Work Abroad: 12 Jobs for Young Wanderers


By Young Money

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 such as 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 to 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 ninety “villages” in forty 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 GOs and Club Med is recruiting in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Newark this spring.

Travel Writer in Europe
If you’ve got writing skills and a passion for travel, you’ve got just about everything you need to become a travel writer (well, you’ll probably need a laptop too). Write articles and books, take pictures to supplement your stories and get them published wherever you can. Student Traveler has a travel writing internship in Europe this summer (blatant self promotion). Go to for details.

Furniture Mover in South Africa
Moving sucks as much overseas as it does in the United States, 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 and children and assist with teaching for two to twelve weeks. CCS operates in twelve 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 twenty minutes away, and the beach within 3 kms.” 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 check out the to IAPA for accredited au pair organizations.

Farmer in China
WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) 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.

Party Promoter 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 Dave's ESL Cafe to avoid the few shady operators who 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. 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.

—Written by Justin Jones and Eric Tiettmeyer of Student Traveler magazine.


For more great stories, check out DivineCaroline.

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