Best Practice Guide for Organisations Providing International Opportunities

The University of Edinburgh wants all its students to have an international experience, working, studying or volunteering, and we are keen to work with you in helping to make this happen. 

The University of Edinburgh wants all its students to have an international experience, working, studying or volunteering, and we are keen to work with you in helping to make this happen. 

The Careers Service supports our students to make well informed, independent decisions about their international experience. We therefore have a minimum standard of information that we ask organisations to present clearly, up-front around: 

  • Organisation’s legal status and contact details 

  • Employee’s employment status 

  • Financial arrangements and costs for all of the facets of the programme (application, subsistence, travel, pay, fundraising requirements etc.) 

  • Refund and employees support policies. 

This guide helps you provide the best quality information to applicants and allows them to easily compare your offer to that of other providers. It is based on the sort of questions that students will ask themselves before they make a decision. 

About your organisation and values 

Applicants want to understand the organisation’s purpose, values and experience. For example: 

  • What is the main purpose of the organisation? Who is the organisation benefitting? Are the interests of the local people being served?  
  • How long has your organisation been running programmes? What industry accreditation do you have? How many people work for your organisation? If there is a UK office, what are the contact details? 
  • If the employee is paying, be explicit about what the money is for (e.g. travel, accommodation, administration) and where the money goes (e.g. to help build local schools, to fund future employees have experiences like theirs) 

Support for employees 

Employees are keen to know what kind of support is offered to them whilst they are on the programme. For example: 

  • Will the employee have regular contact with a representative of the organisation on site or nearby? And will they speak the employee’s language (e.g. English)? 
  • Does the organisation provide insurance, and what does that cover, e.g.  personal injury or repatriation if the employee becomes ill? 
  • Is there any programme of social activities outside of the work/project? 

Practical arrangements 

Employees will want to understand the practicalities around getting to the country and what their daily life will look like in terms of work and living arrangements. For example: 


Does the employee organise and pay for travel themselves? Will the employee be travelling alone or in a group? 


  • Is accommodation provided and, if so, will the employee get the address of where they will be staying in advance? Is the standard of accommodation checked by your organisation? How far is it from the project/work-place? 
  • If the employee is staying with a local family, are they being paid? What do they hope to get out of having the employee to stay? 


  • What kind of induction or training will the employee be offered? What hours will the employee work and how much free time will they have?  
  • Will the employee be given any support materials – or are they expected to take their own? 
  • If the employee is working with children (or any other vulnerable group) does the organisation do background checks? 

Employee testimonials 

Employee testimonials add significant credibility to your offer, so consider providing these on your website and in promotional materials. For example: 

  • How many employees does your organisation have on the programme each year? Can the applicant be put in contact with these previous students? 
  • We pay close attention to feedback from our students and use it to help advise other students.   

If the applicant finds the answers to these questions vague or unsatisfactory they may want to reconsider their choice, so it is worth being up-front and explicit in the information provided.  

We would recommend including this information on your website and on your MyCareerHub Employer Profile.