Congratulations! You have finally earned that sought-after college degree and you are ready to enter the next chapter! However, maybe you are feeling like you are ready for a new adventure or a change. Learning how to work abroad after college might be that first stop in your new adventure.
I know the feeling. After I graduated college in 2019 I immediately entered the corporate workforce… and I almost instantly regretted it. I am young, there is a whole world out there, what am I doing here?
Unfortunately for me, this was during the peak pandemic. So, I took to seasonal work where I lived in Colorado and Alaska for a season.
Then, once borders opened I immediately left to go teach English abroad in Thailand!
If you too are feeling like you want to figure out how to work abroad after college, there are lots of options for you! I have gathered the best ways to work abroad after college.
How To Work Abroad After College: 6 BEST Ways To Travel Abroad
Teach English Abroad
Arguably one of the easiest ways to work abroad after college is by teaching English abroad. Teaching English usually only requires you to be a native English speaker and to hold a college degree. No, it doesn’t matter what you have your degree in either!
Being open to teaching English abroad opens a world of possibilities for you. You can teach English in countries all over the world like Japan, Korea, Thailand, Italy, Spain, and more!
Depending on the country you choose to teach English in, you may be able to save quite a bit of money too. Countries like Japan and Korea pay teachers a high wage, making it easy to save money.
Additionally, teachers get a lot of time off to travel! I taught English in Thailand for 1 year and I had plenty of time to travel with my time off! Many countries value holidays and time with family, a bit more than America even.
One thing you must think about when wanting to work abroad after college is your VISA situation. Teaching English makes this easier because most of the time the school will sponsor your VISA so you are able to stay in the country for long periods of time.
Some of the most frequently asked questions I get about teaching English abroad is:
- Do you have to speak the local language? NO! Schools actually prefer if you don’t. This forces students to use English and not fall back on their native language. This is true Immersion for them. Also, you usually will have a local teacher in the class with you to help translate
- Do you need prior teaching experience? While you don’t need to major in education, you should obtain a TEFL or TESOL before teaching abroad. Many programs will help you obtain this certificate. This certificate will help you begin thinking about what it is like to teach and also make you more valuable to future schools you apply for.
I can confidently say teaching English abroad was one of the best years of my life. I had the opportunity to learn a new school, save money, travel, and experience a new culture all at the same time.
Grad School Abroad
If you’re not sure you want to experiment with teaching or mess with job interviews abroad, you can consider attending grad school abroad.
Many countries offer awesome scholarships or discounted tuition for foreign students. In fact, it may actually be cheaper to get your grad degree abroad than at home!
I know many people who have gone on to get their degrees abroad because of the affordable price.
Although it may be cheaper compared to the US, it still comes at a cost! It’s important to research the country and budget your finances before applying to schools! The cost of living in many of these countries could be quite a bit more expensive.
The best part about going to school abroad is how easy it is to obtain a VISA. When living abroad for a long period of time, you must have a VISA to stay in the country long term.
How To Work Abroad After College
Working Holiday Visa
One of the most popular ways to work abroad after college is to participate in a working holiday visa. A working holiday visa is a visa that select countries offer to young adults between ages 21 and 35 to live and work in their country for a year.
The countries that offer a working holiday visa to Americans are Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, Japan, and more! The list goes on!
During your working holiday visa, you can get a job anywhere, however, some companies prefer not to hire you because you will have to leave eventually.
Most travelers on a working holiday visa work in restaurants, cafes, and tourism. However, many travelers also get awesome jobs in their degree field of choice.
The working holiday visa is the best way to long-term travel, get to know a country, and make money along the way in a field that you are inspired by.
Worldpackers/ Work Away
Worldpackers and Work Away are travel websites that offer travelers free accommodations and meals in exchange for work. While you won’t be making any money for these jobs, you will be saving money on rent and food.
Work Away and Worldpackers offer volunteer jobs like teaching English, farm work, social media and website building, and more!
I did one World Packers experience in Cusco, Peru working in a kindergarten in the mornings. I then had the afternoons and weekends to explore Cusco, practice my Spanish, and just live life like a local!
These experiences are very immersive because you will probably be living with a host family. This immediately gives you an authentic look at the country’s way of life.
Although I wouldn’t recommend this for the long term, as you won’t be making any money, it’s a great way to see a country and save some money during your travels. This is best for backpackers or those looking to long-term travel and stretch their budget.
How To Work Abroad After College
Being an Au Pair offers adults the opportunity to live and work abroad. Bring an Au Pair is basically like an in-house nanny. Usually, families will hire you to help teach them or their children English.
Being an Au Pair usually only requires a high school diploma and is most often done by young people aged 18-30. This could be a great way to live abroad if you are looking for a break before starting your adult life.
During your time, you’ll get free room and board in exchange for taking care of the children. You’ll also have some of the most in-depth cultural immersion, as you will get to know your family really well.
I have two friends who became Au Pairs in Paris, France after graduating college. Of course, living abroad comes with their challenges but they both enjoyed their experience and learned a bit of the language too.
Work on a Cruise Ship
The last way to work abroad after college on this list may be a bit more unconventional. Working on a cruise ship is a fun and epic way to begin your career! If you are remotely interested in hospitality, this is the job for you.
Working on a cruise ship has you waking up to beautiful ocean views and in a new country almost every day! Although, while you are on the ship you will be working hard. Cruise ship workers hardly get a day off, as when the ship is sailing you are working.
However, cruise ship workers get good benefits, are paid well, and are given generous time off between contracts.
Many cruise ship workers spend their time between contracts traveling the world!
While I haven’t personally worked on a cruise ship, it has been something I have seriously considered for a long time!
How To Work Abroad After College
What Country Should I Move to After College?
After college, the world opens up to you completely, if you let it. Taking advantage of work and travel opportunities is the best way to long-term travel after college graduation.
When choosing which country you want to move to after college, there are a variety of things to consider such as cost of living, things to do, if you want to learn a new language, etc.
It really boils down to what you are interested in.
The cheapest country to move to after college is anywhere in Southeast Asia or Central America. In these countries, your money will go the farthest. Travelers can easily spend months here spending significantly less than what you would in western Europe.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer here, you will need to research countries to discover what suits your needs the best.