Career Zone Blog
The University of Exeter is a truly global institution, with a thriving and welcoming international community whose campuses are home to staff and students from more than 100 countries. As the 46th most international university in the world*, we are committed to you and dedicated to your future.
We know employability is important to you
Future careers and employment are a key reason that many international students choose to study in the UK. Many of you chose to study at Exeter to improve your working lives, whether that means finding employment in the UK, in your home country or elsewhere in the world.
Finding work in the UK can be difficult
International students face some challenges, particularly if you want to stay in the UK to work after your studies. You must understand what jobs are available, what UK employers want and navigate VISA rules. Things in the UK are done differently to in your home country. You will find things that surprise you about how UK employers recruit. There may be things you didn't realise about the types of jobs available in the UK. Some things may feel familiar to how things are done in your country, but many things will be different.
Help from Career Zone for international students
The Career Zone is the University of Exeter’s career service for all students. Most of the help we provide is helpful for both UK students and international students. International students are welcome to use all parts of the service. As we know that you face some extra challenges, we also provide some extra support just for you, such as these pages.
Help from Career Zone for INTO students
INTO students will find lots of useful information here about working in the UK after your studies. You are able to access our online career resources such as My Career Zone Digital, the information sections of our website such as Help With... and What Can I Do With My Degree the Career Zone blog, Career Zone Podcast (Spotify/iTunes).
Once you are enrolled on a University of Exeter degree programme, you will have access to all our other services.
Is Career Zone the same as careers support in my country?
Career Zone probably works differently from the careers support you have received at home. You can find out more about the help we can (and can’t) provide you (see 'Help from Career Zone'). Our service is completely free for students and you can get help from us after graduation too.
Career Zone provides help to develop your skills, learn about the job application process and impress employers with how amazing you are. You can access a range of workshops, online resources and programmes to grow your employability. We can help you find part time jobs, internships and jobs for when your course finishes. You can also have 1-2-1 support from our qualified staff.
If you have queries to do with equality, inclusion and diversity including disclosing a disability or discussing reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process, or whilst in the workplace see our specific EDI pages where you will also find useful information on how to find supportive and inclusive employers.
*based on data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
4 things that lead to success
1. Get Help from Career Zone
Career Zone provides a huge amount of support, both virtually and in person. You might see someone from Career Zone during your classes, but usually you will see us in your free time. We make it easy for you to connect with us virtually and in person, at times to suit you. We run workshops, careers / jobs fairs, internship programmes, mentoring schemes, training opportunities and host employers. We have on-demand resources, videos, courses, simulations, podcasts and blogs for you to access whenever you need to.
We provide so much support because the UK processes for finding, applying and getting job offers are complex. You will need to write tailored applications which will be different each time you apply. There is a lot for you to learn. Things will be different from what you are used to in your home country. Career Zone is available to support you, but it is your responsibility to seek our help.
2. Start Early
Starting early is probably the most impactful piece of advice we can give to any student, UK or international. Starting early gives you time to learn about the UK job market. If you start early you can explore your values and strengths and how they affect your career choices. Starting early means you can be strategic about the specific skills you need to develop and the type of activities that will grow them. As many graduate schemes in the UK have an early application period (from September to January), starting early means you won’t miss important deadlines. When you start early, you can practice and get feedback on your applications and interviews. Starting early also allows for rejected job applications- in a competitive job market, everyone will receive some rejections!
3. Be Competitive
The UK job market is competitive. This means that certain opportunities, job roles and locations attract large numbers of students and graduates. To help you stand out, Career Zone provides a range of opportunities for you to gain experience. UK employers value many types of experience. This means employers will be impressed by a variety of extra-curricular activities. There are many great options available across the university such as clubs and societies as well as the work-related options provided by Career Zone.
Career Zone provides:
- employability schemes
- exclusive internship programmes for Exeter students
- support to find part-time work and on-campus jobs
- training to develop specific skills
- opportunities to gain a career mentor
- and many others!
4. Use the Extra Help for International Students that Career Zone Offers
We know that it can be really hard when you are in a new country (and maybe speaking a second language) to succeed in a competitive job market. That’s why we provide extra help for international students:
- A section of the website dedicated to international students
- Exclusive workshops for international students on topics such as Finding Work in the UK, Impressing UK Employers, English Skills for Job Interviews and Managing Employers and Visas
- Unique Career Ready programmes for Chinese and Indian students
- Your Future First for international students joining the Business School on a master’s programme
Within the sections below, you will find all the information you need to help you.
We can support you if you are an international student who plans to return home after your studies.
Would you know how to sell your UK experience to employers at home?
Employers in your country might not understand all the reasons why they should hire someone with a UK degree. They may not have heard of the University of Exeter or realise the quality of the education you are gaining. It is up to you to explain to them why you are the perfect candidate and why studying in the UK makes you a great potential employee.
We run a workshop “What every international student needs to know about impressing employers in your home country after your studies” several times per year which you can book on Handshake.
Learn from Exeter alumni around the world
You may also want to connect with graduates (alumni) in your home country to learn about their experiences. We have many active and welcoming country-specific alumni societies who also run employability events. You can even catch up on the recordings of past events.
Most of the resources on these pages relate to working in the UK after your studies. This is because most international students ask us about working in the UK.
However, if you plan to work elsewhere, we can still help you. As an Exeter student, you have free access to GoinGlobal, our country-specific career and employment database that contains more than 30,000 pages of constantly-updated information.
Connect with professionals and alumni
Another great way to learn about working globally is to connect with professionals or Exeter graduates (alumni) working in other countries. Many are willing to chat to students about their career experiences. We have information about how to do this using LinkedIn. You can also use our own careers platform, Handshake.