Working abroad is something that sounds like an amazing opportunity but the question of how to do it can be so daunting that it ends up putting people off. Moving to a new country, starting a new life and meeting new people in a completely different country to where you’re used to is scary! But, it is one of those experiences that can change your life.
I have had the opportunity to work abroad a couple of times, both have been completely different experiences; from a live-in babysitter to a waitress in Disneyland Paris. After my last post, I have been inspired to look a little more into work abroad options for those of you who are desperate to live abroad either forever or maybe just a summer.
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After a little research, there are SO many amazing work abroad opportunities out there and I’d say there’s something out there that could suit almost any type of person.
I know that moving abroad and especially starting a new life abroad is a terrifying concept. If you are someone who considers themselves a “home bird” it can be extra overwhelming, but if you are determined to work abroad there are definitely less intense options for you to try.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and I will continue doing more research into this as it is a topic that I have always been interested in. I will probably update as I find out more but for now, I hope something here inspires you to make that move!
- Au Pair
I spoke a little about my experience as an Au Pair in Madrid in my last post and it is an experience that for the last 7 years I have recommended to anyone who has given me even a seconds attention about it haha. But seriously, if you are someone who, like me at the time, just doesn’t know where to start with your living and working abroad journey you should definitely look into this sort of experience. I ended up loving it so much I even did it again a couple of summers later with a lovely English family. I spent 3 months sunning it up in St. Tropez in the South of France helping the 2 children study French for the summer (they were better than me but we had fun!)
As an Au Pair, you can spend as little as 4 weeks to 12 months (or longer depending on your hosts requirements) working as a family’s live in nanny.
The typical responsibilities in a role like this are:
- Preparing snacks for the children
- Taking them to school and picking them up
- Taking them to their extra curriculars
- Helping them with their homework and of course playing with them and making up games!
You should get free time during the week while the kids are at school and you will have your Saturdays and Sundays free to spend as you wish. You don’t get paid greatly but it’s basically “pocket money”. In Madrid, I was paid around €70 per week which was enough to enjoy my weekends, meet friends for coffee during the week and save for a trip every couple of months. For my summer Au Pairing, I didn’t get as much free time because the parents worked the season. Despite the work being rather full-on it was fun! The kids and I spent most days on the beach or in the pool. I was paid around €150 per week which paid for petrol in the family car I drove and I even managed to save a little for a trip to Barcelona at the end of the summer.
I found my wonderful host families on the website Aupairworld.com and because I have never used another site, it is the only one I would recommend. However, if you are interested in knowing more about au pairing or want to check something out please feel free to get in touch.
- Teaching English
This is another wildly popular career path for many expats and the beauty of this is that all you really need is a TEFL or CELTA qualification (English language teaching certificates). You can get these quite cheaply on Groupon but a lot of them are not recognised as official qualifications so I would recommend going through the direct websites. Even better, you can study for your qualification in a lot of cities around the world and start your life abroad even sooner!
A qualification in English language teaching and a little experience can take you all over the world. From teaching in Spain to Vietnam to China, this is one opportunity that can take you wherever you want to go!
However, don’t get me wrong! There are still plenty of opportunities to do something like this without your qualification. Some programmes allow you to support students as a language assistant while at the same time studying for your qualification. If you are from the UK you can look into the British Council who offer placements in Spain, France, China, Latin America and loads more.
Other Teach English Abroad programs include:
- The Language House (Czech Republic)
- Premier TEFL (worldwide)
- International TEFL Academy
- The JET Program (Japan)
- CIEE (worldwide)
- Summer Camps
I’m sure we all have at least one person on our Instagram who did “Camp America”. I remember seeing a few people I knew from school and university doing this and it looked like they lived the dream! The most popular would probably be the American summer camp experience, Camp America or Americamp that you can apply for here and here. However, summer camps aren’t only in America! In fact, there are many opportunities to do the same thing in other countries in Europe and also Canada or even Russia!
Some other camp opportunities you can check out include:
- Theme Parks
Similar to summer camp jobs, there are loads of opportunities out there to work a season in a theme park. I spent summer 2016 working as a waitress in Disneyland Paris. I’m not going to lie and tell you it was the best experience of my life (lol, maybe a future blog post about the TRUTH??) but once I got used to it my summer there did end up being really fun – mainly due to the people I met and my roommates. The work was hard and this is the case for all of these jobs but it is rewarding! You also earn pretty decent money, I earned around €1200 per month in this role. You can look into Disneyland Paris careers here.
You can also check out these other European Theme parks as seasonal work options:
- Farm and Agricultural Work
If you want to do something more manual in your work abroad experience I would recommend farm or agricultural work. These sort of opportunities can also take you as far away from home as you want. Whether you pick fruit in Spain or maybe you want to venture further afield and help with seasonal harvests in Australia or New Zealand, there is something for anyone.
Some great websites to find out more about these opportunities are:
- House sitting abroad
This is one that isn’t spoken about all that often but it is surprisingly popular! I remember reading a blog post years ago by Andrew and Emily of Along Dusty Roads where they shared their experience of house sitting and pet sitting in Chile and London. I was inspired and as a way of escaping uni work for half an hour looked into doing it myself haha. I didn’t do it obviously, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t be something I’d consider in the future.
You can sign up to a few websites if it’s something you’re interested in:
If you are interested in going to work abroad I hope this has given you some ideas of what to do. Moving abroad for work doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be scary of course but if you want to do it I’d say just jump right in! You will love every minute, or if you don’t, you’ll at least make some amazing memories!
Have you ever worked abroad or do you want to? Let me know in the comments!