If you're interested in living abroad for any reason or any length of time - from becoming an expat to volunteering or teaching English for a few months - this is the forum to discuss it. Learn about TEFL, Peace Corps, international volunteer organizations and corporate opportunities. Discuss visas, logistics of moving overseas and how to work 'under the table'.

who here has worked abroad?

nancy sv

Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 282
Joined: March 14th, 2008

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  • Added on: March 15th, 2008
My husband and I are both American and we spent twelve years teaching abroad in American schools. We are both certified, professional teachers. We spent two years in Egypt, then seven years in Ethiopia (our twins were born our third year there). We moved to Taiwan for two years, then spent one more year in Malaysia before moving back to the USA. We got our jobs at job fairs in the US in Feb/Mar.
Join our family we cycle from Alaska to Argentina! www.familyonbikes.org


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Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 622
Joined: January 15th, 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia

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  • Added on: July 13th, 2008
Switzerland - an agency arranged to place me for 3 months working as a waitress in a small Pension. Saved enough money to not have to work for the next 6 months.
Ooops! Did I do that?


Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 6
Joined: August 13th, 2008

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  • Added on: August 18th, 2008
an irishman living and working in oz right now. having a ball!

Wandering Girl

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Armchair Traveler
Posts: 36
Joined: April 25th, 2005
Location: Canada

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2008
Korea - currently working on 3 years as an ESL teacher, love it, great savings, little vacation time to travel though but you can make time in between 1 year contracts.

Scotland - worked for 6 months as a nanny, good for soaking up the culture.

Kate and Dan

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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 299
Joined: October 7th, 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2008
My (now) wife and I worked for a couple of years in Gwangju, Korea as teachers — and during that time travelled China, Southeast Asia and India. We're now planning a RTW to start in the summer of 2010.

I credit our experience overseas with opening up our minds to the possibility of long-tem travel.


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 1
Joined: November 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: December 3rd, 2008
Worked as a civilian for the American army in Berlin, Germany in 92-94 -- bartended and substitute taught and lifeguarded and swim-instructed and served in a Army Reserve unit in Berlin and Nuremberg.

Taught english in Krakow, Poland for Prolog Skola, a private school and was paid in hourly wages in 1995. Found the job by visiting every school in town and was hired on the strength of volunteer-tutoring ESL for a community college back here in Oregon and my work record as a sub in Berlin.

Taught (mostly business) english in Leipzig, Germany for a the American Language Institute, a private firm, in 1995-97, and was paid hourly wages. Found the job on a tip from my girlfriend who had friends who had formerly taught there and because the school had just recently gotten a large contract and needed teachers FAST. Otherwise, my inability to explain grammar in German would have been a dealbreaker.


Armchair Traveler
Posts: 29
Joined: March 4th, 2006

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  • Added on: July 26th, 2009
It started with a US job I had and I got to travel abroad on business for the first time...wow, it opened my eyes to the world. I tried to work with my company in Switzerland--my company couldn't get the visa for me. I tried the B school way to get into Switzerland--the school didn't accept me. So in 1987 I packed a suitcase and took $5000 and went to Czechoslovakia, which was A LOT cheaper gateway into Europe than Switzerland. I ended up staying 3 years--at first freelance writing for the English-language paper, acting as a go-between/facilitator for business people in the country ($100 per day under the table) and finally for a Czech ad agency with a visa.

I also worked in Japan teaching English for two years in the late 90s with my now-husband. Wow, that was 10 years ago! It doesn't seem so long ago. I got hired in the US with AEON. We also did a little voice-over work for ESL audio tapes at $50/hour. It was great while it lasted but I was ready to leave Japan.

Now we are getting ready to ditch our careers, at least temporarily but maybe forever, and starting a new adventure January 2010...we are ready for a big change! Don't know where it will happen or what we'll be doing but this threat has given me a bunch of ideas!


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 5
Joined: January 1st, 2009
Location: Shanghai

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  • Added on: September 7th, 2009
my dad is an expat and i have to say living abroad definitely opened up my mind to travelling. we've lived in china for several years now and there's still so much more i haven't seen yet.
~i beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies~


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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 21
Joined: January 11th, 2007
Location: Appalachia

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  • Added on: September 26th, 2009
Another English teacher here, checking in from Sunny South Korea.
We're on earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different. -Kurt Vonnegut
http://www.happenchance.net -> Useful stuff for creative people


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 149
Joined: October 29th, 2002
Location: Shimizu, Japan

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  • Added on: September 28th, 2009
Another one who has worked as an English teacher. In my case it was a year in Japan, specifically Shimizu in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Thoroughly recommended.
The Never Ending Tour - short tales from my travels http://www.theneverendingtour.blogspot.com/

My Japan World Cup Blog http://japan.worldcupblog.org/

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step."

Felix the Hat

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Extra Pages in Passport
Posts: 2939
Joined: June 17th, 2002
Location: itinerant

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  • Added on: October 19th, 2009
where? Germany, France, Spain, South Korea, Japan, Mexico
what you did? worked under the table, studied and worked under the table, worked legally (ESL), worked legally (ESL), worked legally (telecommuting, attorney consultant)
how you were paid/visa issues? (legally, in kind/in exchange for room and board, on a student exchange visa like bunac) cash n/a, student visa (enrolled directly), E-2 visa, tourist visa, tourist visa
how you came upon this job? feet on ground, ditto, Internet, Internet, networking


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Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
Posts: 307
Joined: June 3rd, 2009
Location: Austin, TX

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  • Added on: January 15th, 2010
To those of you who walked into a country and found odd jobs, where'd you all stay at while looking for jobs and how'd you all find those jobs? Just walk around, meeting locals, then asking them if they knew of any "under the table" type jobs?


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 6
Joined: January 14th, 2010
Location: Daegu, South Korea

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  • Added on: January 31st, 2010
Another English teacher here from South Korea. I love the work and I am working on getting TEFL certified. I want to stay here for a few years then move onto another country on another continent. Perhaps do a CELTA somewhere. I hope to use my love of teaching and being a native speaker to travel the world and teach English.


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Lost in Place
Posts: 66
Joined: January 29th, 2009
Location: The World

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  • Added on: June 22nd, 2010
I start at the end of August teaching English at Xi'an, China!
DJSkylab.com: My blog :)
ArtOfBackpacking.com: Backpacking Independent International Traveler
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." -Andy Warhol


Armchair Traveler
Posts: 42
Joined: December 22nd, 2006

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  • Added on: July 25th, 2010
I relocated to Denmark in 1996 for an "international" job in my profession. I had worked, here, in the 1970s. I received temporary residence on the basis of my job and then permanent residence on the basis of "family reunification" - a danish girl and we later married. The rules for permanent residence have stiffened considerably since I arrived, but it's still possible to get temporary residence based on a full-time, professional job, the main problems being there are not a lot of full time professional jobs for non-danish speaking job seekers.



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