After getting a degree in the US, I was hired to work on a joint US/NASA mission (called ASCA or Asuka, depending on which language you use). I got to work in Japan at their space agency, called ISAS, for that and, yes, it was as awesome as you might imagine. Later I returned to the US to work on other missions, then got my PhD, then went freelance, and now I'm a professor at Capitol College.
I was chosen for the professorship in part because of my Project Calliope experience, which they felt would help with both the college's picosatellite club, and in part because of my NASA ops experience, which would help with the on-campus Spacecraft Operations Institute (SOI). The SOI, as it happens, is the tertiary backup for the TRMM mission. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and NAXA. NAXA is the Japan space agency formed to replace... ISAS.
Put as an equation:
US + Japan -> career -> freelance -> professorship -> US + Japan
I've gone full circle!
building Project Calliope here and also blogging weekly on general science