How to save for and get the short-term job abroad you’ve always wanted

Set sail on your working abroad journey.


Working and traveling abroad is a wonderful, life-changing experience. Not many people get the opportunity to learn a new language and be immersed in a different culture. So kudos to you for showing interest in this exciting adventure! And you never know, maybe you’ll end up planting roots and staying there for good.

But right now, you’re probably thinking, where do I begin? What information do I need? How do I budget? And more importantly, how do I land a job? No worries. We have tips and information to help you find the right path for you.

Budget wisely

Saving and budgeting for a move abroad is an important step you don’t want to underestimate. If you’ve just started to consider working abroad, start saving now. Even if you think it won’t happen right away, it’s still good to be prepared.

How much should you save? A lot of this depends on where you want to move. Check out what the average monthly cost of living is in the city you plan on moving to. And be sure to add in things like your apartment deposit and first and last months’ rent. Once you have that number figured out, experts suggest to save up enough to cover at least 3 months of living expenses.1 This should hold you over until you start your new job, and you’ll have a little extra rainy-day funds if needed.

Tip: There are tons of budgeting apps out there that can help you keep things organized. Think about downloading one that works for you, so you can start saving and budgeting for your big move.

You’ll need a work visa

You may already know this, but most countries will ask that you apply for a work permit. If you currently work for an international company, you might have the opportunity to transfer within your organization. But this will still be a process. The company will petition on your behalf to prove to government officials that your skills are necessary for this position.2 This process can be lengthy. You’re working at the speed of the government after all. But even if it takes a while, don’t be discouraged. In the long run, it will be worth it for the experience!

Tip: If you don’t have the option to transfer within your company, consider going back to school. Many young people opt to study abroad and avoid the work visa hurdles. Most countries will allow you to work part-time on a student visa.3

Get your seasonal hustle on

Seasonal jobs are another great option if you’re looking for short-term jobs abroad. And the good news? Obtaining a visa is going to be a bit easier for seasonal work.4 Many countries offer a working holiday visa for young people up to 30 years old. Just do your research beforehand and check the foreign labor department of the country you want to work in to make sure you're following the right process.

And if you don’t know what you want to do, here are some popular seasonal jobs abroad to get you thinking about options:

  • Get your hands dirty on an organic farm in Australia
  • Work at a ski resort or summer camp in Canada
  • Dreaming of a European destination? Look into hospitality or tourism for temp jobs abroad.
  • Working holiday visas get you a year of work and travel in New Zealand. Hang with the Kiwis and enjoy working in tourism, resort hospitality, farm work, office temping and much more.
     

Tip: When you’re looking for short-term work abroad, make your search based on the season you want to work. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often people forget about the changing seasons between hemispheres. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us.

Work and travel abroad programs

These days, countries around the world are more connected than ever. It’s also made working-abroad programs possible for people to experience a different country. One of the most popular options for finding paid work is through a TEFL course. Basically, this is a certification that proves you can teach English to foreigners. Some courses even offer you a guaranteed placement when you pass certification.5

If teaching isn’t your thing, there are new programs, like Remote Year, which allow you to keep your current job. How? Well, it depends on your job now. But let’s say your gig is willing to let you freelance while you travel, or you’re able to line up regular freelance work. If you can secure that, then you’ll be able to join this community of working professionals from around the world. What makes Remote Year different is that you can choose from a 4- or 12-month trip, and the program maps out the destinations for you. With a bit of money up front, your trip will be fully planned, from transportation and accommodations to 24/7 workspace access and local experiences.

Tip: If a working abroad program is right for you, add a little extra to your savings fund. Some of these programs may have fees you’ll need to cover.

Onward to new destinations

Finding full-time work or seasonal jobs while abroad can feel overwhelming. Just remember that this will be an experience you’ll never forget. Think about the new friends you’ll make and incredible sights you’ll take in during this trip of a lifetime. As long as you plan ahead, budget wisely and find the right job so you can take off on this awesome adventure.


This site is for educational purposes. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

  1. Melissa (2017, June 16). Moving Abroad Starter Budget. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from: https://www.teachtravelbudget.com/moving-abroad-starter-budget/

  2. Profita, M. (2018, January 24). How to Find a Summer Job Working Abroad. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from: https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-find-a-summer-job-working-abroad-2063844

  3. Pasolea, A. (2017, August 03). Study & Work: Student Jobs as Alternative Income and Student Work Regulations Abroad. Retrieved April 25, 2018, from: https://www.mastersportal.com/articles/516/study-work-student-jobs-as-alternative-income-and-student-work-regulations-abroad.html

  4. Bridge, J. (2017, March 07). How to Pick up a Seasonal Job Abroad This Year. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from: https://www.interexchange.org/articles/working-and-traveling-abroad/how-to-work-abroad-this-year/

  5. Dyson, S. (2017, June 05). 6 Bad@%S Work Abroad Programs for Grown-@%S Adults. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from: https://www.goabroad.com/articles/jobs-abroad/paid-work-abroad-programs-for-adults

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