International options

International Careers

This section provides information for students who wish to work internationally. This includes:

  • international students looking for a job in the UK
  • and ANY student wishing to work in a country outside the UK

Whichever country you’re interested in, you will need to know where to look for vacancies and how to apply for jobs. You would also need to find out about the relevant visa regulations, if you don't have an automatic right to work in that country.

Global Careers Programme – we have a programme of employers from around the world delivering workshops and presentations throughout the academic year. Sign up through Career Connect within MUSE

The International Student Support Team can assist with Tier 4 visa and general information needs

Working outside the UK

Use our International careers database to find information on working in major countries around the world.

Utilise our comprehensive career and employment resources tool kit GoinGlobal, filled with everything you need to find jobs and internships at home and abroad. (Instructions on how to create an account while off campus)

Key areas to research include:

  • the regulations concerning work permits and visas
  • the best time to apply for vacancies
  • where vacancies are advertised
  • what is the preferred CV and application form style in that country
  • what are the rules and etiquette of interviews and workplace customs

International students returning home

If you are an international student and plan to return home after your studies, try to keep in touch with your contacts, family and friends back in your home country. Let them know what type of opportunities you are looking for as they may be able to let you know about suitable jobs. If you go home for holidays during your course use these times to attend recruitment fairs and try to arrange meetings or even interviews with employers.

  • British Council - in some countries, the British Council run UK Alumni Associations which host events where graduates returning home after studying can network and join Job Clubs. Look at their Country pages under the ‘Contact Us’ section for details.
  • Sheffield University Alumni Association - also keep in touch with Sheffield University Alumni Association via social media.
Working in the UK (international students)

Working in the UK during your studies

International students who wish to work in the UK during their studies should refer to the International students section of the University website to check when you can work in term time and during vacation (this varies by level of course), and what sort of work you can do.

We recommend that all students work no more than 16 hours a week during term time to ensure that their studies do not suffer. 

Be aware of:

  • National Insurance - you will need a National Insurance Number in order to work in the UK. Visit the Student Jobshop in the Students' Union to ask how to obtain one or call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 141 2075 to start the process. Please do not pay any agency to obtain a National Insurance Number - NINO's are issued free of charge. 
  • The National Minimum Wage - in the UK you need to be aware of the minimum amount an employer must pay you per hour.
  • Income Tax - your employer normally takes tax from your earnings each payday and passes it on to the Inland Revenue. Everyone who earns or receives income over a certain amount in the tax year pays income tax. Generally, the more you earn the more you pay. Everyone can receive a certain amount of income in each tax year on which no tax has to be paid (the tax year starts on 6 April and finishes on the following 5 April). If your taxable income is more than the allowance, you pay tax only on the difference. If you have paid tax and your total taxable income for the year does not exceed your Personal Allowance, you may claim a refund.

Further tips and information can be found on the Targetjobs  Getting work experience website

Working in the UK after you graduate

International students who wish to stay in the UK to work after graduation will need to make sure they have an appropriate work visa. The regulations concerning the ‘right to work’ in the UK are complex and can change frequently. It is therefore vital that you keep yourself informed and up to date. Make use of the following websites:

When we hold employer careers fairs we check whether participating companies are Tier 2 sponsors and publish this information in the guide to the fair.

Before applying for jobs:

  • Research the possibilities and target employers who have an interest in the particular mix of skills, experience and motivations that you can offer. Emphasise not only the skills gained from your academic background and work experience, but also the things that you as an international student can particularly offer- such as language skills, cultural awareness, international knowledge and maturity/independence/adaptability.
  • Consider focusing on employers who are active in the UK and your home country and who can see the value in having employees familiar with both countries.
  • Employers expect applications to be of a very high standard so take care and time over them- particularly check spelling, punctuation and grammar.

We often get asked for a ‘list of employers who may recruit international students to work in the UK’. While it would not be possible to put together a complete list, as employers policies can vary based on different roles, an individual's skills and frequently change, we have put together an information leaflet as a partial list. This is available as a password protected file, below (you will need your University username and password).

  • Companies who are Tier 2 sponsors - the Government Home Office has a list of companies currently licensed to sponsor Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas. However, you should check with each company (via their website, email or telephone) about their policy for recruitment of international students, as inclusion on the list does not guarantee that they will sponsor visas for all their vacancies. Note: this list is only searchable by company name, not industry sector or type of job.
  • Employers who may recruit international students to work in the UK - We have put together a list of organisations to help international students look for work in the UK. The information should only be used as a guide though as it is likely to get out of date quite quickly.
  • Translate your international qualifications - Advice on presenting non-UK degree qualifications to UK employers

We have a number of international graduates who have successfully obtained jobs in the UK via Tier 2 & Tier 5. You can check the full playlist on YouTube

Market your University of Sheffield experience to employers

You will need to market your University of Sheffield experience to employers

Whether you are looking for work in the UK or other countries worldwide, it is important to explain to employers what you have gained from your time at the University of Sheffield. Don’t assume that an employer will understand and value the advantages that study in the UK can bring. It is your job to explain it to them and give details of the ‘added’ value’ this experience enables you to offer to their company/organisation.

You may wish to highlight the following

  • Skills and knowledge from your course. Reflect on which aspects of your course are likely to be of most interest to the particular employers that you are applying to. It could be the technical skills and up-to-date professional knowledge gained, the ability to undertake research and produce analytical reports, or other factors.
  • Quality, reputation, and ranking of the University of Sheffield. Employers overseas may not know that the University of Sheffield is one of the top British universities. You can find out more about the University of Sheffield including our rankings and reputation, through the About us webpages.
  • Style of teaching and learning. In your home country the teaching and learning style may be different to that which you have experienced at the University of Sheffield. Our style is questioning, interactive and analytical, which encourages students to develop a range of skills as expressed in the ‘Sheffield Graduate’ These are skills that employers very much value, so explain that you have them and don’t forget to give examples.
  • Intercultural and global awareness. Businesses are increasingly multi-national and employers want graduates with intercultural and global awareness skills. You already understand your own culture and your time spent in Sheffield has now given you an in-depth understanding of British and Western culture. 
  • Enhanced English Language skills. You have spent a year or more reading, writing and conversing in English which will mean that you are much more fluent than when you arrived.
  • Adaptability and flexibility. Studying outside your home country is a major undertaking. From the initial planning and researching, to coping with the culture change and studying in a foreign language, there is a lot to deal with and much adjustment to be done. All of this demonstrates your adaptability and it likely that you have gained a greater maturity as a result.

You can select from the information above and where appropriate, include some of the points that relate to you in your CV, covering letters, application forms and at interviews.

However, remember to take account of the culture of the country you're applying to work in when describing your skills and experiences. Some cultures, for example, very much value working within hierarchies, loyalty, and relating well to managers and colleagues. So, if you are talking about being able to bring problem solving and creative thinking to the company, also stress that your approach would be within a framework of collaboration and team working.