Many of us were fortunate enough to have the unforgettable experience studying abroad in college. It was ideal: you had a few hours of class a week, then spent the rest of your time sightseeing and soaking up the culture of another country all for roughly the same cost of your tuition (minus the flights and the insurance and the numerous souvenirs…). But after college, travel opportunities become increasingly scarce. Without the academic bubble to protect us, we have to fit all of our travel into the two weeks allotted by our companies. How's one supposed to travel the world? The good news is, it's not so hard to get a job abroad. Whether you're dying to get back to the architecture of Eastern Europe or the lush landscapes of Australia, there are always ways to become an expatriate and knock off two toucans with one stone. Here are some tips to help you get there.

1. Save a Sack o' Cash

Before you embark on your journey, don't do like many friends of ours have done and flee the country with a one way ticket and one suitcase. While that seems romantic, being ill-prepared will send you home sooner than you expect. The first way to be prepared is to create a travel fund. This will ensure that even if your job abroad brings in less income than you're used to, you can have a buffer to even out expenses. According to Jetsetter, there are dozens of great apps to help you save money and bolster your fund.

2. Parlez-Vous Français?

Now, this one is common sense. While being in a country where you can't speak the language feels awfully adventuresome, it's not practical. You'll look silly putting your translation app in everyone's faces, and most foreigners appreciate at least an attempt at speaking their language. If you're planning on going to France, don't just dig up your old high school French textbook. Listen to French podcasts, read French newspapers and books, and get acquainted with modern French life.

3. Find The Job Before You Get There

There are a lot of ways to go about your overseas job search. One, is by attending overseas job fairs. The great thing about them is that they're totally virtual and free. You create a profile and the recruiters seek you out. You can also search specific jobs by location and sector. Use your current networking platforms like LinkedIn to tailor your profile to overseas jobs. Follow overseas companies and attend alumni events. There are even sites like Seek for Australia and Gumtree where you can search for jobs abroad on your own.

4. Consider Teaching ESL

English is becoming a universal language, with the help of Americans who teach English as a second language. All you have to do is get a certification, which varies by state, and then find a program that can send you abroad. At GoOverseas, you can search by country, length of contract, and job category, plus get all of your questions about teaching abroad answered. Alternatively, check out the local embassy of the country in which you want to work. They often have teaching assistantship programs or Fulbright fellowships for which you can apply directly through the website.

5. Consider Nannying

We know it's not the most glamorous option, but think about it. You have free room and board, sometimes food, and may even be invited on vacation with the family for which you work! Only do this option though if you like to care for kids and have related experience. The cool thing about this is you can do it for just a summer, or a few weeks. Here is a comprehensive resource for au pair jobs abroad.

6. Don't Go Into it Blindly

The most important part about making the decision to work abroad is to commit to it. If you're willing to quit your job and leave your home for an indeterminate amount of time, you better be serious about it. Make sure you have the appropriate work visa so you don't get sent home. Know which countries are safe and which you should avoid. Also, be sure to not get arrested. Familiarize yourself with the laws of Americans working abroad, which can be found here. A little extra research never hurt anyone.

Going abroad is a wonderful opportunity, especially if it's more than just a vacation.

For more on how to start your journey overseas, click here.

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.