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Great Overseas Jobs for Women who Travel

Looking for overseas jobs may not have been part of your plan - but knowing how to find one could be a lifesaver when you're on the road.

You may find that making money to travel more and further is a better alternative than turning back because you've overspent.

To pay for my travels I've taught English in Brazil, been a union interpreter in Algeria, written freelance articles from Cuba, managed an office in Italy, worked as a Unicef consultant in Laos, developed this website (read this if you want to build your own site) and done many odd jobs over the years.

There are thousands of kinds of overseas jobs, and many of them are accessible to women on the road...

Have you ever had a memorable job overseas? Please share it with the rest of us!

Teaching English abroad

One of the most popular overseas jobs is teaching English abroad. It's a decent money earner, and not as difficult to break into as many other types of job.

Some positions require a teaching qualification, but a few do not. Until relatively recently, demand was so high that many organizations would snap you up just for being English mother tongue.

That is changing fast. Today, an overseas job teaching English will often require some sort of qualification or certification as the number of English teachers grows and the profession becomes increasingly popular.

Often, but not always. Hired teachers have a last-minute change of plans, and being in the right place at the right time can make all the difference. Substitute work may be available, and private tutoring requires no qualification at all - other than speaking the language and being able to teach it.

Demand is highest in Asia but there are plenty of opportunities for teaching English abroad in other parts of the world. If you've always wanted to teach - and travel - this may be your chance to do both.

Overseas jobs with non-profit organizations

refugee childHope for a better future
Photo UNICEF Iran

International organizations, including the United Nations and some of its agencies as well as charities like Oxfam and Save the Children sometimes have short-term work abroad for consultants in developing countries.

Non-profit jobs overseas with international organizations are usually long term and involve a lengthy, drawn-out recruitment process. There is a loophole: if the position is short-term, say a few weeks or months, field offices can often simply hire people locally on a freelance or temporary basis.

Development or humanitarian not-for-profit jobs require special skills - there is very little work abroad for unskilled workers and what there is goes to local citizens - as it should. But if you have good qualifications in an area of work needed by international groups, you might be able to pick up non-profit jobs as a short-term consultancy, especially if you've planned it in advance.

Casual and seasonal jobs overseas

cherry pickingThere's always cherry picking...
Susan Fitzgerald via Flickr CC

What if you don't speak a foreign language, you can't type, and the thought of teaching sends shivers down your spine?

Working on a farm is a good option. There's always the 'odd job' - the pulling, picking, plucking or hauling trades you can exercise in season, when manual labor is hard to find - at least in North America, Europe and Australia.

There is also seasonal work abroad to be found in the hospitality industry - for example in ski resort jobs, serving in cafés, working in a bar, being a club DJ...

Here's one you may not have thought of at all... but what about employment on cruise ships - get paid to travel, as their recruitment posters say! Or sail the seas as crew by landing one of the many yacht jobs available for suitable staff on smaller boats that ply well-traveled routes, usually to the Caribbean or across the Atlantic.

If you love kids and aren't afrait of a bit of housework, au pair positions can help you move overseas and immerse yourself in a foreign culture by becoming part of a local family.

Web-based freelance overseas jobs

The beauty of the web is that it allows you to telecommute - full-time while you're home, and part-time when you're on the road. There are literally hundreds of web-based jobs you can take on - all from the cozyness of an Internet café.

Plenty of jobs fall into this category, and this is just a sampling:

  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Web research
  • Web design
  • Virtual assistant
  • Graphics
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Translation
  • Writing resumes...

These 'stay-at-home' jobs can be done from anywhere, and dozens of websites survive simply by putting job-seekers in touch with freelance projects. You've probably all heard of Tim Ferriss's Four-Hour Work Week, or read articles about the new nomads, people who work away from home. It's a major trend, so why not capitalize on it?

Overseas jobs writing about travel

Travel writing is one of the best overseas jobs and my personal favorite. Believe it or not, it's well within your reach. Be warned: it's not easy money. To make top dollar, you have to be a top writer but today's top writers started at the bottom too. And even if you're not making top dollar, medium dollar isn't bad either.

The joys of seeing your name in print and your first paycheck are hard to beat. If your goal is to make enough to stay on the road, becoming a travel writer is definitely an option you should explore.

You could also break into travel photography. Payment varies wildly and the same photo could sell for $1 or $1000. But you'll have an advantage - you'll already be on the road, so no big out-of-pocket expenses to get that shot.

Louvre at nightTravel photography - also an alternative
Jeroen Berndsen via Flickr CC

Your best bet?

Becoming both a travel writer and travel photographer!

Professional Jobs

There are plenty of professional jobs overseas if you're qualified for them. The medical field is rife with jobs. If you have nursing qualifications, for example, you'll have no trouble finding a job in international travel nursing. There are plenty of medical jobs, accounting jobs, and other jobs listed in the major job forums for each profession. Maybe you've never thought of exporting your job - you could think about it now if what you want is to travel overseas.

Building a website

Building a website is much easier than you think and if you're looking for an overseas job, this is one you can take anywhere.

You might have to get started before you leave - but once your site is up, running and making some money, you can make it tick over by putting in just a few hours each week.

This website - Women on the Road - is a website designed to earn me a modest income wherever I go, as long as I have access to an Internet café.

I'm still relatively new at this, but thousands of others have been making a decent living building websites like this one about things they love or for which they feel passion. I've never built a website before and this is my first - but I had my homepage up within a few days. If I can do it, anyone can.

Have you ever worked outside your own country?

We'd love to hear about it if you have! What did you do? Where did you work and where are you from? How did it change you? How did you find it?

Please tell us about your job overseas and what kind of experience it was for you: was it easy? Challenging? How? Would you do it again? If you have thoughts about any of these questions, we'd love to hear them!

What kind of job did you have?

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

My Overseas Job: Teaching English in South Korea for 8 years  
I had always wanted to live overseas, and after graduate school teaching abroad was the next step. So, I decided for no particular reason to live in …

A Musician By Night 
I worked as a musician. I played 'living room' concerts, usually pre-dinner party and post, for my hosts in Germany. Small affairs really. I did not bring …

An unexpected cook 
I qualified as a registered nurse in Guyana in 1989 and decided to go to the Caribbean for a year. I landed in Barbados but did not have the licence to …

Au Pair in Switzerland 
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 …

My Overseas Job as an Ultrasound Technologist 
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 …

Teaching in South Korea - and elsewhere 
I was teaching in the States and feeling a little bored which led me to look into other opportunities. As I was searching the web, I came across an advertisement …

Cruise Ship Lackey 
On my 21st birthday I joined the MS Maasdam as a youth counselor during summer break from University. I spent the next six weeks running youth activities …

The Professional Storyteller 
I wrote to several international schools once I knew I was going to be in the Netherlands for a few weeks and explained I'd be in the area and a storytelling …

Flower Arranging in Saumur 
I had left University at the end of June and decided to go traveling for a few months in Europe before starting a serious job search in the Fall. I spent …

Grape Picking in France 
I can thoroughly recommend my experience picking grapes in France. This was something I did one year in my late teens on a break from university. I wanted …

Milkmaid in Ireland 
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 …

Thesis Proofreader 
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 …

An Asian Working Overseas: Teaching, Training and Mentoring 
Walking through London streets and browsing the classifieds and internet for school teaching jobs was an experience worth remembering for an Indian school …

Tank Caddy for Scuba Divers 
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, …

Telemarketing in Australia 
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 …

Barmaid in England 
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 …

Maternity Ward Assistant 
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 …

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