The idea of moving and working abroad seems like a romantic one. What are the odds of you actually finding a decent life after the glitz and gram of travel wear off?
It seems like many people save up for a plane ticket and a little extra spending money then run off. They say they’ll figure it out when they get there, typically flying home when their ambition or money runs out.
It’s possible to find good international jobs for Americans, however. With a little preparation, hunting, and consideration, you could set yourself up for a quality life overseas.
Plus, this is also a great opportunity for you to see the great big world. If you’re really the type of person who enjoys traveling and going out there, you don’t have to limit and confine yourself only to the comforts of home. The world is big, and the job opportunities aren’t too bad either.
We’re going to cover a number of the most common international jobs for Americans, hopefully giving you a better idea of what your career options might be.
Common International Jobs for Americans
Of course, not all of these jobs will fall into your comfort zone. The common job choices for Americans abroad will depend on the country your traveling to, and most will not be ones that you’ve done before.
So, you have to begin by searching for possible career options in the country that you’re most interested in moving to.
Unless you have the option of working with your employer on a relocation plan, you might have to learn a new skill or two. That way, you can become the best match for the job that you’re looking to be hired into. Here is some helpful info about employee relocation if you’re looking into it.
Let’s get started with some of the international jobs you might be looking at:
1. English Teacher
First on the list is probably the most common and accessible position overseas for Americans (or English speakers in general) is an English teacher or tutor.
Teaching English abroad gives you the opportunity to go to almost any country, find a reliable job, and live comfortably once you get there. The process of becoming a teacher is relatively simple as well. Plus, there are many work opportunities along this line, as so many more individuals are gaining interest in learning English. Because you’re a native speaker, this is an added plus for you.
Our recommendation is to look around for countries that you want to teach in before you look into training programs. Some countries have very specific requirements for their foreign English teachers. In some cases, you will need a college degree. In others, a teaching experience is preferable which you could easily acquire on online teaching platforms such as Preply.
TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) programs and certificates are typically required in order to teach abroad. At the very least, you will find better, higher paying positions if you’re qualified. So, it’s best that you also give yourself the time to obtain this certification, if you’re really interested in landing a job along this line.
Certification programs are relatively cheap and take roughly one month to complete. You can find online programs that are every bit as credible as physical ones. This makes it even easier for you to take the program, while you’re also still gainfully employed in the USA. You will want to find a program that offers practicum, or in-class experience before it’s over.
Again, you should identify I school or country that you want to work in before you select a TEFL program. That way you won’t be limited to schools you don’t want to work in if you get a certification that doesn’t apply to places you wish to go.
2. Freelance Work
As a freelancer, you’ll be able to work from wherever you want and still get paid. The nature of your freelance work will determine whether you need to find clients where you are or work online.
If you’re something like a writer or a graphic designer, you’ll likely be able to find enough online paying clients to support your lifestyle. You should try to establish a good client base before you travel abroad, however, as it can be competitive when you’re just starting out.
Freelance writing is also a great option for those who enjoy the freedom of working remotely. You’ll even find dedicated platforms (like Contena) that show people how they can get started as a freelance writer from scratch.
As a photographer or contractor, you might need to do some recon of your intended country and city before you can expect to make a decent income. You’ll be able to work just as you do in the United States, but you’ll need to establish a network of clients and a reputation.
This might entail traveling abroad with a good base of savings so you have a cushion while you’re getting your bearings overseas.
3. Work at a Hostel
If you’ve ever traveled abroad on a budget, you have stayed in a hostel. Hostels provide an affordable place to stay for people, mostly young travelers, who would rather spend their money on experiences than a lodging.
In a lot of cases, because of the clientele, these areas have a bar and a number of relaxing, enjoyable spaces. A lot of hostels are spaces that seek to realize fantasies about traveling abroad. In other words, they’re typically that country’s conception of a cool place for young people to hang out.
Because so many English speakers are in and out of hostels, it’s likely that you could find a hostel to work in. They’re looking for English speakers who can engage with clientele while remaining professional. A grounding in the language of the country helps.
Look around for positions at hostels in cities that you would like to live in. You may find that you can only find a job during months when tourism peaks, but having a job for two or three months when you move could provide a foundation for you to grow from.
