Working Abroad Opportunities: Here Are 10 Ways You Can Work Abroad

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Recently graduated? Stuck in a rut? Itchy feet? If any of these apply to you, you might be considering working abroad opportunities, or opportunities to travel and work abroad.

Great idea!

Overseas jobs offer a lot of benefits. International job opportunities give you work experience with the added bonus of immersing yourself in a foreign culture. Working overseas shows independence and adaptability – great skills to have on your CV. And who knows, you may even pick up a foreign language! 

The best thing about working abroad opportunities is that it doesn’t have to be in your field of work or study. You can, of course, use it as a way to dip your toe into a certain field (like teaching). But there’s no reason you can’t get involved in something totally different if it’s just for a little while.

From au pairing to teaching to volunteering to internships, there are opportunities to travel abroad and work for everyone.

Let’s look at the variety of options available to you when it comes to work and travel and overseas jobs.

1. Teach English abroad (TEFL)

Ever thought of being a teacher? Maybe TEFL is for you!

A TEFL teacher helping a student in class

What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. In other words, it’s teaching English to speakers of other languages (English language learners). It’s a popular choice for working abroad opportunities. There is a demand for TEFL teachers all over the world – and no two jobs are the same. 

Who can qualify?

If you can speak English at an Advanced level (CEFR C1) or higher, you’re able to teach English as a Foreign Language. Some countries require a Bachelor’s degree for a work visa or work permit, but this can usually be in any field. You don’t need to have studied English or Education. 

Some jobs don’t require a Bachelor’s degree at all. 

But the one qualification that you definitely need is a TEFL qualification. Your TEFL qualification is key to scoring you a job teaching English abroad. It should be at least 120 hours in length and from a reputable, accredited company.

The TEFL Academy offers internationally-recognised, accredited TEFL courses which are valued by employers all over the world. Check out our courses here.

How much does it pay?

TEFL rates of pay and salaries vary from job to job and country to country. 

Jobs in countries with low costs of living have lower rates of pay. In Thailand, for instance, you can expect a beginning salary to be approximately THB 30,000 ($800) whereas in South Korea you’re looking at salaries of KW 2 million – 2.5 million ($1,400 – $1,800). 

But Thailand and South Korea have vastly different costs of living. And you can’t make a direct comparison between the two without factoring that in.

What’s included?

What’s included in a TEFL teaching contract depends on the job.

Full-time jobs in certain countries, like South Korea and the UAE, include accommodation, flights and visa costs. Other jobs may contribute towards your flights and accommodation. Others might assist you in your visa application. 

Full-time jobs should include paid holiday, and preferably some contribution towards health insurance.

Where to find TEFL jobs

It’s possible to find TEFL jobs on the streets, so to speak if you’re already in the country you want to teach in. You can simply take your CV and knock on the doors of local schools and language schools.

But the more convenient way of finding teaching jobs abroad is by looking at jobs boards online. Popular jobs boards include:

Relevant Facebook groups and pages are another convenient way to find current teaching job listings, as are websites dedicated to teaching jobs in specific countries. For example:

2. Become an Au Pair

Good with kids? Got the patience of a saint? You should be an au pair!

An art teacher helping their students

What is an au pair?

An au pair is hired to look after a child or children. This usually involves taking children to and from school, helping with homework, and looking after the children after school and on weekends and holidays. If a child is home-schooled an au pair may be required to supervise lessons. Au pair duties can include cooking or food preparation and cleaning.

Who can qualify?

Au pairs can be hired directly through families or agencies. 

Agencies may have certain requirements for their au pairs, such as a certain level of education. Generally speaking, there are no hard and fast qualifications needed to be an au pair, but au pairs in their 20s and 30s are usually preferred.

A certain level of the local language may be required.

How much does it pay?

Au pair rates vary from country to country, as well as from family to family, depending on your role and responsibilities. 

Here are a few (weekly) salaries for popular countries to au pair in:

  • UK – $110
  • US – $200
  • Germany – $300
  • Netherlands – $300
  • Australia – $150

What’s included?

Au pairs can live in or live out. 

If living in, as is more common, a room in the family home is provided, as well as food and access to amenities like a washing machine.

Some au pair roles offer (or require) language lessons in the local language. Others can require travelling with the family (but we see that as a bonus!).

Where to find au pair jobs?

Postings for au pair jobs can be found online on numerous websites. 

If you are already in the country you want to work in, you can look on local directory sites like Gumtree or local Facebook pages and groups. Search “au pair job in X” to find related pages and groups. Popular countries for au pairing are England, Switzerland, Germany, France and China.

