A lot of people say to me that they would love to live abroad for a while and experience a new city with new people and new surroundings, but there is always something putting them off. Maybe its the language barrier, or the job opportunities or just the fear of packing up and leaving. The truth be told, it’s not actually as hard as people think to move abroad (at least for a few months). Don’t let the political talks of immigration put you off exploring a new country and culture. Here are my 4 top easiest ways to live abroad that are actually realistic and not just “marry someone for a visa”.
If you’re looking to embrace yourself in a local culture and you consider yourself good with children, then being an au pair could be for you. It is without a doubt the easiest way to live abroad. Let me put it this way, you get accomodation and food included and you get weekly spending money. You are put into contact with both local people and other au pairs in the area. Therefore if you’re planning to move abroad but you’re worried about paying rent or being alone in a foreign country, being an au pair is perfect for you as it already has a set routine laid out for you. If you’re from Europe then you can live anywhere within the EU for as long as you like without a visa, but there are also other options. For example you could au pair in Australia, Canada or the United States for up to a year. A day in the life of an au pair is typically preparing the children in the mornings before school and then looking after them in the evenings, preparing dinner, helping with homework etc. You usually get weekends off and are entitled to around 2 weeks holiday. The pay isn’t great in comparison to regular jobs or just professional nanny jobs, but you get a whole lot of benefits as well as having the opportunity to learn a language. You can look at different families and find one most suited to you (only child, special needs, single mother etc). It really does become more than just a job and it will be hard to leave your adopted families but it really is a great experience to explore a different country for little money, as well as getting additional benefits like learning a foreign language.
Another easy way to live abroad is to get a job as a TEFL teacher. Certain countries for example the UAE and China require a degree and a TEFL certificate but if you’re still working towards your degree or you just don’t have one, you still have plenty of options to teach abroad. You need to pass a TEFL course which you can do either in class or online (I used TEFL.org) and they cost around £200. The course shows you how to teach English to a variety of students (large groups, young children, online classes) as well as different topics such as Business English. TEFL jobs come in all forms, ranging from summer camps in Italy to long term contracts in Brazil. The pay is good and usually schools will provide accomodation. It is definitely something to consider as the course allows you to allow teach English privately online so you could get a side income whilst abroad to extra students.
Another option that comes to mind would be to study abroad. If you’re already at university, you can look into semester/year abroad options (this is also finanically beneficial as you will pay the same fees as you would for a year in the UK, which would be covered under your student loan). Many universities give you the option to study in America, China and Singapore. However you can still study abroad without being at university. For example you could take a course in a summer school. This would let you stay in a country for about 3 months and you can still experience university life without being fully committed to studying for 4 years. You can also look into the Erasmus schemes in Europe in order to take a bachelor or masters degree, as the European government actually give you grants to study a subject in an European university.
If studying isn’t your thing, you can apply to be a leader of a summer camp instead from June to August. The most popular ones that spring to mind is Camp America, but you can also look into options in Canada, South Africa, Thailand and New Zealand. Spend your summer months making friends, making money and travelling the country. There are many types of roles available on summer camps, so you don’t have to be always involved with the children if you don’t want to. You can work in maintainence, the kitchen, childrens counsellor, activities manager.. the list goes on! Activities include sports, watersports, archery, pool parties and camp fires. Definitely an option if you want to live abroad, make some money and have your accomodation and food already sorted for 9 weeks. If you chose the American options, the visa allows you to travel for 30 days after camp is over so plenty of time to spend what you saved on visiting some great landmarks in the country like Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty.
There you guys have it, my top 4 ways of easily moving abroad for a while. Hopefully I have inspired you to take a risk and dive into a new life for a few months.