How to work abroad

For many people, a great way to see the world is considering how to work abroad. You get the best of both worlds – visiting different locations and meeting people, while carrying out worthwhile work. Whether doing paid or voluntary work, you can utilise technology to find accommodation and overcome language barriers.

Common questions about working abroad

Sign up with a volunteer agency as your first step. The possibilities are diverse, ranging from hospital projects in South America to teaching children in Malawi. Spaces can be reserved online but act quickly as these are always popular. Costs vary but a typical example is teaching in Cambodia which will cost you around £100 as a one-off contribution.

When arriving in a different country, you’ll need to sort accommodation. You can pre-book rooms online, referring to the embassy website for pointers. Mobile phone apps can also be used to direct you to hostel vacancies once you arrive. Sites like hotel.com will offer up-to-date accommodation information.

Prior to travel it’s also worthwhile becoming acquainted with aspects of local culture. While most places cater for English-speakers, token phrases of the native language will help break down barriers. You can harness technology, with a range of translation software packages available for computers or mobile devices that instantly translate into English. Another important point is that by travelling from a western country to many other locations the standard of living will be lower.

A common question about how to work abroad is about official travel documents. This varies from country to country but in most cases you’ll need aspecial visa called a work permit. Some require these for volunteer work.

What are the pitfalls?

If you are working for pay without a valid work permit then you will be considered an illegal worker. The end result of this will invariably mean deportation. Obtaining a work permit is usually done through an employer. A good place for information about how to work abroad is to consult the website of that country’s embassy.

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