This post is all about ways to live abroad.
Do you feel like you want to break out of your daily routine, explore new places and cultures, challenge yourself, or improve your language skills? Are you on the search for an adventurous job or you’ve just graduated and are thinking about your next steps? Maybe. Maybe you just always dreamt of living in LA by the beach or taking daily walks through the streets of Paris (basically, living a cliché, I know I did…but let me tell you it was amazing to actually experience it). No matter what your reason might be (you might not even have a specific reason, yet) something in you just longs for an adventure, a change and you start to entertain the idea of moving abroad. But what on earth should you do? Let’s check out 6 ways to live abroad.
* Due to the current situation worldwide you might be a little discouraged, but don’t use it as an excuse! You might not be able to travel to your dream destination at this moment, but going abroad usually takes some preparation time and with different agencies and programs you have to apply months in advance anyway. So use the time you have now to save money, to improve your language skills, to get your driver’s license, or to get childcare experience. So once your dream opportunity is in front of you, you’ll be ready and actually able to go for it.
Here are 6 great ways to live abroad
Study, work abroad
1. Au Pair
Just in case you don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. Basically, as an Au Pair, you live with a host family and take care of their kids in exchange for a place to stay, food, and a weekly or monthly salary. Additional benefits like coverage of costs for language courses, public transportation, or a gym membership are not uncommon.
How? In general, there are two ways.
You can either look for a host family by yourself. You will easily find websites where you can look through Au Pair job offers.
Age limit/ duration/ requirements/ salary: dependent on your personal agreement with the host family.
You sign up with an Au Pair agency that works as a middle man between Au Pairs and host families for a specific country.
They help you find the perfect host family, make sure you have all the required documents, book your flights, provide training, have an active Au Pair community in your host family’s area, assist you during your stay and basically make sure that both sides stick to the agreements.
In this case, the requirements, general conditions, salary, and so on are already set by the agency. Au Pairs apply for the program, so do host families and it is the agency that matches them. You can then view each other’s applications, exchange via Skype/email and then decide if it’s a good match or not. Usually, you get multiple propositions that you can either decline or keep on your profile until you find one that is right for you.
Look for an agency that is active in your country and that offers Au Pair programs for your desired destination. Their websites will give you a good overview of the program fees, conditions, and requirements. Most likely there’s an agency that has consultants in your area offering free introduction meetings, where all your questions will be answered or you can order free brochures online.
Here’s a short overview just to give you a better idea if that could be something for you (note that it all varies depending on the country, so make sure to check for specific details with your agency of choice)
Age limit: applies, most countries 18- 30 years old, U.S. 18-26 years old
Salary: 250 €- 350€/week Europe, 200$/week in the U.S.,
Working hours: up to 45h/week in the U.S., most other countries max. 30h/week
Program duration: most countries 1-12 months; in the USA it’s 1 year minimum with the possibility of extension for another 6,9 or 12 months;
Most common requirements: childcare experience, driver’s license, valid passport/ID, a visa/work permit (after finding a host family), a clear criminal record, good health, not married and no children, language skills.
Program fees: usually apply
You might want to check out my post about 10 reasons why you should become an Au Pair.
2. Language Course
This one is self-explanatory. If you want to live abroad, you can take different language courses, while living with a host family, in a dorm room, or renting your own room/apartment. The options and offers are endless. You should be able to easily find something for your age group, desired duration, and destination. Note that this option might be a little pricey as you’re basically signing up for classes and won’t do any work in exchange for it. Of course, if you’re eligible to work in that particular country you might be able to work on the side.
3. Work and travel programs
Work or volunteer in exchange for accommodation, food, and sometimes some extra money. Again, in general, you have two options. Either you look for offers independently or you apply to an agency. Where you go, for how long and what you’ll do there, really depends on you. There are tons of opportunities, from working with kids at summer camps in the U.S., teaching at a school in Thailand to helping out on farms in Australia.
If your main goal is to make an impact in a particular country or for a particular cause then volunteer programs are what you’re looking for.
5. Teach English
If you’re a native or close to fluent English speaker then you might want to think about teaching English abroad. This can be either volunteer or paid work-based. Possible requirements: TEFL certification.
6. Gap year programs
Those are programs that basically plan the year out for you, take you to multiple destinations all over the world, and are a combination of volunteering, traveling, working, or even doing an internship. These are definitely an investment and age limits may apply.
This post was all about ways to work, study, and ways to live abroad.