We’ve all seen (and probably envied) the hosts of those food traveler shows. International cuisine allures and offers us a glimpse into another culture. No matter what our background is, food is something we all have in common. If food science or nutrition is your specialty, you’re aware that food is much more than just nourishment; it is the vehicle through which we communicate sentiments, express our creativity, and create memories. It is in the sharing of food with others that keeps us connected. Landing a food science or nutrition job abroad will allow you to work with food at the organic, molecular level AND see the big picture.
WHY WORK ABROAD IN NUTRITION
Looking at food through the lens of a different country’s culture is a rare opportunity that cannot be replicated at home. To be able to appreciate and comprehend how a society really operates in the kitchen and in daily dining and nutrition practices, you cannot beat firsthand experience. Working abroad in food science and nutrition teaches and encourages respect for other people, and fosters an understanding of the interconnectedness of food, health, and human nature. The benefits of international experience stretch far beyond personal gain and into the professional realm when you choose to step into another culture’s kitchen through nutrition jobs abroad.
The great thing about international cuisine is that each country has a unique culinary history specific to its culture. This means, depending on what type of nutrition job abroad you are looking for, there is a location that is tailor made for you!
Europe represents the height of culinary accomplishment. From chic restaurants presided over by renowned chefs to the street carts interspersed between cobblestone roads, the endlessly varied cuisine is dripping with culture. You can seat yourself upon the pillar of innovation in Europe working in food science and nutrition. You could even grab your lab coat and enter into the molecular gastronomy lab as a food chemist, blazing the trail for fancy pants chefs by creating new food products or processes or by improving existing ones. The best European destinations for globetrotting foodies searching for nutrition jobs abroad are Italy, Germany, and England.
Australia does not have the same street cred as Europe when it comes to a rich food history, but Aussie’s are quickly gaining their own credibility in the health world. Obesity rates are at an all time high and rising to rival America’s ranking. The Australian government has implemented new programs and a nutrition system that is backed by health conscious organizations to combat the obesity epidemic. In response, dieticians are flooding the land down under to fight on the front lines of health. Nutrition jobs in major cities, like Sydney, will help you get your foot in the door with these crusaders and maybe even a beach bungalow!
On the other side of the world, Malawi has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the world. Want to use your powers for good? Get a nutrition jobs abroad in Malawi and fight the good fight. If you are leaning toward a long term career in the public health sector, nutrition jobs in Malawi are a great starting point. There is a lot of work to be done that is laced with a sense of purpose that not many nutrition jobs can so readily offer. Many agriculture and food assistance projects in Malawi exist only at the grassroots level, which creates space for plenty of new nutrition job opportunities.
FOOD SCIENCE & NUTRITION JOBS ABROAD
Food science and nutrition is a broad field that houses many different professions that are typically congruent throughout the world. Thus, making it an ideal field for jetsetters to accumulate work experience abroad that has consistent reputability nearly anywhere! There are a handful of different companies and organizations that offer internships, fellowships, and other nutrition jobs across the world.
Almost everyone on the dietetic path must complete an internship to become a registered dietician. Therefore, many international service organizations specialize in providing international internships to graduates in the food science and nutrition fields. These short-term nutrition work opportunities typically run for one year and participants are provided with information regarding visa procedures, general work environment, cultural differences and similarities, and living conditions.
If you have a soft spot for community outreach and a desire to foster health awareness, you may want to take a look at a public health education career. Global companies offer fellowships that select young professionals to fill high-impact positions in government organizations and NGOs. These companies aim to marshal a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity. They are dedicated to creating a new breed of health sector leaders who come up with innovative solutions to the most challenging health problems all over the world.
Embrace your inner mad scientist and explore food science jobs abroad as a food chemist. Your efforts could spur advances in agriculture, food processing, and many other areas. Some international food science job opportunities even offer workers language courses, so you could have the chance to study a language while living and working abroad. Know the nomenclature and know the culture; in other words, you can have your cake and eat it too!
BENEFITS & CHALLENGES
Immersion. Trying to apply another culture’s health and culinary practices without leaving the comfort of your home country isn’t going to fly. This attitude presents an obstacle of narrowness that can only be hurdled by total immersion of a culture. There is no doubt that diving head first into the unknown is no walk in the park. But, to be able to bring something new and authentic to the table (pun always intended), a total immersion experience is necessary to gain a true understanding of the culture, and that includes the food culture.
Be Epicurious. Reel in your eagerness to unleash your inner epicurean and take the time to listen and observe how the locals interact. Your listening skills and self-awareness will subconsciously progress as you attempt to navigate a new culture. Your ability to adapt in these new situations and be able to clearly communicate your thoughts is a rare and valuable life skill that will forever enhance your professional skills in any field.
Career advantage. With universal unemployment problems, a resume with international experience will give you an unquestionable competitive edge over others. It is an experience that reflects a person’s intelligence, flexibility, openness, and decision-making skills. When an interviewer sees that you have learned how to make pasta in Italy or fought hunger in Malawi, you will undoubtedly set the bar high for all other candidates.
So are you ready to be a traveling foodie? Bulking up your employment history with a food science or nutrition job abroad is the first step! Food feeds the soul and is the single great unifier across cultures. But what feeds your soul? Get out of your comfort (food) zone and find out!