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International Studies Research Guide

International Studies

International Careers

International Studies Career page
Like the rest of the LibGuide, this page has been designed with International Studies students in mind. The only problem is - you have so many career options with this degree there is a lot to cover!

We hope this page will give you at least a good starting point from which to explore the possibilities. Here you will find:

  • Contact information and links to the HSU Career Center. We encourage you to use the Center staff as a source of advice and support as you work on your career plans. 
  • A number of basic guides for resume and cover letter writing as well as interview and network techniques that we hope will be useful, but don't forget INTL 320 International Studies Career Workshop - a 7 week, 1 unit course designed for you! (check schedule).
  • Many International Studies students are interested in teaching English abroad or the Peace Corps so you will find links to both of those on this page.
  • Government jobs are often looking for people with language skills and/or who want to work abroad so we have links to background on those. 
  • A number of jobs require advanced and specific language skills so we have links to organizations such as the UN.
  • Graduate school is a popular option so we have a search engine link as well as a couple of specific schools to help you get started.

We know the question about 'what to be when you grow up' can be daunting, but we hope this points you in the direction of an exciting and fulfilling journey. We are here to help so if you have questions or suggestions please let us know: internationalstudies@humboldt.edu. In the meantime, don't forget: 

'Life isn't about finding yourself - it's about creating yourself!

Resumes, CV's, Cover Letters and Interviewing - Top Tips

These guides and templates are NOT meant to be exhaustive - only aids to get you started. They are also not intended for use in other countries. Be very careful and do your research as to what is 'acceptable' in other places.

For further help and support, there is an International Studies Career Workshop - a 7-week / 1-unit course that will take you through each of these areas in more depth. Keep an eye on the schedule or contact Program Leader Dr Alison Holmes if you are interested.

Network Network Network!

By the time most jobs are posted, they have already been taken. The internet has changed many aspects of the way we search and find jobs, but networking is just as crucial as it has ever been. Professional organizations are one way (see relevant box) internships are another (see relevant box) and don't forget social networking specialist groups, listservs and alerts.

A final way to network is through the 'informational interview' which can also be a great way to get your foot in the door. These are generally used in conjunction with all the other approaches, but here are a few tools to start that process.

Government/International Jobs

There are a number of ways to work overseas and still work for/represent the government. Here ar a few - but do check the various departments and even specific Embassy sites directly as many jobs are listed there as well.

Guides on Government Jobs

The US Government is a vast bureaucracy with many rules and regulations. If you are interested in an international career - the State Department is NOT the only option. These guides will give you an idea of what other opportunities there are for international/government positions.

Language Careers

Many employers want people specifically for their language skills. As an International Studies major you have already moved ahead of the vast majority of your potential competitors for these kinds of  jobs because you have already become proficient in at least one other language. If you are interested in learning more languages or developing your language skills further, you might consider these jobs and the programs that prepare people for them. 

Internships @ Home & Abroad

Internships are a great way to demonstrate an interest in an area and a willingness to go the extra mile to get experience in your field. They needn't prevent you from earning as even short internships (a week or even a day 'shadowing') will give you contacts as well as help your resume stand out from the crowd.

HSU resources for international jobs



Capital Fellows Program - Sacramento State

Panetta Institute Internship 

A large listing of internships/jobs etc all with a humanitarian view: Idealist.org

A nationwide search engine with internships and jobs for students and recent graduates: http://www.internships.com/student
California Nonprofits: A search engine for non-profit jobs in California  

Nonprofit Directory for California: List of all nonprofits in the state of California, with links to their websites and contact information 

CalCareers: A search engine for all government jobs and internships that are available in the state of California

Jobs LA: A search engine for jobs in Los Angeles county and the surrounding areas

Bay Area Jobs: Search engine for jobs within the Bay Area

World Wide Postings and Programs:

Cultural Visas

Cross Cultural Solutions

Foundation for Sustainable Development


International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience

International Association of Students in Economics and Business (AIESEC)

