Have you ever been on a vacation, soaking up the beach in the Bahamas, enjoying the culture in Europe, or chowing down on exotic foods in Asia and thought: man, it’d be great if I lived here Maybe you don’t even know where to begin finding information on moving abroad: where would you live, what about all of your stuff, all of your friends, how would you make money, how would you find a place to live (not to mention having a significant other or rugrats running around).
Luckily, with the progression of the internet, wanderlust has become that much easier to cure.
The most daunting thing for any big decision is that first step. And the first step for becoming an expat is simply deciding to do it. Do some research- I’m sure you already have a few places in mind– and make a plan
Easily the biggest worry about moving abroad is how you will make money. Really, if you already have a degree you are ahead of the game. Teaching English as a EFL (English as a Foreign Language) or ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor is one of the most common ways that expats make their moving abroad, mainly because it is so easy. A bachelor’s degree in any field can fetch you you a living salary in any country you want to live: from South America, to Africa, to Asia.
In Thailand, for example, just walking into a public school with a degree of any sort, with no teaching experience, but being a native English speaker can get you at least 40,000 Baht per month, which is about $1200 USD.
This might not seem like much- maybe only enough to get an apartment- but that’s where you’d be mistaken. Considering most Thais live off of significantly less (more like 20,000 Baht) you can live very comfortably, even in a large city like Bangkok.
In China it is possible- some even consider it easy- to get a TEFL job without a degree. The key to
this is though is having the passion for teaching. Wanting to get out there and motivate your students to learn another language is so important. Even though you might lack some credentials like having a degree, if you have truly want to teach you can still excel in China.
Living and teaching in China again, can fetch you a nice salary. Much more than even experienced Chinese teachers can make. If you plan correctly you can even put some money away for a rainy day.
Here’s where the beauty of the internet rears its beautiful, majestic head again. Working remotely was something that was simply not only not the norm, but a pretty convoluted task 15 years ago. Nowadays, you can do anything online. Something that simply seemed like a hobby before can become your source of income when you become an expat.
For me, it was writing. I have always had a knack for it. I enjoyed English class almost as much as I enjoyed science classes. When others in class groaned about writing an essay my mind was already racing with ideas for subjects and creating possible outlines. However, if you would have asked me six months before I moving abroad if I could make a living writing I would have probably said no. It just never occurred to me that I could do it.
That’s the beautiful thing about traveling. You challenge yourself and accomplish things that you didn’t think were possible.
It’s not only teaching and writing that you can get into; the possibilities are endless for expats. Maybe you enjoy working with Photoshop. You don’t have to be a wizard at it- just start by getting basic jobs and increase your knowledge as you go.
Being multilingual is huge asset as well, there are a myriad of companies that need a reliable and consistent translator for virtually any language that will allow you to work online.
There are plenty of jobs for coding/ programming and web developing as well. If you aren’t already with a company that has opportunities for moving abroad this might be the most lucrative way to go. Even if you have just played around with C++ or web development- WordPress included- you can land a gig doing these. There are people all the time who don’t know the first things about either of these looking for simple jobs all the way to complete complex projects to be completed.
Maybe you are a boss at using social media; you can find a job with a company to increase their social media presence through digital marketing.
The key for me, when I first became an expat, was getting a reliable client that would be able to provide me with a continuous workload. That way I could avoid searching for jobs on a regular basis.
Hopefully these ideas get you thinking. Generally there are all levels of work available online, you only have to look. Keep in mind that you don’t have to work online you can also turn you vacation into a- wait for it… staycation. Getting a job at a physical location while visiting overseas is just as likely as becoming a full blown digital nomad. Even more so in China where foreigners are especially revered.
Here are a few more ideas that you can look into as well:
If none of these work for you teaching is always a viable option. Many countries have strict requirements for TEFL teaching, but China’s emerging market is somewhat more lenient when it comes to this. To learn more about opportunities we have for people like you trying to explore and move overseas contact us!