Having been an “expat” for 16 years now it always fascinates me when people ask “how do you move abroad”? Aside from that question being as long as a piece of string, it also depends on a lot of different circumstances, such as what skills you have, how old you are, and sadly, but most importantly what passport you have. One undeniable fact about moving abroad that I have found though is that providing you have a “strong” passport (EU, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore) it really isn’t that hard to pack your bags and start somewhere new, with the only question being if you have the guts!
So in order to help answer this the question, and maybe inspire someone to travel, I have come up with the following categorized list.
If you are lucky enough to have a passport from any country in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland then you have the legal right to live, work, or even start a business in any of the 30 plus countries that are part of the block. I once set myself up as self-employed and lived in Bulgaria. As for types of work? That depends massively on you, with people with language skills and a good degree having a chance at literally anything they specialize in. For those at the bottom end of the ladder, without language skills, or a degree there is always English teaching, or bartending in the party places of Greece, or Spain. Plenty of people do things like repping in Kavos, which although it doesn’t pay well does keep you drinking on a beach. I was once offered, but turned down a job selling suncream in Spain!
Rich countries with limited workforce
This is a bit of a strange one, so let me explain. Places such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, BVI, Turks and Caicos, and even Dubai have a very affluent domestic population with the majority of the residents in said places being imported labour. Essentially this means that any manual, or service industry work is not done by the locals, but by imported labour. Now whilst a lot of these jobs are not very well paying, and are generally not accessible to westerners, there are higher management positions in places like Dubai for those with experience, and in places like the Cayman Islands,well-payingg positions as even bartenders, or waiters are available. I once spent 3 years in the Cayman Islands making drinks, and I turned up there without a job. You just need to be brave.
Teaching in developed countries
Everyone has heard about teaching TEFL abroad, but there are a few different variations on this popular travel to work method. In places like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, or Dubai, TEFL teachers need a degree, a TEFL certificate, and experience, but earn extremely good money, whilst “real” teachers can earn astronomical sums. The secret here is to get some experience and persevere.
Teaching in developing countries
The king of the crop when it comes to the “easiest” ways to work and live abroad. Places such as China, and to a lesser extent Vietnam, and Central Asia are crying out for TEFL teachers. Now whilst many do require a degree, TEFL certificate, and, or experience, many particularly in tier 2, or 3 cities in China are happy enough for you just to be foreign. Salaries are extremely good, when compared to local standards, housing is provided and some will even pay for your flight. And China being China, once you are here, there is no limit to what you can achieve in the worlds fastest growing economy. I personally started a travel agency some of you might have heard of……
To get a TEFL Certificate check out SEE TEFL, who offer 4 week intensive programs in Thailand, with a guaranteed job after, as well as paid internships.
So what do you think of our list? Did we leave any out? Let us know.
Interested in a tour abroad?
Check out YPTs various tours here