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Working in your home country

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Start thinking early about your return home, so you can make the most of all the opportunities available. Research the job market and when to apply. Understand what employers are looking for and know how to sell the benefits of your UK experience in your applications. See the sections below for help.

For students looking for work in China and SE Asia, the Asia Careers Insight Series 2024 from 5-7 March will give you an insight into labour market information and employers recruiting in 2024.

How can I prepare to return home and find work?

As well as the practicalities of moving back home, it is useful to think about the benefits you have gained by studying in the UK. These might include:

  • improved spoken and written English, if it is not your first language - improved fluency could be a major selling point
  • better understanding of British social and business culture
  • ability to mix with a diverse range of people from around the world
  • experience of UK teaching methods which may have given you:
    • more problem solving, team work and communication skills
    • critical analysis and reasoning skills
    • ability to work more independently
  • new skills from volunteering, part-time work, skills courses, college and university life
  • maturity and adaptability from your experience of living and studying in another country
  • professional contacts developed through your studies, and employer and networking events
  • knowledge of new resources (professional journals/online forums) and research relevant to your future profession.

You could ask employers, academic supervisors or volunteering managers if they would be willing to give you a written reference to take with you, or agree to provide a reference to any future employers.  

Many employers check social media before hiring, so check out what public online information is available about you. Think carefully about what your online presence tells a prospective employer about you.

Be aware of reverse culture shock when you return home, especially if you have been in the UK for a number of years.

Resource for Chinese students: Prepare to get ahead is an online resource developed by the University of Warwick to help you make the most of university experience in the UK and plan for your future.

What sort of research should I be doing and when?

Start your research early so you don't miss out on opportunities. You should start this research about 12 months before you are due to finish your course. If you are on a taught postgraduate course this will be soon after you arrive in the UK and start your academic course.

It is useful to make a plan that you can carry out over a number of months. Think about:

  • who recruits into your career area of interest and when?
  • who are the main graduate employers in your home country and what opportunities do they have?
  • multinational employers who may have opportunities in your home country - are any of these coming onto campus for a presentation or recruitment fair?
  • UK employers in your home country who would appreciate your UK university experience
  • if you are interested in smaller employers find out where they advertise vacancies as they arise - or see if you have any connection to them through your networks - use LinkedIn
  • British Chambers of Commerce in your home country can be useful sources of labour market information and employer contacts
  • find out about recruitment fairs in the UK focusing on overseas recruitment.

The University of Edinburgh has some helpful information about Finding work in China, including job market information and applications. (CareerHub is their career platform - University of York students and graduates have access to Handshake.)

The University of York is a partner university for the Asia Careers Insight Series 2023  The event includes employer presentations, labour market information and workshops to help you find out about organisations looking to hire students and graduates across Asia. The Asia Careers Insight Series runs from 7-9 March online.

How can I make a strong job application?

  • Make sure you target your applications at employers who need what you have to offer - see the advice in Graduate jobs and Applying and Interviewing.
  • Use academic rankings of your course/university to show employers the status of the University of York or of your specific course/department as they may not be familiar with this information
  • Are there advantages to your UK education which set you apart from your peers who remained at home? For some students this can be different teaching methods that promote independent thought, critical thinking, problem based learning and team work
  • Include skills development courses you have attended and any volunteering/internships/short term work, if appropriate
  • Prepare a CV in a style which is appropriate for your home country. Some employers expect more weight to be given to your academic work, others want to understand what you've learned from your extra curricular activities. Do you need to include a photo? How long should your CV be? Check the resources below to find out

    Key resources
  • GoinGlobal career and employment resources (linked from Working outside the UK page) include worldwide job openings, internship listings, industry profiles and country-specific career information.  Content is updated regularly on topics such as: work permit/visa regulations, resume writing guidelines, employment trends, networking groups and worldwide job much more.
  • Use our York Profiles and Mentors database to read about the experiences of graduates from your home country - they may have practical advice on making the most of your UK experience in job applications.

What job search websites can I use?

