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I'm currently a first-year Engineering student at the University of Alberta, looking forward to working in the automation industry in a foreign country. However, I have many questions.
How do I become an expat engineer? Do I have to have a certain amount of experience with a company? Or can I get hired as an expat directly out of university?
How much do expat workers in Asian countries (China/Japan) get paid? Will I receive the same pay as before?
Any other advice?
- Karen LLv 72 months ago
I can't tell you what you might earn in a foreign country, and I doubt if anyone can, since rates of pay vary according to all kinds of factors. And things may change between now and the time you graduate, anyway.
As to whether you need a certain amount of experience or can be hired straight out of university, that depends who's hiring you. It's up to them to decide if you're suitable. However, increasingly, countries only give work visas to people who fill jobs that can't be filled by someone who is already a citizen of that country, and the company doing the hiring has to prove that they have looked for such a person. Most countries have enough recent graduates in many fields so people who get work visas tend to be people with an extensive or specialized work history.
My advice is to wait until a year or so before you graduate, then start checking what it takes to get a work visa in whatever country you want to move to.
If you are going to work in a foreign country in a skilled occupation, it would be very useful, if not imperative, to be fluent in the language of that country and not just to the level of being able to order a meal and carry on a social conversation. You'll have to be able to discuss your work in it, using all the technical terms. It takes most people many years to acquire that sort of fluency, especially with languages that are totally unlike their native language.