Jobs Abroad: Where and How to Get Them

work in EuropePhoto credit: CC license by marissa anderson


Working abroad is a fantastic way to elongate your European vacation and truly experience local life. If you are lucky enough to land a job legally in Europe, you will be entitled to a great deal of vacation, most European countries require employers to give their staff at least four weeks of paid vacation per year. On these vacation days and weekends, you can take mini-trips to see the rest of the continent.
As a skilled worker who speaks the local language, you may be able to get a job anywhere in Europe. You simply need to get sponsored by the company who wants to hire you. If your current employer has a foreign office, this is the perfect opportunity to bid for a transfer, but in lieu of that, you can start searching online job boards for skilled work including nursing, computer programming, or business management. Leverage your social media accounts to meet foreign contacts, as well. Even if you don’t know anybody abroad, your mother’s cousin or somebody in your network may have a useful contact for you.
Teaching English is a great way to fund a long European working vacation. Organizations like TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) offer teacher training and job listings. Take a class in Prague to become a teacher, and then, jump into a career teaching.

With an elementary or secondary teaching degree, you may be able to land a job at one of the International Schools in Europe. There, you will teach primarily English speaking students. International Schools Services places teachers at over 300 schools in 150 countries around the world. If you are a recent college graduate, you can get a six month work visa through BUNAC (British Universities North American Club). The visa entitles you to pick up almost any job, but since you are only allowed to work for six months, you will probably end up pulling pints next to another backpacker. The pay isn’t high, but most bartending jobs come with free meals and a room to live in. However, the BUNAC visa can also be used to secure an internship at a job in your future industry.
If you are lucky enough to have a Canadian, Australian, or South African passport, you can live and work in the UK for two years through the commonwealth youth exchange. In order to qualify for this program, you must be under 28 years of age. Sadly, you cannot qualify for this program if you only have an American passport.
If your father is English, you qualify to get a British passport, even if you have never set foot in the country. With this passport, you can work in the UK, but you can also legally work in any country in the European Union. If your mother is British, you have the right to live in the UK. Once you have lived in Britain for five years, you are eligible for a passport, which in turn can be used to work anywhere on the continent. There are similar rules if you have parents from any of the other EU countries.
If you cannot find any way to get a work visa for Europe, you have two options. You can find a place that’s willing to let you stay for free in exchange for some volunteer work. For example, WOOF (World Organization of Organic Farmers) has great volunteer opportunities for travelers who want to do some weeding in exchange for food and a place to stay. Alternatively, you can find love. Grab your backpack, find the nearest local, stir up some romance, get married, and you’ll get a work visa.

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