Work abroad jobs

If the jobless and cold UK seems a bit grim, maybe it's time to consider working abroad. Whether you fancy seasonal work in Australia, long-term jobs in the EU, or a voluntary role somewhere sunny, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Read on to learn more about work abroad jobs.

A young man is thinking of working abroad. This is a wide-angle image.

How to prepare for working abroad

If you wanna work abroad, it’s always best to set something up before you book those flights. And if you don’t have employment lined up then it’s a really good idea to have some money saved up to tide you over. That way you won’t feel pressured to pick the first thing that’s offered to you. We’d also recommend getting travel insurance for working abroad that includes cover on a good amount of things sorted in advance. Especially if you have pre existing medical conditions. Then, with at least single trip travel insurance under your belt, you’ll have that extra peace of mind if you run into any difficulties. You can learn more about travel insurance here.

Working abroad jobs available in the European Union

Working abroad travel in the EU is extremely authorised and regulated. You’ll have to get a work permit for practically all work abroad programmes in the EU. Plus, you’ll probably need a job offer from an employer in your chosen country for them to give you a visa to get in. Sadly, this isn’t as easy as it used to be, but it’s defo still possible. So don’t be put off by the idea of working in Europe post-Brexit.

For more information about working abroad in Europe, you should take a look at the Careers Europe database. This contains all kinds of advice and factsheets for work abroad jobs in the EU, with everything from manual labour to a desk job. It can be accessed via your local Careers Service, or nearest Employment Job Centre. And some schools and colleges also have access.

Voluntary work overseas

Doing volunteer work overseas is a pretty popular choice. Usually young people’ll pursue this for a gap year. And that makes total sense – it looks great on a CV, especially if you find something that you’d like to have a career in, and it is a big confidence-boost. You’re basically guaranteed to build up new skills and knowledge. has some overseas volunteering vacancies, why not check it out?

We do have some tips to help you out though. The main one being to try to pick a reputable agency if you want to do voluntary work abroad. Loads of gap year companies are just looking for money, and usually end up giving you little or no support when you get out there. To avoid this, ask around friends and relatives to get their advice before booking and have a look at our article on gap year work here.

Temporary or seasonal work abroad

A lot of employment opportunities are only around for the tourist season when extra hands are needed. If that sounds appealing, think about doing bar work or tour reps in warmer countries, or ski instruction and chalet work in the winter. You might also be interested in fruit picking, cruise ship duties, childcare, catering or casino work. Not to mention work abroad programmes like Camp America are another great option.

We’re not gonna sugarcoat it – these types of jobs can be really hard work at times. You’ll need to be a ‘people person’, with a good sense of humour, and a reasonable level of fitness. But before you start panicking, make sure to contact a local travel agency to find out what kind of staff will be needed.

Long-term work abroad programmes

This is basically like a working holiday. Longer-term work abroad programmes such as Au-Pair work and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) can be a good way to get a real feel for the country you’re living in before you return home. The only catch is that you’re most likely gonna need to have certain qualifications and certificates. It’s also worth mentioning that placements tend to be done through agencies. Again, ask around and see who people are recommending.

Another tip is to keep an eye on the national papers for vacancies abroad. Alternatively, you can think about applying to overseas branches of companies that have offices in the UK. Try to look out for ones regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) since you’ll know they’re legit. And you might be able to get business travel insurance if you work with one of them. Otherwise, EURES have all kinds of long-term and permanent employment prospects on their database. And there are also several online employment agencies with worldwide vacancies.

To get the ball rolling, contact the UK-based embassy for the country of your choice to find out about work permits, visas, benefits, and necessary qualifications. If it’s a permanent move you’ll need to ask about residency or ‘indefinite leave to remain’. Be sure to apply to embassies and get your travel insurance for working abroad as far in advance as you possibly can. Annoyingly, it usually takes way longer than 24 hours for them to sort out the correct paperwork. Just don’t forget to get long stay travel insurance to cover for this trip.

Check out the rest of The Mix’s gap years, work and studying abroad resources here.

Next Steps

By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 02-Jun-2022