The social sciences encompasses a broad range of academic disciplines which focus on how human beings interact, organize themselves, and build institutions within societies. Under this far-reaching scope, the tremendous value of finding a social sciences job abroad speaks for itself; this is your opportunity to travel to a new country and apply your studies to an entirely different social context, discovering firsthand along the way just how much we are products of our environments.
Why Work Abroad
There are many different branches within the social sciences, and they all have in common the study of human beings. More specifically how, through underlying social interactions, we come to form drastically different political, economic, and cultural contexts for ourselves around the world. Travelling the world and finding work abroad in the social sciences is an invaluable opportunity to shed new light on these studies, while earning the global professional experience to back it up.
Being such a far-ranging discipline, you can easily imagine finding work abroad in the social sciences anywhere in the world. While it’s true that your opportunities for work abroad in the field are vast, and that the best locations to look for a job will depend on the specific branch of social sciences you are interested in, here are a few pointers to guide your decision in a general sense.
First is the language barrier. The easiest path to finding a job abroad in the social sciences is obviously to apply in a country where you are fluent in the local language. For anglophiles, this means that countries such as Australia, the United States, or England are good bets to find work abroad in the social sciences.
You should, however, also take cultural differences into account. Part of the value of finding work abroad in the social sciences is the opportunity to travel somewhere drastically different and experience life within a new set of social norms. If this is the route you wish to go, countries ranging all the way from China to India to Kenya will afford you a starkly different experience of work abroad in the social sciences than any Western nation.
Jobs & Positions
There is no one form or function for a social sciences job abroad; because the field is so internally diverse, and each branch within may lend itself to a further array of professional opportunities, the door is wide open to pursue any number of socially-oriented positions around the world. No one knows better than you what specific type of job you are looking for!
Some of the most common areas to look for work abroad in the social sciences include education, government, development, and business. All of these fields require an in-depth knowledge of how social interactions can be leveraged to build effective institutions across a spectrum of professional sectors; still, you are by no means limited to these areas, and should explore opportunities in any other subfield your heart is set on.
Most work abroad programs in the social sciences can help set you up with a temporary visa to work abroad for up to one or two years in another country. If you have your eyes set on beginning a more permanent career abroad, then you might have better luck applying directly with an international company or organization that has the means to set up up with a long-term employment and/or residential visa.
Benefits & Challenges
Observe. Simply by travelling the world and witnessing the different social norms within different countries, you will come to an entirely new understanding of the field of social sciences. Nurture shapes our behaviors every bit as much as nurture!
Engage. At the same time, through finding a job abroad in the social sciences, you will also be engaging within this different pattern of social interactions on a daily basis. Challenging yourself to master the cultural nuances of your host country can be a very maturing experience.
Grow. Lastly, finding work abroad in the social sciences is the opportunity to undergo a degree of professional and personal growth that you simply wouldn’t have otherwise endured at home. It’s time to get out and see the world!
A job abroad in the social sciences can take on an immense diversity of forms, but one thing can be said about any and every potential position: it will be the opportunity to learn, develop, and have the time of your life out adventuring in our great big world.