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Updated April 2022
The college years chapter is about to close, and you’re about to turn the page onto the chapter where you get to start traveling after college – how exciting!
Let’s face it: school was all about learning, traveling is about applying it all, and then some.
It’s time to experience this beautiful world of ours, and it starts here with this post.
I am a firm believer that although education is important and plays a key role in life, there is nothing quite like the life experience and lessons you’ll learn (personal to you) when you travel.
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In today’s post, I want to share with you the 7 ways that you can get on this path right after graduation, which is not only WAY more fun than staying home and applying for jobs there, but also an opportunity that will leave lessons within you and clarity for what you actually want during your travels, and beyond!
Let’s get started!
How To Start Traveling After College – Here Are 7 Exciting Options For You!
Teaching English abroad
A very common option that most recent college grads take, and the one that I personally went with is teaching English abroad.
Traveling after college means that you now have a strong education, degree, and some work experience to back you up on landing a position to be a teacher literally in most countries in the world.
Teaching abroad is an experience that in my opinion, will be one of your best options if you’re fresh out of college looking for an extended stay in another country with a job secured before you even arrive.
The most popular places to teach abroad are typically in Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan, as well as some European countries like Spain, where I personally decided to move to.
If you’ve don’t your research at this point or will begin to, you will know that typically pay is higher in Asian countries and the UAE than in European and South American placements.
For example, in some job placements in Japan, teachers will earn between $2,000-$5,000 per month with sometimes flight reimbursement and housing provided, when in Spain for instance, the pay will round out typically between €500-€1,000 per month with housing and food only being covered if you live with a family, but not the flight or transportation to get there.
So when it comes to picking a place to teach abroad, it depends on your goals and the experience you’d like to have.
Whether you truly don’t care so much about how much you’ll make and you want the pure experience of living and working in Europe, or you want the experience of living abroad, but and making more than enough money to live well and to bring back home with you afterward, research based on what you’re objectives are.
Here’s a website that delineates generally how much English teachers get paid and the lifestyle based on popular countries to teach in, to help you get started!
Fellowships and travel scholarships
If you didn’t know this before, traveling after college doesn’t always mean that it has to cost YOU your money to fund the actual experience.
There are tons of travel scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other terms that basically mean free money for your travels.
Yes, that’s right – traveling after college doesn’t have to even cost you much if you look for the right opportunities like this one.
Of course, there is work involved, and you’re not exactly just cruising around on someone else’s dime, but imagine being able to travel to a part of the world to work on important jobs such as the diverse and appropriate representation of American art throughout some of the most prominent art museums across Venice for 6 months with the Venice Architectural Biennale program, or if there is a program or area of study or research that you’d like to conduct abroad, you could apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program which will fund 6 months to a year of your stay.
There are many different opportunities for travel scholarships that you can google with keywords such as “travel scholarships” or “travel scholarships” and an area of study.
Don’t let the application process turn you away from an incredible opportunity to go on a short-term/long-term experience abroad doing work that you actually really love, and will only open more doors to you professionally speaking, as well as allow you to transform and grow into the person you’re meant to be.
You need the right environment for that, and travel will offer that.
Au Pair Abroad
Do you have some babysitting experience under your belt?
If you are looking for an opportunity to integrate yourself and immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of a family abroad while helping them with their family needs, becoming an Au Pair is one of the best options in traveling after college!
Whether it was with your neighbor’s kids or your younger siblings if you said yes, you’re already qualified for this job!
I remember watching the movie Au Pair (do you remember that movie??) thinking what an amazing job it would be able to move into a big fancy castle/mansion and hang out with some pretty awesome kids (as a kid myself thinking this lol) thinking it was unreachable.
Anyways, there are countless opportunities to Au Pair in a wide selection of countries (which you can check out here if you’re looking for opportunities outside the US and here if you’re looking for opportunities within the US) that is sure to help you narrow all the way down to a city and even family.
There are also tons of videos on YouTube with “day in the life of an Au Pair” that are sure to lend you specific examples of what to expect on the job and see realistically how much time you have to yourself to explore and which countries may be the best depending on your specific criteria.
Regardless, this is a very common option aside from teaching English abroad to help many college grads move abroad right after college, and not a bad one at that.
You are secured a home, a host family to help immerse you into the culture, meals, and a stipend, and an opportunity to make a lasting connection with a family that can go beyond your time with them.
Not too bad for a cultural experience and exchange!
Read More: If I Could Redo My Homestay Experience…
If your heart is yearning to help other communities across the world, volunteering may just be your ticket to traveling after college!
There is a huge variety of options when it comes to volunteering abroad, ranging from sea turtle and marine conservation in Greece, to immersing yourself in Lao culture while teaching Buddhist Monks and community children English, and so much more!
The price for each program varies, and it depends on what is included such as housing and meals, as well as what your duties would be, so keep an eye out for that as you will not be receiving any compensation for your work abroad in this case.
However, the cultural enrichment, connections, and overall experience to say that you helped to create a positive impact in a part of the world that really appreciates it, it’s pretty amazing and priceless if you can do something like it at some point in your life.
