7 Work Abroad Job Ideas

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

A lot of people have dreamt of moving abroad and traveling around the world. Unless you have saved enough money to sustain you for awhile, you'll have to try and get a job. And getting a job abroad can be extremely overwhelming, especially when it's your first time. You have to worry about the language barrier, visa regulations, and many other things you've never had to deal with when getting a job in your home country. Here are some job ideas to help you get started:

1. Teaching English

This is probably the most common job for an expat (a person living outside of their home country). If you are a citizen of any country that has English as their native language (USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, & S. Africa) this will be the easiest way for you to get a job abroad! Nearly every country in the world is looking for English teachers, so you'll have lots of options on what location you want to go. Read more on trying to find an English teaching job abroad here.

2. Au Pair

An au pair is a helper from a foreign country that helps with housework and child care in exchange for housing. Typically in this day and age, you'll also receive a paycheck on top of free living arrangements. This is a great option if you are moving abroad as a single person (not couple) and love working with kids. The hard part is that you never know what your family will be like. I've had friends who literally became family with their host family and stayed for many years because they loved them so much. But, I've also heard horror stories of families being extremely rude and overworking their au pairs. So try to get a feel of your family before you move across the globe to live and work for them. The best way to find an au pair job is to make an account on a reputable au pair website like: AuPair, AuPair World or AuPair Care.

3. Hostel Worker

If you've backpacked before, then you've most likely stayed at a hostel. (If you haven't, check out my First Timer's Guide). But regardless if you have or not, you can easily find a job working for a hostel! Whether they need a front desk receptionist, tour guide, or even a party host- yeah, you literally would get paid to host BP tournaments and take people on pub crawls. Often times you don't get a paycheck, but even if you do it's not much. BUT you'll most likely be living & eating for free at the hostel. Browse online on Hostel Jobs before you go, or just wait until you're already on the road traveling. I can't tell you the amount of hostels I've been to that have flyers hiring people, because most people who work in hostels only stay for short periods of time before they take off backpacking again. So the turnover is typically high, which means they're hiring a lot. Even if the hostel you're staying at isn't currently hiring, you can talk to an employee there & I can almost guarantee that they know of multiple hostels in the area that are hiring.

4. Tour Guide

Not only do hostels need tour guides, but all tourism companies need them too! Most of the time as long as you can speak English you'll be okay, but sometimes they will require you to speak both English and the local language. So just be sure to double check. But the awesome thing is that there are so many options when it comes to being a tour guide: city history, hiking, canyoneering, white water rafting, and so much more. You can try looking online before you go, but you might have better luck when you're actually in the country already.

5. Farmer

This might not be your first thought when you think of moving and working abroad. But it's actually quite common for travelers to do this in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Ecuador and many other places around the world. Most people who choose this route are not in it for the money, they're in it to help the environment and experience living in a new country. One of the biggest organizations in the world for this is WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). You'll be able to choose your destination, find a host, and start farming! Typically you will receive free housing and food, but no pay.

6. Cruise Ship

Working on a cruise ship can give you a great opportunity to travel! There are plenty of job opportunities on board: child care, entertainment, restaurant services, and more. Although you do work long hours at times, you still get days off when the ship has docked to explore whatever place you are in. And most contracts are 6 months long, so you'll get a long break to go home or travel more in between contracts if you decide to re-sign. Look for jobs here.

7. Bartender/Waiter

This one will be a lot more obtainable if you can speak the local language, or if you go to a country with English as their native language. Otherwise, it might be a little difficult. In regards to finding a job, you can look on job boards like Indeed or Glassdoor from your home country, but it might be easier to find a job once you arrive in your city abroad.

BONUS: Workaway

Workaway is the leading company for cultural exchange, working holidays, and volunteering abroad. So this means you won't get a paycheck, but you'll have awesome experiences abroad and a lot of times, free housing and food. So if you're backpacking around this can be a good way to help you save money. You have so many volunteering/exchange options like: teaching, house/pet sitting, sustainable projects, farming, and more. So you will always have a chance to experience something new no matter where you go in the world!

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