Searching for summer jobs abroad? From working in a bar or teaching English, this article will give you some ideas for working overseas during the summer months.
You don't have to save for years to be able to travel. Although many travellers work for a long period of time to save up for a trip before taking months off to experience the world, this doesn’t have to be the only option available.
Working abroad, especially just for the summer, gives you the option to work and travel in your free time. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in a hotel in the Channel Islands, as a cocktail waitress on a cruise ship, in a ski resort in France, taught English in Nepal, and I’ve even been interviewed for a flight attendant position!
So what jobs can you do abroad? This article covers global work and travel jobs, including links to useful websites to help you choose the perfect work & travel experience.
Summer Jobs Abroad
1. Teach English
It’s a skill that we all have as native English speakers, and with so many people around the globe wanting to speak our language, English teaching jobs are in big demand. Salaries differ from country to country, but the most well-paid jobs are usually in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Dubai, which may require a CELTA certificate and experience in teaching.
If you’ve ever wanted to teach in South Korea or China, then a TEFL is your passport there. Contracts are usually for at least a year, and your employer generally pays for your flights to the country. It’s a great way of seeing the world and a rewarding career.
If you have a degree and can speak English fluently, then you can apply for a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Course (TEFL). Online courses for up to 160 hours are available and can act as the starter platform for your teaching career. In less than a month, you could be applying for teaching jobs abroad.
2. Au Pairing
If you enjoy babysitting, then you could consider au pairing abroad with a host family. Host families are looking for full-time, live-in childcare, so it’s a great chance to experience family life first-hand.
Au pair jobs are generally for a year, and you’re usually connected to other au pairs in the same area, so you have extra support if it’s your first time living away from home.
Au Pairing gives you the chance to live with a local family in your chosen country and become part of their lives. You live with a family and look after their child or children. You may be asked to perform basic duties, like cooking and cleaning. It’s a great way to brush up on your foreign language skills. Because you’re living with a family rent free while also being paid, you can save up and travel afterwards.
Au pairing is a great way to experience another culture, and you’re usually connected to other au pairs in the same area, so you have extra support if it’s your first time living away from home. Au pairing is popular in the USA and Europe.
If you’ve ever seen the film Cocktail, then you may fancy yourself as a bartender, especially on islands such as Ibiza. Bartending is a great way of socialising and parting at the same time, so it is one of the best jobs abroad for the summer.
You can work near the beach in the summer months and in ski resorts during the winter. Companies sometimes provide accommodation and food to cover some or all of your living costs.
If you don’t have any experience, then you can take a course to learn the skills. It doesn’t have to be in your own city either, as you can find bartending schools in places such as Barcelona or even Cyprus.
Once you’ve learnt the skills, you’ll be making cocktails all over the world. Unless you arrive early in the season and ask around, then it may be challenging to get bar work independently, so look on a bartending job site instead.
4. Ski Instructor
If you’re an adventurous GatG and enjoy skiing or snowboarding, then you could work overseas with a seasonal job on the slopes. You do need a good level of skill (intermediate usually) to apply. Courses can run for up to 12 weeks.
Once you have your Level 1 certificate, you can move on to your Level 2. Working in a ski resort is very sociable, and you also get to enjoy your favourite hobby. You could find yourself skiing or snowboarding in the Alps, New Zealand or Canada.
5. Dive Instructor
If you prefer water to the slopes, why not become a dive instructor? To become a PADI Instructor you have to have a minimum amount of logged dives. You then need to complete a PADI Instructor Development Course, which takes 14 days. But once you’re certified, then you could find yourself navigating the reefs in Australia, Egypt or the Philippines.
You can even do your course on an island, such as Koh Tao in Thailand, and enjoy the exotic lifestyle before you even qualify.
6. Yacht Crew
Working on a superyacht doesn’t just pay well; it tips well too. Attending to rich clientele is definitely going to help the savings account.
