College graduates head overseas as Plan B for work

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Facing a poor job market, thousands of graduates are examining job opportunities outside the U.S.

“As I was getting closer to graduation, I was definitely aware that, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s definitely harder to get a job,’ ” said Alexa Bate, a Seattle University graduate who has signed a contract to teach English classes at the American Language Center in Rabat, Morocco. “I think that for a lot of people, it definitely is influencing how they’re getting a job and what they’re doing.”

Susan Terry, director of the UW Career Center, said she doubts the economy is the sole reason a student would look for work abroad. But fewer opportunities in the U.S. — or the perception that fewer opportunities exist — may be making the internationally inclined think more seriously about it.

“The logic follows, if I’m going to work as a barista I might as well go do it in Paris,” Terry said.

Teaching English is one of the most popular options for those who want to live in a different culture and earn a living at the same time. Others have chosen to postpone jobs or school in the U.S. to aid the less fortunate.

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