Money and Finances

Working Overseas: Is it possible?

Of course it’s possible! Whether you’re considering a round-the-world trip, a year-long stay in one particular country, dreaming of setting up an international current account or just a few months of hard grafting between intervals of travelling, there is always a means to an end. In truth, there are a number of ways to kick-start a working life overseas, though you will almost always need to apply for a Visa to work in your country of choice first.


The most popular destination for working holidays, by far, is Australia. Well, for us Brits and Irish that is. Interestingly, it tends to be the other way round for Aussies, though why they would choose to leave behind a world of constant sunshine, white-sand beaches and an unending supply of their prized ‘vegemite’, for another filled with gloomy skies, overcrowded cities and truly terrible cuisine, is beyond me.

Either way, you can stay for up to two years before you are given the boot. And what’s more, finding work (and well-paid work it must be said) is as easy as pie, providing you’re content to spend hours on end either picking fruit in a remote field or pushing pedal stools in a factory somewhere near Perth.

Obviously, a Visa won’t be necessary if you are an EU citizen and only intend to work within the parameters of the world’s largest members-only club. You will, however, probably have to procure a social security number and/or a tax identification number. Without something like this, legitimate work will be impossible to come by. Another bonus is that you can stay for as long as you want.

Elsewhere, those seeking long-term employment abroad often begin by plunging into the world of TEFL. This is a fantastic way of getting acquainted with a new country and if you’re eager to learn a new language, then teaching your own language whilst learning the native tongue simultaneously goes a long way. I’ve been doing just this in Andalucía, Spain for little over two years now, and I’m just about fluent.

It is, unsurprisingly, a lot more difficult to find work in the U.S. (and consequently as difficult for Americans to work outside of their homeland), due to the highly strict regulations placed on the issuing of Visas in the so-called ‘Land of Opportunity’. However, with a little effort and well-directed gusto, some foreign coinage can be pocketed here too. BUNAC are a fantastic agency who, for a moderate price, arrange Visas for all of North America on your behalf and will also notify you of any employers looking to hire people on their gap-years. I can personally vouch for this experience after my rip-roaring year in Banff, Canada. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

In short, you are highly likely to find work in just about any country, no matter where your path takes you, and with the easiness of international money transfers these days, the world is your oyster. The opportunities are endless; bars; resaturants; ski resorts; teaching English; farming and so on. So don’t hesitate! Go grab yourself an experience of a lifetime.



WRITER: Josh Taylor

A generation 'y'er from Ireland, living his dreams and convincing you to do the same. Traveling through more than 90 countries around the world and showing no signs of slowing down