Amazing post-school experience?
June 10, 2007 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Finishing school, want a great experience before starting work, looking for internships/volunteer opportunities - inspire me!

I'll be finishing my PhD shortly and before looking for permanent work, I'm interested in doing something crazy/fun/helpful/useful experience career wise. Anything from one month to one year, and pretty much anywhere worldwide. I have three degrees in Engish Lit and will be going into publishing/media work. Is there somewhere to gain work experience abroad doing this kind of thing (I am currently based in both Toronto and the UK)? Any other great internship or volunteer schemes that you know about? Or databases to search for such an experience? Hit me with all your ideas - I love to travel and being financially compensated for work isn't a concern.
posted by meerkatty to Work & Money (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How interested are you in teaching? There are tons of opportunities abroad for people with advanced degrees. Finding a one semester gig teaching lit in Chinese college wouldn't be difficult at all and would be plenty crazy, fun, and useful and the compensation should be enough to cover your living and travel expenses. I'm sure you could find work like that in almost any developing country, but outside of Asia it's harder to not pay out of your own pocket.

There's also plenty of volunteer TEFL work to be found in places like Cambodia if money is as mute an issue as you suggest.
posted by trinarian at 6:43 AM on June 10, 2007

You might need to be Catholic for this one, but I had a friend who did a Maryknoll Fellowship teaching English to Buddhist Monks in Thailand. They were all refugees and she came home with a lot of interesting stories about living in a monastery and talking with the monks.
posted by brina at 7:50 AM on June 10, 2007

Does your university have a career center? At least in the U.S. they maintain listings of internship opportunities in various fields, such as this and also have specific listings that are only accessible by their students.

I have heard of people getting positions in technical writing or writing for local English-language publications in various countries in Asia, but this usually involved directly contacting the companies or already being in that country.
posted by needled at 8:58 AM on June 10, 2007

This is a directory of work abroad sites maintained by the University of Michigan. It has links to sites such as, which lists job vacancies in the United Nations and other international organizations. It turns up positions like technical writer for WHO in Geneva, requiring an advanced degree in English.
posted by needled at 9:13 AM on June 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Volunteering for a prostitutes shelter is a pretty amazing experience.
posted by Maia at 4:22 PM on June 10, 2007

I'm not sure how much it will let you apply your degree (it may), but have you thought about the Peace Corps? I don't have personal experience with them, but I have heard good things and will consider it myself the next time I'm in a position like yours.

BTW, I think this is a *great* thing you are doing. I am hoping to do something similar within the next few years.
posted by inatizzy at 6:22 PM on June 10, 2007

Up With People is hiring. If you become a recruiter, you get to travel around places.
posted by divabat at 10:37 PM on June 11, 2007

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