The International Office is the starting point for all non-domestic university students. It offers support to all new and continuing overseas students. The International Office also promotes the university’s interests abroad, often in collaboration with foreign universities and businesses. Exchange and Erasmus students are also looked after by the IO (International Office), as well as students on the Higher Education Foundation Programme.
Journeys abroad are common in the International Office. Weekends and evenings are sometimes expected, and visits to offices overseas mean you will be spending time away from home.
There are various roles within the International Office. Job duties depend on the position, so you could be dealing with exchange students, supporting current students, or developing the international brand of the university. Below are some general duties involved in IO jobs:
- Handle enquiries from students, visitors and parents from outside the UK
- Deal with enquiries from university staff regarding international students
- Process and evaluate applications from potential students and exchange students
- Organise orientation days for new international students
- Facilitate the arrival of new students (information and advice before arrival)
- Organise events for international students
- Assist with visa enquiries, such as extensions or deadlines
- Operate a ‘Student drop-in’ center for international students
- Support international students throughout their period of study
- Coordinating exchange programs with countries across the world
- Promote the university by visiting other countries
- Attend international exhibitions and meetings as a university representative
- Manage overseas offices and communicate with overseas university branches (depending on university)
- Create promotional material for use in other countries
Most jobs in the IO require A-levels or equivalent, although a degree in any discipline will be advantageous as you will have experience of university life. Degrees in Marketing, Sociology, Foreign Languages or Administration are particularly relevant to the role.
Experience of office work or other administrative roles will also be of benefit. IT skills are valued. Communication is a big part of this job, and International Officers are expected to be able to communicate clearly.
- A-level education or equivalent
- Degree preferred
- Foreign language skills are desirable
- IT skills are essential
- Communication skills must be of the highest order
- A professional and well-organised approach to work is vital
- Reliability and willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends is necessary
- You may be required to visit other countries
- Starting salaries are generally start at about £18,000
- Salary progresses with experience and responsibility
- Senior positions progress beyond £40,000
- Evening and weekend work is often required
- Basic hours are the usual 9 to 5, but flexibility is required
- Journeys abroad are sometimes required
The IO incorporates a wide range of roles, such as Support Officers, International Officers, Exchange Officers, and Directors. Within that framework, staff will be assigned to cater for certain countries or regions as well as specific tasks and duties within the office.
You can advance to Senior International Officer, Head of IO and other higher-level roles within the IO. You can also develop your career by moving into other areas of university administration, such as Admissions and jobs within the Registry.
Further Education Institutions
Overseas Offices of UK Institutions
UG Admissions Officer
PG Admissions Officer