If you’re also thinking, well I’d love to help sea turtles and marine life, but my college degree is in marketing!
No worries, in many cases these programs offer training that will help equip you with the information and skillset to help you manage your responsibilities in the program.
Lastly, this one is commonly thought about but not done enough.
If you’re a gifted photographer or videographer, perhaps you even have a YouTube channel or blog where you showcase your work, your talents can be the ticket to some pretty amazing and invaluable travel experiences right out of college.
There are many companies and organizations such as GVIUSA (volunteer opportunities platform) that offer free room, board, and ground transportation to content creators (specifically videographers and photographers) to help them take photos and video for their website and program.
In some cases (not all) they may even pay for your flight, which is a pretty awesome exchange for the talents you already love and have!
Depending on the company/organization, you may not be financially compensated for your work, but you will be given a roof over your head, food, transport, and connections to local people wherever you are, communities, and events that you’d be creating content around.
Get a remote job
Did working remotely in 2020 get you thinking that you could have actually done your job remotely all this time?
So why don’t you?
If you want to work while you travel, this could be the best option for you to begin traveling after college – and with a job!
Whether it’s asking your employer about the possibility of taking your job remotely, or if that doesn’t work, maybe it’s looking at your job and thinking of taking your skills over to a job that is already remote, there are plenty of options out there to make this happen.
There are many job boards especially for looking for remote jobs such as remote.co, flexjobs.com, weworkremotely.com, and skipthedrive.com that you can get started on searching by adding keywords such as the skills you already use at your current job.
Chances are you will be able to find jobs looking for people with those skillsets, which is a sure way of being able to travel abroad after college, and long-term at that.
Are you someone with a blog?
What about a YouTube channel?
Are you already creating content online?
If you do some research around ways to monetize your content, that in itself could be your ticket to traveling abroad and funding your travels that way.
Digital Nomads is the term to describe those people who can work from the internet, many as content creators, and earn a living that way which allows them the time freedom, and finance possibilities to live a nomadic lifestyle.
This is the ultimate type of lifestyle that will not only get you to travel the world but also fund it abundantly the more you work towards up-leveling your content through your platform(s)!
Whether it’s affiliate marketing with your content, starting a blog, or YouTube channel, with a bit of work and the right resources, you can definitely grow your platform and soon after start monetizing it to sustain your travels.
There are many popular college bloggers as proof of this such as Sophia Lee from BySophiaLee.com who started her blog in between college classes and is now a full-time successful blogger after graduation.
So rethink your skills, learn more if you think that can help you, or start your own endeavors online. The possibilities are truly limitless.
Find job opportunities abroad
There is always the option to find an actual job abroad, with a company if what you’re looking for is more about moving abroad longer-term rather than traveling often like a digital nomad.
Now if this process seems a bit daunting just by thinking of job searching and then adding on top of it a visa process and housing, have no fear!
There are amazing people out there who specialize to literally help you move abroad and live a global life while helping you maneuver the technical items!
I’d start with websites such as sheworksabroad.com which is a wonderful resource with the information to help you move your skills and life abroad, and lasmorenasdeespaña.com who are specialized in helping women move and work abroad in Spain.
A quick and trusty search on Google for your job/skillset in your desired country is also a good place to start to get your feet wet and see what exactly is it that workplaces and companies are looking for in these positions.
You may find that you may actually also need to add more to your knowledge by taking a class or two to really solidify your chances of getting that job of your dreams in the city of your dreams.
Imagine being that person in your class to have landed a job abroad and got the chance to start traveling after college right away?
This could be you.
It’s possible and I believe in you!
Find a graduate program abroad
Speaking of taking classes abroad, a good way to move abroad after college is to continue being a student, but in a graduate program.
For many young professionals who want to continue their studies, but also want to travel – this is the perfect opportunity to do so, and start traveling after college.
Of course, this should be a choice that you’re making not just because you want to move abroad for X amount of years, but because what you’re studying will eventually make a positive change in your skillset and job prospects.
I just wanted to reiterate that 🙂 but if that is you, then you should totally try to continue your studies abroad by looking at a college that is accredited in the U.S. that way you can work back in the States if you choose to come back, and of course, have the option of working in the country where you got certified – double win!
Why continue school in the U.S. when you can do it abroad, right?
Especially if there are tons of scholarship opportunities and the cost is not comparable to the exaggeration that is American education prices.
Ask yourself what is the most cost-effective and what you actually want to experience – the answer may end up surprising you.
Concluding thoughts on traveling and living abroad after college
There is literally a world of opportunities out there, if you can travel outside not only your country but your comfort zone (most importantly) please do it.
There is nothing as valuable that you can do right now than to do something like this for yourself.
Whether it’s working for yourself abroad, or working for someone else, the sheer fulfillment of actually going through with a move like that, seeing yourself in a different culture, and experiencing the immense personal growth aside from the duty at hand that you’ll perform – will equal to more than what you could ever experience if you stay home – even with the best paying job or entrance to the best grad programs.
There, I said.
Read More: How Travel Has Influenced Me
Your future self will thank you ☺️
To more travel moments like this ✨