Dreaming of living in another country? Finding a job first can make your plan much easier to realise. Some jobs will even pay your way to your new home. Let’s take a look at some of things you should take into account before buying that plane ticket. We’ll also go through some of the best jobs when working abroad.
What to do before you move abroad for work
1. Check visa requirements
If you have your heart set on a specific country, check what the work visa requirements are for people coming from your home country. These can be found on the destination country’s government site, usually in the immigration section. If you find a job through an agency, particularly for language teaching or childcare, they may offer to take care of this service for you. If they do, read the fine print of their contracts carefully – there are often clauses about not working for competitors for certain periods or a set time for which you are still liable for your relocation fees.
2. How much help do you need
Take a look at the country you wish to move to – do you speak the language already? If not, you may need to employ a relocation consultant, or depend on finding a job through an agency that provides one. Even if your new home technically speaks the same language you do, there will be major cultural differences – take it from this Canadian that moved to the UK. Sign up to expat Facebook groups in your new home country to get a sense of the issues you’re likely to face.
Flexible jobs for working abroad
1. Teaching English, or another language
If you have a Bachelor’s degree and are a native English speaker, you can try teaching English abroad. Those are the minimum qualifications, but you will find many more, and better paying, options by getting certified as a TOEFL, TESOL or TEFL instructor. TOEFL stands for Test of English Fluency Level, TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and TEFL stands for Teach English as a Second Language. Training for these certifications can take anything from a few weeks to several months. It’s worth checking what schools are looking for in your destination country before investing in a specific certification. There are agencies that will help with placement, and even travel and moving costs, depending on the destination country.
2. Being an au pair
An au pair is usually a young person just out of school who takes care of children in the family home, for a set period of time, usually a year or two. An au pair usually lives with the family, and takes on childcare for most of the day as well as light housework. If you like kids, this can be a dream job for a couple of years in another country. Au pairs are also hired for their language skills, as well as being a perfect atmosphere for picking up another language yourself. Travel expenses to the destination are often covered by the agency who places you, but be sure to read the contract carefully before signing on.
3. Freelancing wherever you are
If you work as a freelance writer, graphic designer, or virtual assistant, you can often work from all sorts of different locations. It’s important to look up the regulations on work visas for the country you’d like to live in, as most will have a freelancer visa that means you have to cover your own health insurance and demonstrate you will be able to support yourself for the period of time you plan to live there.
4. Tourism and hospitality jobs
Of course you’re probably not the only person who speaks your language who wants to visit this country! Take advantage of that by looking for jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector in your chosen country. Try looking for positions with hotels, tour companies, conference centres, and tourist sites, though keep in mind you will probably need to also speak the local language as well.
If learning another language is part of your work abroad plans, get a head start with Lingoda.