Living and Working Abroad After College

Living and working abroad after college is an option that many people find appealing. Check out these job opportunities if you're interested in working internationally!

Interactive Marketing Coordinator, Carnegie Communications

Originally Posted: Aug 9, 2012
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2017

Living and working abroad after college is an option that many people find appealing. Maybe you’ve never been abroad before, or perhaps studying or traveling overseas in the past has made you want to go back for more. No matter what the situation, there are many job opportunities for new grads interested in going international.

Au pair

One great option is to be an au pair in a foreign country. In this position, you typically take care of the family’s children and also may be required to do some housework. Being an au pair is a great opportunity because you live with the host family while in that country, allowing you to become immersed in the culture and learn the language and customs. You’ll become a part of the family while you are there, eating with them and taking part in activities. In this position, you’ll be given some monetary compensation for your work, as well as receiving a living space and meals for free. 


Another great option is to become a teacher abroad. After graduation, one of my friends moved back to Spain (we’d both studied there in college) to be an English teacher in their schools for a year. There are many choices available depending on your level of comfort and familiarity with the country.

For example, there are multiple programs for teaching in Spain available through CIEE (the agency through which I did my study abroad program in Spain). “Teach in Spain” is a program option for people who have not spent a lot of time, if any, in Spain. There is an orientation and plenty of assistance in this program to make your stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible. In this particular program, it is on you to find your own housing, but you can meet other people who will be working in Spain and get an apartment with them.

Although I’ve focused on Spain here, there are options available in all foreign countries, including places like China, Italy, or France.

Grad school

Are you thinking about going to grad school, but are still interested in doing something overseas? There are thousands of schools in Europe, Asia, and many other areas that have accredited programs for graduate students. Additionally, there are some colleges in the United States that have study abroad opportunities for graduate students.

Think temporary

Not everyone can handle something long-term! Look into internships or temporary jobs (more commonly known as "temp" jobs) abroad so you can work short term while experiencing another country. You could also look into volunteer opportunities that help those in need and gain some life-changing experience. There might even be some local jobs that enable employees to travel the globe, so be sure to exhaust all your resources when on the career search!

A more permanent position

The aforementioned positions are brief opportunities that typically last a year or two. However, there are also plenty of opportunities abroad that are more permanent. If living abroad is something that appeals to you, don’t be afraid to talk to your college counselor about job opportunities in foreign countries and how to aptly prepare for such opportunities while you're still in college. 

Living overseas after college can be a very rewarding experience--if you've spent or plan to spend time abroad, let us know in the comments. Bon voyage!

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About Kristen Fackler

Kristen Fackler

Kristen is a May 2011 graduate of Elon University, with a bachelor of science in English and Spanish. While at Elon, Kristen had the opportunity to complete a lot of writing and editing, two areas she has always been passionate about. At the Writing Center, she worked as a consultant with peers and community members to improve their writing skills. She also worked as an editor of Visions, an environmental magazine published by Elon faculty and students. While in college, Kristen was able to spend a semester in Seville, Spain. During the time she was there, Kristen was able to keep a blog in Spanish. She also was published in más+menos* magazine, a bilingual magazine completed by students and faculty members of CIEE Study Center. Kristen has also written for Examiner and is currently writing for Suite101. She enjoys writing as much as possible.

You can circle Kristen on Google+, follow her on Twitter, or subscribe to her CollegeXpress blog.


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