internship opportunities, via Handshake, Go Global registration and our social media channels.
  • Support and assistance with applications, including CV / resume preparation, drafting cover letters and interview preparation
  • Information on funding available towards the cost of your international work placement.
  • Meet staff from international partner organisations through on-campus events.
  • Attend Pre-Departure workshops on how to prepare and plan for your international work placement.

International Graduate Programmes

The IBEC Global Graduate Programme places graduates attracted by an international career on paid work placements around the world with leading companies over 12-24 months.

Previous host companies;

  • Bord Bia
  • Magners
  • Ericsson
  • Tourism Ireland

Each of the graduate programmes combine on-the job experiential learning and academic study leading to an accredited Postgraduate qualification.

Online applications close at end of February with placements commencing in August.

The US-NI Mentorship Program is a one-year work placement for recent graduates from Northern Ireland to work with leading corporations in the USA.

Previous host companies in the USA have included

  • The Coca Cola Company
  • Xerox
  • Moët Hennessy USA
  • HBO Time Warner Inc
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • IBM

Applications for the US-NI Mentorship Program are currently postponed until further notice. Please check back here soon for an update on the 2021 recruitment process.

Graduating this year?

Are you actively seeking a graduate internship with a global employer in the USA?

The Rian Immigrant Center in Boston is a U.S. Department of State designated visa sponsor for the J-1 Irish Work and Travel Visa (J-1IWT) visa programme.  Ulster graduates can intern in the U.S. in their field of study for up to 12 months, with the Rian acting as your visa sponsor for the year.

The J-1 visa program is suspended for new applications, until 31st March 2021. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions, etc.

International Opportunities to Study Abroad

Study abroad allows you to undertake part of your undergraduate degree outside of the UK at one of our exchange partner universities across the globe.

Studying abroad will count towards your degree with your final degree classification or your time abroad will be recognised in your degree title, eg BSc Hons Computing with DIAS (Diploma in International Academic Study).

Learn more about Study Abroad opportunities.

Washington Ireland Program 2019-20 Washington Ireland Program 2019-20

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US NI Mentorship Program 2018  US NI Mentorship Program 2018

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US NI Mentorship Program 2018

IAESTE Global Placements 2019-20  IAESTE Global Placements 2019-20

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