Want to work abroad for a year? Here's where to go

Want to work abroad for a year? Here’s where to go

Working abroad appeals to a lot of people – it gives you the chance to travel whilst still earning a decent wage, and employers quite like to hire people who are relatively well-travelled (especially if you pick up the language whilst you’re over there!). But where are the best places to work abroad for a year? Let’s find out.

New Zealand

Working in New Zealand

Ideal for: Seasonal work

Visas available: 12 to 23 months

New Zealand has a rapidly growing economy and is rated 6th in the world for work-life balance. The country scores highly for job security and career progression, and is ideal for anyone looking to work in either seasonal roles or in engineering, IT and medicine where there are ample roles available. The country also has a few skills shortages due to their nature as relatively remote and removed from other nations. These include:

  • Accountants
  • Arborists
  • Bakers
  • Early Childhood Teachers
  • Midwife
  • Outdoor Adventure Guide
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Snow Sport Instructor
  • Specialist Physician
  • University Lecturer
  • Construction Workers
  • Health and Social Staff
  • Scientists

You can work in New Zealand for anywhere from 1 year to almost 2 years so long as you have a valid visa. To get a visa for New Zealand and for more information, check out their immigration website.

The Netherlands

Working in The Netherlands

Ideal for: Research and Academia

Visas available: no specific length, work permits needed

The Netherlands might appeal to many people for reasons outside of work, as it is the 6th happiest country in the world and was the first nation to legalise same-sex marriage. There are very few cars on the roads, making it an ideal country for cyclists, pedestrians and eco-conscious people, and it is one of the richest countries in the world.

The country is a world leader in agriculture and is always hiring workers in agriculture, energy, finance, healthcare, transport and logistics. However, the best way to work in The Netherlands is by finding a job where you are classed as a “highly-skilled worker” who contributes to the knowledge of the nation. This includes most research and academic work. The nation also has a skills shortage in:

  • IT
  • Teaching
  • Healthcare

Making it an ideal work abroad location for anyone who wishes to specialise in these areas.

To get a work permit in The Netherlands and to find out more, check out their immigration website.

South Korea

Work in South Korea

Ideal for: Teaching English

Visas available: 12 months

South Korea has a lot going for it – globally beloved pop culture, world-class and incredible cuisine, a thriving and growing economy, and reasonably high wages. There are plenty of jobs available in South Korea, but the TEFL department is particularly open to expats. The only thing that prevents many people from finding work in South Korea is the different approach to work-life – South Korea has the longest working hours out of all of the developed countries.

Some of the most required jobs in South Korea include:

  • Editor
  • Sales
  • Stockbrokers
  • English Teachers
  • Programmers
  • PR staff

These jobs are all skills required by the country, meaning there are a fair amount of jobs available in South Korea around these titles. For more information about working in South Korea and their visas, look here.

Germany

Work in Germany

Ideal for: Engineering

Visas available: 12 months

Germany is one of the world’s leading economies and is one of the biggest exporters of goods in the world, so it makes sense that the country would be full to the brim of incredible career opportunities! The country has lots of global corporations based there, most notable of which are all the automotive and technology corporations, making it an extremely beneficial work abroad location for engineers.

On top of work, people in Germany tend to only work around 27 hours a week and tend to have a very high quality of life. Pair that with great health care, brilliant work benefits and paid leave and you can see why it is one of the best places to go.

There are fewer ‘desired’ skills in Germany, but generally, you’ll be able to find something over there, especially in Engineering and related subjects. To find out more about working in Germany and their visas, look here.

Canada

Work in Canada

Ideal for: Healthcare

Visas available: 24 to 48 months

Canada is classed as a relatively progressive country and they have great mandatory employee benefits like parental leave, 25 vacation days a year and the highest minimum wage in North America. Their salaries are quite high, but their cost of living isn’t, making Canada one of the most lucrative places to work abroad – perfect if you’re looking to save!

Generally, Canada’s major industries are chemicals, food, natural gas, petrol, transportation equipment and wood and paper products. They are also rising in terms of cryptocurrency, e-commerce, metal mining and tourism. But their skill shortages lie in:

  • Accounting
  • Admin
  • Engineering
  • Human Resources
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Project Managing
  • Veterinary Science
  • Web Devleoping
  • Welding

To find out how to get work in Canada and to find out more about their visas, look here.

Mexico 

Work in Mexico

Ideal for: Teaching English, Resort Staff

Visas available: 6 months to 4 years

Mexico has a gorgeous climate and many people are attracted to the working hours of 8 am to 5 pm with some companies allowing for a long lunch (a siesta) in the middle from around 1 pm to 4 pm. Ultimately, however, Mexico isn’t as favoured as other countries when it comes to working abroad as the paid leave isn’t as rewarding as other countries. You only get 6 days’ holiday after 1 year of working, sometimes this is after 15 months.

The salaries in Mexico are lower than in the UK, but the cost of living is significantly lower and many companies pay fortnightly. The biggest industries in Mexico are food and drink, silver, pharmaceuticals, electronics, oil and gas, finance, telecoms, retail, tourism, healthcare, renewable energy and infrastructure/transportation. One of the easiest jobs to get for English natives, however, is Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

China 

Work in China

Ideal for: Teaching English, IT

Visas available: Up to 6 months, then 6 months and over

China’s economy has rapidly grown to the point that the country now boasts the second-largest economy in the world! The country has a vast population and yet still maintains a low cost of living compared to the UK in many of the major cities. Many people choose to live abroad in China as it offers the opportunity to enjoy and experience a completely unfamiliar culture.

Learning a little bit of Mandarin whilst you’re in China will also greatly boost your CV and will make your time in the country substantially easier, as English is not as common as other countries, especially in more remote towns and cities.

The major industries in China include chemicals, consumer products, machine building, food processing, mining, technology, textiles and transport. Most English speaking jobs, regardless of the field, will be found mostly in Beijing and Shanghai, or possibly in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Tianjin.

To find out about getting a visa in China you can look here, you will need a Z visa and an invitation to the country by an employer. You will not need a visa to work in Hong Kong.

As you can see, there are loads of options when it comes to working abroad. Likewise, you might be interested in combining your studies with travelling. If that’s the case then check out these countries where you can do a Masters’s degree for free in. 

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