What if you could make money, or at least not spend too much of it, traveling the world. What if you could call a farm in South America or a campground in some wooded oasis home around the world, and build your resume while you lived there?
The fact is, you can. One of the best ways to see the world is to work abroad. Rather than just spending a weekend somewhere checking out the sights, you get to fully immerse yourself in the place.
It’s a dream come true for people interested in long-term travel. So, how do you turn that dream into a reality?
People often shy away from the idea of working and traveling because it sounds difficult. Images of expensive visas and painfully slow bureaucracy are conjured up. But, it’s much easier than you think—especially if you go abroad with an established program—because many let you work abroad without experience.
Some will pay you, some won’t, and some will make you pay them—so make sure you exhaust all your options and know what you can afford before you start applying.
Teaching English Programs Abroad
Teaching English abroad is the most popular and one of the best travel jobs for people who want to work abroad. All you need to be is a native English speaker and you already qualify for a bunch of jobs around the world.
Got a degree or a TEFL qualification? Or both? Even better, you’ll be qualified to get the top-tier jobs that pay the best and have sweet perks. Even if you have no experience teaching English abroad, there are still plenty of places around the world that will take you on.
Maximo Nivel (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru)
Maximo Nivel offers a range of different TEFL programs for people who want to work abroad. If you get a job teaching with Maximo Nivel you will be paid to teach English and you’ll get the chance to learn or improve your Spanish.
You won’t be making buckets of cash with this job, but it’s a great way to immerse yourself in a foreign culture as you will be teaching English alongside working with a local project and mingling with native volunteers and staff members.
JET presents an amazing opportunity for young professionals to spend a year living and teaching English abroad in Japan. The vast majority of participants will work as Assistant Language Teachers in Japanese schools teaching children from elementary school up to high school.
Be aware that as a JET participant, you will be expected to work hard—35 hours a week, plus lesson-planning time. However, first-year teachers make a starting salary of around $30,000 and your flights out to Japan are covered.
This is not technically a work abroad program in and of itself, but TEFL.org has an amazing job board with a huge number of teaching opportunities around the world. Think teaching english in China, Colombia, Russia, India and more.
In order to use the TEFL job board, you will need to have a TEFL qualification. Fortunately, this can be done really easily either online or in person. Once you’re armed with a TEFL you’ll be ready to go.
All of the positions are paid but some are better remunerated than others. The general rule is that the fancier the school, the bigger the paychecks.
If you find that you’re not making enough from your TEFL job, consider doing some private tutoring on the side.
Language House TEFL (Czech Republic)
Situated in the heart of gorgeous Prague, the Language House is a one-stop shop for people who want to work abroad. The first thing you will do upon arrival is get trained up by one of the house’s TEFL teachers. Once you’ve completed the course you’re all ready to go and the Language House will set you up with a local, paid job.
For those looking to discover Europe, Prague is a fantastic springboard for exploring the rest of the continent. It is right in the heart of the continent and has trains to all of the bordering countries as well as flights to those a little further afield. Plus, it’s super cheap to live there if you’re coming from the USA.
Seriously, beer is a dollar.
Hearts for Change (Colombia)
Hearts for Change welcomes anyone who can speak English to come and teach in Colombia. Individuals are selected after a (very easy) Skype interview and are then placed in a city or town in Colombia that fits, as far as possible, within the preferences they laid out in their application form.
This means you could be in Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Cali or one of Colombia’s other amazing regions.
Hearts for Change recruits volunteers but offers each of its teachers a stipend towards living costs.
Disney English (China)
Is there anything Disney can’t do?
Its huge network of English schools across China shows a side of Disney I bet you didn’t even know existed. Disney English in China allows individuals to work abroad with the safety net of such a distinguished brand underneath them.
The positions are well compensated, with teachers making between $1,500 and $2,000 per month. The age range is two-to-12 years old, so this is ideal for people looking to work with younger children.
