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suitcase world mapWe recently asked our readers on Facebook whether they’d ever lived in a country outside their own. Some responded with truly impressive expat resumes: “Mexico 7 yrs, Australia 1 yr, Kuwait 1 yr, U.A.E. 4 yrs, Qatar 8 months and counting…” wrote Elizabeth Wardle Walker.

“A year in Tanzania. Loved it,” said Kari Alyssa Prassack. “Waiting for the next opportunity to live abroad!”

And Kym Proudnikov weighed in with her own lengthy list: “Italy 3 years, Australia 3 years, Malta 4 years (twice), England 1 year (3 times), Canada 16 years…” Color us green with envy.

But what of the travelers who haven’t had that experience yet? Anne Rodziewicz England sums it up: “We will we will we will…”

If an extended stint overseas is high on your bucket list, read on for a few ideas on how to make it happen.

1. Teach English.
You don’t need to be able to speak a foreign language in order to travel overseas and teach English to non-native speakers. LanguageCorps.com is a good place to start, offering training and paid positions in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

12 Ways to Feel at Home in a Foreign Place

2. Volunteer.
The Peace Corps is the most famous program for international volunteers, but if you can’t swing the required two-year stint, there are plenty of shorter programs out there. TransitionsAbroad.com and Idealist.org can put you on the right path. To learn more about what to consider when choosing a volunteer opportunity, see Volunteer Vacations.

3. Study.
This is generally considered the domain of college students — but as the rest of us know, learning doesn’t stop after you get your diploma. Language learning schools are a great opportunity to have an immersive experience abroad; they often include homestays with local families. Check out LanguageCourse.net or the aforementioned TransitionsAbroad.com.

4. Work.
Work on an organic farm, join the seasonal staff at a ski resort or even take your current career overseas. There are a variety of opportunities to earn money while you travel, especially if you’re willing to be flexible. BUNAC.org offers work programs in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, while TransitionsAbroad.com offers a wider scope of programs as well as advice for finding a job overseas in your own field.

Living Abroad: 12 Tips from Travelers Who’ve Been There

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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3 Responses to “Living Abroad: 4 Ways to Make It Happen”

  1. david wayne osedach says:

    I worked as a barman in various London pubs. The job provides room and board
    and a small slary. It was a great place to meet the locals…

  2. Katie_F says:

    You left off one a pretty common way to do it: be transferred abroad by your current company. There are certain industries (such as Big 4 accounting firms) with a long track record of overseas opportunities for their employees. Either look into opportunities at your current workplace or seek employment with a company where international stints are common. Of other expats I’ve met while living abroad, well over half were transferred through work.

  3. Cathyhaden says:

    I think that Moving abroad is an amazing experience, but does require plenty of planning. If you’re making a big move, I’m sure you’ll generate your own list of tips and best practices! Times of loneliness and feeling inadequate are part of the sojourner’s experience. Sometimes we forget that we went abroad because we wanted something different or an adventure.

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