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Three Ways to Work Abroad
— September 15, 2016
Working abroad can offer a wealth of personal and professional benefits, whether you’re interested in learning another language, developing new skills, or simply getting outside your comfort zone. Whatever your motivations for seeking an overseas job, it can be challenging to figure out how to get started. Where should you begin your job hunt and what type of work can you expect to find? Read on to discover a few popular ways to work abroad.
Work for an International Company
One of the simplest ways to work abroad is to get transferred overseas by your current employer. This option allows you to avoid the hassle of job hunting in another country, plus your company is likely to help you with logistics like obtaining a visa, getting international health insurance, and finding a place to live. Start by looking for jobs with global companies that have overseas offices. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll likely need to work in your home country for a few years before you’ll be offered the opportunity for a foreign placement.
Teaching English is one of the most well-known options for working abroad. In many countries, the only job requirements are that you be a native English speaker and have a bachelor’s degree in any field. Many people are surprised to learn that they don’t need to speak the local language in order to teach English. Although it’s not strictly necessary, it’s a good idea to invest in a TEFL certificate, which provides an introduction to teaching English as a Second Language. These certificates can make you a stronger job candidate, and sometimes enable you to earn a higher salary.
The number of available teaching positions ranges significantly from country to country. Jobs are generally more difficult to find in Western Europe compared to Asia and the Middle East. Salaries are also quite variable, with many companies in some countries, such as South Korea, even paying for teachers’ flights and housing.
Get a Working Holiday Visa
Working holiday schemes allow people under the age of 30 (or up to 35 in some countries) to combine travel with casual work. The options for where you can work vary depending on which countries have working holiday agreements with your home country. New Zealanders, Australians, Canadians, and Brits, for example, are eligible for working holiday visas in dozens of countries around the world.
Working holiday visas are typically issued for one year and requirements are a little different for every country. You generally need to prove you have “sufficient funds” to live on while you look for a job, as well as obtain global health insurance for the duration of your stay overseas. Working holiday makers often find seasonal jobs, such as fruit picking, or jobs in tourism and hospitality, such as hostel reception or serving. Wages are normally low, because working holidays are viewed as a way to supplement existing travel funds. You likely won’t be able to find a job in a professional field, because working holiday makers usually aren’t permitted to work for one employer for more than six months. A working holiday can, however, provide the opportunity to network with local companies and open the door to permanent job opportunities abroad in the future.
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