Five Ways International Work Experience Can Help You Land a Non-profit Job

5 ways international work experience

For those with a passion for a cause, a career in the not for profit space might be a clear cut and obvious path. In fact, in recent years, the desire for meaningful positions in nonprofits has been on the rise among new graduates. The trouble is, with so much competition in the for profit and charities alike, it can be difficult to stand out in a sea of resumes from qualified applicants.

So when it seems like thousands of people are vying for the same jobs as you, what’s the best way for you to stand out and shine as a candidate that’s a cut above the rest?

At Global Nomadic, we’ve noticed that gaining international work experience through volunteer placements and internships can help boost a CV and something not for profit employers love to see.

Here are five reasons why gaining work or volunteer experience abroad can help strengthen your job applications and secure your chances of a great start in a not for profit career.

  1. You’ll have a more Global Perspective

Even if the position you’re applying for is in your home country, many NGOs operate in multiple countries around the world (E.g. World Vision, International Justice Mission, and Doctors Without Borders just to name a few). For this reason, your charity of choice might look more favourably on candidates who have some travel experience under their belt and have had an opportunity to be exposed to different countries, cultures, and customs. To work with clients and colleagues around the globe, one needs to be globally minded and have an appreciation for different perspectives. (Bonus: You’ll likely pick up some basic proficiency in a foreign language during your stay!)

Get one step closer to being a model global citizen with an international placement opportunity! Search and apply here:

2. You’ll Be Able to Thrive in New and Uncertain Environments

Travel Journalism in South Africa

Packing up and moving to an unfamiliar place (even if just for a few weeks or months) is the ultimate exercise in adaptability and a great way to demonstrate to any potential non-profit employer that you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone. Just make sure to include this on your resume in a way that highlights how you overcame the challenges of a new environment and how this experience is transferrable to any hurdles you might face in your potential new role.

Want to thrive outside of your comfort zone? Explore an international internship with a Global Nomadic project partner! Apply here:

3. You’ll Have Cross-cultural Networking Skills

HUman Rights project in Guatemala 00

A huge benefit of travelling abroad is meeting other people from all around the world. Having a global network of colleagues at your fingertips can not only add to the value you bring to a non-profit organization and provide you with the skills you need to manage relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders, but those global connections will serve you in your career in the long run. Just be sure you’re contributing to these relationships equally so that the network remains mutually beneficial. This means taking the time to share valuable resources, offer referrals and stay in touch on a regular basis instead of only reaching out when you need a favour.

Ready to build your global network? Take the first step with an international volunteer placement:


4. Employers Like Well-Rounded People


Even if your internships aren’t all directly related to the positions you’re applying for, having experience working abroad can demonstrate to potential employers that you’re open-minded and able to integrate well into a variety of work environments– ideal for many non-profit positions that typically expect their employees to be multi-faceted, wear several hats on the job and pitch in wherever is needed. Being willing to go beyond the status quo and jump headlong into projects that may not be exactly what you’re officially trained in is a highly valued trait in the not for profit world!

Enrich your life and CV with a diverse global experience! Search and apply for a Global Nomadic placement abroad today:

5. You’ll Be More Resourceful

Guatemala: Medical and Healthcare Project

Travelling abroad for an internship or volunteer position– especially as a recent graduate or summer — often entails figuring out logistics such as financing and budgeting– skills that are critical in any full-time job. Many not-for-profits rely on grants and donors to keep operations moving, and are often far more limited with their resources than their for-profit counterparts. Being able to think creatively about problem solving (even if that problem is figuring out how to survive a move across the globe with just one bag and a passport) will win you major points on your job applications.


Want to cultivate more resourcefulness and creativity for future employers? Learn to think outside the box with a challenging international placement! Apply today:

Whether you’re just starting out your career or pivoting from a previous vocation, breaking into the not for profit world can be challenging if your applications blend in too easily with the rest. As careers in non-profits become more desirable (i.e. competitive), completing a volunteer placement or internship abroad can help you get the exposure you need to stand out as a candidate when it comes to landing a role in a not for profit that is both fulfilling and tailored to your area of expertise.  

Ready to start your journey abroad? Check out Global Nomadic’s opportunities page for current internships and volunteer placements: