How to work and live abroad?
Get ideas about how you can live in other countries ranging from study abroad, work exchange, remote work, working holiday, investment, marriage, WWOOF. Here are the top 19 ways.
Do you remember the first time you ever travelled abroad? Do you remember how eye opening it was to realize that where you were born doesn’t have to be where you permanently stay? Once you realize how large the world truly is, the idea of residing in one place your whole life seems lame.
But don’t worry, we have put together a list of 19 ways to live and work abroad.
“Among all respondents to the Pew Research Center survey, 57% say they have not lived in the U.S. outside their current state: 37% have never left their hometown and 20% have left their hometown (or native country) but not lived outside their current state.” -Pew Research Center
Although the survey of 2,260 adults noted that a majority of the reason people choose to stay in one place is due to family ties, they also found that financial and career situations harness one’s ideas of ever migrating elsewhere; “The most popular reason that movers choose a new community, selected by a 44% plurality, is job or business opportunities, according to the Pew survey. About the same share of stayers (40%) cite job or business opportunities as a major reason for staying, but far more stayers choose reasons related to family and friends.”
These are respectable reasons to stay in one location, but the opportunist’s mentality see’s that the world has endless ways to provide food, shelter, and income regardless of your location.
Visas: Visas are required in many countries for long term travel. Your passport will get you to travel internationally, but a visa is a stamp that is placed in your passport that allows you to get permission to stay in a country for a specified time period. There are 4 different categories that visas can fall under:
- Tourist visa (pleasure travel visas)
- Immigration and naturalization visas(including by marriage)
- Business or work visas (for working, including both non-immigrant and immigrant types)
- Student visas (studying abroad)
Further in this article, we will cover a few different types of visas you can obtain to help you live abroad.
Fairytrail has put together 19 ways to live and work abroad
- Study abroad or student exchange program: Whether you are still in highschool, enrolled in a university, or just wanting to gain some seasonal credits, it is highly likely that your field of study offers programs abroad! There is more than one way to go about studying abroad. Check out 10 creative ways to study abroad. If you are set out to learn something, why not do it in another country where it is potentially cheaper and you can get more of an experience out of it? You’ll be on a student visa. And usually student visas let you work part time or on campus.
2. Work exchange: People all over the world sometimes just need an extra hand within their organization or household and are willing to provide food and housing in exchange for your skills and work! Most opportunities have work hours as minimal as 20 hours per week, leaving you plenty of time to explore your new culture or even pick up a side hustle for a little extra cash. Note that there are also quite a few work exchanges that do give you a weekly or monthly allowance. Every work exchange is different and can have different accommodations. Some websites you can use for work exchanges are Workaway (what I use), Worldpackers, World traveller.
3. Teach your language abroad: How cool would it be to be eligible to teach children from all over the world without having a masters degree? There are hundreds of opportunities to be a language teacher in several countries. If you speak english, most job opportunities only require that you have a bachelor’s degree in any subject and obtain your TEFL certification. Some other programs only require that you speak fluently in the native tongue that the school is desiring you to teach! Check out 10 Ways to Get Started Teaching Abroad. They’ll normally take care of your visa through the school or help you obtain it yourself. For an example, check out teaching english in Korea.
4. Be an Au Pair / Nanny: Tons of families are eager to share their lifestyle and culture with foreigners in exchange for someone to watch over their children while they are working or traveling! If you are someone who is good with children and want to explore a new destination, check out GreatAuPair, InterExchange, and Transitions Abroad for opportunities!
- 5. Work online:
- The amount of job opportunities to work online is growing by the second. It is one of the most flexible ways to provide and income from anywhere in the world.
Here are some examples of online work:
Blogging: Yes, there is money to be made through personal blogging. Which is a pretty cool concept right? You write content about your lifestyle and things that interest you and get paid for it?! The biggest obstacle is that before you can start making money, you have to have a strong following and subscribers. Once you do, companies and organizations will recognize you as a ‘traffic pool’ and offer you money to display their ads on your site. Aside from the adversity, this is a great way to supplement income remotely, all you need is good wifi connection and profitable content! Refer to Work from home: How to make money online for beginners for advice on how to create a pay-worthy blog. In addition look here for guidance on which ad exchange networks are the most suitable for your website!
