Physics working conditions internationally

  • #1
Hey!
I'm an international student - thinking of pursuing an Aerospace Engg. Bachelors' degree in US.

What are the job opportunities in US in this field for international students? I've heard that US companies that offer Aerospace jobs for non-American citizens are quite rare. Is this true? And if yes, what are the job opportunities in companies that don't go for the american-citizen criteria?
How easy is it to get into those companies, and how good are they?

If possible, I'd also like to know if Canada goes for the same criteria - the Canadian-citizen thing.

I need serious answers, please help friends :)

Thanks in advance!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
I'm currently in my junior year of physics and am considering whether I want to get a job or go straight to graduate school after college. I was wondering what working conditions are like for scientists in other countries and how easy it would be to work abroad either right out of college or with a phd. I always hear about the 50, 60 80 work weeks that many American scientists put in and was wondering if that just applies to academia in the United States, all scientific jobs (including those in industry and national labs) in the U.S. or if it's just a general fact. I'm currently abroad in England and think that it would be great to work in another country, preferably one where they speak English. I'm not exactly sure which field I would want to go into if I go to graduate school. I'm not that interested in solid state/condensed matter physics. I like nuclear physics although I don't know too much about it. I've heard that you can't go from a undergraduate U.S. B.S. degree to a European Ph.D program because the systems are so different (European high school cover more science and their undergraduate programs cover our grad school classes.) Is Canada like this too?

I also considered teaching high school physics abroad. I like working with that age group and like that people can enjoy science a bit more at that age instead of spending all of their time worrying about tests, homework and grades. However, I never liked how U.S. teachers often spent more time "herding cattle" than they do teaching. I also feel that only students who get into the honors/ap system early (usually because they're parents tell them from the time they're 5 that they need to get into an ivy) get a proper education . Is this the case in Canada/U.K./australia or in other countries where classes are taught in English? Are high schools science teachers looked down upon by academics the same way they are (unfortunately) in the U.S.? I've heard that conceptual physics until quantum mechanics is taught in many countries around that world. It would be cool to teach these ideas to high schoolers, since only mechanics and e and m are taught in the United States.

I'm not particularly married to one place, career or sub-field but traveling has broadened my outlook and it would be interesting to try to work in different countries. I love living in new places for at least few months at a time so that I can meet new people and really absorb the culture of the city/country I'm in. Does anyone have any other advise on questions I didn't directly state regarded work internationally?
 
  • #3
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I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the academic advice forum, as it seems to be a mix of the two. Feel free to move it as you see fit.

Sorry if this is a bit long. I am a dual degree EE physics major (the physics degree is a BA) who is in the middle of the 3rd year of a 5 year program.

After finishing my undergrad in Electrical engineering and physics I would like to participate in the Japanese exchange and teaching (JET) program ( http://www.jetprogramme.org/ ). Basically you just teach English there for 1 - 3 years, there are a number of programs like this but JET is the best one. It's pretty competitive though (well, no more competitive than grad school, but they are looking for a different skill set), and they don't tell you if you've made it until mid May, slightly before or after graduation. I would also like to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in physics or EE, but I'm not sure if applying is wise if I know I want to do something else, or if I would be able to deffer acceptance until may (or potentially for a year or more). Similarly, I am not sure if it is any more reasonable on my part to attempt to secure a job, or when it is typical to be hired as a graduating EE major. Lastly, if I were to be accepted into JET and participated for say, 3 years, I don't suppose the 3 years out of academia, working in an entirely non technical field, looks too bad does it? I've wanted to do JET since middleschool so I am pretty determined to accept the opportunity to participate if I can.

I'm not sure how clear that was, so my questions are:

Given my situation, does it even make sense to apply to graduate school during my senior year?
How long can you defer graduate school acceptance?
If I turned down acceptance to a school I really wanted to attend in order to do JET, would it look bad for me to reapply a few years later?
When attempting to secure a job as a graduating senior, at what point are you typically aware of if you have been hired? (assuming there is anything "typical about the process)
Does spending an extended period of time working in an irrelevant area look bad on grad school apps?

Thanks!
 
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