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By: Justin Jones and Eric Tiettmeyer (justin) 2013.01.27

work abroad

These jobs may not spark international careers, but at least you’ll be able to extend your travel time.

Compiled by Justin Jones and Eric Tiettmeyer
Illustrated by Martin Wickström

If you want to work your way around the world, there are plenty of not-so-serious gigs to keep you from going broke. Governments work with organizations like BUNAC ( and CCUSA ( to give out short-term work permits for their countries. These countries include the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Canada, and New Zealand. Just pay a small fee for the work visa, and you get a list of employers contact once you arrive. 
Below is a list of ideas of work opportunities worldwide. You can do most of these jobs anywhere in the world. The toughest part is really making that initial step to go. But what do you have to lose? So go!

Bartender in Austria
The social scene at The Yoho International Youth Hostel in Salzburg is at the bar. You even pay for your bed there when upon arrival. So of course they need a lot of help at night to keep thirsty nomads happy. Serve drinks to tourists and other backpackers while traveling abroad, and sometimes you don’t even need to know the local language. Try to get paid under the table and don’t stay for too long – that much booze and tourism can’t be good for anyone. 

Scuba Instructor in Morocco
Club Med ( is hiring certified scuba instructors (along with bartenders and chefs) immediately for one of their 90 “villages” in 40 countries worldwide.   The Club Med staff are called ‘GOs’ or gracious organizers, which is a nice term for employees paid to party every day and night with the guests. There are over 22,000 GO’s and Club Med has recruiting in Los Angeles, Chicago and Newark this spring.

Furniture Mover in South Africa
Moving sucks as much overseas as it does in the U.S., so people are willing to hire others to get their stuff from Point A to Point B. You can capitalize on this by carrying that couch, bed, or whatever else people need moved (for a fee, of course). Key Moves (  is a large moving operator in Cape Town.

Volunteer in Peru
Cross Cultural Solutions ( offers volunteers work in orphanages and child care centers, schools, hospitals, homes for the elderly, centers for people with disabilities, and other community organizations. In Peru, for example, volunteers work in the shantytown El Salvador on the outskirts of Lima. Volunteers help care for infants/children, and assist with teaching for 2-12 weeks.  CCS operates in 12 countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Hostel Help in London
Hostels are always hiring backpackers and young travelers to assist with the day-to-day tasks involved in running a hostel.  Work can range from cleaning linens to cooking dinner, and you often work for your room or minimal wages.  Still, you can usually get paid under the table or exchange work for room and board.  London has almost 100 hostels packed near all the major Tube stops, so this is a great starting point. Check out for contacts for these hostels.

Au Pair in Australia
“Our family is open and friendly, and hard working. We are looking for someone to join our team, hopefully with similar values to our own, loving the outdoors. We live in a great location close to all amenities, with Sydney city only 20 minutes away, and the beach within 3kms.” Ross and Rebecca Porter will open their home to you, if you are willing (and qualified) to take care of their kids for 12 months. Check out for a bunch of work opportunities worldwide, or go to for accredited au pair organizations.

Farmer in China
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms ( can place you on a farm in any of their 25 countries, for a fee. Local farmers are always looking for some extra hands to help out, especially during harvest time.  Your work on a farm can range from harvesting fruits and vegetables to herding, milking and feeding animals.

Get paid to party in Italy
“Your responsibility is what happens on the dance floor, not behind the bar,” said the owner of Club Animazione, ( a resort on the outskirts of Rome. So Alex Digiorgio parties like it’s his job - because it is! There is no American equivalent to an Italian animatore, but imagine crossbreeding a bar mitzvah planner, a frat brother, and a flirtatious clown. Clubs as well as vacation resorts and hostels need the equivalent of animatores, so why can’t that be you? If you are outgoing and can get a crowd going (no, Scrabble tournaments don’t do that) then start your research to find a good fit.

English Teacher in South Korea
Now here is where you can really make some coin. Some South Korean companies pay up to $40,000 a year to teach full time in their schools. But because the cost of living in South Korea is so much lower than, say, Japan you can save (or spend) some serious cash. There are so many teaching jobs in South Korea, you can sometimes show up at the door for a job and get it. But do your research beforehand at to avoid the few shady operators that don’t pony up when your teaching gig is done.
Classroom and Online TEFL certificates are available for those that want a leg up when they arrive to another country to find a job teaching. Bridge Abroad ( and I to I ( both offer class and online courses for TEFL.

Camp Counselor in Russia
Every summer thousands of children head off for camps across Russia, from the shores of Lake Baikal to the beaches of the Black Sea. Who knew? Typically, a camp will have a large dining hall, crafts and sports buildings and dormitories. CCUSA ( offers two ways work as camp counselor similar to here in the States or as an English/American Culture Instructor. You receive free room and board throughout the program and receive a small stipend.

Online Tutor Worldwide
Kids always need help with their homework, and these days, their tutor doesn’t have to be sitting in the same room to go over their times tables.  As an e-tutor, you can utilize the Internet to chat and e-mail your homework help from anywhere you happen to be. If you are working with students in the U.S. your hours may be off, but at least it funds your way around the world. Check out Sylvan Learning.

Use financial aid (FAFSA) to get a BA,MA degree, or even short-term study abroad! It's easier than you think and usually cheaper than a U.S. education! Fill out the fields below and we will match you with universities abroad!

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Student Travel Europe, Global Travel, Paid Internships, Volunteer Overseas, Youth Hostel