How to get a career abroadPosted: 27th of July 2018 by Naomi Bourne
For many of us, the prospect of working abroad is an attractive thought. Perhaps you want to practise a language in another country, visit many places, or you like the idea of working in a different climate. Of course, many companies have headquarters in multiple countries but there are some careers that are focused around travelling and living abroad. Together with Northumbria University’s Newcastle Clearing team, we take a look at these careers and what you can do to get involved with them:
Successful travel writers visit different countries and cities and get paid to write about their experiences. Often, they get their holiday paid for in exchange for a written article or vlog (video blog). This might be for a magazine, website or for their own blog.
But, how can you get into travel writing? The main thing to do is to get started. Begin by writing your own blog and finding your niche writing style to appeal to a target audience. This will help you build a bigger following and lead to you interacting with other successful writers in the sector. Travel blogging might lead to a career in itself, or you can take your portfolio of articles to a publication.
When it comes to grades and experience, an English Language or Creative Writing degree could be helpful. Similarly, English based GCSEs and A-levels might provide you with some extra writing skills that could be handy. Aside from this, it’s all about finding your own writing voice and being passionate about travel and what you’re writing.
Although it’s innate to us, being able to speak fluent English is a valuable skill — and it could be your key to working abroad. In most countries that don’t speak English as a first language, you’re likely to find a vacancy for an English Teacher.
The most direct route to teach abroad is with a TEFL certification — this can be done online and is a minimum 120-hour course. Through this, you will learn how to teach English to foreign speakers and improve your employability.
A university degree can be useful, and might be a requirement for some schools abroad, but it’s not a necessity and you shouldn’t let this hold you back if you’re not a graduate.
Some schools that you apply to might offer more benefits than others. But, if you do your research and choose a good vacancy, you might find yourself with financial support for accommodation and frequent flights home.
If you’re passionate about nature, wildlife, the environment or all three, a career in conservation could be for you. Although there are opportunities on home soil to work in conservation, going abroad with this career could see you helping out endangered species and environments in more exotic locations.
The main advice from individuals who are currently in this role is to get involved with volunteering early on. This demonstrates your commitment to the cause and provides you with invaluable experience. In this sector, many jobs aren’t advertised and it’s down to who you know as to whether you’ll find out about available vacancies — so networking through your voluntary work is equally as important.
A degree is an essential for many roles in conservation but there are a range of subjects that are applicable to the role. Geography, Environmental Science and Marine Biology are all examples of the types of subjects that will land you a role in conservation.
Established and successful travel photographers sell their images to companies in the design and advertising industries — these are who pay the highest for these types of images. But, travel photographs are also bought by websites and individuals for recreation purposes.
Of course, you must have an interest in photography and have done it for some time before you pursue a career in the sector. Usually this starts as a hobby, but you can pay for expert lessons and after that it’s mostly down to practise! You need to be able to stand out from the crowd when it comes to your images — this could involve staying up late to capture a shot of the night-sky or getting up close and personal with the wildlife.
In terms of qualifications, you could take a Photography course or degree which will teach you some useful techniques and how to use editing software. But, the most important thing is to build up an impressive portfolio that you can show to potential employers.
Not sure on a career yet?
If you’re not sure on a career yet but know that you want to work in another country, there are some things that you can do.
Learn a new language
If you have a country in mind that you’d like to move to, it’s a good idea to learn their language. Although most countries speak English, being able to talk in another language is a good way to connect in a different way with employers and customers and this will show when applying for jobs.
Do a year abroad
You might think that you want to live abroad, but it’s best to test the waters and see if you enjoy it. If you have the opportunity, why not do a year abroad as part of your university degree? This is a widely offered option now and it can boost your employability skills whilst allowing you to see if you like living away from home. As well as studying abroad, you could also do a year in industry in another country — who knows, you may be offered a job here after you graduate.
Join a multinational company
By joining a multinational company, you’re presenting yourself with job opportunities in other countries.
If you can prove yourself in your home country, it’s likely that you’ll be able to transfer to another headquarters on request. Get yourself into a large company by carrying out a graduate scheme, internship or doing placement work there and show your commitment to the company.
As we can see, there are a range of careers that allow you to travel on the job or take you across seas. Alternatively, if you haven’t decided on a career yet, widen your global opportunities with a year abroad or by becoming bilingual.
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