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Ways to Live Abroad


You can teach English abroad.

The process of moving abroad might seem overwhelming, but there are quite a few options for future ex-pats. Some countries host more opportunities than others for living and working abroad. The good news for many Americans impacted by the recession is that small businesses and entrepreneurships are blossoming. If you’re able to manage your business remotely, you’re already ahead of the curve.

There are numerous employers that allow employees to work from home. However, it’s easiest to secure freelancing positions. The downside is that there’s relatively little stability freelancing, whether you’re a writer, transcriptionist, or help virtual customers buy e cigarettes online. Ex-pats living in countries with low costs of living can, however, make it work.

A Popular Option

Teaching English abroad is one of the most common ways Americans with a bachelor’s degree in any field find work and visa sponsorship. Some employers require TESOL certification while others require only a degree. South Korea is well-known for providing adequate salaries, housing included, and not requiring TESOL-certification at many employers. China is also a possibility, but the salary range is much lower.

The most lucrative countries for English teachers are in the Middle East. However, most of these employers prefer a Ph.D. in a related field, many years of experience, and of course TESOL-certification. Some ex-pats test the waters by pursuing TESOL certification with a guaranteed job in the country they’re interested in living in. Thailand and Taiwan are especially popular options.

Managing the Visa Requirements

If you can run your own business remotely or make a livable income freelancing, you have your choice of many countries. Visa requirements vary by country, but there’s a good chance you’ll start out on a holiday or tourist visa, which are often valid for 90 days. However, many countries in Central America, including Costa Rica, only require a person to leave the country for 72 hours before being allowed to re-enter on a new holiday visa.

This is perfectly legal if you’re working remotely for a US-based company, but many countries have very difficult, expensive, and lengthy visa programs. It’s also critical to research the cost of living, including average apartment rents, when selecting a “new” country. Remember that your language abilities will also play an important role.

Back to School

A simple way to live abroad is to go back to school. Maybe you’re interested in pursuing an advanced degree or a second undergraduate degree. The US Department of Education’s FAFSA is approved for a number of foreign institutions. This makes getting financial aid relatively simple.

However, only return to school in a foreign country if it’s something you’re truly interested in. International student tuition is often similar to universities in the US. But it’s an exceptional experience, particularly if you’re interested in studying the language, culture, or history of the country.

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