Opportunities Abroad


Working, Interning and Volunteering Abroad For English and CW Majors

For English and Creative Writing majors, there are plenty of opportunities to work, intern, and volunteer abroad. Traveling outside the US can prove to be an important experience for people who enjoy the thrill of new stories, love to learn new things, and are able to embrace new cultures and places with open hearts and minds. In addition, building connections on different social and professional levels with people from multiple parts of the world can enhance personal and literary knowledge and improve one’s communication skills and networking abilities. Needless to say, traveling the world as an English or CW student for the purpose of career development and knowledge formation is the opportunity of a lifetime! The following are some of the many options you have:


Although most study abroad opportunities focus on giving students the chance to learn and take courses outside the United States, many of these opportunities actually offer a professional component where students can get jobs or internships through their host university. Here are some of the databases UIUC offers to find more about this:

  1. Illinois International: Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (http://www.studyabroad.illinois.edu/). This is the main site to dig into if you are interested in finding study abroad opportunities that can cater to what you are looking for in terms of academic interests, country, and financial support.
  2. Department-based study abroad announcements: Each department offers their own set of study abroad opportunities that accommodates their students and their needs in the best ways. Outside the English Department, you can also check for opportunities through the foreign language building and the Department of Linguistics, the School of Business, among other wide-spectrum programs on this campus that can help you diversify your learning experience and enhance your professional options.


The following links connect you to multiple databases around the world that can help you find employment opportunities based on your desired job type and geographical preferences.

  • UN Jobs: The United Nations and intergovernmental institutions job listings (unjobs.org/)
  • Monster International: This is a wide-ranging and easy-search database for international jobs (monster.com/geo/siteselection)
  • Riley Guide: This is a global employment network that show country-based opportunities. (myperfectresume.com/how-to/career-resources/internat/)
  • BUNAC: This is a popular work exchange organization that is open for undergraduate and graduate students. It offers work in Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and volunteer experiences in South Africa and Peru. (bunac.org)
  • Transitions Abroad: This is a portal for work abroad and cultural travel. (transitionsabroad.com/index.shtml)

Teaching English abroad: As a student in the English department, there are multiple opportunities for you to teach English abroad. Some of the databases that can be helpful include the following:

  1. Go Abroad (https://www.goabroad.com/teach-abroad) offers multiple opportunities for teaching English in different parts of the world.
  2. JET (www.jetprogramme.org/index.html) is a well-established one-year program that recruits assistant language teachers to provide English instruction in elementary, junior and senior high schools in Japan.
  3. World Teach (www.worldteach.org) provides opportunities to serve as volunteer teachers in developing countries.
  4. Dave’s ESL Café (www.eslcafe.com)
  5. Fulbright Program for U.S. Students (http://us.fulbrightonline.org/thinking_teaching.html) offers English teaching assistantships in many countries worldwide.



The Ilini Union office of volunteer programs offers multiple resources for students who want to volunteer abroad. The following is an accessible version of some of  the information they offer that can be of particular interests for English and CW students (for more information, check www.union.illinois.edu)

Campus resources

UIUC Cultural Houses

  • La Casa Cultural Latina
  • Asian Pacific American Coalition
  • African American Cultural Program
  • Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA)

U of I Registered Student Organizations (or student- run)

Outside Volunteer Abroad Organizations

Learning Enterprises (www.learningenterprises.org)