There was a fair amount of discussion in the externships thread about working abroad and I thought it would be good to get a discussion going on what is involved with working abroad. I think it would be very useful for all of us to share tips on how we got their, found a job, what happened etc. I did not do an externship overseas as I felt it was too short a time to go all the way over to Europe to work just to come back in five months. On top of that I didn't really know anyone to tell you the truth so I stuck with the states. However after school I made a good friend who had worked in both France and Switzerland and he was able to hook me up with a couple week to two week stints. It is worth noting that I tried going through two chefs that I worked with before and it was a long waiting game, writing a formal request in one instance and sending it all the way to France. In the end these two chefs I think we just two darn busy to help a lowly culinary grad. My friend who helped me simply called over there and the people said yes the rest was up to me. I left the states with a one way ticket and made my way to Bourg En Bresse France and introduced myself. They asked me how long I would stay and I told them i could only stay a week but would like to stay longer if that was ok. They gave me a place to sleep and fed me twice a day. After a week it was time for me to go and I asked the chef if he would have me back and he said yes just to call him when I was done in Switzerland. A coupe of important points to share here: No working papers Did not get paid anything in France just a nice room to stay in and a couple mealsI I initiated an offer to stay longer Cleaned more than any other place I have worked in Did not speak French The restaurant I worked in was a 1 star (much easier to get into) Switzerland was different I arrived and worked about 3 weeks total (worked my but off), and hit it off with the owner and his wife. It was a big shop and they moved me around quite a bit. After 3 weeks he asked if I would stay because the holidays were coming up and I said yes but I need a place to stay. They found me a really nice room which they paid for and they paid me some pocket money. This is far more dangerous than what I was doing in France and if I would of been caught I would of been asked to leave the country. All in all I stayed a little over 8 months. There is more to my story but I will stop for now to hear what others have to say. The main thing I learned about getting a job overseas is: You don't necessarily need workign papers especially if your not going two be working very long. Don't go for the big places try for a 1-2 establishment, you will learn more. Go to the islands (Greek) during the season (April - Oct) and you will always be able to get a job. Likwise head to the ski resorts in the alps during the winter season and you will have no problem getting a job. Work hard and show them your serious (don't complain) and initiate opportunities to stay longer. Anyone else have some tips or experiences to share? Hope my comments are helpful.