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11 Best Jobs Abroad to Easily Work Overseas

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Moving and working abroad was the best decision I made for myself back in 2013.

Since that time, I've worked as a volunteer, a tour guide, a yacht stew, an English teacher, and a few more short term gigs in between.

I still live abroad but now I work remotely in digital marketing and running this site to help get you all abroad as well. This article is focused on jobs where you'd work in-person abroad, if you're more interested in working online, these remote job guides are for you.

My journey has taken me around the world and working in more industries than I honestly thought possible. And to be blunt, it's been fucking incredible.

But, more about me and my story below if you're interested.

For now though, I want to focus on the real reason you're here: highlighting the 11 best jobs to work abroad and how you can land one of them.

Short on time? Here's the cheat sheet:

🌏With so many different industries and opportunities out there, if you want to move abroad, you can find a way.
📚Just be honest with yourself about which of these jobs you're best suited for and what qualifications you're missing to become a great applicant.
👩‍🏫Here's a quick look at the 11 best jobs abroad:

  • Teacher
  • Working an International Companies
  • Volunteer
  • Medical Industry
  • Tour Guide
  • Yachting
  • Au Pair
  • Scuba Dive Instructor
  • Yoga Instructor
  • Working Holiday Visas
  • Digital Nomad

1. Teacher

A smiling English teacher posing with her young students, all wearing handmade pirate hats
With my favorite group of students in South Korea

Being a teacher abroad is by far one of the most common expat jobs out there.

Why? Because this industry is open to a big pool of applicants and is something you can do in a large number of countries around the world.

Typically, people immediately think of an English teacher but they're forgetting a pretty amazing gig as an international school teacher.

Aside from both being teachers and typically both coming with a work visa, there aren't many other commonalities between the jobs. In general, being an international school teacher pays a lot more but being an English teacher is typically an easier job to nab.

‍Let me specify.

International School Teacher

‍The easiest way to understand what it looks like being an international school teacher is to think about a teacher in your home country. Pick that teacher up and put him or her in a foreign country and you've got it.

In most cases, the responsibilities and classroom will look the same. You'll teach math, science, literature, etc., just as you would at home.

These teachers tend to also teach in their native language to students who also speak that language. Most are foreign students whose parents have come to said country for business or as expats themselves. You might also have local students but with high or fluent levels of the language you teach in.

For example, if you're hired at the American International School in Ho Chi Minh City, you'll teach in English and your students are expected to already English speakers as well. Likewise, if you're hired to teach at a Dutch International School in St. Maarten, you'll teach in Dutch and your students will be expected to already know Dutch.

The requirements to teach an international school will vary but, in general, you're expected to be a certified teacher in your home country.

These opportunities are available in pretty much every country around around the world. A few popular places to work abroad as an international school teacher are:

English Teacher

‍On the contrary, as an English teacher, you're teaching your students English.

Keep in mind that teaching English is the most common language to teach abroad but this opportunity could also be possible in your native language.

Personally, I prefer to teach young students, so if you also go that route you'll be focused on teaching them the basics, like how to follow directions in English, numbers, colors, and basic sentence patterns. For older students, you'd focus more on grammar and how to have conversations in English.

In some cases, you might also teach math, science, and other subjects but with the goal of teaching English vocabulary to your students.

The requirements to teach English vary from country to country but, in general, you're expected to:

Head here to browse country-specific guides to learn how you can teach English around the world.

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2. Working at International Companies

Sunset over a plaza in Italy
Sunset in Trieste, where my husband's job at an international company has brought us

Now, before you ask, I do know that "working at international companies'' encompasses a whole lot of jobs and skill sets. But, I do have a reason to lump it together.

And that's because the hiring process for a designer is going to be pretty similar for an engineer or an accountant.

Currently, I live in Trieste, Italy with my husband. We've been able to live here (as a US and Colombian couple) because he was hired at an international company that's based here. He's a product designer with a focus on UI/UX and prototyping but he did not speak Italian before getting the job nor did either of us have EU residency.

So, how'd he do it?

Qualifications to Work Abroad

These are some things you can rinse and repeat based on your industry.

Just be honest with yourself when working through this checklist and see where you maybe need to scale up before you start applying.

  • You have to be able to prove you have a skill that many locals won't have. Visa paperwork is messy so if you're not highly skilled, why would the company go through that if they can hire a local?
  • You need to speak the language. This is why I recommend international companies - because they most likely will be doing work in English, preventing you from dealing with a language barrier on a day-to-day basis. If you speak the local language, you can open up some more doors.
  • You likely need a degree or certifications in your field. This isn't always the case but a lot of times governments require this as one of the requirements to get a work visa.

How to Find Job Openings

This is the tricky part about working at an international company abroad. There's a lot of competition so how do you find the opportunities and make yourself stand out?

As a starting point, I highly recommend doing your research about which companies you'd like to work for and setting notifications on LinkedIn about when jobs open up.

But, to really stand out, you need to find a way in. This is best done through networking. I know we all grew up being told networking was the key to success and I myself found myself rolling my eyes constantly at this but for these kinds of opportunities, it really is the best way to get your foot in the door.

