9 Work Abroad Programs for Digital Nomads and Expats Alike

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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger

If working remotely from a hammock on some sun-drenched beach in Mexico or teaching English in a renowned foodie city like Tokyo, Japan or conducting research on the pyramids in Egypt or au pairing for a family with adorable children in the south of France sound at all appealing, you're probably wondering how you can make these dream jobs a reality.

You might be asking yourself, how can I start working abroad? That's why we've rounded up nine programs that will allow you to work while traveling — either working for a specific company or organization overseas or doing remote work that allows you to travel with these professional programs.

How do I get a job in a different country?

Here are nine work and travel programs that'll make all of your seemingly lofty goals of earning a paycheck while seeing the world come true.

1. Work on an organic farm via WWOOF.

WWOOF is actually a network of organizations all around the world that have local knowledge of and up-to-date information on volunteering opportunities in their respective countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania. All of these volunteering opportunities are to live and work on organic farms and smallholdings with people who want to share their lifestyles, teach new skills and welcome volunteer help.
While you don't get paid WWOOFing, hosts will provide you food, accommodation and opportunities to leanr about organic and biological growing and farming. You'll gain skills in sustainable ways of living, while getting to check out a new destination.

2. Teach English as foreign language (with a TEFL certification).

You might be asking yourself, "Can I work abroad without a degree?" And the answer, in many cases, is yes. This is especially true if you decide to go get your TEFL certification, which qualifies you to teach English as a foreign language all around the world. While many schools will still want you to have a degree, some may hire you with just a TEFL certification alone. After all, no previous teaching experience is necessary to get TEFL certified; the only requirement is a fluent level of English.
So what is the TEFL program? It's a 120-hour course that many overseas schools use to determine whether or not teaching candidates qualify for their openings. Since 2008, the TEFL program has trained over 120,000 English teachers, many of whom the program has helped to place in positions around the world.

3. Find a gig abroad with Greenheart Travel.

Greenheart Travel is an organization that boasts a number of sub-programs around the world for teens, adults and groups. For example, those between 18 and 30 years old can embark on the New Zealand adventure, where they can spend up to a year working and traveling around the country. That's because Greenheart Travel will offer them assistance in finding work in bars, restaurants, hostels, farms and other short-term jobs.
While the programs do cost money to join, you get a lot of bang for your buck and, ideally, you'll be earning money once you arrive in the country. For example, the New Zealand program includes:
  • Welcome week full of activities and excursions upon arrival in Auckland
  • 6 months of international medical insurance
  • Airport pickup and transfer to hostel
  • 6 nights’ hostel accommodation (shared room) and breakfasts
  • Group arrival orientation
  • One-on-one job assistance service, support and advice
  • Bank account set up prior to arrival
  • Resources and support for finding permanent housing
  • Cellphone setup
  • New Zealand SIM card
  • Organized social events and activities
  • International Youth Travel Card (IYTC)
  • Greenheart Atlas Program
  • Greenheart Club Membership

4. Work remotely while traveling with WiFi Tribe.

What do you need to work overseas with WiFi Tribe? A remote job (or a boss who'll let you go remote for at least a month) and good vibes. I've been traveling with WiFi Tribe for one year, and you can read about my experience with the organization here.

WiFi Tribe touts itself as a “subscription to a new way of living.” Not everyone is accepted into the WiFi Tribe program, because the company makes an effort to keep the culture strong. That's why you’ll be tasked with a three-part application process to ensure that the Tribe is your vibe: a written application, a Skype interview and a personality test. If you’re accepted into the program, you can sign yourself up for a “live-around-the-world-membership.” You choose how many “chapters” (months) in which you want to enroll.

Each new “chapter” takes places in three or four different countries — and you can join wherever you want and whenever you want. Some members stay with the Tribe for several consecutive chapters, while others pick and choose chapters across the year. This means that you’ll find familiar faces and meet new people each time.
There’s a one-time join fee, and you only pay the monthly fee (which varies based on your choice of a shared or private room and the number of chapters for which you sign up) when you’re traveling with the Tribe. You’re essentially paying for your accommodation, reliable internet (and backups) and a network of professionals with whom to cowork, as well as discounted coworking spaces (in addition to the work-conducive common areas of each accommodation) and other emerging partners. WiFi Tribe does not cover the costs of transportation, but the flexibility to travel freely with the program is what makes it unique.

5. Work remotely while traveling Remote Year.

Remote Year is another program that'll allow you to travel overseas with a group of other remote-working professionals. What's different about Remote Year, however, is that your travel is totally planned for you. Simply, join a program with your current employment situation and follow Remote Year's itinerary with a group of like-minded participants from a variety of different backgrounds for a year, six months or 4 months.
Programs include 12 months around the world; six months Latin America, Europe and Africa, four months around Latin America; four months around Europe and Africa; and four months around Asia Pacific.
For some people (especially beginner travelers), the appeal of Remote Year is that everything is already planned out for you — from your flights to your lodging to your coworking office. For others who want flexibility and independence, however, it is a big commitment to follow a program's entire itinerary for such a prolonged period of time. 

6. Work remotely with Work Wanderers.

Again, Work Wanderers is another program that'll allow you to take your current remote work situation and travel with other like-minded professionals. The company invites you to join its community and "enjoy hassle-free travel on [its] coworking/coliving retreats for remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs."
You'll need a job that's already remote (like a freelancing gig, your own business or a job with a remote company) or a boss who'll let you travel remotely for a period of time in order to join the program.
Retreats range from two weeks to two months, and all of the following is included:
  • Private bedroom in a vila
  • Co-working space access
  • Masterclasses & Skillshares
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Group excursions
  • Calendar of events
  • Welcome dinner
  • Airport pickup
  • Local SIM

7. Au Pair with InterExchange.

InterExchange offers various opportunities for people looking to travel and work overseas, from teaching jobs to working in conservation to au pairing. 
"We create exchange opportunities both for international students and young professionals to experience the United States, and for young Americans to travel the world beyond our shores," according to the company site. "We are a proud partner of the U.S. Department of State in administering five J-1 visa Exchange Visitor Programs (Au Pair, Camp Counselor, Intern, Summer Work Travel and Trainee)."
The organization boasts 315,000 alumni worldwide, 95 percent of whom report having experienced personal fulfillment, 85 percent of whom who've rated their experience and eight or above out of 10, and 91 percent of whom would recommend the organization.
The company has over 25 years of experience as an au pair agency, matching caretakers with families all around the world — in the United States, Australia, France, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Spain.

8. Conduct research overseas through the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Fulbright is one of the best-known work abroad programs in the United States, offering students, graduates, working professionals and artists grants to travel overseas and work on projects, conducting research and promoting positive relations between the United States and other countries. 
The Fulbright Specialist Program, in particular, is part of the larger Fulbright Program. It was established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in order to pair highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to "share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions."
If accepted as a specialist, you'd receive:
Benefits include:
  • Round-trip, economy class airfare between the U.S. and your host country
  • A transit allowance
  • All applicable visa fees
  • Daily honorarium
  • Enrollment in a limited health benefits program
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • In-country transportation

9. Intern abroad with IES Abroad.

IES Abroad offers internships across multiple industries all over the world. While you have to pay for the internship, there is financial aid and there are scholarships that may be available to you to make this program more affordable. The price includes tuition and your homestay accommodation.
While you might end up spending more than you may (or may not) earn as an intern, the experience of interning overseas is invaluable.
Each internship usually lasts about one semester, though you can choose from a whole host of internship opportunities.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.