Finding the right job to fund you while traveling the wold can seem like an intimidating feat. I’ve met a lot of travelers that book a ticket to a location, with zero work prospects and find a job within the first few weeks. If this sounds like too much spontaneity and uncertainty for you, don’t worry! There are various opportunities and organizations that you can work with to get to your destination and make money while living there!
When looking for work abroad, it’s good practice to figure out how long you want to stay for. It’s ok to not know exactly, but a set time frame is good to have in mind for setting up temporary work. For example, 3-6 months would allow you to teach at a language school, but programs like the U.S Peace Corps require a 27 month commitment. Check out some of the many employment opportunities and their time commitments and see which fits you best!
1. WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
How it works: Food and a place to stay in exchange for working on an organic farm. You start by paying a small fee for a year long membership to a particular country, then you apply to different farms. The type of farms vary anywhere from peach farms to wine vineyards. Length of stay at the farms usually starts at around 1-2 weeks. What better way to learn about a country than from its literal ‘roots’?
Time commitment: 1 week +
Check out: WWOOF international
2. Peace Corps- US government funded volunteer work
How it works: As a returned Peace Corps volunteer from the Kyrgyz Republic, I can say, this is a life changing opportunity. If selected you would commit to 27 months working in a developing country in one of the Peace Corps sectors; Education, Health, Environment, Youth Development, Community Economic Development, Agriculture, Peace Corps Response. You need an Associates or a Bachelors degree to apply and some work experience and/or volunteer work is a big plus. This program only allows US citizens to participant, however, the EU has similar programs.
Time commitment: 27 months
Check out: the Peace Corps
3. TEFL- Teacher of English as Foreign Language
How it works: Most people think you need a university degree in English in order to teach abroad, but many countries are eager to just have a native speaker in their classroom. Most schools are looking for someone with a TEFL certification. You can easily get certified through online courses or take one in person. If you have teaching experience, you might not need the TEFL certification, though it will help. The amount of websites to find English teaching opportunities abroad are overwhelming, a few of my favorites are listed below.
Time commitment: 3+ months (it depends on the program/school)
Note: Countries throughout Asia are always looking for native English speakers to teach. If you aren’t looking to travel to Asia, Colombia’s Ministry of Education has set a goal to integrate more native English speakers into the classroom by 2020.
4. Seasonal jobs – ski resort, bar, camping guide, boats, hostel worker, au pair
How it works: Coolworks is a great site to help you get linked with open seasonal jobs, such as, ski instructor, scuba diving instructor, lifeguard, tour guide or a camping guide. Working at a hostel or as an au pair are great short term gigs that allow you time to see a city while making a little money on the side (and sometimes getting free accommodations).
Time commitment: Seasonal, typically 2+ months
5. Become an independent contractor- be your own boss!
How it works: Search for random jobs in a city or work remotely. You pick your hours and apply for small jobs.
Time Commitment: It depends on the task you undertake, but ultimately, you decide!
6. Housesitting- Watch people’s homes and pets while they travel
How it works: So you aren’t up for a job commitment while abroad? No problem, you can housesit! This solves two problems, money and a place to stay. Some housesitting requires a longer stay in a location, and you might have to be a pet sitter also, but with some research on the sites below, you could housesit abroad from as little as 2 weeks to 6+ months!
Time commitment: 2 weeks- 6+months (It depends on the people you’re housesitting for)
There are endless ways to find work abroad, these are just a few ideas to get you started. It’s important to remember one thing, we all travel differently and there is no wrong way to travel. So book a ticket, or plan in advance, but just be sure to get on that plane and go!