Another quick route is to start working for said company in your home country, making it clear from day one that you're open for international transfers.

3. Volunteer

A group of indigenous peple painting the face of a traveler.
My time as a tour guide on the San Blas Islands is unforgettable

‍Being a volunteer is a great opportunity and way to move abroad for many, especially if your goal is to live abroad for free. If though your main goal is to make a steady income, this is obviously not the choice for you.

While some volunteer organizations will pay you, the pay will always be minimal. This is a better opportunity if you'd rather just not spend money or as a way to test the waters to see if moving abroad is right for you before you really go for it.

This title also encompasses a wide variety of jobs.

Generally, as a volunteer, you'd commit to living and working somewhere for a short period of time, usually 1-3 months. This is simply because most countries allow tourists to be in the country for up to 3 months without having to leave and re-enter or apply for a long-term visa.

The Volunteer Pitfall

Volunteering abroad can be amazing or it can be harmful. My biggest tip is before you apply for any type of volunteer work, you're realistic with yourself if you have the necessary qualifications to do the work well.

For example, it was a really popular thing when I was in high school for students to go abroad for a week or so and do construction work. Sure, I grew up in a small town and some of the students did have experience working construction but a vast majority of the people who went did not.

I begged to go on these trips but my parents always turned me down. I now realize that was definitely for the best. I can hardly nail 2 boards together, let alone be of any assistance building a structure that's meant to be safe for people to be inside.

Not only do these types of volunteer programs sometimes attract the wrong people for the job but they can also take away a salary from someone in country that can better do the job.

On the other hand, volunteering to help out at a hotel in exchange for free accommodation or teaching specific skills that locals might not have access to (i.e. teaching English in smaller towns) can be great cultural experiences for the places that host you and also for yourself.

Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

If you're from the U.S. and are interested in volunteering abroad long-term, I'd highly suggest the Peace Corps.

For any nationality looking for short-term gigs around the world in a variety of industries, Workaway and Worldpackers are my go-to platforms.

You might also consider getting involved with Nomads Giving Back! They're a great community of nomads providing volunteer support around the world.

4. Medical Industry

A vet nurse working abroad with a tiger in South Africa
A vet nurse from the UK working in South Africa

If you're a trained veterinarian, doctor, or nurse, did you know you can take your experience around the world?

These job opportunities seem to range from permanent positions to contracts where you'd stay for only one or two months so it really depends on what you're looking for.

The most important key to getting hired abroad as a vet, nurse, or doctor is that you have relevant training, degrees and/or documents to prove you can do the job you're applying for.

Think about it this way: if you can get a job in your home country as a vet, nurse, or doctor, there's a good chance you can get a job overseas. If you don't meet the requirements back home, get them before you start applying to work abroad.

It's also important that you speak the native language or a common international language, depending on the region.

Learn more about how to work abroad as a veterinary nurse here or find out how to get hired as a registered nurse abroad here.

5. Tour Guide

An overland tour guide bus stopped in the scenic, mountainous Peru countryside
Your potential home on wheels as an overland tour guide

Being a tour guide is a great job, especially for an outgoing person that enjoys being surrounded by new people. Tour guides typically have high energy levels and are good at getting the party started.

My time as a tour guide in the San Blas Islands was by far the most fun job I have had. Although, to be honest, after 8 months of it, I was absolutely exhausted.

The type of tour I worked on was fast paced with a high turn over of guests, meaning, I was always meeting people at height of their excitement. By the time the guests were worn out, they were going back home but I was receiving a new, excited group.

If that sounds like fun to you, most popular touristic destinations have a lot of job opportunities for tour guides but from my experience, they're usually filled in-person. A lot of times, these jobs won't come with a work visa but instead would expect you to do visa runs every few months and work under the table.

For a more slow paced but incredible experience, being an overland tour guide sounds like a dream job. As an overland tour guide, you'd travel with the same group of tourists over multiple countries or even throughout entire continents. Tours range from a month to 6 months. Since it's all overland, that means you or your co-guide drive the bus that everyone travels in.

Sound like a job for you? Learn more about how to become an overland tour guide.

6. Yachting

A smiling woman posing in her yacht stew uniform on the side deck with Monaco in the background
Soaking up the views in Monaco while working on the yacht

‍While I was guiding, I kept meeting great guests who all worked on yachts. Working on a yacht had never occurred to me before and I was very intrigued.

Once I decided to get out of guiding, I headed to France to give yachting a chance.

There's a lot of work opportunities on a yacht, especially a mega yacht. The yacht I worked on was about the size of a football field and I'd guess had at least 30 people working on it.

Jobs on a Yacht

Most people new to the industry would start off as a stewardess, deckhand, or sous chef.

A stewardess takes care of everything on the interior, think housekeeping and service.

A deckhand takes care of everything on the exterior, keeping the boat sparkling clean to the public and making sure you sail and dock smoothly.

The yachting world is a great one to dive into if you have a keen eye for detail and follow directions well.

