Sunny beaches, big city lights, or a tiny town in remote mountains? No matter which one you choose, the world is at your fingertips when you apply for an apprenticeship abroad.
Combine your love of travel with your career aspirations by taking the plunge and setting your sights on studying overseas.
Here are some things to consider when looking at an apprenticeship abroad, where to find one and how to apply.
Why should you get an apprenticeship abroad?
Getting a qualification isn’t the only benefit of hopping across the pond to study.
- Expanding your professional network – Network with professionals and industry experts worldwide, and build strong connections that’ll set you up for future career opportunities.
- Meeting new friends – Work and socialise with people from different cultures, countries and backgrounds. Who knows, you might meet your new best friend.
- Personal growth – Travelling alone is a great way to broaden your horizons and gain independence and confidence.
- Learn new skills and experiences – As well as the hands-on, theoretical and real-world skills you’ll gain from your apprenticeship, studying abroad will motivate you to learn a new language or two.
Where to find an apprenticeship abroad
Location: Everywhere! Spain is a popular choice that doesn’t require a degree
Industry: Languages and teaching
The TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) organisation has opportunities around the world (literally) where you can prepare and do lessons, grade homework and help students improve their English skills. Some locations need you to have a degree, so filter them to find the ones that don’t.
You’ll definitely need a Level 3 or Level 5 TEFL qualification from the TEFL Academy to be ready for teaching.
Join HSBC’s France Apprenticeship Programme if you’re excited about a successful career in banking.
For this opportunity, you’ll spend one-third of your time at university and about two-thirds at an HSBC office in France, working on a range of projects with loads of teams. Applications open in April/May and close in September every year – be aware that this apprenticeship is open to students already studying in France.
Industry: Manufacturing and engineering
Franke Group is a big company in Germany that makes home cooking and commercial food service appliances (e.g., sinks and taps) and coffee systems. Franke takes on around 45 apprentices every year to join their workforce of nearly 8,000 employees. You could be an e-commerce specialist, a warehouse logistics expert and even earn a degree in business administration.
The EU does a lot of work to make sure apprenticeships are easily accessible. The European Apprentices Network allows European representatives to unite and discuss how to improve the programmes. On the EU website, you can filter the search by country and find all the official resources you need to apply for apprenticeships.
Location: North America
Join Accenture’s highly competitive North America Apprenticeship Program for the chance to spend a year learning in one of forty locations, including California, Colorado, New York and Washington. You’ll need a US employment visa (see more info below), but, thankfully, you don’t need a degree. There are options to work in technology, strategy, consulting and other departments, where you’ll receive a mix of on-the-job training and study sessions.
What are the challenges of finding an apprenticeship abroad?
The main challenge is knowing which type of visa or work permit to get and whether you’ll need one. Remember that the visa process takes a long time, and it’s not something you can rush at the last minute. Here’s a breakdown of some essential information.
The Erasmus+ scheme can help you get a visa or work permit if you need one. Otherwise, you can find the requirements and application progress on each country’s official government website.
Tip: EU work permits make it complicated to move jobs while you’re out there, so make sure you’re confident in your choice of apprenticeship before you go.
You definitely need a work permit to do an apprenticeship in the US, and the law is super strict – so get it right! Here are the two options you need to research:
- Student F1 visa – You can study as an international student.
- Student J1 visa – You can temporarily work for up to 18 months.
How to apply for an apprenticeship abroad
Make a checklist of everything you need to prepare before applying, and these things should be on it:
- Visa or work permit – See the info above to find out exactly what kind of permit you need.
- Passport – You can apply online to renew, replace or get a passport. Be aware that you’ll have to pay for it.
- Travel insurance – Speak to your parent or guardian about travel insurance, which means you’ll get support if you lose your belongings, are ill or get stuck abroad.
- Vaccinations – You don’t need vaccinations for any of the apprenticeships listed above, but you will if you decide to study further afield in places like Sri Lanka and Colombia.
- Language preparation – Spend five minutes each day using a language learning app or book yourself into an online course. You’ll thank yourself when you get there!
- Financial support – Check each country’s website for information about financial support for students. In some cases, your employer might offer extra perks on top of a salary to help you get by.
Catch flights and take your career to new heights
It’s a big world out there; there’s so much to explore, enjoy and learn. An apprenticeship abroad helps you gain more than money, experience and qualifications – you can also meet new people and explore new cultures.
Fancy sticking closer to home? Check out our list of best-paying apprenticeships for some amazing UK-based opportunities.
Relax. We’ll send the jobs to you.
Reckon you know what you want to do, but can’t find the perfect role? Most companies hire their apprentices in a ‘recruitment window’. This means many great jobs are only available for a short time once or twice each year.
Sign up for our job alerts service, and we’ll send you any jobs that fit your search criteria.