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Breaking into... another country. Advice needed.


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#1 Spiriq   Members   -  Reputation: 128

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

Greetings,
I was thinking about this for a while and would like to hear other peoples' opinions.
Currently I am living in Russia, I have around 5 years of experience in games development industry. I plan to work here in Moscow for a couple more years to finish this AAA game I am working on. That will insure that I have decent portfolio as a level/game designer.

I plan to move to another country, preferrable English speaking one. The problem is that I don't have colledge education and even with a job invitation from said country they will more likely deny my working visa application. Guess they will classify me as an unskilled labour worker :)

Anyways, I think the only possible way for me is to get a colledge degree in said country. And here comes the question: is it possible to get a part time job as a level/game designer as a student in, lets say, England or Canada? Will an employer even bother to hire an international student for 10-20 hours a week for said position?

Thank you.

Sponsor:

#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9512

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:41 AM

1. I think the only possible way for me is to get a colledge degree in said country.
2. is it possible to get a part time job as a level/game designer as a student in, lets say, England or Canada?
3. Will an employer even bother to hire an international student for 10-20 hours a week for said position?

1. I think there are other possible ways. But you can try that.
2. Anything is possible.
3. Unlikely. You should read FAQ 72. Go back out to the Breaking In forum main page and find the FAQs link at upper right.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7643

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

It is a shame you didn't ask this last year. There was an exchange program at the ENDI last year, which hired people from around the globe (mainly Germans, but it wasn't a set focus as far as I am aware of).
Unfortunately, after this batch, the ENDI is closing. It would've been a nice foot in the door.
I would recommend you look up any ties the IGDA might have in chapters in Canada and see if anything pops up. It may not be as straightforward as what you're asking for, but you never know. Having experience in a studio might really help.
What company are you currently working for?

#4 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 869

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:26 PM

As far as the American system is considered, you will need 3 years of specialized experience in lieu of a degree, so your 5 in the game industry may qualify you for that. Other countries are likely to have similar conditions, so I wouldn't write it off.
If a company is willing to sponsor you, let them worry about putting the right spin on your resume to bring you over.

You would need to look very carefully at whether you can even work as a student - using my American experience again, I can tell you I was only allowed to work on-campus, for a max of 20 hours a week (15 at my particular college.) This included freelance work and summer internships (though I know some who considered the benefits of a paid internship to offset the risk) and even after graduation I had my share of obstacles in my job search.
Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#5 Spiriq   Members   -  Reputation: 128

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:04 AM

Thanks for answers! Couldn't reply back earlier, sorry :)

1. I think there are other possible ways. But you can try that.
2. Anything is possible.
3. Unlikely. You should read FAQ 72. Go back out to the Breaking In forum main page and find the FAQs link at upper right.

Honestly only other way I see is getting an education here in Russia, but we have quite low quality education. It is rather cheap (comparing with USA or Great Britain), but useless.
I've read the FAQ, the most important thing I've got is that I need to have work permission visa to be able to be considered at all by American companies.

It is a shame you didn't ask this last year. There was an exchange program at the ENDI last year, which hired people from around the globe (mainly Germans, but it wasn't a set focus as far as I am aware of).
Unfortunately, after this batch, the ENDI is closing. It would've been a nice foot in the door.
I would recommend you look up any ties the IGDA might have in chapters in Canada and see if anything pops up. It may not be as straightforward as what you're asking for, but you never know. Having experience in a studio might really help.
What company are you currently working for?

Thanks, I'll google it.
I work for Mail.Ru company.

As far as the American system is considered, you will need 3 years of specialized experience in lieu of a degree, so your 5 in the game industry may qualify you for that. Other countries are likely to have similar conditions, so I wouldn't write it off.
If a company is willing to sponsor you, let them worry about putting the right spin on your resume to bring you over.

You would need to look very carefully at whether you can even work as a student - using my American experience again, I can tell you I was only allowed to work on-campus, for a max of 20 hours a week (15 at my particular college.) This included freelance work and summer internships (though I know some who considered the benefits of a paid internship to offset the risk) and even after graduation I had my share of obstacles in my job search.

Oh, thats interesting. I gotta research about work experience in realtion to a degree. Thanks for that idea!

I think in Australia you don't have to work particulary on-campus as I can understand. In the US on the internet they say:

"As an international student / foreign student, finding work off-campus in the USA is not an option at first, but once you have spent a year in the United States you may be eligible to apply for an international student work permit that allows you to work off-campus, in an area related to your field of study."

