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6 Exciting Jobs Abroad for Couples

Couple Abroad

So you’ve been going steady for a while now, and you’re ready to take your relationship to the next step: a new country! The thrill of the adventure, plus the test and potential bonding experience it can bring to the relationship have drawn you in. You’ve already set the plan in motion: maybe you’re graduating soon, or quitting your respective jobs to travel. Maybe you’ve already ended the lease on your apartment and sold off your excess belongings. All that’s left to do is pick a place to go, and most importantly, a way to support yourselves while you’re abroad.

Whether you're looking for a longterm career break or simply taking a gap year with your honey, here are some great employment ideas for couples looking to work abroad together:

1. Become an Au Pair

au pairing

For couples that love working with kids, you may be able to take advantage of job opportunities abroad as an au pair. What is, au pair'ing, you ask? Becoming an au pair is a lot like being a nanny or a live-in babysitter. Maybe your guy or girl won't like the idea of working such a glamorous job, but you might be able to wheel and deal your way into shared accommodation (even if your partner opts to score a different gig). If you have subsidized housing and the opportunity to live intimately with a local family, why would you ever pass it up?!

Popular destinations include the Middle East, New Zealand, and Australia. Au pairs typically take on a share of house work or babysitting in exchange for free room and board and oftentimes, a stipend. While not ideal for couples if you are keen on a ton of privacy, it just might be the overseas adventure you both are looking for.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

It might be difficult to find a family who will welcome two into their home instead of one, but certainly not impossible. A great deal of communication will serve you well in ensuring the living situation is ideal for all parties.

Suggested Au Pair Abroad Programs

2. Work at a Hostel

Hostel Workers

Many backpackers find that getting jobs abroad is a bit challenging if the potential hirer knows that time is limited and their prospective employee is a traveler who will have to leave sooner rather than later. The best way to get around this issue is to work at jobs where your eventual return home is expected, such as at a hostel.

Getting a hostel job can be as easy as getting to know the staff and simply asking about an opening. Opportunities can range from activity planning, to encouraging socialization, to bar work. Staying in a town where there are many hostels, or asking at a larger establishment, can ensure that you are able to stay in the same place.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Hostel work is often unpaid and functions more as a work exchange. The compensation is usually provided in the form of room and board, and maybe a small stipend. If you want to stay together, try to negotiate a private room for the two of you to share, as the compensation often only provides dorm accommodation. Also, it is probably best to travel around a bit and pick a place and hostel that really draw you in, rather than applying without seeing the hostel and getting an idea of the environment prior to arrival.

3. Teach English

Teach English

One of the best and most popular options for working abroad is teaching English. If you’re a native speaker (or at least fluent), finding work just got a whole lot easier!

First, pick the country and city you want to work in, or at least a region of the world. Try to pick a city with lots of options so that you can still be together even if you’re unable (or would prefer not to) work at the same school. It may even be better not to work at the same school so that you can have some time apart to gain your own experience of the country you’re in.

Also, consider time of year. Some areas hire year-round, such as Asia and Southeast Asia, while others have specific seasons, such as Europe. Some hire prior to arrival and some hire in person. Do some research or partner with a placement agency first to be sure you know what you’re getting into.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Anyone teaching abroad will have to make sure they’re qualified to work in the region they have picked. Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree and fluency in English for most, if not all, opportunities to teach abroad. Many schools will also require or strongly prefer a TEFL or CELTA certification.

Couples abroad have some extra considerations: will the school you're applying to allow for both of you to work there? If one of you doesn't want to teach, are there other options in that location? Can you both live in the house provided by the school? Also, if you're teaching in the Middle East, it's important to note that unmarried couples likely won't be allowed to live together -- a huge con for most couples who want to live and work abroad together!

Suggested Teach Abroad Programs

4. WWOOF

Granada Farming

For those who love the great outdoors and have a green thumb, or wish to develop one, WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a great option.

Generally, these jobs are ideal for travelers who want to gain some volunteer experience, support greener living, and wish to have a rich cultural experience. It often involves four to six hours per day of work either with farm animals (think cleaning out stalls or herding), tending to vegetation, or whatever else the farm may be in need of at the time. It can vary widely, so be sure to ask a lot of questions of your potential host so that expectations are managed and you know what is expected of you. Also, make sure they know there will be two of you traveling as a couple!

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Find opportunities through the WWOOF database and communicate with potential hosts through that service. WWOOFing is generally strictly volunteer. Room and board are provided in exchange, however. If you’d like to be paid for agriculture work, Australia has a high minimum wage and is a popular destination for seeking out paid fruit picking opportunities.

5. Work in Hospitality

Bar

Many foreign workers in Australia and New Zealand, for example, find work in restaurants, bars, or retail establishments. The minimum wage is good, the hours are flexible, and the work is generally easier to get than office jobs. This is another opportunity to live in the same town, but take up work at different establishments in order to have both an experience together and apart.

These jobs are easier to get depending on what part of the world you’re in. It’s as simple as looking presentable and passing out resumes to places that suit your qualifications. Tailor resumes to specific jobs in order to highlight your relevant experience. Pay will also vary widely depending on where you’re applying. Consider what works best for you before choosing a country.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

If working in Australia, you can only spend a max of 6 months with any one employer, and a working holiday visa is required. Check into the requirements of your target country well before setting off on your journey to avoid any costly mistakes!

Suggested Intern Abroad in Hospitality Programs

6. Be a Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad

In this day and age, many travelers are also digital nomads meaning they work while they move via a computer and WiFi connection. There are many directions you and your significant other could take this in, such as freelance work, travel blogging, or software development, to name a few. This is where creativity and resourcefulness really come in handy. This could be an opportunity to start a new business together, or it could just be a side project to bring in some extra cash while trying out one of the above work options.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

There is certainly a fair amount of risk involved. Freelance work can be sporadic at best and blogging takes a while to bring in decent money, if ever. Being a digital nomad often involves a steep learning curve and requires a lot of time and commitment. It has to be something you both really love and are willing to put a lot of time and effort into. Plus, you need to always have internet connection. This is particularly difficult in some more remote parts of the world.

Go! Go! Go! Work Abroad With Your Loved One

In conclusion, there are tons of options for couples looking to work together abroad. It’s a great way to enrich both the relationship and your own personal life experience. It’s a great way for couples to see if their relationship can stand the test of new challenges and increased together time, and a perfect way to gain cultural immersion.

Photo Credits: API Study Abroad, US Army Africa, Barnacles Hostels, skampy, and Peter Gene.
Photo of Kristin Addis

Kristin Addis is a native Californian and former investment banker who quit her job and sold off all of her belongings in favor of becoming a nomad in Asia. Now she travels solo seeking off-the-beaten path adventures. There is almost nothing she won't try! She blogs at Be My Travel Muse. Follow her on Twitter @bemytravelmuse and Google+.