How common is it to work as a college student? According to the US Department of Commerce, 43% of full-time undergraduates worked while enrolled in school during 2018. But if you don’t want to work while attending classes, having a summer job could be a great alternative. These jobs don’t typically interfere with your school schedule, and many of them offer different travel opportunities. If you want a summer job and like to travel, here are some employment options to keep in mind.
1. Au pair
Do you like kids? If so, you might find a position as an au pair appealing. Au pairs are typically live-in caretakers who are assigned to a family abroad to help care for their children. In exchange, they often receive free lodging and meals as well as free days and pocket money. Au pair opportunities can be found through sites like AuPair.com.
2. English teacher
Wondering what to do as an English major? Teach English! You don’t actually have to be an English major to teach English, but it doesn’t hurt. There are loads of opportunities to teach English worldwide, including in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. Teaching English is also a great way to connect with people from other cultures. For helpful resources, check out TEFL.org.
3. Cruise ship staff
Cruise ships are like small, floating cities that travel from port to port, and they require plenty of workers to keep everything running smoothly. If you’re interested in seeing different parts of the world and having a unique experience, the cruise life might make sense for you. Find positions on job boards such as All Cruise Jobs, or visit specific cruise line sites, including Carnival and Disney Cruise Line.
4. Government paid internships
Not every summer job involving travel has to take you outside the country. Potential opportunities could include working with the National Parks Service, Department of Commerce, and more. You might even be able to turn your internship into a job if it’s something you want to pursue after graduation. If you’re interested in a paid internship with one of the many branches of the US government, search for positions on USAJobs.gov.
5. Camp counselor
Camps are often an opportunity for kids of all ages to learn skills, make new friends, and have loads of fun during summer vacation. But these camps don’t function on their own—you need a small army of employees to manage activities, teach classes, and prepare meals. For help finding summer camp jobs, check out the American Camp Association.
6. Alarm technician
Not many summer jobs offer opportunities to make tens of thousands of dollars in just three to four months, but companies such as Vivint employ hundreds of students every summer for door-to-door sales where you can make this and more. Positions are often available in different areas of the country, including cities such as New York, Dallas, and Las Vegas. If you want to avoid knocking on doors, consider being an installation technician instead. You’ll likely have long days and hours (you might be on call six days a week), but you’ll have the opportunity to explore a new city and make some cash.
Tips for handling your money while traveling
Traveling can bring up different financial situations and worries you may not be used to. If you plan to take a summer job that involves traveling, consider these tips to be financially prepared:
- Use travel credit cards. Does your credit card work in other countries? Do you have to pay a fee to make foreign purchases? The best travel credit cards typically come with no foreign transaction fees, and many of them will function in most countries worldwide.
- Have a debit card with no international ATM fees. Does your bank have fees for making withdrawals in foreign locations? Choose a bank with no international ATM fees to help reduce your potential costs while traveling.
- Use online banks. It’s possible your bank might not have in-person branches in another country or state, but an online bank can typically help you manage your money from anywhere.
- Save up money with a side hustle. Costs for food, lodging, activities, utilities, transportation, and more need to be considered for a travel-related summer job. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make extra money during the school year so you can pad your bank account before you travel.
- Research job opportunities. Not every summer job will offer the same pay, experience, or included perks. If you want to find a job that suits you, take advantage of all the job search resources out there. Internet job boards are your friend, but also consider directly reaching out to companies you’re interested in.
Working while you’re in school is common, but not all jobs have to be done while you’re taking classes. Certain summer jobs offer opportunities to make money and get some travel in at the same time. If you’re considering a summer job that requires a temporary relocation, remember to get your finances in order beforehand.
Check out the tag “finances” for a lot more advice on managing your financial status as a student in any situation.