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Work Abroad This Summer

by Contributor

Have you ever wondered about working or studying abroad? This guest article shares some of the benefits college students may experience by working or studying abroad. This article is part of a series, The Summer of George – The Most Productive Summer a College Student Will Ever Have.

Work Abroad This Summer

Work and study abroad to save for collegeHave you always wanted to travel? Is money the only thing stopping you? Well I have the perfect solution for you- work abroad. I know most people would rather go backpacking through Europe or lay on the beach in Cancun drinking Corona’s all day but that’s an option for your post college life. As a college student chances are you want to travel all summer and somehow make money to pay for college. You can get a boring job flipping burgers, or you can make other teens jealous with they way you spent your summer earning money. How? By working abroad. Working overseas is an excellent opportunity for a college student to see the world while earning a decent enough income to cover tuition.

Is the concept of working abroad too good to be true? Actually not really but you must be willing to be away from home and your family/friends for a few months. If you are completely sold on the idea of leaving home to work abroad this summer then please consider the following before embarking on your journey.

Look into the payment details. Figure out how you will be paid and how you will pay your taxes. I hope you didn’t think that working abroad meant you didn’t have to pay taxes because we ALL have to pay taxes no matter what the location is. Ensure that your payments will come into your checking account and that the employer has a solid reputation with other college students that have worked there.

Make sure you have a place to stay. Backpacking may sound like fun but you need a place to sleep after a day of work/going out.

Ensure that the location is stable and safe. There are obviously risks associated with staying in a third world country but try to protect yourself by ensuring that you are staying in a safe area.

Find a travel buddy- or not. I personally feel safer when I travel with someone but there are others that absolutely love to travel alone.

Keep an open mind. This is arguably the most important aspect of your working abroad experience. You will not earn a fortune nor will you stay at a 5 star resort. This will be a once in a life time experience where you get to experience the culture of another country and you get to live & work with the local people.

This is a guest post from the blogger behind Studenomics a personal finance blog that offers common sense advice for college students and recent graduates. Studenomics is the ultimate resource for young people looking for advice on how to survive this current recession, grow their careers, manage their finances, and still be able to enjoy the weekends.

Photo credit: Peter E. Lee


Published or updated October 22, 2012.
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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad

I spent the second half of junior year in England and traveled quite a bit . . . a real eye opener. There is more to this world then the good old USA! Highly recommend it!

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2 Ryan

I second that, DDFD. I lived in the UK for 2 years while I was in the USAF. I also traveled to over 30 countries while I was in. I highly recommend getting out and seeing the world!

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3 Stephanie PTY

Definitely a good idea! I have a friend who taught English in Cambodia for a few semesters, not too long ago. You might think that you don’t have any skills that are useful in another country, but even just speaking English (or any other language) and being willing to teach are skills! Try to find someone at your college who has done it before, and ask them a lot of questions.

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4 Ryan

Stephanie: I have a couple friends who have taught English overseas as well. They all had wonderful experiences to share and not one of them would have traded their experience. :-)

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5 Craig

I studied abroad in Barcelona and recommend it or backpacking for everyone both with someone and by themselves. How would you go about getting a job? I know people could become a waiter, work at a hostel, but anything more traditional I have no clue how that would happen. Teaching English abroad usually is longer than the summer permits. When backpacking I recommend hostels and basically hostels.com was my favorite site.

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6 Ryan

Craig: There are websites where you can apply for work exchange programs or work visas. I haven’t gone through the process, but I have visited a site or two in the past. I would definitely watch out for scams and outrageous fees though – am sure there are some less than honest sites out there. Also, there are some English teaching opportunities out there that are only a couple weeks to a couple months long. Some of them don’t pay, but offer free room and board. It all depends on where you go.

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7 Craig

@Ryan Work exchange programs would be cool, don’t know any and of course sure there are plenty of scams. Or you could do what my friend did and work for an English based boiler room type company stationed in Barcelona after studying abroad. Although that’s a story for another time.

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8 studenomist

I spoke with a friend today who worked as a teacher in Korea for a year. As soon as he finished his degree program he went to Korea and lived there for a year. He said he wanted the experience and to get away for a bit. He told me he earned $2100 a month which is not bad considering they cover all of your other expenses.

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9 Curious Cat Investing Blog

I want to work abroad this summer but am not a student :( Actually I am too chicken (to leave my current job), but I really like the idea.

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10 MariaAbroad

I really like your post and I agree that working abroad for a summer is a great alternative. It is also something for your resume and can help you improve a foreign language. There are many Work and Travel programs out there, you just have to choose what you want to do. Picking fruit in Australia, cleaning rooms and toiletts for free accommodation, or trying to find a paid internship, there are options for everybody!

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11 Writer's Coin

The best time in my life was when I spent three months in Paris learning the language and seeing the sights. I trained my way to Rome and Barcelona while I was over there. The whole experience was just incredible. Do it while you can because once you get a job it gets a LOT tougher.

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12 Kristy @ Master Your Card

This is something I want to do at least once in my life. I plan to study abroad next summer. It’s a month trip to England where I’ll be doing some school work and then some visiting. But, I would love to teach English in a foreign country – preferably Japan, I’d love to take the opportunity to learn the language in return. There are some good programs that will allow you to do that, but I would have to simplify my life in order to do it. The time will come where I am able to do so, but for now it’s on the ‘bucket list.’

Excellent post!

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