Graduating from college can be both exhilarating and terrifying. While it is a tremendous accomplishment, new graduates may be filled with trepidation regarding what to do next. Moving back in with the parents does not seem ideal after being away for four or more years, and with the recent recession, the job market does not offer the same promise that it once held for graduates. Many graduates are also concerned about paying back their student loans. Your job at the local café is likely not going to provide enough to foot these monthly bills.
However, if you have always dreamed of traveling the world, it has never been easier to work overseas. You can satisfy your wanderlust yearnings and pay off those loans simultaneously. Here are five reasons why it’s worth a shot:
1. Lower Cost of Living
While this may not necessarily be the case in the United Kingdom and some other European countries, there are many beautiful countries that are significantly less expensive than the United States. International Living recommends Central and South America for the beautiful landscape, inexpensive medical care and lower costs all around (food, utilities, rent). Many Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries are also inexpensive and offer salaries commensurate with what you would earn in the United States. You can work abroad in these destinations while paying off your loans and padding your savings.
2. Job Security
If you obtain a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), the job opportunities are plentiful. The ELT Career Portal helps connect you with training programs and overseas jobs. Many positions want you to sign a two-year contract, which can be a relief in an unstable economy. If teaching English is not your thing, Jobs Abroad has over 27,000 listings in a wide range of career pursuits.
3. Gain Employable Experience
Once you are working abroad, you may not be in any hurry to return to the United States. However, when (and if) you do, you will have a wealth of rich experience to add to your resume. This will give you a leg up over other prospective candidates and prove you to be culturally competent and worldly — both attractive traits in today’s global economy.
4. Build Your Language Skills
Many positions abroad are in non-native English-speaking countries. Even though many jobs are for English speakers, you will find yourself immersed in a completely different culture and language. Many areas offer introductory courses in their native language, and you will have ample opportunity to practice. There is no better way to learn a language than to live it. Knowing additional languages also looks great on a resume.
5. Get Paid to Travel
We spend huge amounts of money on airline tickets and hotel rooms when traveling, so this is your golden opportunity to get paid to do it. Many positions will pay for your travel there and back; some even offer housing allowances in addition to your salary. A lot of companies who pay you to travel will make you go to conferences all over the US and maybe to other foreign countries. Whether you stay at the best Las Vegas hotels in Las Vegas or stay at a five star hotel in New York for a few days, traveling will feed your wanderlust spirit. Some of the positions advertised on Teach Away will also pay for your airline tickets to visit the United States during breaks. You can use the money that you save to break free of your debt!