10 ways to earn money working abroad this summer

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By in Jobs & Careers. Updated January 2017.

It’s summer and everyone you know is off jet-setting somewhere exotic and exciting. Why not go one better and earn some cash while you’re at it?workingabroadWorking abroad during the summer break can provide a welcome dose of sun (or snow), a bit of money and some fun adventures as well as looking pretty darn good on your CV.

Yet while making the decision to head out for the summer is the easy part, it can be overwhelming to choose exactly what to do when faced with such a wide range of options.

From working in American summer camps to teaching English in a school in Thailand, the opportunities are endless. Sorry/not sorry about that cliché there.

We’ve put together a brief guide to the different jobs you could consider to help you work out which option will provide you with the summer of a lifetime.

If you’re British you won’t need to get a visa to work anywhere in the EU but don’t forget you will need to sort out the appropriate forms for anywhere else. Some companies might help you with this, but always check!

10 of the best summer jobs abroad

  1. Chance it on a casual job

    causalfridayIt might sound a bit risky but the amount of jobs out there means that buying a one way ticket and searching for a job when you get wherever you’re going is actually a decent strategy.

    It certainly cuts out a lot of the planning that might be required for other jobs. Many go out on holiday with their friends leaving things open-ended so they can stay for longer if they do find work.

    Budget airlines fares mean that it shouldn’t break the bank if you have to book a last-minute flight home in the event of not being able to find work.

    There is work available in nearly all sunny destinations but obviously more bar and ‘promo’ work will be on offer in places such as Ibiza, Ayia Napa, Malia and anywhere with a reputation for nightlife.

    There is also a growing trend for seasonal work in ski resorts in Europe. This can offer a quieter and laid back alternative to bar work in the stereotypical clubbing destinations.

  2. Rep jobs

    clubbinginnitBeing a holiday rep allows you to spend a summer in the sun whilst working in a job that is worthy of including on your CV.

    Bar work offers you a fun, less demanding summer but being a rep is hard work; haven’t you seen the Magaluf Weekender on ITV?!?

    Hours can vary from company to company but it isn’t unusual to find you only have one day off per week. You’ll need good interpersonal skills and the ability to deal with rude holiday makers. Patience is a virtue they say.

    There are a number of companies that offer seasonal holiday rep work, some less known than others.

    The big names of Thomson and Thomas Cook run their own schemes with opportunities to work in hotel entertainment teams as well, but there are alternatives out there.

  3. Teaching English

    teachabroadIf you’re really looking for a rewarding adventure and CV skills then you should seriously consider teaching abroad.

    It does involve a lot of planning and you have to train to receive a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification, but for the chance to work in Asia, Africa or South America we can assure you it’s worth it.

    Pay will vary from country to country, but you’ll often find that a number of benefits like accommodation are thrown in for free.

    If you’re interested you can find specific details in our special TEFL guide.

  4. Internships or work experience

    theinternshipThere’s a couple of ways to go about this one, but first things first it’s worth saying that the chance you’ll earn money here are pretty slim, it’s more for the career opportunities you’ll get.

    If you want to go down the paying route there are a number of companies that will organise your internship, accommodation and offer advice from about £700 for two weeks. Notable players include GapGuru and GoAbroad, but there are many. And by many we mean hundreds.

    If you find one yourself, check out the reviews first as we have heard some bad reviews about some of these type of companies.

    If you’re looking to organise an internship yourself you could find it to be much cheaper. Simply research countries and areas of work you’re interested in and send off some letters yourself.

    Massive companies such as Google and BuzzFeed will also advertise intern opportunities worldwide too, but bare in mind competition will be fierce. Rawr.

  5. Coaching sport

    coachingMuch in the same way as internships abroad, the coaching market is dominated by companies who will sort out your placement and accommodation for a fee. Some will pay you, but you do have to pay them to get the placement and accommodation.

    Big players include Gap360 who will send you to India, Africa or South America. If you’re more interested in Australia then check out SportLived.

    Again, always make sure to check customer reviews before booking with an internship company.

    If you’ve already got experience though, there really is nothing to stop you approaching reputable companies yourself and working something out. It shows initiative and will be cheaper.

    Alternatively you might be able to volunteer abroad as a sports coach if you have the right qualification; we’ve got a section it below.

  6. Summer camps

    campamericaEveryone knows someone who’s gone to an American summer camp at some point and got paid in the process.

    You can bag yourself up to £800 in payment, which isn’t a bad sum to net for your summer and you’ll spend out between £200-£600 on getting out there.

    There’s quite a few big players in the game and it’s something that loads of people are interested in so we’ve put together a complete comparison guide, updated annually.  We’re so nice to you.

  7. Theme parks

    disneyIf you’re looking for a summer job that does actually pay as well as give you the chance of going abroad, then theme parks are a really good option.

    You’ll have to graft hard but you’ll get lots of interactions with customers and should hopefully be grouped with like-minded people.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly the biggest player in this list is Disneyland, who offer castings both in the UK and Ireland for their Paris park. They’ve also got a lot of information online to help answer the nitty-gritty questions

  8. Au pair

    aupairOne of the oldest go abroad jobs you can find, you’ll find many families abroad are in need of a nanny or au pair to look after their children.

    Pay will vary widely, but about €350 is a good rough figure per month. You’ll also be given accommodation and food and the language skills you’ll pick up will be invaluable.

    The best way to find an Au Pair is to look at specialist agencies or job boards. The British Au Pairs Agencies Association compiles a list of reputable companies who can help you find placements.

  9. Volunteer work

    volunteerabroadIf you’re feeling charitable and want to gain some skills at the same time there are thousands of volunteer projects out there to take part in. We’ve even written a super guide on it here.

    You should, however, always consider the ethical side to the projects you’re looking at. A lot of voluntourism projects have come under fire recently for causing more harm than help.

    There are options out there though; people and places offers a range of projects and is one of the few organisations to offer a breakdown of where your money goes.

    Pod Volunteer is another group that’s been highlighted by the Guardian as making a genuine effort to be an ethical and responsible, so are worth taking a look at.

    With this kind of work, it is also best to stick to what you know and only volunteer for projects in areas you’re skilled at. After all, you’re there to help not hinder.

  10. Manual work

    olivepickingIf you’re looking to do something totally different this summer and aren’t afraid of a little bit of hard work, why not try a manual labour job?

    You could opt for grape or olive picking in Italy or France, perhaps help work on a farm in Sweden or Portugal or even go as far afield as Africa or Asia . There’s so many options and you may just discover some skills you didn’t know you had.

    The easiest way to sign up for these kind opportunities is to get in with Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, affectionately known in the industry as WWOOF.

    You pay a sum of about €25 to sign to up one of their country specific sites, which then allows you to get in touch with various farmers directly and negotiate a placement.

    Most people will stay anywhere between one and two weeks and you’ll be expected to work between four and six hours a day, in return receiving free accommodation and food.

    You will have to make checks with the hosts yourself and sort out your own travel and visas though, so this option will require a bit of planning.

Ta dah! If that hasn’t given you a few ideas then we don’t know what will.

Make sure to let us know what you get up to this summer – especially if it’s something totally different!

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