You don’t need any previous experience, as the most common roles are stewardesses or deckhands. A role as a stewardess involves housekeeping, laundry, and serving meals and drinks. Even though you may not need any experience in that role, you will probably need a seafarer certificate covering basic safety.
Although you have to pay out for the certificate, you’ll soon be making it back (and more). Where else can you get to sail around the Mediterranean and Caribbean and get paid for it?
7. Cruise Ship
If the thought of a small yacht makes you go green, then consider working on a cruise ship instead. There are various jobs on cruise ships, such as casino croupiers, nurses, photographers, bar stewards, waitresses, housekeepers, and singers and dancers for the entertainment crew, to name just a few.
Your work hours differ depending on the job you have. If you choose to work in a bar, the bar is generally always open, so you may find yourself with hours a day to yourself instead of a full day off.
The casino isn’t legally allowed to open while the ship’s docked, so you are guaranteed more time off in this department. Your accommodation is usually covered, as well as all your food, so anything that you earn is yours.
Contracts are usually for six months with two months off. Some cruise ships are better than others, which makes them harder to apply for.
It takes years of study to become one, and once you’re qualified, the other side of the world is calling. Australia is a fantastic place to work, with nurses earning much more than they can in England.
With nurses in high demand in the country, nursing abroad and working for an Australian healthcare provider is a rewarding experience and can offer excellent career opportunities for permanent or temporary work in the country.
My friend worked in Australia for a year and loved it. Plus, where else can you go for a surf before work?
9. Work in a Hotel
If you’ve ever considered hospitality work abroad but are unsure how to do it, if you currently work in the hospitality industry, look at transferring to a different hotel in a different country.
With most hotel chains being international, it opens up the possibility of being able to work in a different country and experience a different culture and way of life without sacrificing a salary.
Whether you are a chef, a receptionist, a wine waiter or a waitress, you can easily find work abroad, even as a chambermaid in the Alps.
10. Work in a Hostel
So you’re not going to get rich from doing this, but it can reduce your accommodation costs. As well as getting a bed for free, you usually get a meal or two thrown in too.
Working in a hostel is also very social, with the chance to meet travellers from all over the globe whether you help out in reception or find yourself guiding one of the evening bar crawls.
It will help your budget last longer, and you get to sleep somewhere for free.
11. Work Online
Are you a graphic designer, a software engineer, or do you have other skills which you could use online?
Working remotely gives you the opportunity to be able to live from anywhere (as long as you have good Wifi) and travel as you work. Getting work lined up before you travel will give you peace of mind before you go away. You can then plan your time and hours around your work.
Maybe your skills can be transferred to consulting and teaching others in your profession instead. Although these may only be on a contract basis, working remotely gives you the freedom to be able to travel and work when you choose.
12. Flight Attendant
This is not only a good way to travel, but it’s also a worthwhile career, and you can find yourself progressing through the airlines.
Due to the nature of the job, it can mean working long hours, especially if you’re on several short-haul flights at the beginning, but you can get flights for free as an employee. You may need a background in customer services to apply, as you are dealing with the public.
It isn’t just for the summer but rather a career path for a future of travelling and getting paid to see the world.
Conclusion on the best summer jobs abroad
Whether you want to experience life abroad for a year or a lifetime, working abroad can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
It may not be for everyone and may make you appreciate life in your home country instead, but whatever your reasons are for going, it will open up possibilities and could lead to opportunities that you may not have had otherwise.
My experiences of living abroad have totally enriched my life and helped me gain a bigger picture of the world and how other people live.
Why stay at home when you could be off on the adventure of a lifetime, earning money abroad and travelling the world?
Work Abroad Programs
If you're thinking of working abroad, Global Work & Travel helps you to organise working abroad placements around the world. Choose from a working holiday, summer camp, internship, volunteering or tutoring and teaching abroad. Their work and travel programs include all the support you need for a life-changing adventure.