4. Tourism Industry
As you can imagine, most of the places you’d seek to live will have booming tourism industries. A lot of tourists are Westerners who require an English speaking guide.
There are a million different positions in tourism industries. Everything from front desk work, organizational planning, and tourism guidance are available in most places.
Being a tour guide is a wonderful opportunity to be active, learn a great deal about the country you’re in, engage with people, and make a decent living. On top of that, you’ll be making a good deal of money in tips.
There are more involved tourism positions available as well. You could even look into things like being a guide for extended trips. Guiding groups through historical places and foreign countries is a great way to travel extensively and make good money.
5. Continued Education
Going back to college might sound like the last thing you want to do right now. At the same time, many countries overseas have more affordable educational opportunities that are taught entirely in English.
One deterrent from living and working abroad is that it’s hard to imagine a long-term plan. Sure, you could have the time of your life as a tour guide, but what do you want to be doing in ten years?
Going to school in your desired country can give you a legitimate way to burst your career options open. Even if you’re taught entirely in English, living and studying abroad will give you a lot of opportunities in the country you’re in.
Explore some educational options overseas and see what shows up. You might be surprised by what you find!
6. Be a Volunteer
Pump the breaks. We know that being a volunteer, by definition, won’t get you paid.
At the same time, there are a lot of valuable experiences that you can come across as a volunteer, and sometimes those experiences imply that you get free housing and food.
A lot of the experiences we traditionally seek as travelers can be satisfied by volunteering. If you vet your volunteer options very strictly, you can find one that you will align with morally, personally, and professionally. In those situations, it’s totally acceptable to inquire about potential employment opportunities.
Volunteer positions and employment opportunities aren’t mutually exclusive. While it’s more of a risk, it is possible to volunteer with an organization and be asked to work for it later on.
7. Do You Speak the Language?
There are a lot of visa tasks and planning that are involved with getting a job of any kind overseas. So, if this next section sounds overly simple, remember that there’s also a good deal of paperwork involved.
With that said, having a strong command of the language in a country you’re moving to can help you a great deal with job opportunities. You could simply go with the intention of just finding a job.
Think about how you would search for a random job in the United States. Shop around a little bit, and submit a resume.
8. Find Opportunities Internally
If you’re sitting at the office and hating your life, dreaming of life and work abroad, don’t just drop it all and board a plane.
You might be able to speak with your company and see if there are positions in foreign countries that you might be a good fit for. Asking around never hurts, and if you’re going to leave anyway, why not ask?
Along this line, one of the best career opportunities that you can also be gainfully employed abroad is in the health and medical industry. Health workers are one of the most in-demand today, globally. If you’re working internally now in the medical field, then this is also a good opportunity for you to look into.
9. Find an Internship
Do your due diligence and browse around for internship opportunities in foreign countries. While you might not have the qualifications to be an intern for some positions in the U.S., different countries have different requirements.
Keep an open mind and see if foreign companies are looking for English speaking interns in fields you’re interested in. For your internship options as a student, there are also many ways for you to save on the housing costs. Omnia Sheffield is one of the best examples of accommodation options for overseas students in different countries, and of interns, as well.
10. Go Through an Agency
A great way to find work abroad is by working with an agency. Agencies have a thumb on the pulse of different job markets abroad and can help pair you with positions that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Then, in the process of doing so, you might even be able to find a job in these agencies. Or, if you’re lucky and you have the skills for it, you can partner with locals, so you can also put up your own agency.
There are many different kinds of agencies that you can set up in foreign countries. The most common would be legal, job recruiting agencies, and travel agencies.
Career Options Stressing You Out?
Finding international jobs for Americans can be a tall order. The positions are all out there, but deciding on a profession and making the moves can be really stressful.
We have a wealth of employment information for you to learn from and use. Visit our site for the information you need to de-stress your thoughts about career development.
With this list of options, you should now be more aware of the many possibilities available for you. All that’s left for you to do now is to make that pick as to the job that you prefer, favor, or that which you know you’ll be happy in doing. Working overseas can both be a challenge and be exciting, but all the more is this heightened when you’re doing a job that you absolutely love.