Guide: Ways to work abroad

Categories Top Tips, Travel inspiration, Travel planning
guide: Ways to work abroad

-“How can you afford to travel so much?” is a question we are often asked. The answer? Well partly, it is our biggest interest. Therefore we save money towards trips rather than buying the latest phones, clothes or doing fancy weekend retreats.

Secondly, some of the trips we have done have been work related. Working abroad is a lot easier than most people think, and there are a lot of ways in which you can do so. Not only is it a way of getting to know a country and culture better, but it can also give you the opportunity to stay for longer – extending the length of your visa and giving you more money for the road. We’ve listed our top tips and ideas below of ways to work abroad. What are you waiting for? ???

Working Holiday Visas
Escape the winter, or why not chase them all around the globe?
Escape the winter, or why not chase them all around the globe?

If you are under 31, have a little bit of money saved up and want to travel around a bit but also work in a country – this visa is for you. For Swedes and Brits, it is easy to get a visa in quite a few countries including the popular destinations of New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Most visas can be applied for online, last for a year from the day you travel into the country and allow you to work within most industries. You do however need a bit of money saved up to meet the criteria of the visas and so you can settle in nicely at the start of your working year.

Depending on your nationality you can in some cases extend your WHV for another year, various conditions do apply though. If you’re British you get a sweet deal in New Zealand where you can extend your WHV for another year AND then apply for another year’s visa but this time its called an IEP Work Exchange Visa. It’s a bit unfair for the rest of us isn’t it?!

Dave had a WHV during his two year stay in New Zealand, where he worked in Auckland and National Park. He found his jobs through a combination of searching employment pages and applying at a job agency. The work can be pretty varied, through the two years he worked as: A Train ticket seller, Telesales for an electricity company, a Waiter, a Barman, a Handyman and a Ski-lift operator. The possibilities are endless, you just need to put the effort in and keep on applying. If you really can’t find paid work, there are heaps of volunteer positions available, normally in exchange for food and a place to stay. If you’re really lucky (and do a great job) these can lead to full-time jobs.

SPONSORED VISAS

Do you have skills, training or experience within a certain industry? Then you could be eligible for a sponsored visa. Don’t worry, they’re not just for people with master degrees and 15 years of experience. For example, Ebba worked a season as a Ski Instructor in New Zealand on a sponsored visa. This was after about two years experience and a bit of training.

Other professions that are common to receive sponsored visas are doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers and specialists of different kinds. But, many people we’ve met during our travels have received sponsored visas within the service industry, simply by traveling there on a WHV, doing a great job and getting an offer to stay.

Want to know what possibilities there are within your industry? Visit the immigration website of the country (or countries) you’re interested in and look for sections about work visas but also for their skill shortage lists. These are lists with professions and industries that the country lacks skilled workers within, and where you might be able to get a sponsored visa for. In some cases you need a job offer before you can apply and in others you can get a visa to then travel to the country and apply for jobs.

Seasonal Work
Ebba working away on the mountain
Ebba working away on the mountain

This one’s maybe Ebba’s favorite kind of work, because its so easy to be able to travel with some experience. Seasonal work is usually within the tourism industry and we both have experience working ski seasons during the winter.

Ebba has previously worked as a Snow Sports Instructor, a job that you definitely can travel around parts of the world doing. So, what is important in order to get a job? Experience, training and language skills. With a few seasons experience, a bit of training and more or less documented English skills (if you want to work in New Zealand, Australia, Canada or in parts of the Alps) you are likely to be able to receive a job offer or two. Some places can sponsor visas, but you are more likely to get a job if you have a Working Holiday Visa for the first season in the country. For the Snow Sports industry, make sure to get training through an organisation that is recognized worldwide (such as SLAO for Sweden or BASI for the UK), do a few seasons in your home country (or just wherever you can get a job!) and then start applying abroad.

For other seasonal work, it is possible to sometimes get a position without experience if you have a work visa. After some experience you can also get a Sponsored Visa at certain ski fields and in certain countries. Dave for example worked as a Lift Operator in New Zealand on his WHV without any previous experience.

But seasonal work isn’t just available during the Winter. It could include waitressing, bartending or working in a reception during busy periods in touristic spots or why not fruit picking, dive instructing or guiding? Our top tips are: If you have training or experience, just apply. If not, you are more likely to get a job if you show up in the country of your choice with a WHV.

The easiest way to find seasonal work is to keep an eye out on company’s or destination’s websites, or search for combined websites within your field.

The EU
Catch a sunset elsewhere in the world for a month, year or just a while
Catch a sunset elsewhere in the world for a month, year or just a while

If you’re a citizen of a country within the European Union, you are legally eligible to work within the entire European Union. This is the reason why Dave could move to Sweden and work without a visa, and also easily apply for citizenship without going through the process of applying for permanent residency first. If you don’t know the language spoken in the country of your choice, there are plenty of Scandinavian and British companies (for example) that are based all around Europe, for example in countries like Malta, Spain and the Baltics. To find the jobs look at your local job search platform, in Facebook groups or simply travel to the country of your choice and keep a look out. Chances are higher to get a job if you speak the local language or if you’re bilingual.

Through a company

It is also possible to work abroad through a company, either short term or long term. Dave had a job that meant he travelled quite a lot while we were based in Sweden. Most of his travels were for a few months at a time, but it is also possible to get a placement in a foreign country through international companies.

How to score a job? Well, this can be tricky depending on what your occupation is. But, it is definitely not impossible! If you’re already employed: ask around and see if you could possibly be placed elsewhere. When looking for a new job: ask in the interview what the possibilities are of working abroad. Or, if you work for a big, international company look for jobs that are offered in other divisions and countries.

Digital Nomading

With the Internet came the opportunity for people to communicate more easily all over the world. But also the opportunity to be location independent and work from anywhere. To work as a digital nomad you can either start your own company, freelance or be employed. There are companies that offer all their employees the opportunity to be location independent, and there are some that might be okay with you working from elsewhere for certain periods of time. Although it might seem impossible to do so within some professions there are people in almost all industries working as digital nomads around the world.

Most digital nomads travel frequently as the easiest visa to get is a tourist visa, but it is possible to apply for an entrepreneur visa in many countries if you wish to stay for longer, have your own business, proof of it being successful and you being able to provide for yourself.

Interested? The article below has a few tips on where to look and how to find remote jobs:

How to Find Remote Jobs: The Best Sites to Search


The green card lottery

So, this option is probably the hardest one out of all, but since we know some people who have “won” some visas we thought its a good one to add. Every year some people across the world have the opportunity to apply for a “Green Card Lottery”, basically adding your name to a pool of people from which the US government pick a few people to be offered Green Cards as part of their Diversity Visa Program. The visa isn’t available for UK citizens but Swedes for example are welcome to apply. There are further requirements and interviews necessary too.  Are you Swedish and want to know more? Read here.

Happy applying! And make sure to contact us if you need some tips! ❤️

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