It’s time to bust this myth: Teaching English is not the only job you can do while living abroad.
Many people, including ourselves, want to travel for a long time.
Years, if not forever.
In order to do this, money is obviously required. So unless you have rich daddy, you’ll most likely need a job.
But teaching is mentally, emotionally, and even physically exhausting. A break is needed from time to time, even for those who see teaching as their greatest passion.
Other people just don’t like teaching English. It’s not the career for them.
And that’s fine! Because teaching English is not the only job you can get abroad. Below we have a list of many other routes you could go down.
First, there are other types of teaching jobs you could have.
Teach at an International or Bilingual School
English isn’t the only subject you can teach abroad. Most countries have international schools for students who already have high English proficiency and who want to have most or all of their education in English. Bilingual schools are similar – students take classes in both languages with a English-speaking teacher half the time and a local teacher half the time. Qualifications needed will vary based on the school and the country.
Teach a Skill
Can you guide a yoga or fitness class? Give piano lessons? Teach coding, graphic design, or website development? Turn these special skills into your career abroad. This might mean starting your business, or sniffing around to see which studios, gyms or learning centers are hiring.
If you enjoy working with very young children, you can find nanny jobs in many countries. Parents might be looking for an English-speaking nanny with hopes that their children will pick up the language naturally from a young age.
THEN, There’s other jobs completely.
If you have some experience bartending, this could be a great way to earn money to pay your hotel bills, save some money for your next flight, and continue traveling. You’ll also have fun and meet some great people. A few countries have laws against foreigners working in bars, but many don’t, so don’t let this restriction discourage you.
Can you speak more than one language? If so, there are many opportunities available for you! Companies need translators all around the world to help with speaking, writing, and reading tasks.
No matter where you travel, you’ll find English on billboards, signs, flyers, and menus – often with a few errors. Companies wanting to create high-quality ads and products will hire native speakers to check their copy for any mistakes before they publish or distribute. You also might find some students who will pay you to correct their essays or school projects – if you are comfortable in this ethical gray area.
Nearly every major city around the world will have some English media, such as newspapers, magazine, or websites. These publications need writers to produce great content with the natural ability of a fluent speaker.
Working Holiday Visa
Many countries offer an opportunity to work and travel in their territory with the right visa. While the terms may differ, the idea is that you can stay in the country for a longer period of time than the typical tourist, and you’ll be able apply for available jobs and fund your time there. Some countries that offer this are the USA, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Ireland and Singapore.
Not only will you get a steady paycheck, you’ll typically get a free room during your stay on the farm. This is a popular choice for expats in Australia, a country that requires farm work from anyone who wants to stay longer than a year. These types of opportunities can also be found in other countries. It can be hard work, but produce continues to grow and labour is always needed. Why not commit to a short period, make some good money, and fund another few months of travel?
If you have good equipment, good knowledge, and a good eye, you can make some money selling stock photos, working for magazines or websites, or even being hired as a personal photographer. You can also advertise your skills to couples planning a destination wedding abroad.
If you know a city well (or you’re a fast learner) and you’re a naturally friendly, talkative person, tours might be the right line of work for you. If a city has a healthy tourism industry, you can bet they have a need for English-speaking tour guides.
Work on a Cruise
This is a great opportunity to get around the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and a few other areas of the world while working. From entertaining kids to working a casino table, there are a variety of positions available on cruise lines.
Not only do airline employees fly around the world while working, getting a couple nights in top hotels, they can also fly for free on their off days. If you have experience in customer service, you might qualify for a job.
Acting or Modeling
We’ve known many expats who earn extra money this way. If there is a role that requires your look, there will probably be less competition abroad. These opportunities range from speaking roles on TV to simply being an extra in the background of a scene.
Beauty, Hair, and Massage
Plenty of travelers with salon experience are funding their travels by offering cheap haircuts and other beauty services to the people they meet while traveling.
Arts and Crafts
A friend of ours started a business in designing bracelets. Do you have a creative or artistic talent? Use it to bring in some cash.
Don’t rule out an opportunity just because it’s described as volunteering. Foreign volunteers are often given free housing and food, and some even receive a very small amount of money that can be saved if you try hard enough. Look into the terms of each position.
Look into your own industry to see if there are opportunities abroad we haven’t mentioned. For example, nurses, librarians, or researchers can all find programs that place them in temporary jobs around the world where there are shortages in their field.
Many homeowners with expensive properties will let you stay at their place for free to simply watch it. Some might pay you to watch their poodle. A good website to check this is TrustedHousesitters.com
The great thing is that this list isn’t even close exhaustive. There really are so many opportunities around the world, we could never name them all. What are we forgetting? Let us know in the comments.