In my experience, it's a strict industry, based a lot on outward appearances, but you get paid well and have all your living expenses covered while you're onboard. You also get to travel to a lot of amazing places, although the amount of time you'd be able to explore these places varies greatly based on your boat owners and captain.

Check out this detailed guide to learn how to get hired as a yacht stewardess.

Other Hospitality Opportunities

Other types of hospitality jobs that you might enjoy are working on a cruise ship or flying around the world as a flight attendant or pilot.

It's possible with both of these jobs your home base is abroad but it's also possible you'll only be in other countries for a short amount of time on layovers or on cruise stops.

7. Au Pair

Photo courtesy of depositphotos.com

‍By definition, an au pair is a nanny or live-in sitter who comes from a foreign country. Typically as an au pair, you live with the family you work for, giving you a great chance at fully immersing yourself into the local culture.

Most au pairs are hired to not only look after the children but to also teach the children something. For example, another language, a sport, or music.

Your responsibilities, salary, and the amount of time you're expected to work varies greatly from country to country and even family to family.

If you're interested in becoming an au pair in Europe, check out our guides about working as an au pair in France and an au pair in the Netherlands.

8. Scuba Dive Instructor

Photo courtesy of depositphotos.com

This one has always been a not so secret dream of mine. I absolutely love the idea of taking my job to beautiful tropical locations and getting paid to scuba dive.

Before you get too excited, this is one of the hardest jobs abroad to get, as it takes a while to accumulate all of the training it takes to become a certified instructor. A lot of people choose to work in exchange for free dives to knock out two birds with one stone.

A key tip to getting hired abroad as a dive instructor is by having a wide range of experience. Meaning, you've dived in a variety of conditions giving you the expertise to lead with confidence.

While working abroad as a scuba instructor might be a dream come true, know that it's not a very lucrative field. In this case, the passion would be higher than the paycheck (in most cases).

Read the complete guide about becoming a PADI Certified Scuba Dive Instructor here.

9. Yoga Instructor

Photo courtesy of depositphotos.com

‍There are actually a few different avenues you can go about to teach yoga abroad. First things first though, make sure you have some sort of certification to back you up, unless you plan to teach only informally to friends.

To work abroad as a yoga instructor, you could teach at a studio, at a hotel or resort, or host workshops on-the-go as you travel.

The last option would be the most informal and require the least amount of set-up, although it would require you to consistently market yourself to your peers and find spaces to host your classes.

By working at a studio or resort, you would need to have at least a basic certification and be fluent in a language or two that most locals might not know, thus making you more appealing as a hire.

To learn more about getting hired abroad as a yoga instructor abroad, read our guide.

10. Working Holiday Visas

Photo courtesy of depositphotos.com

While not a job per say, these visas allow you to legally find work in a variety of industries within the country you got the visa for.

Some countries have requirements as to what type of work is required or more likely, what type of work you're not allowed to do but for the most part, it's a pretty open agreement for you to come and work a year or so.

A variety of countries offer Work & Holiday, or sometimes called Working Holiday Visas, but the most popular options are Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

They each have different requirements but for the most part the visa process is up front and done online unlike many other visa applications that require a lot of back and forth at embassies.

Moving abroad in this way might give you the best work life balance since your visa isn't tied to one job.

It's very possible that you move abroad on a working holiday visa and get one job the entire time you're abroad but on the other side of the spectrum, you might decide to take a gap year instead and enjoy your visa while simply traveling the country.

In reality, most people will fall somewhere in the middle of this range while living abroad on Working Holiday Visas.

‍11. Working Online as a Digital Nomad

A woman working on her computer in a cafe that has a keyboard as it's backdrop
I worked remotely from Vietnam for 2 years

Alright, this one is a big cheat as it's not really a job opportunity but is a fantastic option to consider.

By working online, you'll be able to take your job on the go with you, regardless of where you live (so long as your job is a flexible one). This'll give you the chance to travel the world as a digital nomad, hopping from country to country.

Or, you can choose 1 place to settle down, while still working online legally thanks to the big rise in digital nomad visas (also called freelance visas or remote worker visas).

These are visas that more and more countries are offering to remote workers to entice them to bring their remote job abroad with them. You'll get the legal rights to stay and live in said country, without needing to worry about a work visa.

Each country has set requirements in order to apply for the visa but most of them ask that:

  • You can prove you work remotely, either as an employee or business owner.
  • You don't have clients in the country you want to reside in.
  • You meet a certain income threshold (this varies greatly from country to country).

The type of job you do online really is limitless these days. If you dream of starting a website like this one and working for yourself, I can't recommend Scale Your Travel Blog as the perfect training to make those dreams happen. I've seen a huge shift in traffic and earnings since implementing what I've learned for that course.

Browse through all the countries that offer digital nomad visas to find your perfect fit.

Which of These Jobs Abroad Will You Apply For?

And there you have it, a cheat sheet to some of the best jobs abroad! The only question left to ask yourself is which will you apply for?

With so many opportunities out there for digital nomads and those seeking a full-time job abroad, you're bound to find the perfect job abroad for you.

Just know, it might take some work to get the qualifications asked but if you're motivated, I'm sure you can make it happen.

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