Basically 1 year to work on-campus or freelance and than it will be an option to work off-campus.

#6 Erik Rufelt   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3344

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:34 AM

With work experience on successful titles, I don't think formal education is a requirement either. Apply to big international game-companies once you complete your next game, as they have experience in bringing people in from other countries.
If you want to work in other countries I believe it's a good idea to apply to a big company that has offices in several countries, as once you have a job there it's easier to move around between offices within the company. If you have a hard time finding a job in another country to begin with, perhaps there are companies that have offices in Russia and also elsewhere, where you can start in Russia and then ask to move to another country within the company.

#7 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 869

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:24 AM

Thanks for answers! Couldn't reply back earlier, sorry Posted Image


1. I think there are other possible ways. But you can try that.
2. Anything is possible.
3. Unlikely. You should read FAQ 72. Go back out to the Breaking In forum main page and find the FAQs link at upper right.

Honestly only other way I see is getting an education here in Russia, but we have quite low quality education. It is rather cheap (comparing with USA or Great Britain), but useless.
I've read the FAQ, the most important thing I've got is that I need to have work permission visa to be able to be considered at all by American companies.

It is a shame you didn't ask this last year. There was an exchange program at the ENDI last year, which hired people from around the globe (mainly Germans, but it wasn't a set focus as far as I am aware of).
Unfortunately, after this batch, the ENDI is closing. It would've been a nice foot in the door.
I would recommend you look up any ties the IGDA might have in chapters in Canada and see if anything pops up. It may not be as straightforward as what you're asking for, but you never know. Having experience in a studio might really help.
What company are you currently working for?

Thanks, I'll google it.
I work for Mail.Ru company.

As far as the American system is considered, you will need 3 years of specialized experience in lieu of a degree, so your 5 in the game industry may qualify you for that. Other countries are likely to have similar conditions, so I wouldn't write it off.
If a company is willing to sponsor you, let them worry about putting the right spin on your resume to bring you over.

You would need to look very carefully at whether you can even work as a student - using my American experience again, I can tell you I was only allowed to work on-campus, for a max of 20 hours a week (15 at my particular college.) This included freelance work and summer internships (though I know some who considered the benefits of a paid internship to offset the risk) and even after graduation I had my share of obstacles in my job search.

Oh, thats interesting. I gotta research about work experience in realtion to a degree. Thanks for that idea!

I think in Australia you don't have to work particulary on-campus as I can understand. In the US on the internet they say:

"As an international student / foreign student, finding work off-campus in the USA is not an option at first, but once you have spent a year in the United States you may be eligible to apply for an international student work permit that allows you to work off-campus, in an area related to your field of study."

Basically 1 year to work on-campus or freelance and than it will be an option to work off-campus.


Freelance technically counts as off-campus work, although there is a small chance they will do anything if the money is transferred to a foreign account.
Optional Practical Training allows you to work for 12 months after you graduate as long as you remained a full-time student.
If you are studying in a subject that falls under STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields you may be eligible for a 17 month extension of the OPT.
Curricular Practical Training allows you to work off-campus while you are studying, as long as you have been a full-time student for at least a year. If you do so for over 12 months, you are no longer eligible for OPT.
Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#8 Drakonka   Members   -  Reputation: 279

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:43 AM

Hi there,

I've recently done just this, except moving from Australia and with only a couple of years experience in the game dev industry (so you're in a better position in terms of experience and potentially in a worse position in terms of location). Like you, I do not have a degree (yet) and am self-taught.

I had decided to move to Europe to make games a while ago - I was already living in Australia and just needed to go through the citizenship process, but I am also a Ukrainian dual citizen. The reason I needed to be an Australian citizen is because it is much easier to switch countries with an Australian passport. I knew that because I don't have a huge amount of experience I would most likely need to move and interview IN the country, as employers would be less likely to set up relocation for someone who is still close to entry level.

So here's how I ended up doing it: About two months ago I moved to Sweden on a working holiday visa with enough savings to live here for about a year. This is NOT ideal because the working holiday visa is only for a year and cannot be extended, so I would need to go through the process of somehow arranging a work permit visa before my year is up. I got a job at a games company (scripting-type role however, not design as you mention) here about 1.5 months after moving. It really does seem much easier for employers to go through the process of hiring someone if that someone is already in the country and able to work. Of course I don't know if a working holiday visa to your country of choice would be an option, I'm not sure what the restrictions are with Russia. Maybe it's just something to look into?

Edited by Drakonka, 22 November 2012 - 01:43 AM.





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