Working abroad can feel like a pipe dream. So many stars have to align to facilitate an overseas job: securing a visa, acing the job interview, having the right skillset, adequate language capabilities, and just plain luck.
It can seem like a lofty goal, but some jobs are easier to get than others when you're searching abroad. If you're a native English speaker dreaming of foreign shores (but still need an income to finance the journey), check out these career options.
1. Teach English
For those who can't wield the bilingual card, there's always the opportunity to turn English into their greatest asset. From Asia to Africa to Europe to South America, the opportunities are truly endless.
In some countries, it's common practice to fly English speakers out to their post, pay for their room and board, and provide them with generous stipends. The JET program in Japan and the EPIK program in South Korea are examples.
If you want to live like a local and learn a new language from inside the home, au pairing may be the ticket you're seeking. You can find a more informal arrangement and work out the details on a case-by-case basis, or you can go through an agency or program, where you'll undergo rounds of interviews, background checks, and have access to a regulated marketplace of jobs.
Being an au pair is a nice way to have your room and board taken care of, plus you'll get a stipend that you can use toward exploring your new country on your days off. Usually au pair placements last from between six months to 12 months. If you'd like to continue your adventures after, you can work it out as the end of your placement is approaching. Check out InterExchange or aupair.com to peruse some of the options.
3. Join a Working Holiday Program
If you'd like to work abroad for a short length of time, your options open up. Temporary work visas are often easier to get than long-term visas, and many countries have agreements with other countries wherein they'll accept a number of temporary workers into short-term employment.
These programs also serve as support networks that can answer your questions, introduce you to fellow workers, and help you find transportation and housing in your ultimate destination. From hospitality to education to volunteering on an organic farm, you can find interesting work that matches your skillset. Look at BUNAC, STINT Ireland, or WWOOF for more information.
4. Work at a Hostel
Hostels are constantly seeking help with front desk duties, housekeeping, and dishwashing, especially in peak tourist months. Most hostels are no-frills, and if you work at one, you might not even receive a traditional salary. That's the bad news.
The good news is that you can usually work at hostels all over the world and receive free room and a food stipend. For many people, that's all they need to have an adventure and explore a new place. Plus, you'll get to meet a rotating cast of travelers and potential new friends.
Speaking English is a huge plus in a hostel, where people come from all corners of the world and need a common language in which to communicate.
5. Embrace Digital Nomadism
Are you a designer, writer, software engineer, or customer support expert? Many digital jobs are going remote. By joining the remote work force, you can work wherever you like, without having to find a formal employment contract in a new country. To find your next remote gig, check out WeWorkRemotely, Remote.co, Skip The Drive, or Remotive.
6. Be Your Own Tour Guide
As you explore a new corner of the world, you can lead others on your guided excursion. Whether you want to be a guide for students or for groups of adult tourists, there's opportunity to share your knowledge and lead groups of adventurers, all while getting paid for it.
Companies like EF Student Tours, Putney Student Travel, Sandemans, and Contiki are always hiring tour guides. Also look for the leading tourism companies in your desired country, and check out the "Work for Us" pages.
7. Join the Peace Corps
If you're passionate about giving back, you can apply for the Peace Corps. You'll work in a developing country for a little over two years, where you might teach English, work on community infrastructure, or serve a disease prevention mission.
While Peace Corps is not for the faint of heart, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The application process occurs through the U.S. State Department, and can be quite lengthy.
Whether you're just looking to have fun and meet some like-minded adventurers, or you want to undergo a life-changing challenge that serves the greater good, you'll find a range of opportunities that meet your criteria for work abroad. If you're curious about testing your foreign language skills as you consider your options, check out Fluent City's language assessment now.