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10 Jobs That Can Take You Abroad

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Brent Campbell
July 22, 2019

Eating a ham and cheese sandwich at a desk job doesn’t sound very appealing, right? Well, how about a Viennese coffee and strudel on your stop-over from Copenhagen?

Perhaps you’re in the last years of college or maybe you’ve just graduated and are searching for new challenges. Either way, if you’re looking for an overseas experience, consider a new job as the path to get there.

If you’ve already started a career but are feeling unsure about your future or unhappy in your current position, a job abroad could be inspiration. Here are 10 jobs that could take you overseas - and change your life forever. Travel puts you on a course for learning, earning and experiencing more of life. And don’t worry about leaving your friends, family and belongings behind. Social media and technology make staying in touch easier than ever. Plus, things like changing your car insurance while you’re away will help you save even more money.

>>RELATED: 10 side jobs for making easy extra money  

1. Cruise ship member

The cruise ship industry offers a variety of jobs all over the world. Are you a fitness expert or personal trainer? A hospitality pro? A talented singer looking to gain experience? There’s a job for you on a cruise ship. 

What’s more, cruise lines are found going to every part of the world. You could sail the Caribbean islands or tour the European coastline. 

Cruise ship jobs can range from hospitality staff and crew to management and entertainment talent. What’s more, thousands of new openings can be found online year-round. Long-term job opportunities or just a temporary summer gig are easy to find. As for salaries, expect to see a huge difference between salaried staff (like a chef, director, ship captain) and part-time or seasonal positions. Seasonal worker wages can run anywhere between $500 and $2,000 per month.

Tip: Check out Royal Caribbean and American Cruise Lines to get started. 

 2. TEFL teacher

Teaching English as a foreign language, or TEFL, is a career that can take you anywhere. Even if you don’t specifically have an English degree, you can teach English abroad. Though, you will need a college degree in some field to teach at most schools. The teaching jobs can range from elementary age to university students, and they may be in public or private schools.

Schools in China, South Korea, Japan and Latin America are always looking for English teachers. They will typically provide you with a community of like-minded people to show you the ropes once you’re there. 

Some candidates sort through the job boards themselves or seek outplacement agencies to vet the schools. One good place to start Dave’s ESL Café, hosted by an overseas teacher who has been in international education for decades. Whether you consider this lifestyle for just a year or end up traveling to new schools across the world to build your credentials and save money, living and teaching overseas can open new worlds. 

Further opportunities exist in job placement, school administration, textbook editing, and private tutoring. Some teachers even end up opening their own schools abroad.

Tip: Check out TEFL.net for more information, and expect salaries to range from $1800 to $4000 a month as it will depend heavily on the location.

Teaching English as a foreign language, or TEFL, is a career that can take you anywhere.


3. Au pair or nanny

One way to experience other parts of the world is as an au pair or nanny. It’s possible that you end up traveling the world with a family–all expenses paid. If your friends and family are always saying how good you are with kids, this could be the job for you. 

Most families looking for an au pair or nanny want someone with a degree from a good university or that possess special language, sports or musical skills. In turn, you get to enjoy the host family’s nation, culture and traditions. 

Tip: The most common age range for au pairs and nannies is 18 to 30.

4. Personal assistant

If you’re looking to avoid a job where you do the same thing everyday, consider being a personal assistant. People in need of an assistant are looking for someone who is able to manage schedules, field calls and ward off intruders. Being discreet, down-to-earth, organized and reliable are key traits. 

You could be a personal assistant at an overseas company or for a private individual working abroad. Naturally, this niche position will be extremely competitive and require solid experience, credentials, impeccable references, and a knockout CV. 

Tip: Check out Tiger Recruitment for personal assistant opportunities available internationally. 

5. Temporary harvester

Do you have visions of backpacking around Europe? Being a temporary harvester is one way to do it. You can pick strawberries in Great Britain or grapes in France - fruits and vegetables need harvesting throughout Europe. Australia and New Zealand also have several opportunities to get you in touch with agriculture and the great outdoors. 

If you’re interested in agricultural engineering or farm management, this is a surefire way to get a foot in the door. Still in school? A summer experience working on a farm might translate into college credit, or an entry into viticulture (wine production). Who knows, perhaps one day you own your own vineyard. 

Tip: A harvester job isn’t for couch potatoes as there’s a ton of physical labor involved. Handson, venturesome students can check out Picking Jobs.

6. Skilled professionals

If you’re not an off-the-beaten-path kind of person, there are huge opportunities for skilled professionals at large, international companies like Deloitte, Edelman or UBS. Accountants, managers, nurses, engineers and more can find work. If you apply at a U.S. location, let them know you are interested and available for travel. 

Tip: Begin your research with Fortune’s list of the best global companies. Then take a peek at an overseas recruitment agency like ISC to see how the field overall looks.

7. Zoologist in New Zealand

Ok, maybe you’re not a zoologist. But if you are in a specialty field and ever thought of checking out New Zealand, now’s the time. New Zealand offers jobs in niche areas where the available talent pool needs a boost. From anesthesiologist to zoologist, there is a long list of career opportunities available that will make getting a work or resident visa easier. 

Tip: Check out New Zealand’s Skill shortage list checker

8. NGO career

Non-governmental organizations can be found all over the world supporting projects in almost every area - education, clean water, housing, medical needs, locally sourced economies, peaceful negotiations in conflict areas, and legal advice. NGOs may also work with trafficked women and children. Therefore, social workers are very often much in need at NGOs. 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is well known for their work in these areas, especially in fighting disease and the development of vaccines. Their trillion-dollar foundation lists employment opportunities in locations ranging from Seattle, Washington, to international locales like India and China. 

Tip: Check out NGO ABroad, the UN or The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for more on NGO opportunities.

 9. Tour guide

Are you an organized go-getter with fluency in both English and a second language? Did you conduct tour guides on your university campus or at a theme park? Working with a tour company may provide you with the excitement and overseas experiences you crave. 

Tip: Check out Sandemans New Europe Tours for tips and advice on becoming a tour guide.

>>TIP: Heading abroad? Switching car insurance could save you money while you're abroad

Working as a tour guide is a great way to have an abroad experience.

10. Temporary jobs

If you’re not sure what kind of job you are looking for right now, there are organizations that can help you get temporary or short-term jobs as well as lodging throughout the world. 

Work and Travel Company is one such organization. They offer tiered programs in Australia, New Zealand and the UK based on your budget. Their unique concierge service will also organize an itinerary for you if you’re just interested in traveling.

Tip: Travel and work websites are plentiful, so be aware of scams. Research all your sources before providing funds or personal information to any company. The United States Department of Defense provides further information for your research.