Forget slogging out your days in the cubicle farm. If you need a breath of fresh air, why not try paid work abroad programs? Working abroad is for the adventurers who need more than a paycheck to keep them happy on the job. Choose from an array of the best international jobs, which will make you more than satisfied thanks to the incredible benefits—we’re talking a broadened perspective, a new business network, foreign language fluency, and a host of other transferable skills. Not to mention it’s a damn good time.
There’s a whole wide world out there, so how do you choose the best places to work overseas? First off, do you want to work in a place that’s a little culturally familiar (think Australia) or totally different to home (think South Korea)? Do you want to work in a foreign country to learn or practice a foreign language or are you just cool keeping it in the English-speaking family? What about work visas? Are you eligible to apply for one in your dream country? If not, you might have to start looking at other options.
Once you’ve narrowed that down, think about the top countries to work abroad in the field you’d like to explore or get more international experience in. You can find tons of jobs working overseas. Popular choices include working in hospitality and healthcare, teaching English, and taking care of kids as an au pair.
Ready to spin that globe? Don’t just work and travel—work and travel in great places. Here are the world’s best places to work abroad in 2018!
Where should your job search abroad take you? Spain, por supuesto! It’s one of the best places to work overseas—in fact, according to our users, it is the best. Although the job market for high-paying positions in Spain is quite competitive, if you’ve got the language skills and enough relevant experience, you can probably snag a keeper in almost any field. If not, you can find some of the easiest working overseas opportunities in teaching English, au pairing, tourism, and hospitality. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Sevilla are the easiest places to work abroad in Spain.
Recommended program: Teach in Spain with i-i TEFL
When it comes to living la dolce vita, Italy is definitely one of the best countries to live and work abroad. If you know a bit of Italian, you can make considerable paper leading tourists around on tours. If not, there’s always teaching English, helping at summer camps, or working as an au pair. If you’re fluent in Italian, the sky’s the limit. Find jobs in business, fashion, and food/wine exports in Rome, Milan, and Florence. Pro tip: Don’t skip out on the gelato.
Recommended program: Work in Theater in Education across Italy with EDUCO
Whether it’s the office or outdoors, Australia is one of the best places to work overseas. Most expats find work temping in offices, au pairing, or in the service and hospitality sector pulling pints or waiting tables. Oz also has tons of farms, ranches, and cattle stations that need workers who love animals and aren’t afraid of getting down and dirty to earn their keep. Get to know the true Aussie lifestyle during your job search abroad in Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth. Thanks to its sense of adventure, laid-back attitude, and plethora of paid jobs abroad, Australia is truly one of the best places for Americans to live abroad!
Recommended program: Work as an au pair in Australia with GeoVisions
4. United States
Don’t be fooled. The US remains one of the best countries to live and work abroad for any non-American, and has tons of paid work abroad programs for interested parties. If you’re highly qualified and your English is fluent, there are jobs aplenty for foreigners in the US in healthcare and IT. The land of opportunity is also always looking for nurses, lab technicians, computer programmers, web designers, and software developers. If you’re coming relatively unskilled and looking for short terms jobs abroad, you can find employment opportunities in resorts, ski towns, national parks, and other touristy spots. You can always find plenty work in retail, especially if you’re still in school.
Find the best jobs abroad for English speakers—AKA plenty of opportunity with less competition—in American cities like Washington DC, Seattle, and Denver.
Recommended program: Work in the US with USEH International
Because of a shared culture and language, England remains one of the best places for Americans to live abroad. After all, it’s just across the pond! England is second to none when it comes to working in business, education, journalism, and the arts. Work in cosmopolitan cities like London, Manchester, and Liverpool or more British-feeling ones like Oxford and Cambridge. After hours, relax with coworkers over a pint of lager. England is also one of the best places to work overseas for those who would like to explore the rest of the UK and continental Europe.
Recommended program: Teach in England with ACT
Want to soak up the sun and eat real Mexican food all day? Work and live overseas in Mexico, one of the best places to work abroad. Teach English in public schools, companies, and language centers in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and other locations. Find temp jobs in Cancún and Cabo bartending, entertaining, and organizing activities for guests at resorts. If you’re bilingual, chase the big dinero in business management, engineering, communications, and other technical fields.
Recommended program: Teach English in Mexico with TEFL Heaven
When it comes to work/life balance, which country remains one of the best places to work abroad? France! Don’t believe us? Get this: France was one of the first countries in the world to ban emails after 6pm. Whether you’re in it for the short or long haul, foreigners can find some of the best international jobs in vineyard work, English teaching, and au pairing. If you’re fluent in French, you can also find jobs working overseas with multinationals in megacities like Paris, or more quaint (but still modern) cities like Lyon and Marseilles. Say oui oui to earning Euro and watch your savings grow!
Recommended program: Teach in France with International TEFL Academy
8. Costa Rica
Experience life in Costa Rica, home to its own moniker on the quality of life: la pura vida. As one of the best countries to live and work abroad in 2018, you are spoiled for choice. Let your job search abroad take you to a land overflowing with active volcanoes, rainforests, beaches, and wildlife. Learn the Tico way of life while working in tourism, conservation, or English language education. We recommend starting your job search in the capital, San José, or in other smaller cities like Valle Central, Limon, and Guanacaste. Toucan do it!
Recommended program: Teach in Costa Rica with Maximo Nivel
Canada is a clear contender when it comes to finding the best of the best international jobs. Expats can find positions in banking, teaching, media, and telecommunications in Toronto. If office life doesn’t suit you, breathe clean mountain air while working in resorts or teaching skiing/snowboarding. Being employed in Banff or Whistler would be amazing! Klutz on skis? Do an honest day’s work on farms and ranches across the country’s ten provinces. If you can’t get enough of poutine and can speak French fluently, let your job search abroad take you to Montreal or Vancouver.
Recommended program: Work in Canada with InterExchange
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and game for a cultural overthrow, why not find jobs working overseas in China? The Middle Kingdom is one of the best countries to live and work abroad because it has well paid jobs abroad and an affordable cost of living. If you’re looking to get your big break on the international job market, get work experience in business in international cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai. English teachers can also find plenty work across the country, and will love getting to know their students with self-dubbed English names like Yoyo, Eleven, and King.
Recommended program: Work in China with LoPair Au Pair China
BONUS! Top TYPES of job fields
Not only did we collect data on where the world’s best places to work abroad are according to our search data, we also found some awesome trends regarding fields of work. For these employees, destination comes second so long as their job involves work related to…
- Social Work
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fine Arts
A note from GoAbroad
We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.
Learn more about our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here. Photo credit: Freepik.
Browse more of our report on working abroad—broken down by region
- Best Destinations to Find Jobs in Europe for 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Jobs in the Americas for 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Jobs in Africa for 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Jobs in the South Pacific & Asia for 2018
- See ALL top destinations for ALL travel