Be a freelance writer: This one is my personal favorite considering I am currently doing it! Being a travel writer can be tough. It takes a while to gain a good reputation where websites and magazines feel confident enough in hiring you. But once you start to start to gain traction the jobs are endless! Some jobs require you to have some professional background in journalism or writing, while others simply desire to see a good work history and colorful portfolio. With new online businesses starting up everyday, the demand for writers and content creators will continue to grow. If this interests you but have no idea where to start looking here is a Complete Guide that can help get a better understanding of how to start freelance writing. The best sites to find writing jobs are LinkedIn, Upwork, iWriter, Flexjobs, and Facebook groups!
Be a freelance web designer: There is a massive demand in web designers in the world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for web developers in the U.S in 2018 was at 160,500 and is expected to increase by 13% by 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. With the high demand, endless opportunities and very remarkable salary outlook, and ability to live and work from anywhere in the world, this career path is a no brainer. Surprisingly, many well-paid web developers didn’t actually go to college for it. Instead, they built on their skills on their own time and found online resources like Codecademy to learn. Read this article to find web-classes, tutorials, programs and communities to help kick off your web-developing journey!
Be an Influencer: Do you have a significant following on your social media platforms? Don’t let it go to waste! Social media stays afloat by nothing more than their users, and their users’ content. ‘Power Influencers’ on youtube who have anywhere for 30k-500k followers can make up to $782 dollars per posted video, that’s insane! For more platform post rates check out this data! For tips on how to become an influencer in 2020 visit Influencer Marketing Hub.
If I was to list all of the online ways to make money and live abroad, that would prompt for a whole separate article. For the sake of sharing online and offline abroad work, refer here if you are interested in researching for online work only!
Okay, let’s continue!
6. Work at a Hostel: Best of the best! Hostels are seriously so much fun and you get to meet a tremendous amount of travelers from every corner of the world. Generally, the work exchange tasks are simple; Clean, follow guidelines, and provide guests with the best experiences possible! Emily rose and Kiki are travel bloggers who have great content on how, why, and what to expect when working in a hostel! Also you can check out Hosteljobs.net and any work exchange sites for hostel work opportunities!
7. Ancestry visas: If you are desiring to work abroad and live in the UK and just so happen to be a commonwealth citizen, you may be eligible to apply for a UK visa that allows you to work in any of the commonwealth countries for up to 5 years, after that you can choose to either permanently change your residence or extend your visa. This is a great way to have access to working in multiple countries for a long term stay. Look here for further details on how to obtain a UK ancestry visa!
8. Youth mobility visa: (YMV)/working holiday visa (WHV): If you are 18-30 years old and wish to immerse yourself in a different culture while still being able to work, this is a great visa you should take advantage of. Without needing any other sort of sponsorship, these countries accept U.S. working holiday visas:
Click on any of the countries above to find out how to apply for a WHV. Most allow you to stay from 6-12 months. There are more countries that accept these types of visas but require much more than just the visa itself. Note that each country is different and has different guidelines which must be met prior to applying for the visa. Here are some things you should know when applying for a WHV/ YMV
9. Investment Visas: Many countries, for example, Canada and the USA have opportunities for investors to live in that country by making an investment in the country’s economy. In the USA the investment visa is known as EB-5 visas. It’s a way that the U.S. economy can benefit from immigrants who want to come into the U.S. Immigrants who can afford to invest money into the U.S. in exchange for entry into the country must be able to invest a minimum of $900,000 that is lawfully sourced and creates jobs for 10 U.S. workers. For further details visit uscis.gov
EB-5 Investor visa
10. Get married: Most countries grant you a visa or a citizenship if you are married to a citizen of that country. If you’re dating someone, it might make sense to pull the trigger and hit 2 birds with one stone. If you don’t have prospects, you can look for people who are open to dating people from other countries on sites Interpals and Fairytrail which give you exposure to people outside your country.
11. Join The Military: Although this might not be the most sought after option, it is quite rewarding isn’t it? Joining the military comes with incredible perks; Great income with paid housing, travel, food and opportunity to be an active participant in defending your nation! Opportunities to see different parts of the world are endless! Supposedly, the navy is the military branch that travels abroad the most, but refer here to see what branches you can join and what benefits they come with.
12. Do mission work: Your faith in god just might lead you to wonderful destinations. The simple way to find out about mission work is to ask your local church if there are opportunities for mission trips. It is no different than any other volunteer program other than the fact it is more faith-based and gives you a chance to do humble work while being surrounded by a group of people who practice the same religion as you. Check out The Best Mission Trips.
