Stepping out of your comfort zone has always been this insanely terrifying thought that keeps you up late at night.

Your mind’s in this constant battle between stepping out and growing, of discovering new things the world can offer, and staying right where you are where the possibilities have already been considered.

But sometimes growth doesn’t happen when you stay right where you are.

Although growth and self-discovery can be a personal reason for someone to step out and take the challenge of living independently in a place or country that he’s never been in, it’s not always just that.

Family and financial stability is a more common factor as to why someone chooses to step out, but these are for people who aren’t starting out their career.

For a student or a fresh graduate, career growth and the benefit that working abroad for the summer or for a year will surely look good on your resume.

According to Katie Bateman, a career adviser in the University of Gloucestershire, working abroad gives you an edge from the other applicants.

She claims that graduates who have worked in another country have the advantage of learning another language and that they’ve proven that they’re adaptable to a change of environment, culture and atmosphere.

It’s a leap of faith that will set you on edge at first and you’ll end up over-thinking things that you weren’t supposed to.

But you have to keep in mind that stepping out of your comfort zone could also be the best decision you can ever make, personally and career-wised.

Competition is tough in the real world and honestly, it’s best to reap every advantage you can have to seal your career.


While it’s a risk that leaves you terrified at night and the concept of living independently in a different country is entirely different from living independently but with your parents just in the next neighborhood, there are a lot of surprising advantages when it comes to working abroad.

But among these many advantages, there are three that really stand out among the rest.

1. Your resume has an edge among other applicants.

For a student who has taken advantage of the traditional graduate scheme route and has pursued to work in international companies that would most likely locate them abroad, they have a higher chance of landing a job because working abroad truly benefits and boots one’s curriculum vitae or resume.

Consider you’re a student who has decided to work abroad for the summer for a program related to the degree you’re taking, and you move back home, you graduate, and you start looking for a job.

The fact that you’ve had experience working abroad will be considered by an employer and may be the reason why you got hired.

This is because working abroad means that you’ve had the chance to be in a different setup, environmentally and culturally speaking.

You’ve proven that you’re adaptable to change and ultimately, working abroad will groom your communication skills because you are bound to learn another country’s native language at some point of your stay.

But the best thing about working in a foreign country is the fact that you’ve been plucked out of a place and people that you’ve been attuned with for years and thrown into a completely different one.

You’ve gotten a chance to work with people who have different opinions and perspectives than yours and you’ve learned to adapt to differences of standpoint.

You’ve gained qualities in your experience abroad that paved the way into molding you into a successful professional and leader in the future.

All of these skills will be presented in your resume and surely enough, all of that will be enough to entice an employer to hire you.

2. You’re culturally aware.

Probably the best thing about being in a different country is that you get the chance to experience another culture.

One of the main things that make each country unique is the culture that they have and being exposed in a different background and different approach at life can ultimately make you a better individual and professional.

The thing is that not every country approach business and work in the same way because of cultural differences.

Being exposed to a different culture helps an individual gain a different perspective on things and even a different approach on how to attack certain work issues and problems.

3. Employers value employees that are unique.

As mentioned above, working abroad will set you apart from other applicants and will give you an edge among them.

Competition isn’t easy in the real world and you can’t simply hand in a resume and expect for them to call you telling you that you’re hired in a snap.

There are contemplations that happen and sometimes, it’s best to make sure that you’re set apart from other candidates.

Employers will consider what you can offer.

Working abroad will tell the employer that you’re the kind of guy that can easily adapt to whatever work life throws at you because you’ve done plenty of adapting when you were working away from home.

Aside from that, employers usually have a preference to individuals who have prior experience and working in a different country will surely be a prior experience that will be highly considered during the contemplation process.


There are a lot of jobs overseas that you can do during your summer vacation or on a gap year that you’re taking.

There are jobs offered that are in line with the degree that you’re taking and the best part about it is the fact that these overseas jobs aren’t voluntary work.

Well, some can be voluntary, but some do pay you.

1. Working as An English Teacher

If you have dreams of becoming a teacher one day or if you have the patience to be one, then teaching English could be the best paying job that you can apply for if you’re a Native English speaker.