Many au pairs find work through a local agency which places them in families abroad. Online jobs boards like GoAbroad and GoOverseas also have postings for au pair positions around the world. AuPairWorld and AuPair.com are two reputable and well-known platforms for finding an au pair job.

Applying for an au pair position is slightly different to applying for a regular teaching job. While the family will want to know about your education, qualifications and experience, they are looking for someone to suit their family. If your personalities and lifestyles don’t match, you won’t be a good fit for the job. So don’t be afraid to be your true self in your interview!

3. Consider volunteering abroad

Do you have the urge to make a difference to change the world? Are you not too fussed about money? Congratulations – you sound just like a volunteer!

Some international work opportunities are not jobs at all, but volunteer positions. Volunteers can work in a field related to their chosen career or related to a cause they feel passionately about.

A group of students studying with a teacher

What is volunteering?

Volunteers are non-paid members of staff of an organisation. Volunteers may be required to work independently or to assist permanent members of a team. Volunteers can work in a position for a couple of weeks or even months.

Who can qualify?

For the most part, there are very few requirements for volunteering positions, but for some programs, there may be a language requirement or an age limit.

How much does it pay?

Volunteer positions are not paid positions. Sometimes there is a program fee which covers your food and accommodation, whether that’s in a homestay or with other volunteers. Some programs might offer a small stipend to cover your living costs for the duration of the placement. 

But this is the beauty of volunteering. You don’t need to worry about your living costs while you are in your volunteer position.

What’s included?

Volunteer placements usually include food and board. 

Where to find volunteering jobs?

The first step is to choose a destination or a volunteering project you’d like to work on. Maybe you want to experience South America. So then you’ll look for opportunities in Argentina or Brazil. Maybe you have a passion for conservation. So then you’ll look for conservation-related projects, no matter where they are.

Identify the volunteer program that is perfect for you and apply online.

There are a number of websites which specialise in placing volunteers in organisations abroad, such as:

4. Getting a Working Holiday Visa

Got the travel bug but your bank balance is an embarrassment. No worries – you can get a Working Holiday Visa.

There are a number of countries which offer Working Holiday Visas. These programs can be a way to sidestep pesky employment visa requirements.

teach english finland

What is a Working Holiday Visa?

A Working Holiday Visa is a visa option for certain countries with reciprocal relationships. Australia and the UK are popular countries to apply to for a Working Holiday Visa.

This visa allows the visa holder to live, work and holiday in a country, usually for up to 12 to 24 months. The caveat is that you cannot work full-time for the duration of the visa. Rather you work on an ad hoc basis to fund your travels.

Note: this visa might have a different name. In the UK it’s known as the Youth Mobility Scheme, but in France, it’s the Young Traveller Visa.

Who can qualify?

Working Holiday Visas are only applicable for certain nationalities to work in certain countries. For example:

  • UK-passport holders can apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Australia if they are aged between 17 and 35 years of age. This visa is valid for 3 years.
  • Japanese-passport holders can apply for the Young Traveller Visa for France. It allows 18 to 30-year olds to live and work in France for 12 months.
  • New Zealand-passport holders can apply for a Work and Travel Visa in South Africa for 12 months if they are between the ages of 18 and 30.

There are many more Working Holiday Visa options available. Do a Google search to find out which apply to your passport.

How much does it pay?

Specific jobs are not stipulated with Working Holiday Visas. This means that salaries vary depending on the job. Many Working Holiday Visa jobs are part-time or casual so are paid on an hourly or weekly basis.

What’s included?

Nothing. The visa grants you the right to travel to, work in, and travel around a country. It does not provide you with any form of support when it comes to finding employment or accommodation. However there are a number of agencies that assist you with the process of moving abroad, but this comes with a cost.

Where to find Working Holiday Visa jobs?

These jobs can be found online, through social media or by word of mouth. Popular websites to find jobs are: Gumtree, LinkedIn, Upwork, Seek and Indeed.

If you’re looking specifically for seasonal jobs such as working in a ski resort or on a farm, you can look for opportunities on WorkAway and Wwoof – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

5. Work remotely in another country (Digital Nomad Visa)

Is a flexible working situation important for you? Do you like to be in control of your work-life balance? Becoming a digital nomad could be the solution you’re looking for.

TEFL teacher teaching English online

What is a digital nomad?

Being a digital nomad means undertaking remote work. Remote work is work which can be done online from any location – provided you have an internet connection. Digital nomad jobs typically include administration work, tech and IT jobs, teaching and tutoring online, marketing, consulting, and creative gigs like writing, photography and design.

Who can qualify?

These days many countries offer working visas specifically for digital nomads and remote workers. These Digital Nomad Visas allow a person to stay in a country and work remotely, provided they satisfy certain requirements. These requirements vary from country to country. Usuall, you need to be working for a company not based in the country of residence, and earn above a certain threshold.