International Center at University of Michigan https://internationalcenter.umich.edu/abroad/swt/work

British Universities North America Club (Bunac)

Impact Pool Search engine for jobs in the EU, UN, and NGOs 

Relief Web Search engine for humanitarian and development jobs 

Teach Away Teaching positions in different countries, as well online TEFL training


American-Scandinavian Foundation Scandinavia House

French-American Chamber of Commerce

Kent University's Political and International Relation Jobs 


JET Program

Princeton in Asia


International Foundation for Education & Self-Help International Fellows Program

NGO Jobs in Africa: Search engine for NGO positions in Africa

NGO Pulse: Job vacancy postings in Africa and news source


Latin America:

Comprehensive List of NGOs in Latin America

Jobs Abroad in South America


Career Center Resources

Career Center - Gist Hall, Rm 114

Open: Mon - Fri, 9am - 4pm
Resume Walk-in appointments:
Mon-Thur 11-1pm

See the HSU Career Center for...

  • Career and Major Exploration
  • Resumes, CVs, Cover Letters
  • Networking and Job Searching
  • Finding Internships
  • Working Abroad
  • Finding and Applying for Graduate Schools
  • Interviewing help and mock interviews


Peace Corps

HSU is proud to be one of largest feeder schools to the Peace Corps - and International Studies and Politics Majors often top the list. Watch for announcements of Peace Corps Representatives on campus, go to their website, or go direct.

Quinn Walker Regional Representative
1301 Clay Street, Suite 620N
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (214)566.6520


Teaching Abroad (Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language)

Some Teaching abroad programs require a TEFL certification, for HSU students there are two options to recieve this.  1) Minor in Teaching English as a Second Language through the English Department.  2) Obtain a separate TEFL certificate.  

TEFL certificate is a generic term however and there are many different programs available to obtain one.  There is no effective regulation of these programs and many teaching organizations will only accept certain certificates from certain training programs.  It is important to research the organizations you hope to work with as a teacher and then investigate the certifications they are looking for before spending time and money on a TEFL certification that will not prepare you to work in your target organizations.

Most professional employers require TEFL training that includes 100 hours of training and a minimum of 6 hours of supervised teaching.

World Wide Postings and Programs:
CIEE - Council on International Exchange

Dave’s ESL Cafe


Fulbright International Exchange

International Schools Service

Cultural Services of the French Embassy of the U.S. English

American-Scandinavian Foundation Scandinavia House

EPIK (English Program in Korea)

JET Program

Appalachians Abroad Teach in China

Colorado China Council

Princeton in Asia

The International Foundation for Education & Self-Help Teachers for Africa


Professional Organizations

Many professional bodies give steep discounts to students who join and these sites have places to post resumes, see job announcements and other types of networkig opportunities. If you are interested in graduate school you might consider joining one of these while still in school.

Volunteering @ Home & Abroad

There are many opportunities out there to volunteer, work or intern for students who are looking to do something life changing (and resume building) over the vacation breaks, after they graduate or even taking a temporary break from school. 'Volunteering' clearly isn't paid, but it doesn't have to be long term to give you a relatively risk free way to try something out. Crucially - it also begins to 'tell a story' about your interests and skills for your resume that can make ALL the difference when you are looking for that perfect, permanent job.

Don't forget - there are plenty of places to volunteer during the school year here in Humboldt as well - check out Youth Educational Services - the YES House - or become an HSU student Ambassador or Conversation Partner.

Don't Wait - Get experience at HSU:

Humboldt State Y.E.S.

HSU Student Ambassadors

Conversation Partners

World Wide Postings and Programs:

Volunteers Abroad

International Volunteer Programs Association

Amerispan Unlimited

Amizade, Ltd.

Volunteers for Peace

International Partnership for Service Learning


Global Volunteers

Service Civil International – International Volunteer Service

Dream Volunteers

Projects Abroad

Volunteer World