Working Abroad: Entry level Landscape Architecture…Where do I start??

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Soo Wai-Kin 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #151438

    Madeline
    Participant

    Hello folks!

    I am a recent graduate from UGA’s BLA program. At this point in my life, I have a serious case of wanderlust and would love to travel for a few years, but also would like to work within the field to continue learning and growing in this career path. In particular, I would love to travel to Australia for at least one year, but would be interested in anywhere I could find a position.

    I wanted to ask if anyone has suggestions about working abroad, and where/how to find a job, particularly in garden design or landscape architecture. I truly have no clue where to start with something like that, and don’t have too many friends who have extensive travel experience or who have worked in another country.

    Any advice is much appreciated!!

    All the best-

    Madeline

    #151449

    Soo Wai-Kin
    Participant

    work in small offices where you only report to principal..  learn, learn , learn.. geographic location is relevant to where you want settle…

    best of luck

    #151448

    Tosh K
    Participant

    work for places that will give you a good work/life balance – I know too many people that traveled for work or worked in foreign places only to find that they only worked.  As with all jobs, have a great presentation ready (portfolio, resume, enthusiasm), know the language of the business (if not the place), and have some type of network.  A lot of bigger firms have international offices where you might be able to transfer back.  For smaller firms, it may be harder for them to take on someone not familiar with the nature of the business environment (codes, laws, etc) and plant material.

    Alternatively you might look for work in a related line of work.

    #151447

    Charla Kaul
    Participant

    I just got back from an 8 month working holiday and traveling abroad. I lived and worked in New Zealand and did some traveling in other countries after that. I found it very hard to try and get even entry level jobs while in NZ. I had over 2 years of landscape design experience. Unless you have specific connections or networks, it will be nearly impossible for you to be able to land a designing job at a firm. Given the chance they will most likely hire a local who knows the laws, culture and landscape over a traveler (whom they don’t even know how long they will stick around). If you have a working holiday visa in Australia, you can only work for 6 months for the same employer of the 12 months you can be in the country. In New Zealand, you can work the whole 12 months for the same employer with the NZ working holiday visa and from what i heard form countless travelers and my boyfriend, its much easier to get jobs in NZ as a traveler. I tried offering to do part time drafting or marketing for all of the firms in the city I was living in. It didn’t work for me but I would suggest trying that (I was in a city that only had about 10-20 firms and I was only in that city for about 3 months). Be open to working at plant nurseries or free lance drafting or rendering if you have certain programs on your computer. I ended up working as a receptionist and doing hospitality temp work… it was a blast though and in the end it gave me the funds I needed to keep traveling for 2 months after that.

    Where to start? start looking for firms and job openings before you go in the cities you’re thinking of living in. Trademe.com is like our craigslist here in the states. And definitely make sure you have the correct working visas you need before you go as well. NZ is easy to get and really fast and I know Australia’s is a little more confusing and slower. 

    Hope this helps!

    #151446

    Arun Ravi
    Participant

    Hi,I am a head hunter from Kuwait.In my experience try to get into a company that have global operations in USA itself.
    The advantage is that in joining such a firm you might probably get chance to get involved in projects that has international exposure.
    Once you gain an experience of at least 5 years or so,you can start applying for openings abroad which will help you out in getting a good position and a good pay package which will make sense and thus to save a few dollars for the future.

    Thanks,

    Thanks,

    Ravi Arun
    arun@searchjobskuwait.com
    http://www.searchjobskuwait.blogspot.com
    p.s: we do not accept/charge any money from the applicant/candidate.

    #151445

    Madeline
    Participant

    Thanks so much for all the replies! Really appreciate the advice!

    #151444

    Edward Flaherty
    Participant

    Break it out like this:

    Either,

    1. Travel for fun? Look online for regions where landscape offices are so busy all they need are warm bodies for production. Of course you need to know how to produce; or,

    2. Practice for a career–take on the austerity and practice in your home state to get licensed/registered before you hit the road. Registered/licensed in the USA opens doors around the world.

    Best of luck.

    #151443

    Edward Flaherty
    Participant

    1. Travel for fun? Look online for regions where landscape offices are so busy all they need are warm bodies for production. Of course you need to know how to produce; or,

    2. Practice for a career–take on the austerity and practice in your home state to get licensed/registered before you hit the road. Registered/licensed in the USA opens doors around the world.

    Best of luck.

    #151442

    ida
    Participant

    The traditional way of finding a company in your desired location and sending them a hard or digital portfolio, resume, and cover letter should be enough. Whether or not they want a foreigner depends from office to office. Usually the bigger office, or an office that does international work, the more likely they can bring in a foreigner. You may have better luck if you are applying for an internship because I’m not sure if companies are willing to bring in someone as a full time employee (with benefits and all) who only plans to work there for a year.

    #151441

    Walter Bone
    Participant

    Hi Madeline,

    I currently work overseas and have been out of the US for almost 10 years.  As other have mentioned, I would start in the US, gain some experince and definitely get your license.  As mentioned, concentrate on being very productive and learn how to master construction document preparation and how things are put together.

    I have worked for multi-disciplinary firms in the US and was exposed to other disciplines like civil/road engineers, architects, structural, environmental, etc.  I worked closely with these disciplines and found myself resolving engineering solutions, at times, better than the engineers.  This is due to my LA background/education.  Absorb as much knowledge as possible from the other disciplines, which will make you a stronger candidate.

    I have lived in Hong Kong, Macau, China and now Dubai, UAE.  I have been very fortunate to have worked throughout China, 2 large casino resort projects in Macau and Theme Park work in Hong Kong and India.

    I am now the Senior Landscape Manager in Dubai woking on the new large theme park consisting of Phase 1, Motiongate, Bollywood and Legoland.  I start next month on the new Six Flags which is Phase 2.  Work is booming here for LA’s.

    I wish you the best of luck and enjoy your work 🙂

    #151440

    Edward Flaherty
    Participant

    Thumbs up, Walter! 🙂

    #151439

    Jason Davidson
    Participant

    I’m not sure if you have sorted out where your are going yet, Madeline, but if you are considering Australia then you should have a look at the AILA website.  http://www.aila.org.au

    Companies here in Australia are definitely willing to employ internationally trained LAs and if you are looking to stay long-term, then you can go through the Registration process here with AILA.

    Good luck with it!

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