There are many ways to look for work overseas and thousands of job search websites. You may already be familiar with sites specific to your home country. Here are a few key resources to get you started: 

Advertised vacancies 

  • GoinGlobal  - worldwide job openings, internship listings, industry and corporate profiles
  • World Links - resources for work and study outside the UK
  • GradLink: an excellent resource with expert careers advice and latest jobs for China, India, Gulf, ASEAN (including Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore), Africa, Bangladesh and Canada
  • See the Research section above for a link to the Asia Careers Insight Series - information on the job market and employers in China, SE Asia and India 
  • Graduate jobs - advice on looking for graduate roles
  • Job search engines -, have country search functions
  • See also suggestions on the international work page.

Unadvertised vacancies

In some countries recruiting through personal networks is as important as formal recruitment procedures. 

  • Develop your own network - keep in contact with former employers, friends and contacts during your time in the UK and ensure they know what work you're seeking and when you will return home
  • York for Life has a list of overseas alumni groups. Members may be able to give you advice and make introductions
  • LinkedIn - use this professional networking site to make contacts, follow companies and join interest groups. For example IBM has a China students group, PWC has groups for India and South Africa
  • York Profiles and Mentors - search by country to find University of York graduates for advice and contacts
  • GoinGlobal careers resource which includes information on networking groups worldwide
  • See our networking page for more ideas.

Research and join other relevant networking groups - for example:

  • Chopsticks Club opportunities to learn and network with a culturally diverse network of professionals engaged with China 
  • The British Council Alumni UK platform aims to support networking and career development 
  • The Association of British Scholars India (also British Council) is a useful resource for graduates returning to India. The Assocation is broken down into individual "chapters" depending on region.

Your network might be able to tell you about vacancies when they arise or you may be able to use the information from your networks to make speculative applications to potential employers.

China - job sites

China jobs guide 22-23 (PDF , 11,441kb) from the British Chamber of Commerce in China; information on the job market in China, tips for applications, job listings.

The following may be useful if you are looking for a graduate job in China. If you find any problems with any of these websites, please let us know (

and for teaching jobs:

for PhD graduates

What can I do to give myself the best chance of success when I return home?

  • Find out what skills and attributes graduate employers in your home country value, and take steps to develop these. Employers will want to know what you have gained from overseas study - so get involved in extra-curricular activities (eg student societies, volunteering, work experience) and be prepared to answer questions about what you did in the UK.
  • Do your research and target employers appropriately. Find out if there are any negative perceptions about UK-educated graduates. In countries where loyalty is a valued trait, some employers feel that overseas educated graduates are too ambitious and might move on quickly to chase a higher salary. Make clear in your application information that you are motivated to work for their company.
  • In some countries there is a perception that a UK one-year taught Masters degree is not as good as a two- or even three-year Masters, which may include work experience. Use your CV to show employers that you have successfully undertaken a challenging and intensive period of study and research, while adapting to new teaching methods and possibly a foreign language.
  • Be realistic - you may not necessarily achieve your dream salary or find work in your preferred location immediately.
  • Use all the resources on this website to make strong targeted applications to carefully selected employers who have appropriate opportunities.
  • Explore our York Profiles and Mentors to hear what York graduates say about their experiences in the recruitment process and starting work in their home country. You can also contact them to ask for their advice.

Is it possible to get in touch with York graduates in my home country for advice?

There are several ways that you can do this. While you are a student you can use our York Profiles and Mentors, which includes profiles of those working around the world. You can read about what their careers and contact them to ask questions and get advice. Read our blog for insights from Chinese graduates about their experiences returning to China.

Once you've graduated, you can join York for Life, York's global alumni community.

Getting help

The Careers and Placements team may not have in-depth knowledge of the recruitment situation in your home country, but we can still help in several ways. The Information Team can help you find relevant resources for your research and the Careers Consultants can help you think about your future plans, and give feedback on the strategies you are using to find suitable employment in your home country.  

Please read the rest of the information in this section and if you have any questions please book an appointment.

Who to contact

Careers and Placements
  • Harewood Way, University of York, York, YO10 5DD
  • Students and York graduates can contact us or book an appointment via Handshake
  • Tel: +44 (0)1904 332685
Opening hours
  • Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm (during semesters)
  • Vacation opening times vary - please check the opening times page