Au Pair in Switzerland

by Katrina Whiteman
(Seattle WA)

I lived in gorgeous Switzerland for two years as an au pair. I bought a one way ticket to Europe, a place I had never been before... I was scared yet anxious to discover the world. I was with the first family for a couple months before I realized they thought I was cinderella. Instead of being discouraged and returning home I decided to search for another au pair job in the same area.

I found another family who actually hired me and I stayed with them for a year and a half. I had the most amazing experiences! The best two years of my life for sure. Obviously traveling and living abroad has its drawbacks and there were many nights of feeling lonely and missing my loved ones, however now that I am back in the States I am ready to get out and discover more of this fascinating world!!

Keep Dreaming, Keep Exploring!!!

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My Job as an Ultrasound Technologist

by Brenda
(Florida USA)

In the mid 90s I signed a two year contract to work in Saudi Arabia. After a two day orientation we were on our way. We were a small group of 12. After a rather lengthy flight we landed and Riyadh has one of the most beautiful airports I've ever seen as long as you look past the machine gun toting guards. Huge fountains everywhere. It turns out the Arab people have a fondness for water fountains.

The job was much like one you might have in America but you hear a great many more accents and you work with staff from all over the world. The patients were warm and compliant and very polite.

The cultural change was profound, and for the first two weeks it felt as though I might be on a large movie set, but no one ever called cut! The shopping is fantastic if you like oriental rugs and good jewelry. The people were curious and generally uninformed as to what life was like outside their country. Shopping in Saudi requires careful planning if you wish to avoid prayer times because all the malls, stores and restaurants close for the half hour prayers which happen thru out the day. Restaurants are plentiful and your choices are varied and I never had a bad meal. The local sandwich was a Shwarma, a wrap with chicken or lamb and french fries all in one.

It was wonderful to experience another culture and still have an American embassy to keep your memories of home alive. I made friends from all over the world and will never forget them or the amazing sunsets!

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Barmaid in England

by Alison
(San Jose CA, USA)

After my high school graduation I decided to travel Western Europe for a summer before returning to start college. I toured France, Germany and Switzerland and then headed over to Scotland and England as my final stop to visit some family members I did not know well.

My first few nights in England my cousins took me out to the local pub often and I met a very handsome young man. I made up my mind to delay college and stay a little longer. I approached the owner of the pub and explained how in love with England I was and that I would love to stay a little longer. Is there anything I could do at the pub?

He took a chance on me and I unofficially became one of the staff. I was not officially employed, but I did receive a free meal and drink when I helped out. I cleaned tables, served food and hosted trivia and Karaoke nights. I was able to keep any tips I received.

Since I was dependent on tips for spending money, I went out of my way to be interesting, funny and entertaining. I'd like to think that my hosting of the trivia and Karaoke nights helped to increase the number of customers that came into the pub to spend money.

This was such a great experience and I was very lucky. I made many friends and contacts that I still keep in touch with today. One of them is sending her son to visit me in California next summer!

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Thesis Proofreader

by Maegan
(Fort Hood, Texas, USA)

When I was living in Switzerland to attend a semester abroad, I got a job as a proofreader for a woman writing her thesis paper. English was not her native tongue, but her thesis required it. It didn't pay too much, but it was enough to be a good reference towards getting other jobs later on.

University students often are in need of people to check their papers for correct English spelling and usage, though for Americans, it means you need to have a working knowledge of British English. Seekers usually post ads on boards in common areas of their school. If you're a grammatical perfectionist and knowledgeable in British English, all you need to do is contact the person.

After her thesis, she was so impressed with my work that for an extra bit of cash I proofread her husband's English translated website and the English version of her children's story book.

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Maternity Ward Assistant

by Dorcas
(Lagos, Nigeria)

I had travelled back home for visit and since I was running low on funds I decided to work with my sister-in-law's clinic. She is a nurse practitioner who has been working as a nurse for the past 27 years. She recently opened up her own clinic in Lagos, Nigeria and she started taking in patients who cannot afford a hospital.

I worked with her for approximately one month. It was a great experience. I got a chance to witness the birth of several children in her clinic. It was both scary and exciting because its the beginning of a little girl or boy's life that I was witnessing.

Some women would come by to get basic antibiotics to dry up open wounds on their children's body or for whooping cough that wouldn't go away. Or their husbands had negleted them and their children for no apparent reason. I was saddened by this.

