Which study path should I choose if I want to work internationally?

17 Oct 2022

Which_study_path_should_I_choose_if_I_want_to_work_internationally

Working internationally is a dream held by many students.

Experiences overseas or in a multicultural environment are extremely rewarding for a career.

There is generally high demand among employers for profiles with an international dimension. And, if you are considering entrepreneurship, international growth can be important for your project.

How to prepare for this type of career? In business schools and universities, what are the learning paths that offer international openings?

What are the prerequisites to work internationally?

Learn the language of the country

To make your international career dream a reality, the first prerequisite is to master the language. 

English is of course essential, as you will almost certainly be working with people from various backgrounds.

With this in mind, when choosing your path, favour courses where classes are taught in English (and not just with English lessons). A period of study and/or work experience abroad will of course help you improve both your language skills and your knowledge of the country.

 

Grasping cultural differences

Language fluency is necessary, but it is not enough to work internationally. It needs to be combined with solid knowledge of the country’s cultural norms. Otherwise, you run the risk of making damaging mistakes in international business relationships.

Even in the workplace, habits vary from one place to another. In Asia, for example, it is very impolite to make a mistake about the origin or position of the person you are talking to. Also, you should not try to rush a negotiation with Asian partners. They need to get to know you first to assess whether you are trustworthy.

 

Adapt your CV for international audiences

While it may seem obvious, if your goal is to work internationally, you should start by creating a CV that is focussed on this aim.

In terms of both its content and form, your CV should show a genuine receptiveness to the culture of the country you would like to work in.

Firstly, you need to have a CV in the language of the country where you are applying.

Recruiters’ expectations regarding CVs vary from one country to another. For example, there are several noteworthy differences between a French CV and an American “résumé”. The way to present your background and experiences is not the same, so you cannot content yourself with just translating your CV.

Lastly, because you are applying overseas, your CV should focus on your knowledge of the country and your experiences related to the desired destination.

 

Nurture your professional network

Your professional network can be a source of international opportunities. Remember to stay in touch with your teachers and internship supervisors while you are internationally mobile, particularly through social networks.

You will be able to make use of your network when job hunting.

What types of courses for an international career?

The French higher education system is known for its high standards and diversity. The quality of life and cultural dynamism of France make it a choice destination for many students from around the world.

As a foreign student, you can access various types of international courses.

 

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)

The BBA is a three-year (or four depending on the school) post-secondary degree. Classes are taught in English in almost all courses. 

It is a general and multicultural management course that covers various topics related to companies:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Business
  • HR
  • Entrepreneurship

BBA courses often give students a chance to specialise in the final year.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The MBA is a two-year course that follows on from the BBA. It enables students to:

  • Specialise
  • Further develop their skills
  • Expand their networks 

Bachelor/Master in International Trade

Bachelor’s degrees and Masters in International Trade prepare students for roles in sales and purchasing. 

Learning is focussed on:

  • Languages
  • Political sciences
  • International law

Apart from language classes, lessons are not necessarily given in English. Neither do these university courses always include an experience overseas.

 

Bachelor/Master in International Relations

Bachelor’s degrees and Masters in International Relations are mainly taken in France at grandes écoles specialised in international relations. Courses cover global diplomatic issues, but do not necessarily offer classes given in English or international experiences.

Several types of courses are available to provide international career opportunities. However, not all of them offer classes given in English or overseas experiences.

Your choice of course will depend on the direction you are aiming at, whether it is entrepreneurship, management, marketing or finance.