The classes take place in Disney’s special language learning centers and teachers adhere to a specially designed Disney curriculum—this means lots of Disney songs and story times!
Berlitz Language School (International)
The Berlitz Language School focuses on teaching English and other languages to business professionals around the world. The school is always on the lookout for talented language instructors to work in their offices spread across 70 different countries, including Paraguay, Qatar, Gabon, Philippines, Pakistan, Finland, and Greece.
Corporate teaching is very different to teaching young people in a classroom though. Some people love interacting with children whereas others prefer the calm and discipline that comes with a room full of professional adults. Make sure you know what you want to do before applying.
Greenheart Travel (International)
The major thing that makes Greenheart Travel stand out is the fact that participants live in a homestay. This gives you the chance to have a truly authentic and immersive experience while you are teaching abroad.
If you don’t want to teach, the organization also has a number of volunteer experiences on offer, including environmental conservation, community development, and animal rescue.
Among the various opportunities available with InterExchange are several options to teach English or be a conversation coach abroad. Those interested in working abroad can choose from 12 different countries, including France, Italy, and Thailand.
In addition to English teaching positions, there are au-pairing positions available.
US-China Educational Exchange: Teach in China (China)
The Teach in China program offered by the US-China Educational Exchange facilitates the transfer of young people to China to teach English. The working week is around 15 hours and participants benefit from free housing and health care and a salary of around $800 per month.
You can choose between teaching for a whole year or for just a semester. Previous teaching experience is great but not essential.
Summer Camp Work Abroad Programs
If you love kids and being outdoors then a summer camp is the dream job. You spend your days doing activities with the campers, singing around the campfire and making s’mores. It’s a great way to relive your childhood and make some life-long friends.
Of course, it’s not all fun and games 24/7. Camp leaders will be responsible for the safety and well-being of their campers. This means making sure everyone comes back to the cabins in one piece at the end of the day.
The following are work abroad programs that place individuals into summer camps around the world.
AmeriCamp has been a huge hit with young Brits who want to travel to the United States. However, campers are now no longer confined to traveling to the US.
AmeriCamp is part of the Invasion family, which has branched out and now offers camps all over the world. The following countries are are now also available:
- South Africa
Although Invasion Travel is UK based, these camps are open to everyone, regardless of nationality.
ACLE is an incredible opportunity for native English speakers to get a real taste of Italy.
Camp leaders spend their day teaching English and playing games with Italian campers before heading home to their Italian host families or out for drinks with their fellow tutors.
Tutors receive between 200€ and 300€ per week depending on experience and are given free accommodation, three meals a day and have their travel expenses covered.
CCUSA (Russia, Croatia and Canada)
This organization has a number of work abroad programs, but its main focus is on international summer camps. It currently offers camp positions in Russia, Croatia and Canada.
The camps require a one-off payment of between $1,525 and $1,695, depending on the duration of your camp. This payment covers flights, full board accommodation, airport transfers, pocket money and more.
Note that the CCUSA camps are only for American and Canadian citizens.
TECS runs summer camps in Spain and is available for people with either first or second EU nationality. The jobs range from hands-on work in the camps to office-based admin roles.
You don’t need to speak any Spanish and, if you don’t want to teach English in the camp, then you camp apply for a number of other different roles including driver, caterer and manager.
iCamp Thailand is an American-style camp in Thailand for young people between eight and 16 years old. The camps are the very definition of fun with day after day spent in the sunshine playing games and doing sports. The camp leaders also come from all over the world, including Russia, Italy, Australia, Hungary, Mexico and the USA
The camp provides transportation from Bangkok to the camp and back again, room and board, and a salary dependent upon experience.
Abbey Road (International)
Abbey Road offers qualified individuals the chance to help run their summer language camps. The recruitment process is pretty rigorous and applicants will be expected to have a working proficiency in the language of their chosen destination. Previous experience working, studying or traveling in that destination is also required.
It’s not an easy gig to get because they set the bar pretty high. You will need qualifications, experience and language skills. But, if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll reap the benefits.
