Winter is coming, and maybe you’re thinking about avoiding the cold grey skies and the accompanying doldrums. If you’re lucky enough to have a life where you can take off for a few months, consider traveling abroad. There are plenty of opportunities for studying, volunteering, and working in other countries, if you can make that mental leap and set the wheels in motion.
- Get Your TEFL Certificate: Teach English as a foreign language, and get paid to finance your travel. Previous teaching experience and foreign language skills aren’t a formal requirement, although they do help. Take classes online or in real classrooms located around the world.
- Volunteer Abroad: There are many organizations who will help you find a volunteer opportunity abroad. Unfortunately these programs can be very costly, so make sure you do your research. Often the best volunteer opportunities come from knowing the right person, so put the word out amongst your friends and acquaintances that you’re looking.
- Study Abroad: There’s nothing like living in foreign country if you want to immerse yourself in a different culture and improve your foreign language skills. Consider finding an intensive language program. They last anywhere from one week to several months, so whatever your time frame, there’s probably a program for you.
- Just Go and Plan on the Fly: this can seem like the most risky option for many people who prefer to have some structure. But it’s been done successfully many times. Pack light, grab a guide book and maybe a traveling companion, and discover a new culture.
Always make sure that if you’re participating in a program, that it has a good reputation and that you get references from past and current participants. Begin your research by doing a quick search on Google or another search engine, and see what options are most appealing. And while leaving home might seem a little crazy or irresponsible, you can supplement your travel income by renting out your apartment. If your renter doesn’t want it furnished, find a reliable self storage facility where you can keep your personal belongings on a month to month basis.