Considering that English is used as a standard language when it comes to communicating, countries wherein English is not their second language look for teachers who can teach the language.

Although most of this job requires you to sign a one-year contract, there are some who offer short-term and that’s a most likely suitable job duration for a college student looking for work abroad and usually, short-term positions are offered in summer school or summer camps.

A short-term opportunity wouldn’t be as high paying as a full-term position but there are some added benefits that you can take advantage of.

You won’t have to worry about accommodation and travel allowance and the best thing? You get to enroll in free language classes too.

It’s a great summer job opportunity for someone thinking of veering away from home and stepping out of their comfort zone as a trial run for their future.

Check this video out to know how you can be an ESL teacher:

2. Working in Hospitality

Landing a job in hospitality can be a bit tricky when it comes to the pay since there are some places that you’ll end up getting paid justly, and sometimes the pay can really make you want to reconsider if the job is worth it or not.

But the thing about working in hospitality is that it all boils down to what kind of hospitality job you end up doing and which country you do this job.

Working as a waiter in the United States doesn’t really pay as well as being one in Australia where you’re paid around 20 AUD which is 15 USD.

This means that the pay is better in Australia, but the catch is that Australians don’t tip while in the US, waiters are tipped 20% of the customer’s bill.

Considering this, it’s clear that you can make more cash in a country where tipping is a part of their culture.

In line with tipping, tips increase if you work in venues that are expensive. Consider this, the average tip would be 20% of the bill and if the bill per table is around 50 USD, then one can make around 10 USD tips per table.

If you work in a restaurant that serves an average meal of 100 USD, then you can get double the tips that you can get in a restaurant.

But the thing is, a hospitality worker’s pay differs with what hospitality work they do. Working in housekeeping means you’re paid less than a waiter and waiters are paid lesser than bartenders. Make sure you keep that in mind.

3. Become an Au Pair

One of the most paid summer jobs abroad is becoming an au pair.

Taking on this job means that you will live with a new family in a different country and experience their cultural and local diversity from the one that you’ve grown up in and you can influence a kid’s life.

But the best thing about working as an au pair is that accommodation is free so that means that your cost of living in a different country would be very low.

Although working as one doesn’t necessarily mean that you get to earn a lot because sometimes, some host families will pay a small amount each month, an amount that can only be considered as pocket money for your days off.

But it’s not always like that because it actually depends on the countries.

If you work in European countries, don’t expect that they’ll pay you a huge amount for the work that you’ve been doing as an au pair.

But if you work in countries like the Middle East and Australia, then these are the countries that pay the most for au pairs.  In Australia, you can expect to be paid around $1000 while in Dubai, the pay would be around $1000-2000.

Please have a look at the video below. It might come in handy.

4. Counselor at A Summer Camp

One of the memories that most people are fond about are their camp memories.

There’s nothing sweeter than reliving the glory days where you get to sit around the campfire, tell each other scary stories while roasting smores on the fire and simply having a good time.

If you have a soft spot for camps in your heart, then you might want to consider applying as a camp counselor for the summer or during your gap year.

Maybe now’s the time for you to be in your counselor’s shoes, preparing activities that kids will relive when they become older and becoming a part of their memories like your counselors have been in yours.

The best thing about this is that you can apply in a different country.

You will not only get to relive and revive the sporty and outdoor person that you once were, but you will also have the chance to learn new things from other counselors and from the camp kids too.

5. Farming Work Abroad

Surprisingly, you can volunteer for farming work abroad.

Well, if you’re not too keen on simply volunteering, then there are offers of paying farming jobs too.

It’s a great experience to have on your application, especially if you’re into agriculture because you get to experience another country’s farming culture.

Now, when we say farming, it doesn’t entirely mean that all you’re ever going to do is plant crops or trees. It actually depends on what kind of farming work you get yourself into because it’s actually a very diverse job.

Whether it’s livestock or you actually want to plant crops or cheese farming, whatever farming job you want, then it’s surely something that’s worth it for you to get into.

And like every other job abroad, farming work also allows you to experience another culture and learn another language, both skills will become an edge when you actually start your career after graduation.


If you’re really considering packing your suitcases and catching a flight to a different country to work there for the summer, then there are things that you need to keep in mind.

