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What Are the Best Tips for Getting Overseas Jobs for Americans?

Candidates pursuing overseas jobs need to have excellent communication skills and know the customs and etiquette in the new country.
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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2014
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Overseas jobs for Americans can provide great opportunities to explore a new country and culture while still earning money. While there are thousands of different overseas jobs for Americans to consider, it is critically important to exercise caution and do careful research before accepting a job in a foreign land. Good tips for aiding the overseas job search include determining what country meets personal needs and interests, going through a work abroad program, looking for jobs that meet existing skills, and getting specific, verified information about the position. Following these tips can help ensure that an overseas job will be safe, legitimate, and ideal for personal needs.

One good way to start a job search is by narrowing down the location of an ideal job. Some factors to consider when searching for overseas jobs include fluency in the local language, the region's diplomatic relationship with the United States, and the cost of living. Additionally, to make the trip a fun and enriching experience, the ideal country should have a history, culture, and lifestyle that seems appealing to explore. Since overseas jobs for Americans are available in nearly every country in the world, narrowing down the possibilities to a few top choices can be a good way to focus a job search.

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Community colleges and universities often offer work abroad programs that allow students to travel and work in a foreign country as part of a group. This option is not always restricted to only college-age people, since it is available at many community and junior colleges as well as traditional, full-time schools. In many cases, the faculty in charge of the program will help participants find jobs with reputable companies, as well as providing lodging assistance, preparation programs, and support throughout the length of the program. This means of finding overseas jobs for Americans can also be useful in that it provides each traveler with a social network of other students, which can be excellent for those who have no contacts or friends at the destination.

While some overseas jobs for Americans call for advanced skills, such as engineering or medical training, others rely on basic working skills. In many countries, Americans are hired to teach children English in an immersive setting, even without a teaching degree or fluency in the native language of the area. Other good overseas jobs for Americans include hospitality jobs, such as hotel front desk jobs and tour guide positions, at businesses that cater to American tourists. American families traveling abroad also frequently want a fellow American to serve as a nanny to children on the trip, which can be a good opportunity for those who enjoy childcare.

Possibly the most important tip for getting overseas jobs for Americans is to research the job and employer fully before accepting. While most jobs overseas are safe and legal, some scams exist that seek to lure Americans into illegal activities, and possibly even danger. Jobs should only be accepted if the hiring company has an established, verifiable reputation, and if the employer is willing to disclose the exact terms of job responsibilities, salary, and other contract details. If the company has a history of hiring American workers, try to find reviews of the experience online, or contact regional business bureaus for confirmation of the company's legitimacy. Although these precautions may seem excessive, they can help protect the job-seeker from potential scams and dangerous situations.

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pleonasm
Post 3

@bythewell - Research isn't a bad thing and it's good to know basic stuff like where the embassy is in your new city. But I have a lot of friends who travel and live overseas and at one time or another they have all just showed up somewhere and figured out jobs and accommodation on the spot, rather than planning ahead.

Most of the time people just want you to work within the system and there isn't going to be a problem. I think it's just as likely that you'll run into shady practices inside the USA as outside it.

bythewell
Post 2

@pastanaga - Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, but one rule I try to follow absolutely is to never, ever surrender my passport unless I'm either at an embassy or possibly in an airport, and even then, to try and keep an eye on it at all times.

No matter what else you lose, if you've got your passport you should be able to get to an embassy and ask for help. It might not even have to be your own embassy, if you can get to one where people speak English and are willing to help you to the American one.

With that being said, if you lose your passport you should still go to the embassy and see what they can do for you if you run into serious trouble with an employer. Just don't expect them to help you if it's only a minor problem. You'll have to sort that out yourself, or with the judicial system in the country you're visiting.

pastanaga
Post 1

Research is definitely important if you don't want to get into trouble. I've heard plenty of horror stories from friends and family who have gone overseas thinking they would be safe and happy in a job only to find themselves caught up in a scam or worse. In one case, a friend of my mother's actually had her passport taken from her and the employer refused to give it back until she had stayed for the whole six months.

This is bad enough if you're an adult and have the resources of an adult, with people you can go to for help, but if you're just out of high school it can seem like the end of the world to get trapped somewhere like this.

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