Working & Living Abroad

Working on a yacht job in Portofino Italy

If you’re like me, the idea of coming back to a “9-5” job once you’ve got bitten by the travel bug can be a little bit depressing, but there are ways to find work oversea’s if you are ready to pick up and go long term. Depending on the type of work you are willing to do (whether you are just working for a bed and a free place to stay, or you are actually considering a career move,) here are a few tips.

Job Transfers First, consider where you are currently working and whether there is a possibility to transfer with your company. With the climbing unemployment rates in places such as the U.K. where many people want to base themselves from you will have to show that you have special skills for them to consider you, versus hiring someone local. This could be anything from a degree, to a special language skill, or other skills that you have acquired in the job that they would have to pay to retrain someone else for. Once you have shown this, there are many large corporations who may even offer to relocate you and include a bonus package if you are moving your entire family.

Travel Jobs If you aren’t currently in the travel or tourism industry, consider a job such as working for an international hotel chain, or even as a flight attendent. This can bring a large amount of discounts, which even if you aren’t living abroad it will allow you to be able to travel quite frequently. (Most of my travels through college were because of the hotel discounts I received and the “work” trips I was sent on. ) There are also jobs you can find working on cruise ships or villages such as Club Med, which if you have special skills in entertainment, massage, hair dressing, etc. this can be a great opportunity. My friend’s brother is an ice-skater and has been traveling with a major cruise company for several years now as a performer. If you want a smaller, more luxurious scale consider working on private yachts (which is how I first began my travel adventures.)

Internships & Exchanges If you are a recent graduate, or you are still attending school, consider a semester abroad or doing an internship which will allow you to apply for a student visa, or student working visa (if you want to work at the same time.) American Institute ( has a college exchange program with five different countries. Alliance abroad offers internships both in the U.S and internationally and Intern jobs is a portal for internships worldwide.

Where to Live Depending on the line of work you choose, you may have accommodation included as part of the benefits of the job, but in case you don’t, you will need to secure housing somewhere. Websitessuch

A costume party at a hostel I lived and worked at in Hungary

as (for expatriates) and craigslist can be a good start to help in temporary housing. If you plan to move abroad quickly, here are some tips to help you move abroad in less than 30 days which will include information on finding housing, as well as securing the appropriate visas.

Visas Depending on your age and the country you are going to, (and where you are from) there are different types of visas required in order to work and live abroad.  Check with your local consulate and government agencies for guidelines and to make sure you understand the different requirements. For U.S. citizens, you can check out country specific information to determine what type of visas you might need. If you are from Australia, you can apply for an overseas working holiday visa at If you are from the U.K. you can check out visa requirements at No matter where you are from, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to apply for any appropriate visas, and know where you can find your local embassy wherever you are planning to go.

Finding Work If you don’t already have a specific job lined up, it is fairly easy to find casual work while you are traveling depending on how picky you are. Finding work in hostels and bars and restuarants shouldn’t be too hard. If you haven’t acquired the appropriate working visas, you may be able to find work under the table but be careful about overstaying your tourist visa which could result in fines and/or getting kicked out of the country. Some employers also may not hire you depending on how strict they follow these guidelines. Stay open and flexible to the type of work. Even if you only speak English, don’t limit yourself to only English speaking countries, as you will find English widely spoken in many of the main tourist destinations (and English speaking jobs can be found EVERYWHERE.) Also you are closing yourself off to a new culture, and the possibility of learning a new language (which isn’t that the reason for traveling?)

A few examples of English speaking jobs: English tour guides, Hostel Receptionist (and cleaners,) Translators, (if you do speak at least 2 languages) English teachers, English Tutors, English Immersion programs, Tour operators, etc.

The start of harvest season on a farm in Tuscany

Depending on how long you want to be abroad, you can find seasonal work at ski resorts and chalets, farm work, or hospitality jobs in the summer, or just keep traveling around with the different seasons. I remember skiing in Park City, Utah once and meeting a guy who just spent his whole life skiing, moving from country to country working at different ski-resorts around the world.  A few websites  to look for seasonal work are: and 

No matter what you decide to do, there are several options out there. All it takes is a little planning and preparation as well as an open mind.  Here are a few more resources to assist you:




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