People from all different walks of life love to travel. Some also love their day job at home, and make the most of their vacation time. But, if you want to be abroad long-term, then these opportunities to live abroad may be a good fit for you!
1 // Serve in the Peace Corps
If you’ve been following along for a while, then you know I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine. While my time there was cut short for some very unfortunate reasons out of my control, I do have some fond memories of the experience and wish I could finish my service. But, sometimes life doesn’t work out that way.
If you’re interested in long-term volunteer service, Peace Corps may be a good fit for you. If you decide to apply, you can choose to go anywhere or to search for a specific job, in a specific country. Make sure it’s the best one available to match your skills and interests, because you can only apply to one!
The application process is lengthy, and service itself is a rollercoaster. Peace Corps does pay, but the stipend may or may not cover the cost of living at your eventual site placement. My greatest piece of advice is to choose a country where you can realistically blend in as a local. Had I done the same, maybe my experience wouldn’t have ended the way it did.
If you’re interested, feel free to read my Peace Corps posts to learn more about the application process and what my life was like as a PCV.
2 // Teach English abroad
Teaching English is a highly popular way for young, native English speakers to make money while experiencing life abroad. Recent college grads flock to Asian countries like Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and China because of several in-country programs interested in teachers.
Salary and benefit offerings vary by country, as do program expectations and requirements. Despite the variance in programs available, one thing is certain: TEFL certification is important, even vital, to gaining employment as an English teacher abroad. And it should be.
If you have a teaching degree, even better. If not, many countries will still be interested in hiring you with a TEFL certification only. The higher-paying opportunities, such as those in the Gulf States, will require prior teaching experience in exchange for those high salaries.
3 // Be an au pair
After Peace Corps, I seriously considered being an au pair. If you don’t know, an au pair is essentially a nanny from abroad. Many American families have au pairs from Europe, Asia, Australia, and just about any other corner of the world.
Many families interested in English-speaking au pairs want the au pair to work with their children on their English skills. I considered working with families in Europe, all of whom wanted English practice as part of the job.
I met several wonderful families through AuPairWorld, and recommend this site as a starting point to become an au pair. There are resources and further information on making an agreement with a family, and how to protect yourself as an au pair on their website.
4 // Apply for international positions at corporations
I considered this route after Peace Corps, because I wanted to live abroad again after being home for a few months. I instead realized that working abroad and traveling on vacation time feels exactly the same as working at home and traveling on paid time off.
That isn’t the life for me.
While many consider two weeks of paid time off as a generous offer, I would feel caged in every day.
So, this option is awesome if you’re interested in staying in one place abroad for an extended amount of time. Multinational corporations hire people to work in their offices on every continent. That could be a wonderful experience to stay in your same job, or a similar one, and live abroad!
5 // Work for yourself
What if you could travel where you want, when you want, and make money through more creative (read: still legal) outlets?
That’s where this whole entrepreneurship and working for yourself thing comes in.
Bloggers, vloggers, writers, and small business owners take the flexibility of working for themselves and use that to travel the world full-time. Some of us aren’t meant to work for someone else. I’ve learned that the hard way, through trial and error. Now, I see that my path won’t be an easy or conventional one. But, it’s the only life that will work for me.
If my experience is speaking to you right now, if you read that and hear your own thoughts, then know it is possible.
Even if everyone thinks you’re crazy, ill-equipped, and that you’re dreaming of an unrealistic future, don’t give up. In this economy and the hyper-connected world we live in today, anything is possible.
I read this from a successful entrepreneur and world traveler, who has made over 1.5 million dollars on his travel blog alone: if you can make it the first year, then you’re already ahead. Too many people give up too soon. If you know this is the life for you, don’t be one of those people.
Be prepared to learn through mistakes, work insanely hard, and never be willing to compromise your vision.
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These 5 opportunities to live abroad are great ways to see the world, and earn an income. While living abroad certainly has its drawbacks and complications, it is worth every effort.
Where will you go?