Couldn’t Study Abroad? Some Companies Offer Work Abroad Options

Posted By Terri Williams on August 30, 2016 at 9:57 am
Couldn’t Study Abroad? Some Companies Offer Work Abroad Options

Studying abroad may sound like the thrill of a lifetime, but it can be an unattainable goal for many college students faced with rising higher education costs and already facing massive student loan debt. However, some college grads may still be able to pursue their dream of traveling the world without incurring more debt thanks to employers that embrace working abroad.

Some companies have offices in various locations around the world, and they pay employees to work on temporary projects or longer-term assignments in some pretty cool locations.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

While PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC, may be best known for audits and taxes, the company provides a range of other services, including consulting and advising. Employees can take advantage of the Early PwC International Challenge known as EPIC. After working at PwC for about three years, employees who want to work abroad can choose a global destination where they will live during their two-year EPIC assignment. They have more than 30 options, including France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, South Africa, Singapore, and Norway.

General Electric

General Electric’s businesses range from lighting to renewable energy to transportation. Other GE branches include healthcare, digital, oil and gas, and power. Given that portfolio, employees have opportunities to work abroad in Argentina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Egypt, Kuwait, Malaysia, Sweden, Turkey and many of the other 170 countries in which GE has a presence.


Hardware, software, ATMs, bar codes, magnetic stripe cards, and IBM Watson are just some of IBM’s inventions. The company’s Global Business Services offers a Consulting by Degrees entry-level program. Students typically are assigned to globally integrated teams and deployed to locations in their home country. However, the potential exists for them to be assigned to short-term projects in the more than 170 countries in which the company has employees.


Spanning 150 countries, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited is a global network of firms providing services covering such areas as taxes, audits, consulting and advising, and mergers and acquisitions. International Mobility Programs are available for employees across the board, and Deloitte offers many types of options to work abroad, ranging from short-term work to international transfers.


Covering brands such as Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Coffeemate, Haagen-Dazs, Stouffer’s, and Hot Pockets, Nestle is the largest food company in the world when measured by revenue. The Switzerland-based company has offices in hundreds of countries – including the U.S. – and offers two international programs. International auditors on the Group Audit team travel the world completing auditing projects. International Engineers are trained in Switzerland for four to six months and work their first two-to-three year assignment in another country before deciding if they want to continue this lifestyle or work locally.

Uber Launch Team

Not everyone at Uber drives a vehicle.  The company has numerous positions on its operations and launch team, including account executive, greenlight coordinator, and greenlight manager. Other jet-setting positions include brand ambassador, digital producer, and driver marketing. Employees could end up in the Phillippines, the U.K., Canada or France, or they may work in Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, or many of the other places around the world where Uber is establishing a presence.

Work abroad advantages

Traveling to foreign countries is exciting – especially when the company is footing the bill. But what are the true advantages of working abroad? GoodCall asked representatives from two profiled companies for more insight.

The world is becoming increasingly more global, and Peter Clarke, PwC global mobility leader, believes that international experience is vital. “At PwC, our clients’ global needs are continuously expanding and our success depends on having talent ready to deliver value to our clients across borders,” Clarke says.

In fact, he tells GoodCall that building global acumen is one of the five dimensions of becoming successful at PwC.  “Due to the globalization of work, we want our partners and staff to take on new challenges and think on a global scale; employees with international experience show willingness to step out of their comfort zone.”

And he believes these employees have a greater appreciation of diverse perspectives. “Moreover, working across different geographies can contribute to an interesting career and offers exciting opportunities to learn about various cultures and to build critical skills,” Clarke says.

Over at General Electric, Leslie Coyne, GE’s Global University recruiting leader, tells GoodCall that her company must understand – and reflect – the world it serves.

Coyne believes that gaining experience outside of the home country is essential to success. “Whether this is through extensive travel, project work, rotational assignments, or longer-term expatriate roles, our company and our shareholders benefit when our employees see the world through the eyes of our customers and have insights into the distinctions across geographies and cultures.”

Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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