Going on holiday is a great way to experience different countries and cultures.  However, for some people traveling abroad for two weeks a year just isn’t enough.  Sure you can study in another country for a semester or two, but some people need more.  A great way to experience other countries more fully is to try working abroad.  This may seem scary at first, but by making sure that you are well prepared you can ensure you have the best possible experience.  Thinking about these things when planning your stay working abroad can make a huge difference.

Working Abroad – Visas

One of the first things to research when thinking about working abroad is what kind of work visa you’ll need.  You’ll also want to know how to apply for it and how long the application process takes.  This will help you avoid being caught out with a job due to start but no work visa.  The application process differs depending on your destination so make sure you apply for the right one!  Generally, you also need to get a job and possibly a place to stay first.  So, make sure you do things in the right order too, so you don’t waste time.  Finally, confirm what the regulations of your work visa are; if you don’t fulfil certain conditions while abroad, your visa may require you to return to your home country.


The most obvious thing to think about when considering taking a job abroad is the salary.  If you’re used to a certain lifestyle and wish to replicate that in your new country, you need to make sure your new salary can support that.  You’ll also want to confirm whether you’ll need to pay taxes and factor that in as well.  For example, if you’re from the US you may pay taxes to the government of the country you move to, but you still need to file them with the IRS to show what you’ve paid.

Additionally, before you even leave it’s a good idea to have some money saved up.  This way if you arrive before finding a job you can support yourself.  It’s recommended to save at least two months’ worth of living costs, just in case your wages don’t come though immediately, but you’re still expected to pay rent and utilities.  It’s also good to have a separate emergency fund just in case something sudden comes up while you’re working abroad, and you need to return home or pay for something your budget doesn’t account for.

Bank Accounts

Speaking of money, setting up a bank account abroad can be a complicated and lengthy process if you’re unprepared.  It’s a good idea to research how to do this before you start working abroad to make things easier on you.  Another tip is to think about and research everyday banking, so you’ll be aware of any issues or differences.  For example, how long it takes to transfer money, whether the bank charges any fees for service or late payments, whether it has online banking, etc.

working abroad


Obviously you want to be safe anywhere you travel, even if you’re only staying for a short time.  Before you even think about going anywhere it’s advisable to check on the country’s situation and look out for any travel warnings.  Depending on the political situation, for example, it could be dangerous to go to the country at the time you are planning.  You’ll also want to educate yourself on the scams that are prevalent in the country.  Tourists are constantly taken advantage of no matter the country, so a little research into the most popular tourist scams can be a huge help.

Getting yourself vaccinated is also important.  Some countries require you to get shots for certain illnesses before you can travel places, so visit your GP before you go. The final and most important thing to get before you start working abroad is travel insurance.  Accidents can happen anywhere, and you want to make sure you’re covered.  Some insurance plans can also cover you if your luggage is lost or your flight is cancelled.

Lower The Language Barrier

Now, I’m not saying that you have to become fluent.  However, when going to another country for an extended period of time it’s helpful to learn some conversational phrases.  This will help you avoid wasting time and help build relationships socially and with the people you’re working with.

Work Culture

Something people don’t always consider when thinking of working abroad is the difference in culture.  Different countries have different attitudes to work and work-life balance, which can be a shock to people who aren’t used to them.  For example, the length of your average working day may be different.  The amount of paid holiday varies from country to country too.  It can be a good idea to look into the work norms beforehand or ask some of your colleagues.  This way you aren’t too surprised when things are different from what you are used to.

Working abroad is a great experience to have.  It’s even better when you manage to avoid stress and can just embrace your new life without any worries.


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