13. Be a House sitter/ pet sitter: Similarly to being a nanny, sometimes people just need someone to safeguard their home and animals while they are not actively there. How simple is that? When doing this, it is important to have a good understanding of your destination and the house owners’ guidelines and expectations. The best and most reputable place to find house/ pet sitting jobs is TrustedHousesitters.com.
14. Be a WWOOFER: WWOOF Stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. These are humbling opportunities to connect with others while simultaneously giving back to the earth we walk on and learning skills that make for a more conscious, sustainable, and eco-friendly lifestyle. If you don’t mind getting dirty and love learning, this is the way to go! A word of warning, it can be isolating depending on the experience.
15. Become a diplomat/ embassy personnel: Being a diplomat can prompt for a very wide range of responsibilities, but all of those responsabilites having to do something with representing on behalf or your country while communicating and collaborating with other countries; “They use personal relationships with officials and citizens of the hosting country to advocate for U.S. interests, to work together on common causes, and to explain U.S. society and values”. – The National Museum of American Diplomacy
The National Museum of American Diplomacy also noted how various a diplomats scope of work can be:
“Our diplomats support Americans living or traveling internationally for positive events (such as registering a birth of a child) and in times of stress (assisting a jailed American citizen or helping to evacuate Americans from danger.) They ensure a level playing field for American businesses overseas. They support joint counter terrorism cooperation and criminal investigations. They decide who has a legitimate reason to travel to the United States and issue visas accordingly. They work to ensure the safety and security of international flights to the United States. They fight pandemics and deliver humanitarian aid to those in need. They assist governments to respond better to their citizens’ needs, making countries more stable and secure. They link emerging leaders in government and civil society to American counterparts to foster relationship building and collaboration. Also importantly, they provoke interest in foreign students in pursuing U.S. higher education. This is far from a conclusive list of diplomatic priorities, but it gives a flavor of the varied work of U.S. diplomats”.
In short, if you are someone who has great communication skills and is willing to negotiate, mediate, network, and enforce policy on your country’s behalf, you might be a great fit for being a diplomat. If this is something that may interest you and you have a bachelors or masters degree in a field of study that is correlated to the tasks of diplomatic work such as international relations, political science, sociology, or foreign policy, check out the requirements and roles of being a diplomat!
16. Work for the National Forest Service/ be a park ranger abroad: Globally, there are 3,044 national parks to explore, and each one of those national parks is subject to having dozens of resorts, campgrounds, wildlife conservations for visitors to explore and for you to work at. Many opportunities for expansion in these settings and it’s a great way to explore the nature-scape of different land. The U.S. alone has 419 national park sites, so if you live in the U.S., you won’t even need to travel outside of your country to work and live in a new setting. But if you desire to do national park work outside of your country, there is plenty of work for that as well. Many opportunities are seasonal and accommodate housing and food, (which may be deducted from your pay). Also, if the National park you are interested in does offer housing, it is more than likely that you will have to dorm with other people, which is a great way to network and meet others!
17. Flight attendant: If frequent flying is something that doesn’t phase you, this is a great way to make money and travel for free! Just like any occupation, being a flight attendant has its ups and it’s downs,(literally), but it is a very easy field to get into and can open up many opportunities to see different parts of the world! Check out How to Become a Flight Attendant to Work and Travel For Work to see how to get involved!
18. Be a cruise ship hand: Although there are many positions you can fill being a cruise ship hand, if you are someone who doesn’t get sea sick, you are automatically a shoe in for all of the work positions! The Cruise Lines International Association, 32 million passengers were set to travel on cruise ships in 2020, which is up 30 million from 2019. More demand means more job availability. The major cruise line corporations are Carnival Cruise Corporation, Holland American Line, and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Check out All cruise jobs to find the latest opportunities!
19. Peace Corps: Not all countries have the best access to food, clean water, and proper medical care. If you have a background in the medical field, agricultural studies, environmental studies, education, youth development or community development and are itching to do humble work, this is a way to use your skills to serve the greater good and see different cultures. Peace Corps is a competitive organization to get into simply because their standards for volunteer participants may be higher. Check to see if you possibly meet the minimal requirements!
I hope this article, at the very least, has opened your perception to how many ways there truly is to live abroad. The world is more full of opportunities than it isn’t, you just have to be willing to look beyond your normal environment!
Written by: Hannah Johnsen.