Business & Internship Work Abroad Programs
One fantastic benefit of working abroad is the chance to spice up your resume. Showing you are capable of working with people from different backgrounds and navigating cultural differences are impressive and make you stand out from that pile of other resumes.
If you’re interested in developing your career while you travel, you might want to consider an internship abroad. Whether it is in business, hospitality, tourism or some other industry, the experience will be invaluable.
China Internship Placements (China)
The internships available with China Internship Placements (CIP) don’t come cheap. The packages can run up in the thousands of dollars. However, if you’ve got some cash to burn and want to seriously enhance your resume then you might want to consider doing one.
Many of the packages include visas, accommodation, mentoring, Chinese language lessons and other benefits.
IAESTE Internship Placement Program (International)
Strictly for U.S. citizens, the IAESTE Internship Placement Program pairs up science and engineering students with paid work placements abroad. The network spans 80 different countries and is a great way for students in the technical field to develop their skills and get a taste of working abroad.
Competition for these placements is fierce, but those who manage to land one are in for one incredible experience.
Fulbright Program (International)
One of the best-known work abroad programs in the United States, Fulbright, is open to students, graduates, professionals, and artists. The aim is to promote positive relations between the U.S. and other countries.
Successful applicants to Fulbright will be given a grant, which permits them to conduct research, teach or work abroad.
United Nations Internships (International)
This is the golden goose of international internships. An internship with the United Nations will not only give you an insight into the world of global politics but it will set you up for life. Choose from one of the numerous programs on offer, including the Children’s Fund, Refugee Agency, and Environmental Program, and make sure your application is airtight.
These internships are highly coveted so they aren’t easy to get. Also, bear in mind that the internships are unpaid, so you will need to cover all of your own costs.
Masa Israel (Israel)
Masa Israel sets up young people from all over the world with internships in Israel. From tech startups in Tel Aviv to fancy hotels in Eilat, there are loads of options available. The internships come with Hebrew lessons, accommodation, and some other perks and are moderately priced for what you get.
You also get a discount if you’re Jewish.
IES Abroad (International)
Not the best option for those looking to make money, IES offers internships all over the world in almost any industry, but they come with a pretty hefty price tag. Fortunately, the organization has a number of financial aid and scholarship schemes to help those who might not have the budget to afford one of its internships.
The internships usually last one semester and the program provides language tuition, homestay accommodation and valuable work experience.
Leave UR Mark (India)
India is one of the most prominent emerging markets and an internship here can really boost your career development. Leave UR Mark places individuals in companies all over the country.
Fancy trying out an internship in journalism? What about finance? Or marketing? Or event management? Leave UR Mark offers internships in all of these industries and more.
NGO & Volunteering Programs Abroad
Looking for a way to give back to the communities you visit while you travel? Volunteering opportunities are prolific all over the world—NGOs can never have too many hands on deck. While you won’t get paid for volunteering, you will learn a lot about your destination country and be able to make a valuable contribution to it.
Volunteering opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. You might do one day a week in a dog shelter, or you might spend Monday to Friday analyzing spreadsheets in an office. Whether you want to work hands-on or in management, indoors or outside, as part of a team or solo, there are thousands of options available.
If you’re on the fence about volunteering abroad, it might help to know that employers love seeing some volunteering on a resume. It shows that you are a self-starter and are motivated (because you worked on something important for free). Throw in the fact that it’s excellent exposure to stark cultural differences and is good for the soul, and that should be enough to convince you to give it a go.
Below are some excellent organizations that can help you get set up with an NGO so you can volunteer abroad. However, if you are looking for free volunteering opportunities then you may need to contact charities and organizations directly rather than applying through one of these established programs. The benefit of a program, however, is the assistance and support you are provided with, as well as a secure position within the project.
By far the most popular work abroad programs and a great place to find volunteer opportunities, Workaway has revolutionized the way young people travel. The way it works is simple: you search on the website either by location or by type of work you’re interested in. Once you find something you like, you apply for the position. That’s it.
