Sport opportunities abroad

Whether it’s teaching football in Africa, lifeguarding in America or running Zumba classes in the Maldives, sports internship opportunities abroad can provide you with a rewarding and exciting experience whilst helping you to develop your skills and enhance your career.

How can working abroad benefit you? 

It demonstrates an improved skill-set to employers

  • Communication and team working skills - you may be required to communicate effectively with those who speak another language or those from another culture, which in turn will enhance your interpersonal and team building skills.
  • Flexibility and adaptability - working and living in different cultures and environments.
  • Independence and confidence - working abroad can show your ambition, drive and willingness to seek out new challenges.
  • Work well under pressure - by immersing yourself within a multicultural or multilingual environment, it shows you can handle change and difficult situations.


“Employers are increasingly looking beyond grades and qualifications for something that makes a candidate stand out from the rest. Experience of working abroad, and the skills that gives you, can be the thing that sets you apart.”


It’s a networking opportunity

  • Working abroad will help you build a network of international contacts. Global sports opportunities mean that forming such contacts may prove to be an advantage in an ever-increasing international market in the future.

Jack Prescott

Employer Engagement Team, United Through Sport

“Volunteering abroad is a great way of getting a foot in the door, so to speakā€¦people running those operations might well be able to refer you to the people you want to be speaking to. Volunteers (within sports) may also work very closely with kids, tackling language barriers and having to constantly think about logistics and bizarre problems like what to do if your session is interrupted by cows or something daft like that! The point being that the benefits are many. Employers talking about this sort of travel; it seems that it is a far better received way to travel than more generic backpacking trips. Not that there is anything wrong with these trips, but they are not seen to be as developmental for the professional in an individual as with a specific project.”


Before you go

Research, Research, Research! Think about what you want to gain from your time abroad and be prepared to do lots of research beforehand.

  • Research the organisation you have in mind. Look at their website, check out their FAQs and email them directly with any questions you might have.
  • Look at previous case studies and testimonials to research others experiences and to discover how the opportunity may have benefited them. Ask for their contact details and you could even message them directly. Check out online forums which may have negative as well as positive reviews about the specific opportunity.
  • Research the city/country you are interested in going to (this can include watching documentaries, researching online and reading travel guides) to expand on your cultural awareness, etiquette, local law and to ensure the area is safe to travel to by looking at the UK Government foreign travel advice.
  • Visa and immigration requirements - ensure you are aware of the formalities relevant to the country you are travelling to before you go, as you don’t want to get to the airport only to be sent home because you don’t have the correct visa: UK Government Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
  • Health - Do you need vaccinations before you go? Discuss with your doctor beforehand. Is travel insurance included in your trip? What would you do if you were ill on your trip? Research the area to see where the nearest doctors or pharmacy is.
  • UK Government 'know before you go' web pages
  • Go International - Pre-departure guide for students


Many organisations offering sports internship or volunteering opportunities are unpaid and some will charge a fee. For those charging a fee, sometimes there are hidden costs as the fee may or may not include flights, accommodation, food, or insurance; so clarify what is included. If you apply for an unpaid or fee based opportunity, you may be eligible to apply for a University of Birmingham Work Experience Bursary to help assist with some of the costs involved.  

Sourcing sports opportunities abroad

Please note: Careers Network does not recommend any individual provider – the following resources are a useful starting point for your own research.

  • Sporting Opportunities - Promotes sports opportunities abroad including volunteering, sports tours and internships.
  • United Through Sport - Focus on working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds through sport.
  • Jump in Sport - Recruitment site that has lots of sport internship opportunities in the UK and overseas.
  • Gap 360 - Sports coaching abroad - Helps people who want to head off travelling, whether you’re taking a full gap year, or a few weeks break. Includes sport coaching roles across the world.
  • Projects Abroad - Sports - Various sports coaching projects abroad in schools, sports clubs and community centres.
  • Overseas Job Centre - Includes a good summary list of companies who offer sport and leisure opportunities abroad.
  • BUNAC - Specialists in overseas work and travel programmes.
  • Prospects - Work experience abroad - General advice about undertaking work experience abroad. Also links to companies with opportunities.
  • Season Workers - Outdoor Jobs - Seasonal, sport and outdoor  jobs overseas.

Further help

Find useful resources and book an appointment with a careers adviser on the Careers Network website.


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