Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Working overseas

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2006
    Location
    athens, ga
    Posts
    146

    Working overseas

    Anyone done it? That is, an american going to work in another country? Thoughts, ideas, concerns, or things that someone considering it should be aware of? How different is the planning process in your area fron the 'typical' US process?

    I'm considering working overseas once I finish my MLA. Of course, my situation would be different from most people's experience, in that I'd be looking to teach landscape architecture, but I'm guessing the whole fish-out-of-water experience would be consistent.

    I'd be up for going pretty much anywhere, but it seems like the greatest demand would be in Asia.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  2. #2
    The processes would definitely be different. However, the demand for landscape architects is increasing by the day. I do not know how many good schools you'd find. I know in India there are less than half a dozen schools teaching Landscape Architecture and maybe only 1 or 2 good ones. Also the pay is very different. Professors don't make much money compared to other professions. So it may not be financially as lucrative. Any other specific questions on India?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1
    I do not know if the OP has any questions about India or not, but I do. As an American, are there many planning opportunities there, or do most of those opportunities go to Indian nationals? I am interested in working in India doing planning work, and want to know if this is a feasible goal before I invest too much time into a career that would revolve around planning in India. (that not to say I would guaranteed do it anyway, but that I would at least think about it)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Syndey, Australia
    Posts
    130
    There is plenty of work in the Asia Pacific region, the only catch is they want someone with experience there. Look into the Peace Corps, they are recruiting planners. I guess the only catch is that you dont get to choose where you want to go.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian southern_yank's avatar
    Registered
    May 2006
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    116
    Blog entries
    1
    I've done some research on jobs in the UK - I think one of the major hurdles for international work is securing a work visa. If you don't have a foreign employer who is willing to hire you and secure a visa on your behalf, you must qualify for immigration based on a points sytem which takes education, previous earnings and experience into account. This is how it works for Canada and the UK, anyway. The points system is dynamic and the cut off number shifts based on the economy, immigration quotas and which jobs are in demand.

    I'm considering a move to Europe as a long-term career goal - maybe in 5 years. I think I'll be very bored of planning in the U.S. after 7 or 8 years in this profession. A move abroad could inspire you and prepare you for higher level positions if you decide to come back to the U.S.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Syndey, Australia
    Posts
    130
    You might be able to get an EU passport depending on your heritage. Several of my American friends have gotten one this way via Italy or Ireland. Im no expert but know of others who have done it. Im originally from the UK and we had quite a bit of shortage in local government planning, but that has all changed. Still not as bad as the USA, but worse its been in years. Planners in the UK get paid well and career progression is fast. US planners get paid the lowest (on average, the top jobs pay quite well) for a field that almost requires a masters. If you can handle a move overseas (not that bad with internet and cheap flights these days) your career will prosper! Good luck and if you need any help about reputable firms dont be afraid to ask

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    Posts
    916
    A former co-worker of mine with an LA degree and a masters in urban design got a job in Dubai, and he seems to like it, though even there they had to make job cuts and he squeked by. He was hired before going, so getting a visa was not a problem. Some other friends of mine worked there doing IT work and hated it, found it very shallow and status-symbol oriented, and were troubled by the masses working in near slave-labor conditions. I think I would find that difficult to ignore as well. I've thought about working overseas, but think it would be difficult for my parents now that they are older.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Syndey, Australia
    Posts
    130
    Dubai is a double edged sword. Yes people making plenty of money there. There are also those squeaking by. Housing is extraordinarily expensive (even though it has dropped) and I dont think most Westerns would want to live in the ghetto in Dubai for safety reasons. There were stories about UK construction workers there getting car loans then losing their jobs. Note in Dubai they send those that cant pay their bills to prison!. The UK, OZ and New Zealand will pick up much sooner than the US. China is a growing market and several US design firms are masterplanning suburbs in the rich area of Shanghai. Since the US government owes them over 10 trillion, I see China as a growing massively. The book "The concrete dragon" is good starting point to learn more. Its also alot easier to get a working visa for China. I think it take the urban planning industry in the US at least 5 years to recover to a decent paying profession, international experience is so key in this constantly growing global community.