My sister-in-law could not charge them a lot of money for the services she provided. If she did, she knew they wouldn't be able to afford it. Therefore I too told her to pay whatever she could, just enough for me to get by until my return to the U.S

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Tank Caddy for Scuba Divers

by Amy
(Colorado, USA)

I was out at a party late one night and a completely drunk dude asked if I would like to go to his job for him the next day. In the spirit of adventure, I accepted.

The next day I went down the dock and met up with the divemaster from a local diving shop. I jumped aboard a speedboat and got up to speed about the different mixes of oxygen the divers sometimes need.

Those things are heavy! I ended up working for a few weeks there before moving on.

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Milkmaid in Ireland

by Missy
(Seattle, Washington, USA)

I was backpacking in Ireland and I was running low on funds. I was going through a small town on the northern coast and stopped at the local pub. (A wonderful place to meet people I might add).

I heard a gentleman speaking with some friends about needing a farmhand so I walked over and said hello. I spend about 5 days there milking goats and shoveling the barn. In exchange I got some wonderful hospitality, good directions, and some fresh local goats cheese packed in a take along.

I think the funniest part was that he thought an american wouldn't know how to do farm work the old fashioned way. I was raised on a farm with about 12 goats and 5 cows. My chore was the milking when I was old enough to carry the bucket.

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Telemarketing in Australia

by Mattie
(USA)

During my junior year in college, I decided to participate in a study-abroad program in Melbourne, Australia. I got there in early July - middle of the winter for the Aussies - and promptly launched myself into a whirlwind social life.

At first, I was excited about the prices - one Australian dollar at the time was equal to about 0.6 US dollar. However, my supply of money dried out rather quickly (too many shopping trips and nights at the local pub), and at the beginning of October I found myself looking for a job.

First, I had to obtain a work permission from the Australian immigration services to complement my student visa. This took amazingly little time, and in a week or so I had no more excuses to procrastinate - the job search had to begin. Let me tell you, prospective employers do not sound excited when you tell them you are leaving the country in 3 months!

Finally, I managed to score a part-time job as telemarketer for an in-sink water filter company. The job consisted of hours of cold-calling and trying to convince grumpy victims to complete a 5-minute "survey." The manager suggested that we actually lie to people by telling them that we are a "non-profit" company!!!

Of course, the unlucky few who were not assertive enough to get off the phone fast and did complete the "survey" were then blessed with another phone call a couple days later. This time, my more experienced coworker would tell people that the water in their neighborhood is bad and that we can "help" them by sending out one of our technicians to discuss solutions.

In short, this experience has turned me away from ever seeking any kind of marketing position! The only upside of the job was the time spent joking around with my coworkers!

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First Aid Assistant in Canada

by Cintia Rojo
(Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil)

I'm a spanish/brazilian girl based in Sao Paulo. Living overseas had always been my dream. In 2012, I was dating a guy in Brazil when I got the chance to work in Canada. I'm a Hospital Administrator and decided to look for an agency in Brazil who was recruiting people to work in the summer. I did not hesitate to leave my boyfriend and give my career a break and that was the best decision ever!

I worked as First Aid Assistant, an administrative role, in a Camp Health Care Center. Basically, my job was to receive the campers/staff health forms, provide some basic first aid (in the first week, I got a certification OFA Level 1) and assist the first aid attendant.

Vancouver Island is amazingly beautiful and I met people from France, Ireland, US, Scotland, NZ, Australia, Colombia, Iran and South Korea. It was incredible listening to different accents (although funny! I still can barely understand an Irish guy!) and learning how to deal with different cultures in many (sometimes, awkward!) situations.

I have my favorite places in the world and Victoria is definitely the most beautiful city I've ever visited (just to let you know, my other favorites are Rome, Ohrid, Bali and Paraty).

I have no regrets in my decision and certainly I'd do it again and again...

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"Granny Nanny"

by Jackie
(Melbourne, Australia)

I worked as a live-in carer for elderly people in the UK on and off for a handful of years to fund my backpacking. Since those who can afford you are quite well off, I stayed in some lovely homes in quaint English villages and nice London suburbs. A great way to save money while having very few living costs, and a chance to rest up, and read all those books you've been meaning to read. Twice the pay and a tenth of the work compared to nannying young kids. Several agencies exist to connect you. May need working visa??? I'm Aussie but have British passport.

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