We’ve not exactly had free rein to explore the world in recent years. COVID closed borders for over a year in some circumstances, and going to and from many countries included weeks of quarantine – which doesn’t exactly feel like you’re making the most of your travel time.
Fortunately, things are changing, and if you’re ready to get out of the US and explore the world without draining your savings account, there are plenty of overseas jobs ready and waiting to welcome people like you.
How to Get an Overseas Job
The process of getting an overseas job and starting your traveling journey is much simpler than you may think; the most significant thing it takes is guts! Most people will decide that it requires too much research and such a substantial change from their current life that they can’t do it. You absolutely can, and everything I’ve created on this blog will help you do it.
Going overseas is not always the easiest thing to do, but my eight steps on moving to another country will make it much more manageable. As an expat, currently working in Taiwan as an English teacher, I have learned a thing or two about traveling and working overseas.
Your to-do list for getting an overseas job looks like this:
- Pick a location and/or the type of job you want
- Make sure your resume matches what the positions you’re interested in are looking for
- Browse through job boards such as GoAbroad, GoOverseas, or OverseasJobs
- Read reviews of those that have gone before you, if available, or research the company you’re thinking of working for or with
- Apply for the roles you’re interested in
- Pack your bags and head off for your new life!
You may need to apply for a visa before you start applying for positions, or the company you work with to travel may do this for you.
Best Overseas Jobs
1. Teaching Jobs
Teaching is the job you’ve likely heard the most about and is the job I’ll talk about first since it’s my current position. There are opportunities for teaching English in almost any non-native English-speaking country and other opportunities within the teaching sector. Many people travel to a foreign country to start teaching abroad. It is a fantastic opportunity that will also be rewarding.
Some countries require you to have a teaching qualification before you go. So if you’re just starting to consider working abroad, now is the time to consider this option so you can get any certifications you need before you want to apply and pack your bags.
Countries to consider: Almost any non-native English speaking country, including Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan (like me!), Thailand, Vietnam
Available contract lengths: depends on the role and the country, but can be anywhere from 1 month to 2 years, and maybe renewable ongoing.
Types of roles available:
- English teacher at a school
- Teacher’s assistant
- Camp counselor
Pros of teaching:
- If you enjoy teaching, it can be gratifying
- You will have a contract that secures your time there
- Good working hours
- You may not be in a central location
- Pay is usually around US minimum wage for those on working visas
- Not much room for career growth if you aren’t a permanent resident
2. Hospitality Jobs
If you already work in hospitality or have in the past, this role can be easy to slip into another country. These roles will put you in the thick of things and give you plenty of opportunities to soak up the local atmosphere and develop your language skills.
Types of roles available:
- Front of House
- Kitchen assistant
Countries to consider: You should be able to find an opportunity in almost any country. Some to consider are Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand.
Pros of hospitality jobs:
- Many countries tip, which means you have an opportunity to make extra spending money
- You’ll be submerged in the atmosphere
- You’ll pick up the local language quickly
- Often have flexible working hours and may have free day-time hours
- Demanding work
- If you don’t know the language well enough, it may be stressful
- You’ll probably work a lot of evenings and weekends
- Base pay is usually minimal
3. Corporate Jobs
Suppose you’re dying to get away from a stifling corporate atmosphere. In that case, this one may not be for you, but if you want to continue developing your current career while broadening your horizons, finding a company that will sponsor you for a corporate role may be the perfect next step for you.
The caveat here is you’re going to need to know the native language of the country you want to travel to well enough for you to contribute value to the company you work for from the first week you start working for them, and they may have a language level requirement.
Types of roles available:
- Temp work
If you know a specialist area, try finding a similar role at a large company in the country you want to live in, as this will give you the best career prospects, and you may find the company sponsors you long-term.
