Career: Go work overseas!

Aleta Fimbres 11/01/2009

Get a jump on flying the coop. Whether you’ve got one month or one year, here are seventeen quick tips on finding work abroad.

working overseasGot a hankering to head abroad in the upcoming year? Well, new years are about new beginnings, and even though the local economy is picking up some, there’s nothing as satisfying as working your way around the world, meeting new people, cultures and foodstuffs.

We found these cool options to inspire you to go out and make your mark on the world:

Got 1-2 months?

Train for free in anything from forestry to commerce. In an effort to attract foreign know-how and bolster its economy, Finland recruits foreigners for its cultural exchange programs. Applicants need at least one year of postgraduate training. Contact Casey Slamin at InterExchange by April for the summer following. (, 161 67th Ave New York,N.Y. 10013, Tel: 212 924 0446, Fax: 212 924 0575)

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Work at the world’s biggest kegger. Head to Germany toward the end of the summer, where you can erect tents, set up stands and apply to man stations for the famed Oktoberfest (in Munich around the 20th of September). You don’t need to be fluent in German to get steady work (nine-hour days of heavy work). Perhaps you can offset your beer debts by volunteering your labor on a less fixed schedule. Try contacting prominent German breweries like Hofbräu and Löwenbräu for schedule and hiring details.

Join a dig. As an unskilled volunteer at one of France’s many pre-Roman archaeological sites. For a small lodging and board fee (around $7 a day), you can help unearth some of France’s cultural artifacts. Every May, the Ministry of Culture provides a comprehensive list of excavations, which accommodate up to five thousand volunteers annually. At the Direction du Patrimoine, Sous-Direction de l’archeologie, 4 rue d’Aboukir, 75002 Paris, France; 00 331 40 15 73 00

Got 3-6 months?

Test Experimental Drugs. Considering that London is the birthplace of the rave, it’s no surprise that the English capital is a great place to make money in drugs. Research clinics pay plenty of pounds ($140-$280 a day) to volunteers. Bring a certificate of good health from your doctor (disreputable places accept walk-ins and should be avoided). Ask around, or try Charterhouse Clinical Research, which has a fine reputation. (The Royal Masonic Hospital, Ravenscourt Park, London. W6 OTN Tel:0181-748 4611)

Work at a Greek discothèque. If you are a creature of the nightlife, apply to be an entertainment coordinator at one of the many clubs here; duties range from promoting drink specials to encouraging patrons to dance. Register with the Intertom Agency in Athens Chalkokondili 24-26, Athens, Tel. 523-9470, 523-9591. They’ve been known to help foreigners find part time work in bars, discos, and restaurants.

Be a sports instructor. At one of the many Swiss summer/winter camps for adolescents and enjoy Switzerland’s wide world of sports at little or no cost. Includes free room and board, and free insurance coverage, and about $900 a month. No work permit or previous experience required. Apply directly to Village Camps. (Village Camps S.A., 14 rue de la Morache, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland; 011-41-22-990-9405)

Join the legions of refreshment peddlers in the French Riviera. Work on your tan without draining your wallet. Beachcombing for thirsty vacationers on the Côte d’azur can earn you up to $75 (including commissions) for a few hours work in the morning and afternoon. Though there is no organization to contact directly about openings, getting a job goes something like this: (1) Hit a beach town like Saint-Tropez, or the Pampelonne Beach, (2) buy a drink from a beach vendor, (3) ask to be introduced to the vendor’s boss, and (4) the boss will probably hire you on the spot. Some bosses even offer camping privileges on their land.

Got 6-12 months?

Be a cast member at Disneyland Paris. Work at the ‘happiest’ place in France, and take home around $1,500 a month (March to October). Housing isn’t guaranteed, but they’ll help you find lodging. And though by the time you are finished, you will probably never want to see another set of mouse ears ever again, full-time employees do get bargain hotel rates and free park admission (Service du Recrutement Casting at Disneyland Paris, BP 110, 77777 Marne-la-Vallee Cedex 4, France; 0044 1 81 222 1669)

Be an unskilled mining assistant. Get your hands dirty in one of the many Western Australian mining towns (gold and iron). You’ll see the outback in ways no tourist can, earn $800 a week, enjoy free food and accommodation, and maybe even unearth a few opals along the way. Though the best way to find a job is simply to chat up the miners in a local pub, Analabs, a firm that hires mining-lab workers, is a good resource (1/3 de Laeter Way, Technology Park, Bentley WA 6102, Tel (08) 9472 5555; Fax (08) 9472 5556 email:

Join the staff of a cruise ship. Set your course for adventure and head for the Caribbean. Hours are long and wages slim, but tips are good (up to $1,100 a month) and lodging and food are free. Apply to Royal Caribbean International Cruise lines (001 305 539 6096) or call Zerbone Cruise Ship Catering Services (001 305 374 2491 and 0039 010 64791) for bar/catering placement.

Be a petal pusher in lovely Holland. In the summer or fall you can find work sorting, counting, and packing the world’s most famous bulbs. You’ll need a tent and a bike, and opportunities depend on the weather, but the overtime pay is well worth the trek. Get in touch with Tempo Team (

Go work for Mother Teresa and make your mum proud. You can volunteer in one of her orphanages or care centers in Calcutta, India. Conditions can be grim, and wages are slim to none (you might be able to arrange free lodging), though plenty find the work itself reward enough. Register at the administrative offices at Missionaries of Charity, Mother House, 54A A.J.C. Bose Road, Calcutta 700016, West Bengal, India.

If you’re Caucasian or Eurasian, become a model. In Hong Kong or Thailand, there’s a paucity of fair-skinned, fair-haired, blue-eyed men. If you are moderately attractive and know how to smile, drop a portfolio at Starz People (Unit 503-504, 1 Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Center, Hong Kong, Tel: (852) 2536 0225, Fax: (852) 2536 0333,, or Red Modellings (#27 Soi Ari 5, Phaholyothin Rd. Samsen-Nai, Phayathai, Bangkok Thailand 10400, Tel: (66) 2 617 0173,

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