How much does it pay?

Digital nomad jobs vary in pay based on the nature of the work. Many digital nomads work as freelancers and set their own rates. Consequently, they are paid on a contract or project basis.

What’s included?

Nothing. 

Where to find digital nomad jobs?

There are a number of online platforms which are popular for digital nomads looking for remote working jobs. For example:

More and more countries are jumping on the bandwagon to offer Digital Nomad Visas to potential tourists. A handful of these countries provide the optimal conditions for a digital nomad lifestyle: good internet connectivity, low cost of living, good healthcare and good cafes!

Portugal, Spain, Georgia, Estonia, Costa Rica and Croatia are currently digital nomad hotspots (in 2024). 

In Portugal, the Temporary Stay Visa allows you to stay in Portugal for up to a year, while the Residency Visa D2, or the D7 (Passive Income Visa), allows you to stay for up to five years.

Restrictions:

  • Evidence of monthly income of at least €700
  • Stay in the country for at least 16 months of the first two years

In Spain, the Startup Act allows digital nomads working for non-Spanish companies to live in the country without needing a working visa for up to six months. This includes self-employed freelancers with multiple clients, like online English teachers! A degree is not necessary if you show three years’ of work experience.

Restrictions:

  • Proof that the company you work for has been operational for a year and you’ve been working for them for at least three months
  • Proof of income of around €2,300 a month (though this is subject to change)

In Georgia, there is no specific visa for remote workers. But if you do not usually require a visa to visit Georgia then you are eligible to apply to the Remotely From Georgia programme and live in Georgia for up to a year. The visa is free and the application process is done entirely online. 

Restrictions:

  • Proof of earnings of US$2,000 a month or $24,000 in savings
  • Health insurance valid for the year

Remote workers wanting to live in Estonia can apply for a Digital Nomad visa which allows them to live in Estonia for up to a year. The visa is available to those who are self-employed and work online, or those who are employed by a company outside Estonia and work online.

Restrictions:

  • Proof of gross income of €4,500 for the six months prior to visa application

Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa allows qualifying people to work in Costa Rica for up to a year. While working in Costa Rica, your income will be tax-free. The visa costs $100.

Restrictions:

  • Proof of monthly income of US$3,000 for individuals and US$5,000 for families
  • Medical insurance for the duration of your stay

Croatia offers a temporary residence permit which allows you to live in Croatia for up to a year.

Restrictions:

  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Letter of accommodation
  • Health insurance

For more details on other digital visas, head to our blog to read The Digital Nomad Visa: A Ticket To Your Best Life .

6. Work in the travel/hospitality industry

Enjoy working with people? Interested in the hospitality and tourism industry? There’s no better way to get on-the-job experience than working in hospitality abroad.

tour guide and tourist group

What is hospitality work?

Hospitality opportunities abroad include working in a hotel, ski resort, beach resort or restaurant. You can work as a waiter, barman, concierge, chauffeur, cleaner or any number of other positions.

Who can qualify?

Many hospitality jobs don’t require any specific qualifications. Others may require health and safety certificates or first aid certificates. For some, you might need specific training, such as when working as a chef or ski instructor.

How much do hospitality jobs pay?

Salaries vary according to the company and the country.

What’s included?

Jobs in the hospitality and travel industries are typically salaried positions. Housing or an accommodation allowance should be provided, medical insurance, a flight allowance or ticket, paid vacation and paid sick leave. For the most part, certain meals are included at the place of employment.

Where to find hospitality jobs?

Many hospitality jobs are found online. Popular websites to look for hospitality and travel jobs include:

Another option is to look directly on the website of the hotel group you want to apply to:

7. Study in a foreign country

Looking to further your studies while also making some money on the side? You should look into studying in a foreign country.

What do you learn on a TEFL course?

What is studying in a foreign country?

A lesser-known opportunity to organise a working opportunity abroad is to study in that country. Many countries allow registered students to work for a limited number of hours during their time of study, or full-time after graduation.

One option is to study a foreign language at a language school for a short time. Another option is to study long-term for a part-time or full-time college- or university-level qualification.

Who can qualify?

Anyone who qualifies for the specific study program they wish to apply to. These requirements can be quite strict if you’re considering a higher degree like a Master’s degree. Or they can be quite flexible if it’s a short programme like a language course.

If the program is in a non-English-speaking country, make sure the program is taught in English – or you can speak the language!

How much does it cost?

Degree programs vary in cost from country to country and based on the field and level of the degree. These programs are generally quite expensive for international students, but there are scholarships and bursaries available. 

