If you’re keen to travel the world and broaden your horizons, one way to fulfil your wanderlust is to work abroad.
Working abroad can be a great way to discover the real country behind the tourist attractions, while living and working with people abroad mean that you have a greater chance of becoming proficient, if not fluent, in a new language as part of the experience.
While it is always easier if you are fluent in the host country’s language, only speaking English shouldn’t stop you and there are plenty of jobs abroad for English speakers.
Jobs in English-speaking countries
The most obvious way to land an English-speaking role abroad is to work in a country where English is the first language. The USA, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and many African and Caribbean countries are all fantastic destinations where English is the first language. If you’re looking for jobs abroad for English speakers, this might be the first port of call.
The challenge is that many are desirable locations and you may only be able to get a visa if you have eligible skills. For example, engineers are in demand in Australia, while construction and infrastructure is a priority in New Zealand. In addition, Canada is a bilingual nation and proficiency in English and French will be part of the skills assessment.
How to get a job teaching English abroad
One way to get over the language barrier is to teach English abroad. There are numerous online and in-person courses to achieve Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.
The average time it takes to complete the course is about three months, but you do have some flexibility. You can progress faster through an online course or take an intensive course to complete the TEFL certificate quicker if you’re in a hurry. You’ll also have to allow time after you’re qualified to search for the right role and there are plenty of online sites advertising English teaching jobs abroad. If you’ve got your heart set on a certain country, you may want to move over and then apply and interview once you’re in country – this has some risk, but you may be able to make more of an impression in person than over Skype.
TEFL certification will help you work in a variety of countries, and while you may not need to be proficient in another language to teach, you will find that your own foreign language skills will improve dramatically with English teaching jobs abroad.
How to move abroad and get a job
There are many ways to achieve your goal if you want to move abroad and get a job. There are many opportunities where your language skills may be irrelevant. This may be more menial work such as fruit picking, but you may find that this is a great way to build your language skills while you earn a little money to move on. In the long term, you might be able to find more skilled roles thanks to your new proficiency.
However, it’s not simply a choice between moving to an English-speaking nation, teaching or accepting more menial work. There are plenty of roles across the world where speaking English won’t be a barrier. For example, tour guides across the world are often required to speak English to cater to the international audience, and so you could find yourself exploring a magical city like Paris for a living. Global industries such as pharmaceuticals, software or digital technology also welcome English-speaking staff in skilled and senior roles from communications to engineering and product development.