You’ve already learned the advantage of working abroad, now here’s how you can work abroad:

Get a Visa

Whether it’s for travelling, studying or working in a different country, acquiring a visa for the country is a requirement to enter.

This is because foreigners need to acquire a permit to work in another country to become employed legally in their employer’s country and most of the time, the employer would have to petition a potential employee to the government to be approved of the visa.

This reason alone can be a challenge to young students or professionals to convince their employer to petition for them.

Here is the video for you to know how you can apply for a visa if required:

Get Help from an Organization

For an American to want to work abroad for the summer, they need to be assisted with an organization to make sure that they can acquire a secured summer employment.

These organizations will have contacts with people who are in charge for cultural exchange of young individuals interested to work in their country.

The only issue here is that programs will require you to pay a fee and sometimes, the fee can be a bit pricey.


A common service for students in America that cater to job security in countries like Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and France and they charge a reasonable fee for the permit needed to work in other countries.

Planet Au Pair

This is a program that makes sure you get a match if you want to become an au pair to a family in Spain and it comes without a fee.

The accommodation for Au Pairs will be covered by the host family and a pocket money of seventy euros will be received in exchange for 25 hours of service for childcare every week.

Cultural Vistas

This organization offers a paid program in Germany for summer internships and also unpaid ones in Chile, Argentina and Spain. They also require a $75 application fee that’s non-refundable.

  • IAESTE is a program that puts students in paid internship programs and locates them within 80 countries. These students have a background in engineering, physical and natural science, agriculture, architecture and computer science.

Applying Online

There are websites online that allow you to apply for a job in a different country. Here is the list of websites that you can check:

  • Transitions Abroad offers a diverse selection of articles that talk about working abroad for the summer to give you perspective about it. They also have a list of programs and organizations that can help you.
  • Intern Abroad is a website that helps you search internship programs via location and career wise. You need to make sure that you’re aware of the research fees before you apply, and you have to make sure that the program you choose can offer summer placements. Although most internships available are unpaid, there are some that do pay.
  • The International Center at the University of Michigan is also a site that offers content on working abroad and it also gives you links to programs they offer.


Being in a different country, away from the safety of your home and the people that you know can be a bit scary.

Here are five tips that you need to know to make sure you remain safe in a foreign country:

1. Know Your Area

If you’ve been assigned in a specific town and you rent an apartment or dormitory, make sure that you’re familiar with the area that you’re in.

Look up the area on Google maps and take note of the route that you need to take from work and to the place you’re staying in to make sure that nothing bad ever happens to you when you come home and that you don’t get lost.

2. Learn the Political and Public Health Climate

It’s best to be familiar with the political and public health climate of a certain country that you’re going to be staying in for a while.

It’s best to be aware of the health hazards, epidemics and endemics in the area to ensure your health’s safety.

As for the political climate, it’s best to know any issues regarding the government and the civilians. Remember that it’s better to be armed with knowledge than to dive in head first unprepared with what you can expect.

3. Be Familiar with Public Transportation

It’s important to be familiar with public transportation other than taxis because you can’t always take taxis to get around the area.

It’s best to be aware of which public transportation you can take to reach a certain place, whether it’s by bus, train or subway.

Also, it’s best to be aware of your surroundings so you won’t get mugged or robbed.

4. Know How to Get Help from When There’s an Emergency

The idea of being on your own can be frightening, especially when an emergency breaks out and you panic.

But if you know the emergency numbers specific to the country that you’re in, then it’ll make you worry less and make your family back home worry less too.

Make sure that you’re familiar with the emergency numbers that you need in case something happens.


Stepping out of your comfort zone is an inevitable concept that you need to take in order to grow.

But having a trial run for this concept, to step out of your comfort zone for a little while, even if it’s just for a few months during the summer or for your gap year, can be a blessing in disguise, not only for your resume but also for your own personal growth.

Working abroad has a lot of advantages and as mentioned throughout, will be the edge that you might need to seal a job in the future. But it has its own disadvantages too.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows but you have to keep in mind that sometimes, you need to take a step into fear zone, out of your comfort zone, to become a better individual- and professional. In the end, it’s all for you.

Learn How to Spend a Summer Working Abroad

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