If you are accepted you are usually offered board in exchange for your time. This means you can live for virtually nothing while you’re volunteering, making it an excellent way to see the world on a budget. Workaway is by far the easiest way to work abroad.
Popular Workaways include eco-lodges, orphanages, farms, yoga retreats and conservation projects.
GVI is an established company that sends volunteers off to all corners of the globe to work abroad on meaningful projects. There are programs with a focus on just about everything, from female empowerment to elephant conservation. The volunteer projects are offered as packages, which can be quite pricey and don’t include flights, visas, or insurance.
Globalteer (Peru & Cambodia)
With dozens of projects in Peru, Cambodia and a handful of other countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia, Globalteer is a fantastic organization that works with loads of international NGOs. Projects include teaching English, working with disadvantaged children, helping in elephant sanctuaries and community development.
The work abroad programs and volunteer placements with IVHQ are diverse and, even better, affordable. Whatever your interest, you will undoubtedly find a program that is in line with what you’re after.
IVHQ has partnerships with programs all over the world from Ghana to Romania so there’s very little geographic limitation.
VolSol (Volunteer Solutions) has over 100 projects in 20 different countries. While they have the standard volunteer projects available, such as teaching and community work, there are also some more specialized options.
Medical internships, sports coaching, women’s empowerment curriculums and work with disabled children are just some of the worthwhile projects on VolSol’s roster.
Love Volunteers (International)
If you are looking for quality volunteer and work abroad opportunities with delightfully low program fees, check out Love Volunteers (LV). Smaller than some of the other organizations in this list, but no less worthy of your time, LV has projects all over Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as a couple in Europe and the Middle East.
One thing that really stands out about LV is how simple the application process is—it’s great for those who hate lengthy bureaucracy (a.k.a. everyone in the world).
The main focus of Fronteering is sending volunteers out to remote places in the world. Volunteers get the chance to help out with indigenous communities, wildlife conservation projectsfound a and food banks among other options.
The volunteer experiences aren’t the cheapest on offer but the company offers guidance and assistance with fundraising.
ICS (UK citizens only)
The International Citizen Service (ICS) is an organization that pairs young Brits with projects in the developing world. The company works with a number of social enterprise and community development programs in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Volunteer placements are open to 18- to 25-year-olds, and team leader positions are available for those aged 23 to 35.
Fundraising is required before departure and the amount you need to raise is dependent upon your financial position.
A Broader View (International)
A Broader View offers 245 placements in 25 different countries. Volunteers can choose from medical, teaching, and conservation programs as well as numerous others.
The price of the program varies depending on the length of time you wish to spend with the project, where you decide to go, and which program you want to do.
Farm & Agricultural Work Abroad Programs
If you’ve spent your adult life so far cooped up in an office then you might want to get involved with a work abroad program that allows you to work outdoors. Fortunately, farm and agricultural work is usually in high demand around the world.
For many positions, it is enough to simply walk over to a farm one day and ask if they have any work available. However, if you’d rather do something with a little more job security, then you should consider using one of the following.
These programs offer you a comforting level of job security, which in turn will quash any worries you might have about packing up and jetting off.
Be aware that working outside usually means manual labor, and while this is good for the soul, it can be tough on your body. Make sure you know what you are capable of before you commit to work that you might not actually be able to do.
Top Tip: Australia and New Zealand are the most popular destinations for this kind of work—all you need is a working holiday visa and you’re good to go. Click to learn more about getting your working holiday visa in Australia and New Zealand.
This is the go-to website for most people seeing farm work abroad. WWOOF stands for a number of different things, but the acronym normally translates as Worldwide Working Opportunities on Organic Farms.
The way it works is reasonably simple. People can apply to live and work on organic farms all over the world and in exchange for four to six hours of labor per day, they are given meals and accommodation. WWOOFers don’t work every day so on your days off you will be able to explore the surrounding area.
