connections are usually more important than film education (the main purpose for film schools I think is to get you proper connections which will lead to work) .
Connecting with the local DPs is a great start. they may get you some type of department work so you can get started and give you advices how to proceed. you have to get yourself into professional sets to learn from people who are more experienced than you.
in the beginning, take whichever job they offer to get you into the set to see how they are working, especially if they pay something for it, and then you can little by little get to the camera or lighting departments when you gain experience and they know you better.
for example, when I was in tv/doc school, I was working ONE DAY as a grip in a commercial shoot and learned more about lighting than in TWO MONTHS in the school...
working abroad is not a problem as long as you are skilled enough and speak the language relatively well. English may be enough depending on the crew and production.
film school helps a lot IF you build your connections and career at the same time like mad. some people make the mistake thinking that it is enough to get a degree from great film school and then you will have career just like that.
actually it's more like double or triple the work: you have to get the film degree and at the same time do all the productions you can to build your career like when starting out of nothing without school.
the school is only to get you into the basics and get you more connections.
it is also for artistic projects which would not be possible to do outside of school environment which offers free equipment and support.