Are you getting older and increasingly regretting the fact that you didn’t study abroad in college? Feeling like you missed out? You don’t have to nowadays. Many opportunities have popped up that allow you to go abroad as an adult, whether it be for a few weeks, a few months, or even a year. You might even be able to get professional experience while living overseas!
What kinds of options do you have?
Volunteering abroad: Sites likes Greenheart Travel provide different ways to satisfy your desire to give back to the global community, from helping developing communities to working with animals. You can also often choose your length of stay (from 2-12 weeks). This gives you the flexibility to choose between a life change or a volunteer vacation.
Internships abroad: If you’re starting (or restarting) your career and don’t know where you want to settle, an internship could be the right thing to get you started. You’ll still have to pay a program fee, but you’ll get some professional experience while you’re away. You’ll most likely need to go through a provider or your University to do this. Go Overseas provides numerous programs to inspire you: https://www.gooverseas.com/internships-abroad.
Working while traveling abroad: For those of us who want to escape for a while, but need to continue to earn money, there’s organizations called Remote Year or We Roam to help us. It’s not as easy as we’d like it to be, but these programs help you find remote work — or help you convince your employer to let you work remote. Then, they essentially set up a year of travel for you, coordinating co-working spaces, accommodations, and transportation. This is a new phenomenon and they’re still working out kinks, but it’s worth keeping an eye on!
Teach English abroad: You will need to get your TEFL certificate, which is an undertaking, but if you’re looking to make a big move, teaching English abroad can allow you to support yourself for years in another country. Many providers get you certified and place you as part of one service. If you search for “teach English abroad”, you’ll find a large selection of these! Or, you can take on the challenge and find your own placement in a country of interest! Visit teachaway.com for job listings directly from Ministries of Education around the world.
Study abroad (for the non-student): Want to get the real ‘study abroad’ feel and take classes or learn a language while you’re away? If you’ve got a thirst for learning, you can satisfy it even after college. Road Scholar has a 38-day Paris or Florence immersion program for adults. Providers like Center for Study Abroad and International Partners for Study Abroad welcome adults and have a variety of offerings, from larger cities to small, tourist-free towns. Some programs and universities, like the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy (a great university town!) directly enroll adults. If you find a program you like — especially summer programs — chances are the provider is open to college grads. Just pick up the phone and call!
You just have to start with a destination in mind and you’re sure to find an opportunity that fits your interests, goals, and lifestyle.