A Guide to Working Abroad

Everyone should experience the joy of travelling at least once in their life as it opens the door to new opportunities and experiences. Traveling boots your self-confidence and self-reliance as you navigate your way through a strange new place all on your own; its freedom at its finest. The only problem is choosing where to go, there are hundreds of thousands of destination options and the decision can take its toll especially when time is limited.

Discovering the world’s hidden gems and gaining valuable life experience and the best way to get out there and get traveling can be done in a number of ways that cover a wide variety ways to work and live abroad.

Internships: If you’re done school and looking for work experience this is the best option for you. All you need to do is apply to an internship at an international organization with operations in your target country. This can really help you put valuable work experience on your resume, but it will also gives you the opportunity to discover the world. However, not all internships offer paid positions or compensation so you’ll to figure out another way of supporting yourself if that’s the case.

Bridging-The-Gap Work Experience: This option is ideal for recent high school graduates who want to experience the world before they settle into college or university studies. The types of positons vary on the company and the field, but generally these are jobs like office temporary work, promotional work, hospitality and housekeeping. Most agencies that send students on these trips can and do offer accommodation as well as interviews or and placements.

Volunteer Working Holidays: In some developing countries are always looking for English speaking individuals who are eager to offer conversational English and or English as a Second Language (ESL) for both children and adults. All you have to do is have good English fluency and the ability to speak to small to large groups of eager learners in an educational environment. Once you have those down, you want to get certification to teach English which will greatly help you apply for jobs and positions in the area.

Career Cruises: Want to travel the world, meet new people and enjoy a wonderful working environment? Working on broad cruise ships might be just the career you’re looking for. Most cruise ship companies hire using travel agencies who handle the bookings for their line. These jobs usually include hosting, hospitality, kitchen work and basic management, but can vary to hairdressers, beauty therapists and even personal fitness trainers. Entertainers are also required there are stricter recruiting procedures and applicants are required to submit a portfolio or other documents to show off their abilities. In addition there is also the need to provide a full medical exam as well as a criminal background check.

Conditions While Working Abroad

In order to be accepted into various work-abroad options there are conditions that need to be met:


  • You must have a valid passport.
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 35.
  • Visa requirements must be met prior to departure.
  • Internships will request academic records from all applicants.
  • Make sure you have relevant qualifications and experience are required for certain positions.
  • Police clearance certificates are sometimes required.
  • You may want to get a full medical exam before departure or applying.


Visa & Passport Requirements: Every country has different immigration regulations depending on your nationality. Typically visas are divided into groups known as tiers, and travelers must look into each one to find out which tier they need to follow to enter the county without issue. This can be done easily by check your own country guidelines for travel to your destination country, or you can visit an embassy or embassy website to get the information you need.

As a general guideline, US citizens are granted access for a period no longer than 90 days; any stays that exceed the stipulated 90 day period will however require a long-stay visa which will permit employment for the duration of their visa. Visa requirements differ depending on your intended destination as well as your nationality. While agencies do advise you on the process required as well as any other travel regulations, it is up to the student to acquire the necessary visa and travel documents.

Studying Abroad

Not all universities offer exchange student options but there are other ways to experience studying abroad without a whole lot of hassle.

A Semester Abroad: Students who aren’t ready to commit to studying abroad permanently are encouraged to try a semester abroad first. These semesters are conducted at a campus while the students live in their chosen destination. This is the most popular form of student exchange and assists students in continuing their studies while enjoying a new destination. In order to apply students will have interviews conducted, their grades will be reviewed and some universities will request entrance examinations to be taken prior to the application being finalized.

Semester Break Abroad: These programs are designed to be held during academic vacations and are ideal for students who want to use their vacation time to further their academic pursuits, obtain extra-curricular credits or learn a new skill. These courses can either contribute to the student’s main qualification or it can be an additional course of interest taken abroad.

Complete your Studies Abroad: Students can decide to attend or transfer to the ideal university for their qualification and profession. Students who decide to complete their entire qualification abroad can contact the university directly for information on accommodation, course registration and any other course related enquiries. This option is available for students who want to complete their entire qualification in a university abroad or can request an institutional transfer after the course has commenced. This option is entirely at the university’s discretion and will have to handled directly.

Study Abroad and Exchange Student organizations usually offer the following:


  • Information on program options, courses and university contact(s).
  • Assistance with course registration with your destination university.
  • Accommodation, usually school residences, flat shares or university residences.
  • Activities and a variety of cultural excursions to enhance your experience.
  • You must have completed a secondary education and academic records will be requested.
  • A valid passport and travel visa if required.
  • All proper and organized documentation ready for any official to look over.
  • Police clearance may be required before application depending on the situation.

Health Requirements & Regulations: Some destinations require tourists to receive vaccinations prior to their arrival. For instance, students intending to study in some regions of South Africa and other African countries are encouraged to take anti malaria pills or other malaria prophylaxis. It is essential that tourists and students who intend travelling to remote destinations consult their medical practitioners beforehand as well as find out the health requirements of their destination.