Countries to consider: Australia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan
Pros of corporate jobs:
- You don’t have to put your career on hold to experience something new
- Generally, a reasonable (or even high) rate of pay, depending on your role
- The company you work with will often facilitate visas and relocation
- You’ll likely still be working full-time hours, so time to explore may be limited
- You must have an excellent grasp of the native language in that country to be considered
- Difficult to find
4. Labor Jobs
This option won’t be for everyone, but some of the trickier countries to get into offer manual labor roles to travelers. There are plenty of people that have gone to countries like Australia to work on farms and had an incredible time.
If you’re young and prepare to sweat while you work but are happy to grin and make friends while you do it, then this can be an excellent overseas job.
- Fruit picker
Best countries to consider: Australia, New Zealand
Companies that facilitate these roles: World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Pros of labor jobs:
- See rural areas
- Room and board is (nearly) always included
- You’ll make great friends with your fellow working travelers
- Demanding work
- Some pay by work completed rather than an hourly wage, or trade for room and board
- You’ll be in a rural area, likely far from the sights you want to see
5. Retail Jobs
Retail can be hard going, but in the right store is relatively easy and leaves you with plenty of time to explore in the evenings and on your days off. The abundance of roles (or lack thereof) in this sector often depends on the season, so plan accordingly if you want to land a role like this.
Countries to consider: Australia, Canada, New Zealand
Companies that can facilitate your travel: InternEx
Pros of retail:
- Straightforward job
- Can be fast-paced during busy times but generally laid back
- Generally just working during the day
- In many countries, you won’t just be able to walk into a store you like and apply due to visa restrictions
- Likely have to work weekends (though that may be a pro if you can explore on quieter days)
- Most jobs are seasonal
6. Outdoor Pursuit Jobs
If you have some specialist knowledge, such as how to scuba dive, you may be able to find work leading tours. There are opportunities to lead hikes, guide dives (under the sea and from the sky), work in search-and-rescue, and other positions.
Finding these positions while you’re sitting at home at your desk can be tricky unless you’re prepared to reach out to potential companies you would be a good match for or head out there and then try to land a job like this.
Countries to consider: available in many countries, including Austria, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand
Companies that can facilitate your travel: Viamonde
Pros of outdoor pursuit jobs:
- A lot of fun – spend all day doing what you love
- You’ll be in a tourist hotspot
- If you’re there for the long-term, the off-season may provide ample exploring time
- Burn plenty of calories
- Rate of pay may not be that great
- Can be stressful if you get a terrible group/customer or someone is injured
- Element of risk involved
7. Childcare Jobs
Often known as an “Au Pair” or nanny, you can find childcare jobs in almost any country in the world, and many programs and families are happy to welcome someone who wants to experience living in their country. Childcare jobs can be one of the most eye opening overseas jobs out there. It can provide an inside look into the culture of the people you will work with and among.
Countries to consider: Opportunities in most countries, China, France, UK
Companies that can facilitate your travel: Lopair China
Pros of childcare roles:
- You move into a home, rather than a hostel
- You can become a local in your area
- If you enjoy looking after children, you have plenty of opportunities to learn the language and teach your own
Cons of childcare roles:
- You may feel stuck if you don’t have much time off to explore
- Living where you work isn’t often good for your mental health
- If you feel mistreated, you may find it difficult to leave
Working abroad will help you experience a different culture in a way no vacation can; you become a part of it, not just spectate. You’ll pick up the language quickly if it’s different from your own and make life-long friends.
To go abroad to foreign countries for work is an experience itself. You can work in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and Asia. Finding international jobs is an excellent way to get paid to travel. As an expatriate you will have many overseas travel opportunities open to you. This could be international teaching, doing retail, corporate work, or just working outdoors.
Numerous overseas jobs are waiting for you to snag. You have to make a decision and start your journey. Take a chance, make a change, and decide if living overseas is the right thing for you.
If you’re ready to leave the USA behind, make sure you read 8 Tips on How to Move to Another Country next.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.