Language courses are much cheaper options because they are much shorter. 

The cost of the Study Visa depends on your nationality and the country you are applying to.

What’s included?

Similar to a Working Holiday Visa, nothing extra is included in a Study Visa besides the opportunity to live, study and possibly work in the country for the specified time.

If you are able to invest in a full degree abroad, many countries make it possible to apply for a Post-Study Work Visa. This visa allows graduates to be residents in that country after graduation for a certain period of time for the purpose of employment.

Where to find out about Study Visas?

Check out university websites and higher education websites in the country of your choice. Find an appropriate program of study abroad and find out if you are eligible to apply. Bear in mind there will be specific requirements for each study program, as well as possibly hefty fees.

8. Work for a multinational company

Do you enjoy more serious work? Are you focused on your career, but like to entertain the idea of travelling? Maybe you should look for an internship.

Internships offer an opportunity to upskill yourself in your particular field before embarking on a career. It helps you gain experience without needing to get a job.

vietnam-internship-image-2-1523450295

What is an internship?

Countries offer various internships in different fields. Scandinavian countries, for example, are known for human development, education and engineering. Canada is a popular destination for medical internships. South Africa attracts interns in veterinary science and animal conservation.

Internships can be for a few weeks or a few months. 

Who can qualify?

Internships generally have age restrictions, as they are aimed at people starting out in their careers. You’ll need a Bachelor’s degree related to the field of the internship.

How much does it pay?

Internships differ from volunteer positions in that they usually offer a stipend or living allowance. 

What’s included?

Internships can be unpaid or you can be provided with a stipend to help with living costs.

Where to find internship opportunities?

If there is a specific multinational company you are interested in working for, keep an eye on their website. Internships are often advertised there or on their company’s careers site. 

LinkedIn is another good website to find companies who are looking for interns. Don’t be shy to reach out to the relevant HR person to make your interest in internship opportunities known.

If you’re a student at a university or college, multinational companies often send representatives to campus job fairs to source applicants for internship opportunities. This is a great way to check out companies to find out which would be a good match for you.

9. Get a Skilled Work Visa in another country

Got a skill not many people have? You could be in demand in another country!

Some countries offer a Skilled Work Visa for certain occupations. 

Ireland, for example, offers a Critical Skills Employment Permit for workers who are skilled in occupations for which there is a shortage in Ireland, such as civil engineers and web development professionals.

What is a Skilled Work Visa?

A Skilled Work Visa is a long-term employment visa. It allows visa holders to reside in a country while employed. If this visa is extended it can be a path to indefinite leave to remain in the country. 

Who can qualify?

Qualifications for Skilled Work Visas vary by country. There are eligibility requirements for each different visa type. Some Skilled Work Visas only apply to certain occupations.

General universal eligibility requirements include:

  • Proof of sponsorship from a local company
  • Proof of income and/or savings
  • Medical insurance
  • Language requirements

How much does it pay?

Pay varies according to the job.

What’s included?

Nothing.

How to get a Skilled Work Visa?

Skilled Work Visas are usually applied for online through the Home Office website of the country you want to work in. There may be a local organisation to assist you through the process.

10. Family/partner connection

Was your Great Aunt Betty born in Scotland between the years 1924 and 1925? You might qualify for a visa based on your family tree!

Ancestry is another way to emigrate to another country.  Or, a relationship through marriage could be another option. 

young couple travelling abroad

What is a family or partner connection?

Family connections through spouses, parents or grandparents can provide a way to obtain a working visa.

For example:

  •  A South African citizen with a grandparent who was born in the UK may be eligible for an Ancestry Visa. An Ancestry Visa gives you the right to live and work freely in the UK for a number of years. This can be the first step to applying for residency in a country.
  • An Australian who is married to a US citizen can apply for a Spouse Visa (also known as a Green Card). This allows the person to live and work freely in the US.

Alternatively, if you find yourself head over heels in love with someone from another country, you might be eligible for a Partner Visa. This allows you to stay in their country.

Who can qualify?

Qualifying for a visa through family connections depends on your nationality and the country in question. Different qualifications exist for everyone. Be sure to find out the exact requirements before you start the lengthy process of acquiring a visa this way.

Qualifying for a Partner Visa if you are not yet married can be quite tricky. If you’ve ever watched 90 Day Fiance then you know exactly what we’re talking about!

How to get a Family or Partner Visa

Once you are sure you qualify, it’s just a matter of filling out the paperwork and making sure all your documents are in order. Because this visa gives the holder a lot of rights in a country, it’s an extensive process to apply for.

So there you have it: work abroad opportunities to suit everyone! Good luck – and don’t forget to send us a postcard!

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