WWOOFing is a fantastic way to see the world and the manual labor is great exercise. Just pick where you want to go and then start exploring which opportunities are available.
Picking Jobs (International)
Picking Jobs is a neat little website that recruits seasonal workers for farms in 18 different countries. You could end up picking grapes on a vineyard in France or helping with the harvest in Australia. If you’re looking for work abroad, this is an easy way to find a job that doesn’t require any experience.
Those interested in a picking job have two options—either email one of the farms that have a profile on the website; or create your own profile and let the farms come to you. Pay and benefits depend on where you go so check with the farm when you are negotiating your place.
Au Pair Programs Abroad
Working abroad as an au pair is one of the most comfortable jobs you can get. For the most part, you spend your days doing arts and crafts and playing games with the children for whom you are caring.
Occasionally, you will find host families that want an au pair who can also cook and clean. If you are happy to do this then you will have more jobs to choose from. If you only want to look after children and nothing else, there are still plenty of jobs available.
Au pairs generally receive ‘pocket money’ from the families they work for. This isn’t usually buckets of money but it is more than enough to fund a weekend excursion every now and then and a few evenings out on the town.
Working hours for au pairs are usually whenever the host parents are at work. This means you will normally be expected to be on hand Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Of course, every family will have its own needs and requirements, and these should be discussed before you are expected to confirm your position.
If you’re looking for complete cultural immersion while you work abroad, then being an au pair will be right up your street. You will be spending all of your time with a local family and will undoubtedly learn a lot about their customs and language.
Agent Au Pair (International)
As an accredited member of IAPA (International Au Pair Association), Agent Au Pair is an organization you know you can trust. This organization pairs au pairs from all over the world with host families in the United States.
Every au pair is guaranteed a working week of no more than 45 hours, almost $200 per week pocket money, three meals a day and their own private room. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone hoping to spend time living in the U.S.
AuPair.com has a huge network of au pairs and families looking for an au pair all over the world. Both families and au pairs can list adverts on the site, which means the recruitment can work both ways.
The website is free to use and there is an option to upgrade regular membership to premium membership to improve your chances of getting hired.
Once you have found a family for whom you’d like to work, simply drop them a message and, if they like you, seal the deal and book your flights!
Seasonal Jobs Abroad
Work abroad programs are not just for the holidays But some of them are! Or spring break, or summer, or fall. There are loads of jobs on offer all over the world that are only available at certain times of the year. Beach resorts tend to hire extra staff to help in the busy summer period, while ski resorts only really need workers during winter.
Taking a seasonal job can be a good way to save money for traveling in the off-season. Lots of people who work abroad adopt a six month on/six month off policy, which means they can spend half of every year traveling or working somewhere else.
Check out the following work abroad programs and see if they can help you land a highly coveted seasonal job somewhere beautiful.
Club Med (Europe, Africa and the Middle East)
French-owned Club Med has positions in resorts all over Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Jobs fall into four categories: hospitality & catering, sports & leisure, sales & support and the luxury area.
The recruitment process emphasizes the importance of language skills because of the international clientele that visit the resorts. French is a requirement for a lot of jobs, but other languages will also stand out on an application.
Work a Season (International)
Work a Season is the recruitment platform for Inghams, Esprit Ski, and Ski Total—three specialist ski companies. The website recruits both summer and winter workers to work in front of house, catering and rep roles at their various chalets and hotels.
There are loads of different jobs advertised on the website so take a look and see what stands out for you.
Ski Japan (Japan)
Ski Japan has resorts all over Japan, many of which have some of the best snow on the planet. Every year the company recruits workers from all over the world to take up roles as instructors, sales consultants, housekeepers and more.
Perks of working for Ski Japan include a free ski pass and gear rental, free transport, discounted tours and other perks and benefits.
Via Monde (Switzerland)
Based in Switzerland, Via Monde runs exciting ski initiatives for schools and, of course, needs an array of international helpers to assist it. Jobs include ski and snowboard instructors, catering staff, and medical professionals, such as paramedics and physiotherapists.
