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Working abroad for a year

Working Abroad For A Year | Secret Opportunities Await You

The pandemic imposed an unwelcome gap year upon thousands of college students. Forced from campuses and classrooms, many chose to take jobs rather than deal with online learning. Some 16 million decided not to attend college. Millions more dropped out of school. Unfortunately, global travel wasn’t an option for most of them. The good news is that in 2021, countries will be reopening even as more people consider international moves. In fact, the pandemic-driven rise in remote working has led around 20 million U.S. households to consider relocating. In 2021, many will be crossing international borders rather than state lines. 


Millennials are uniquely suited for expat life. From the popularity of foreign language programs on Netflix to being more diverse than older generations, plenty of people under 40 excel at living in other countries. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s no question that there’s a world of difference between spending a short holiday in another country and living there for months at a time. It won’t be easy. There will be challenges for which you won’t be prepared. For one thing, peanut butter is almost impossible to find. Still, with a bit of research and planning you’ll succeed at working abroad for a year. 

Jobs Beat Savings


The Grand Tour was once reserved for wealthy young Europeans who hundreds of years ago explored the region’s prominent cultural and education sites. The 20th century ushered in the Gap Year, which began in the UK when men at 18 spent two years in the National Service. Today it’s possible for nearly everyone to enjoy a Grand Tour –– especially if you plan on working abroad for a year. 


Saving enough money for a decent trip can be difficult. Articles featuring travelers who banked thousands of dollars before embarking are pretty discouraging. Let’s face it, most folks under 40 can barely afford rent and school loans. Waiting until you’ve saved enough for an extended trip may mean you’ll be old enough to start withdrawing from your 401K without penalties. If you’d rather see the world now, rather than wait for retirement, there’s one way to do it. Get a job.


Many expats do better abroad than they do working at home. If you have a sought-after, professional skill set you’ll have an easier time of it. For them, Switzerland topped the list as an overall destination.  Several countries including Canada, England, and New Zealand offer one-year visas for travelers under 35. They not only allow you to legally earn money, they prevent you from working in one place for more than six months. That’s actually a good thing if you’re more interested in banking experiences than money. The secret to working abroad for a year under these types of programs is being willing to do fairly low-paying jobs like office work or bartending. You’ll most likely have to get a job upon your arrival, which can be a bit nerve wracking.

Those Who Can Do Also Teach


The most common route for native English speakers is obvious. Get a job teaching the language. Not only does it pay reasonably well, it will give you an up close and personal interaction with locals. Some recent grads report paying off their college loans. Take the time to get certified in teaching English as a foreign language –– it will not only sharpen your skills but also increase your chances of getting hired. Many people who do this wind up working abroad for years –– living in a variety of foreign destinations without returning to the States.


Must Love Children


Becoming an au pair is an awesome way to not only integrate into your adopted country’s culture but also provides a home that is probably more posh than one you could manage on your own. Educated, fluent English speakers who are good with children are desirable the world over. Many who become au pairs earn a decent living. Besides a less flexible schedule and less downtime that you might have with other jobs, if you’re male you’ll likely have a hard time getting hired –– although that is changing.  Stick to reputable sites like or Au Pair World. One caveat, if you’re female and you feel a country treats women inequitably it’s probably not a good idea to accept employment there.


There are numerous other ways to spend months, even years working abroad. Hostels often employ travelers. If you are a skilled freelancer, working overseas is very doable. Take the time to do your research and listen to others who have been expats. Just don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Soon, the world will be your classroom.

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