    A great website to learn about the global construction and design industry is: building.co.uk

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Island-State Republic of Singapore
    Posts
    162
    One thing I must add is that urban planning in Asia is very much more design and physical planning oriented (i.e. landscaping plans, laying of roads, coming up with plot ratios, master planning, projections of population which translates to number of homes, commercial floorspace, parks, etc.).

    I agree with expat on Dubai. You can find jobs there with good renumeration but they seem to expect people with 10+ years experience (from the ads I saw). Also the job market has slowed down somewhat, but other surroundings areas like Doha (Qatar), Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Bahrain still seem ok.

    If you're interested to work in China, you're expected to want to pick up the language. That is, unless you work in an international firm with their own translators (and/or clients who can speak english) and who flies only now and then to the site.

    Why not google for some of the Asian planning/LA institute websites for more info?
    Last edited by joshww81; 06 Oct 2009 at 9:39 PM.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Syndey, Australia
    Posts
    130
    Josh,

    Agree Asia loves urban design and concept designs. Its weird that Japan and Korea dont really have much planning, but China and Hong Kong do. How is Singapore for planning? I toured the URA building in 2005 and was impressed with the model city. How are the firms there? What is the pay like ? Im curious about Singapore.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Island-State Republic of Singapore
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally posted by expat123 View post
    Josh,

    Agree Asia loves urban design and concept designs. Its weird that Japan and Korea dont really have much planning, but China and Hong Kong do. How is Singapore for planning? I toured the URA building in 2005 and was impressed with the model city. How are the firms there? What is the pay like ? Im curious about Singapore.
    Singapore's planning system is fairly straightforward. It has the Concept Plan (like the overall strategic plan guiding for 50 years), the Master Plan (zoning plan, but is statutory in nature, guiding 10-20 years). So everything else fits around it. You can check out more information here or PM me if you want more details:

    http://www.ura.gov.sg/dc/mp03/text/overview.htm

    I haven't really worked for the local private firms in Singapore, but from little experience and discussions with friends, it is pretty much physical planning + urban design + masterplanning in nature, as mentioned before. Forgot to add, they like design grads (i.e. LAs, Archs, or planners with a strong design background).

    As for the public sector, we do more management work now since we're kinda in maintenance/management mode. That said, some of the agencies will still do their own masterplanning, but that is rare rather than the norm. Also, many of the public agencies have hired international grads, as we do not have a local planning course.

    Pay wise, it's pretty OK for the public sector, but not very good for the private sector unless you've got quite a fair bit of experience.

    Here are some of our local firms' websites (they do predominantly planning internationally in Russia, India, China and Middle East)

    http://www.surbana.com/
    http://www.jurong.com/
    http://www.rsp.com.sg/
    http://www.cpgcorp.com.sg/home/home.asp

    EDAW also has an office in Singapore.

    Hope this helps.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Syndey, Australia
    Posts
    130
    Thank you Josh,

    Is SCP any good? I know they do most of their stuff in China, but are based in Singapore. My dream is to open up a development consultancy in Orchard Towers

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Island-State Republic of Singapore
    Posts
    162
    check your pm expat.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Encroaching on something
    Posts
    2,713
    I once applied for a job in NZ, but after I looked into the rules and regs for relocating there, it was too much money for me to fork out.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    113

    getting a job in China after MUP

    I'm interested in getting a job in planning/real estate areas in China after getting the masters in urban planning...is there a big demand to hire people with such degree in China (or other countries in Asia)??
    I've always been interested in working abroad in China...I've also studied mandarin throughout college years and I plan to keep it up....

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Urban planning overseas
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 01 Feb 2010, 7:52 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last post: 02 Aug 2005, 8:18 AM
  3. American chains overseas
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 28
    Last post: 28 Feb 2005, 12:01 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last post: 31 Dec 2004, 11:44 PM
  5. work overseas
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 12 Jul 2002, 9:38 AM