Applicants will need to be good with children and willing to work hard and in return, they will return a decent salary and some great perks.This is one of the better snow-related work abroad programs on offer.
EA Ski & Snowboard (International)
EA Ski & Snowboard train up young people to become ski and snowboard instructors before sending them on their merry way to work in the world’s top resorts. Every individual who takes part in one of the school’s training courses is guaranteed a job afterwards—how’s that for job security?
Training and employment opportunities are available in the USA, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Switzerland.
Tour Leader Work Abroad Programs
Tour leader jobs are the ultimate jackpot for travel aficionados who want to work abroad. Not only do you get to travel as your job and go on adventures on a daily basis, but you also get to share your passion with others.
Leading a tour group means spending lots of time outdoors and seeing some of the most exciting parts of the world. You will also develop an in-depth knowledge of whichever area in which you decide to work.
If you enjoy being active, meeting new people and traveling then being a tour leader will be one of the most fun and enjoyable jobs on offer. However, there are certain challenges associated with this job, such as dealing with picky customers or navigating cultural differences. So, bear them in mind!
Tucan Travel (International)
Tucan Travel is a well-established tour company that operates all over the world. They periodically look for tour guides and driver to assist with their tours but take not that this is a long-term commitment.
Generally, tour guides are expected to commit to 18 months of tours—usually in the same region. This is brilliant for those looking for stability, less ideal for people who only want to work abroad in little stints while they travel.
G Adventures (International)
There’s never any shortage of jobs available with G Adventures. This company has a huge roster of positions all over the world, which include skippers in Greece, trekking assistants in Peru and naturalists in the Galapagos
The tours are pretty incredible and you get paid to do them. It seems like a win-win situation as far as I’m concerned.
Intrepid Travel (International)
A global company with a vast number of opportunities, Intrepid Travel is well worth checking out if you want to go down the tour guide route.
The company has positions all over the world and adventures range from cycling trips in the mountains to cultural excursions in remote communities. There are also travel specialist roles, which are office-based positions that involve advising people on travel and planning itineraries.
Wildlife Programs Abroad
Not everyone wants to work with people—and I don’t blame you. People can suck. If you’d rather avoid other humans then may I suggest a work abroad program with a focus on animals?
There are work and volunteer opportunities in sanctuaries, rescue programs and conservation projects in some of the world’s most beautiful regions.
Naturally, being partial to animals is a prerequisite if you want to work abroad with a wildlife program. Some curriculums will also require a certain level of expertise or knowledge about animals.
This doesn’t mean that every job will require a degree in veterinary science; there are plenty of positions that simply want you to have a positive attitude.
Project Biodiversity (Cape Verde)
This project is based in Cape Verde, also known as Cabo Verde, and focuses on rescuing the Loggerhead turtles that live there. Project Biodiversity enlists field assistants, interns and volunteers to help protect the dwindling number of turtles on the island.
Volunteers can either help out during the nesting season or the hatchling season. Duties include beach patrolling, data collection and monitoring the turtles.
Go Eco (International)
Go Eco offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most impressive creatures on earth. Whether you want to work with lemurs in Madagascar or sharks in South Africa, you’re bound to find a program that catches your eye.
The experiences aren’t cheap but are well worth it for the chance to do something worthwhile and out of the ordinary.
Greenforce has all kinds of different conservation projects on offer, but the spotlight tends to be on its marine expeditions.
Fancy spending some time studying and protecting the coral reef in the Bahamas? Greenforce could be the answer. This program is also great for budding wildlife experts looking to get some experience on their resume.
New work abroad programs crop up all the time, left and right. That’s because new experiences are created and developed every day, giving you more opportunity than ever.
A work abroad program will not only earn you money to fund your travels, it will also be one of the most enriching experiences of your life—I guarantee it.
Do any of these work abroad programs speak to you? Which one would you do? Let us know in the comments!