Finding a job
The internet is your gateway towards a whole new world, literally. The most popular types of jobs that are easy to attain if you are from an English speaking country like Canada, are teaching English jobs. Most people assume you need to be a certified teacher in order to be hired as a teacher abroad. However having an undergraduate degree in any discipline will suffice. There will be some training involved once hired that will allow you to review your grammar before you have to teach it to the world.
If you are seeking a job in any other field but teaching English, it can be more challenging since most countries have strict work visa regulations. International recruiting companies exist for this sole purpose and you might have to pay a lump fee for their assistance, but based on how badly you want to get out into the world, it might be well worth it.
Contracts that are offered will more than likely be in the local currency and will offer housing and airfare. It is important to read the fine print especially regarding vacation time and working hours before your sign away. Contracts are also typically given for one year, with completion bonus and a resigning bonus if you decide to stay on further.
Once you get a job, you are covered on the financial front regarding your travel expenses. Many people also choose to work abroad in order to save their earnings to pay off school debt and other expenses at home. This is a great idea because you will be working just like at home, yet still be able to experience a whole new culture.
The main perk of living abroad is getting all of your expenses paid for (accommodation and airfare) leaving you with a monthly salary that can be used towards exploring the country you live in as well as its neighboring countries. By living in a new country you are unknowingly being immersed in its culture, through your surroundings and your work environment. You will be forced to learn the local language, try the local foods and learn about the culture. If you are eager to learn more about a country, its language and customs, then living abroad is the only way to go! By living abroad you also will encounter others who are in the same boat as you with whom you can travel and learn with. As a bonus you are also making international connections while creating new friendships.
When travelling abroad you are limited to how much time and money you can spend. A vacation mindset makes you want to relax much more than fuel your desire to learn about a country’s history and culture. But perhaps this is enough for you; after all, you just want to soak up some sun and party right? If you are content getting just a little taste for each country you visit then weeklong getaways are perfect!
As we all know, the internet has a wealth of knowledge that can also be overwhelming. If you have decided that working abroad might be something you are interested in, it’s very important to do the research first. You need to know what type of work environment and culture you are stepping into it. Remember, an office in Toronto functions differently than an office in India! For example, in Canada we don’t have an office hierarchy based on age but by position, but in some countries even if someone is inferior to you by position you still have to show them respect due to their age (and this is due to cultural practices).
Dave’s ESL Café (www.daveseslcafe.com) is a wonderful website for anyone wanting to teach abroad. Remember to take what people say though with a grain of salt. Everyone’s experience is their own which is why you need to read through a couple of different sites before making conclusions.
Another great resource is Work and Live Abroad (www.workandliveabroad.com), which provides information on working abroad in various different fields other than just teaching.
My favorite resource other than the internet are travel guides which allow you to get a real glimpse into the culture but also give you a feel for the cities and what there is to do. They typically include maps, useful phrases, and a food dictionary.