How to find programs to work abroad
If you find yourself lamenting the bygone days of youthful global gallivanting or feeling one foot deeper in the grave with every passing work day, you might be in for a change of scenery and a massive dose of adventure. Due to visa restrictions, language barriers, and the forthright daunting idea of completely uprooting and relocating somewhere else, finding programs to work abroad may seem like a near impossible dream that only drifting hippies and corporate big shots are capable of.
However, a little known secret are the heaps of resources for finding work abroad programs that will get people legal, paid, and working all in the same easy bundle. Landing that dream international job, especially straight out of college with limited experience, can be incredibly overwhelming. Programs to work abroad will do all the legwork for you, so that you can avoid the messy red tape and acrobatics just to land an interview at an unreliable company. Having a support staff and connections to trustworthy employers is never a bad springboard to have as you plunge into the unknown abroad.
Rejuvenate your routine and rediscover your sense of childlike wonder in everyday life by experiencing life in a new country. We can’t lead you to the fountain of youth, but you’ll undoubtedly be off your rocker for these 5 programs to work abroad that we can’t get enough of.
Spend up to a year working and traveling throughout Lord of the Rings-esque landscapes while immersed in the unique Kiwi culture of New Zealand. Programs to work abroad organized by organizations like BUNAC, Smaller Earth, and InterExchange facilitate a special visa for temporary Working Holidays, provide orientation upon arrival, and give you access to a repertoire of job seeking resources. The magic of working abroad through a Working Holiday program in New Zealand is that the industry and position you work are entirely your own decision. Possible gigs include anything from leading tour groups along Auckland’s harbors to manning the concierge at a hotel.
- Pros: You have the tremendous flexibility to choose where you work and what you do, allowing you to even construct your own working itinerary to fund your travel through the country. Additionally, working side-by-side with Kiwis gives you that authentic local experience and helps you integrate more easily into your new community.
- Cons: The temporary work visa is typically only available to an age range of 18-30, which rules out a working holiday in New Zealand for the older crowd. Having a limited timeframe abroad and picking up odd jobs (depending on your experience and qualifications) will limit your earning potential and mean that you’ll inevitably have to return home after the year is up.
- Find more jobs in New Zealand
Teaching English is certainly one of the most popular programs to work abroad among young adults, and with good reason. A long-term work contract, guaranteed housing, decent pay and celebrity status among students at school are a few well-known perks, but why Thailand? The land of savory bites and ancient temples has skyrocketed into international fame as one of the top travel destinations in Asia Pacific, and not just thanks to its never-ending bargain massages. Answer the pressing demand for English teachers in Thailand and teach abroad!
- Pros: In addition to incredibly friendly Thai people, a well-established expat community will help ease the move overseas to make you feel right at home ASAP. Since reaching Thai fluency might take a bit (admittedly, probably a few years), having a well-rooted network is a great resource to have outside your teaching program.
- Cons: While requirements to teach in Thailand may be quite broad, not everyone is cut out for the teacher life. Being good with kids doesn’t always translate into being able to effectively instruct a class of 20. A TEFL certificate will equip you with the right knowhow, but you should still factor in your own personality’s strengths and weaknesses first before committing to a teaching position.
- Find more paid teaching English jobs abroad
Say Auf Wiedersehen to your old life and a give a big, fat German hallo to your new family, children, and country. Au pairing is what happens when live-in babysitter meets exchange student, resulting in something more of a glorified exchange babysitter. Increase your German skills and widen your cultural competency in Europe’s largest economy to become one of those global talents companies are drooling over nowadays. Take your German kids to a real kindergarten (English borrowed the German word) and learn about what makes this political and economic machine turn!
- Pros: Think adult adoption with the extra bonus of a monthly allowance and an acquired family on the other side of the world. Sure, you might be over 18, but that sure won’t stop you from becoming a welcome addition to another household, where you can catch up on all the latest gossip at the dinner table and not worry about paying utilities. What better way to find programs to work abroad?
- Cons: Au pairing is more about the cultural experience and less about extravagant pay and crazy solo travels. Due to the childcare nature of the job, you won’t have long stretches of time to pack up and explore on your own. Your host family also makes the rules that you, as an honorary member of the family, will need to respect. Preference is typically given toward younger candidates who can stay at least a few months to a year.
- Find more jobs in Germany
Learn Castilian or Catalan, gain applicable professional experience in hospitality, and work in paradise with a work abroad program in Spain. What a deal! Common positions include leading kids club activities at resorts, hospitality management, and entertaining international hotel guests with your boundless passion for dance, tourism, and fun. With over 5,000 miles of coastline and world renowned resort islands like Ibiza and Mallorca, tourism is an integral part of Spain’s economy, catering to guests from Europe and the world. Find out what the fuss is all about and escape to the Iberian Peninsula!
- Pros: If you don’t already have experience working in the hospitality industry, tourism and hospitality programs to work abroad in Spain get you a foot in. Rather than investing in pricey degree programs, working an a resort abroad can get you essential connections and experience so you can work your way up if you choose to start a career in hospitality.
- Cons: Some programs may have specific nationality restrictions, requiring candidates to have an EU citizenship. This means you are legal to work and earn money in Spain, regardless of what EU country you come from. When conducting research for work abroad programs in Spain, pay special attention to the nationality requirements.
- Find more jobs in Spain
For decades now, China has been a major player in the world economy. Few multinational corporations and international investments exist without Chinese influence, which is why understanding Chinese corporate culture and customs has become an invaluable asset in international business. Programs to work abroad in China, such as those offered by China Global Connections and TopView International Education, provide the resources and networking you need for finding jobs abroad. Get an in-person look of international business from the other side, while learning a thing or two about the Middle Kingdom.
- Pros: Tackling the Chinese job market from abroad is no easy feat, especially if you lack the language skills and familiarity with the legal system and corporate world. Programs to work abroad in China will hold your hand through the whole process to ensure you are happily employed in your field of choice and nicely settled in.
- Cons: For those not at all acquainted with Chinese culture or the country’s current situation, moving abroad to work a big boy or girl job in China can be incredibly overwhelming. Megacities, pollution, and completely different cultural norms are just a few blatant changes to face, not to mention an entirely new work culture in the office. Figuring out what to wear in China on a daily basis is just the beginning!
- Find more jobs in China
The notion of starting a new life overseas is exciting and romantic. The possibilities of who you could become and where your life could go are endless. However, just like life back home, things don’t always run as smoothly as you would hope and sometimes life just happens. Being flexible for unexpected changes and remembering to stay positive are essential traits to carry overseas if you want to find success working internationally.
Carefully choosing the right work abroad program in the right country can hugely determine your experience.
Are you ready to rock your career with programs to work abroad?
A few factors to consider when choosing programs to work abroad:
- Time frame. Are you planning on working abroad for a year or indefinitely?
- Type of work. Are you seeking professional development to move your existing career forward, or just a break away from the routine au pairing or farming?
- Finances. Is paying a fee for work abroad programs within your capabilities?
- Salaries. Can you find an equally interesting professional experience abroad that doubles as paid work abroad programs? Or are you better off paying for the epic experience?
- Requirements. Do you fit within the required age range and/or nationality? Does the work abroad program require any prior experience?
- Logistical support. Do you prefer work abroad programs that provide visa and housing services, or are you comfortable settling in on your own?
Once you got all the pesky details ironed out, you’re ready to move abroad for work like a champ.