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.