Where to start? Most, if you’ve spent little time abroad, have no idea where to begin. To tell the truth, most never even think to begin because they don’t even think going abroad is an option for them.
Reality is far different than you’ve long thought. The truth is there are far more options than you’ll ever need. There are so many options, in fact, that I’m confident, no matter your situation, you can find one that will meet your needs.
You can go abroad. This is all you need to know for now. It is possible. Silence the rest of the noise. You can!
OPTIONS A PLENTY:
Depending upon your current state of personal affairs your ways of experiencing an extended stay abroad may differ. Yet, whether you are 15, 20, 28, or 65, there are options a plenty.
The most common option, and one the majority of westerners think of, is to study abroad through an exchange type program during your high school or university years. Most offer options to live with local families or students from your country of origination. Living with the families and studying the local language in your classes is an excellent way to quickly learn and become proficient in a language.
Being the most common, doesn’t mean it is right for you.
Below are some quick ideas to get your brainstorm on. Pull out a piece of paper or open “notepad” on your computer once you’ve read them through. Take 10 minutes and begin writing down every possible way you could see yourself venturing abroad. Though I’ve made notes about financial realities, during your brainstorm session, don’t squash ideas because of them, or even hard to get working visas, or perceived safety. We’re not there yet. Keep your options open.
RAPID FIRE OPTIONS:
Teaching English can be a great option offering public speaking practice, regular connectivity with the locals and a paying salary.
You could apply for a fellowship or internship through western non-profits and for profits looking for anyone willing to carry out work for free or a small stipend.
Volunteer opportunities abound. Just because it is volunteer doesn’t mean you won’t be spending some money. Often times the organization will offer food and/or housing, which leads them to charging. The financial cost is usually quite reasonable, though.
For some, they have the purpose of spreading their faith. Mission trips are readily available as a feasible option, often funded by the church or its members.
Most people rarely think about asking their corporation about opportunities to work abroad. Being that organizations are starting to become more multinational in nature and scope, you might just find yourself with a nice paying job and your company footing the moving bill, language classes, and many other amenities and/or bonuses for being willing to work abroad.
Each of these categories you will find fractal outward. Don’t be overwhelmed. Be grateful that there are so many incredible options, allowing you to fit one to be most agreeable to your age, goals, profession, and region of highest attraction.
You’ve been given one Earth. Travel, live, work and study about it.