Career advice

Working abroad: a new job in a new country

Do your homework before you go and be prepared for a culture shock, says international recruitment manager Vasil Barron.
working abroad

Do your homework before you go and be prepared for a culture shock, says international recruitment manager Vasil Barron

Nurses hoping to uproot their careers and work overseas will find attractive packages in Australia and the Middle East, with particular opportunities for short-term relocation to Dubai.

As big healthcare recruitment hotspots, Australia and Dubai attract nurses from all over the UK and Europe. Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), offers tax-free earnings, hot weather and outstanding facilities in its hospitals. UK nurses are welcomed there, mainly because they are well-trained and adapt readily to the culture.

The UAE government established tax-free areas (also known as economic free-zones) during the mid-1980s, allowing overseas workers the opportunity for tax-free earnings. On top of this, many employers in Dubai and the

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Do your homework before you go and be prepared for a culture shock, says international recruitment manager Vasil Barron


Nursing offers the chance to develop skills while you see the world. Picture: Getty 

Nurses hoping to uproot their careers and work overseas will find attractive packages in Australia and the Middle East, with particular opportunities for short-term relocation to Dubai.

As big healthcare recruitment hotspots, Australia and Dubai attract nurses from all over the UK and Europe. Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), offers tax-free earnings, hot weather and outstanding facilities in its hospitals. UK nurses are welcomed there, mainly because they are well-trained and adapt readily to the culture.

The UAE government established tax-free areas (also known as economic free-zones) during the mid-1980s, allowing overseas workers the opportunity for tax-free earnings. On top of this, many employers in Dubai and the Middle East will provide free accommodation and cover everyday bills and travel costs.

Earning potential 

One of the fastest developing cities in the world, Dubai has more expats than locals, with an astonishing figure of five expats to one Emirati local.

Australia is popular with UK nurses for obvious reasons: the two countries share a language and are, in many respects, culturally similar. Australia can also offer an outstanding climate, incredible wildlife and a lifestyle that some would say is superior to the UK’s.

The pay is different too. Whereas nurses in the UK are living with the 1% salary cap, Australia has more flexible earning potential.

New independent and sponsored skilled visas have been available since July 2012. These are called the ‘subclass 457 visas’ and are used for registered nurses working in Australia for up to four years. Family members may accompany the nurse on this visa in order to work or study in the country.

Educate yourself 

Intensive care nurses – particularly those in paediatrics or neonatal units – are in demand globally, but there are opportunities for a wide range of nursing specialisms.

If you’re seriously thinking of moving, keep in mind that you may be in for a culture shock. Learn as much as you can about your new country and educate yourself on their customs. The more you know, the easier your transition will be.

Make sure you find out exactly how your pay will be calculated – will it be on a UK pay rate or international? – and check registration requirements, which may be different to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s. As well as official sources of information, look out for articles and travel blogs by people who have made the move.

If you have done your homework, you should be able to embrace your new environment and learn as much as possible. Experience of working overseas can be a valuable addition to your CV and you could return having experienced a different culture, developed new skills and grown into a more flexible healthcare professional.


About the author 

Vasil Barron is international resourcing manager at Your World Healthcare, and previously managed recruitment for an NHS staff bank

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