Studying abroad can be an invaluable part of a college education, but you might be worried about the cost. Fortunately, it is possible to support yourself out of the country if you figure out how to make money while studying abroad.
Some visas let you take part-time jobs, or you could work under-the-table as a tutor or babysitter. Plus, thanks to the internet, it’s easy to make money abroad by working online.
How to make money while studying abroad
If you’re looking for ways to finance a semester or two outside of the U.S., here are 10 options for study abroad jobs, as well as factors to consider as you decide whether to seek your fortune abroad.
1. Teach English 2. Tutor students in test prep 3. Work as a freelancer online 4. Babysit 5. Offer translation services 6. Become a tour guide 7. Help out at a hostel 8. Wait tables (visa permitting) 9. Work on-campus 10. Create your own travel blog (and keep at it) Plus: Should you work abroad as a student?
1. Teach English
The ability to speak English is a hot commodity. As the international language of business, English is coveted across the globe. Who knew speaking English was such a marketable skill?
It’s easy to connect with students looking for English tutors. Advertise your services on campus or online. Many cities have local discussion boards or Facebook groups where students and tutors can connect.
Besides meeting up in person, you can also teach English online. Companies such as Udemy, Verbling and Italki connect you with students all over the world through Skype. Let’s say you made $15 an hour teaching English. If you worked 10 hours a week, then you’d be pulling in $150 each week, or $600 a month.
2. Tutor students in test prep
In addition to tutoring in English, look for students who want help preparing for U.S. admissions tests, such as the SAT or ACT. Besides helping students ace these tests, you can guide them through the college admission process.
As with teaching English, you can meet up with local students or tutor online. Student Tutors, for instance, is one company that hires college students as online tutors.
3. Work as a freelancer online
Do you have other marketable skills to offer online besides teaching or tutoring? Some fields with abundant freelance opportunities are writing, editing, programming and website design. Check out work-from-home sites like Upwork and Freelancer to see what roles are available.
These sites let you apply to jobs and offer services. Pay varies depending on the service and length of the project. Helping someone write their dating profile, for example, would earn you just $5 on Fiverr. Designing a website for a company through Upwork could make you $500 or more.
If you enjoy spending time with kids, consider finding a babysitting job. Babysitting is typically flexible, and it pays well. Plus, you’ll connect with a family and get a deeper sense of your host country’s language and culture.
Check your college’s job board for babysitting opportunities. Alternatively, look for local websites that connect babysitters with families. Care.com, for instance, operates in 20 countries around the world matching families with caregivers.
5. Offer translation services
Do you have a working knowledge of your host country’s language? If you’re fluent, offer translation services. Translators generally set their own rates by the word depending on their experience level and efficiency. Translating will let you make money working abroad while honing your language skills and building a portfolio.
6. Become a tour guide
Would you love to bring people on tours around your new city? Reach out to tourism companies and see if any are looking for tour guides. This role is a fun way to learn more about your host city and meet new people as you make money abroad. Just don’t lead any pub crawls the night before a big exam.
7. Help out at a hostel
Working at a hostel is another avenue to consider if you’re thinking about how to make money while studying abroad. Hostels don’t always update their openings online. Your best bet is to go in person and inquire about any opportunities.
8. Wait tables (visa permitting)
Some student visas let you work part-time. If yours has this allowance, look for work in a cafe or restaurant. In the busy environment of food services, you’ll be fluent in your host country’s language in no time.
9. Work on-campus
If you’re studying abroad through a university, rather than an external program, then the college may offer on-campus jobs. Eligible students may be able to find work-study jobs on the branch campus. Speak with the study abroad office to learn about your options for making money abroad. Maybe the office will even set you up with an on-campus job before you arrive.
10. Create your own travel blog (and keep at it)
Finally, you can try to make money abroad by starting your own travel blog. While study abroad travel blogs are a dime a dozen, most of them are more personal than professional. If you’re serious about it, look for a way to fill a niche, produce stand-out content and monetize your blog.
Of course, you’ll need to write posts on a continuous basis, which can be tough as a full-time student. Plus, blogs take several months to a year to start generating revenue. Starting your own blog may make you money eventually, but it’s probably not your best option for immediate income.
Should you work abroad as a student?
Working abroad has its challenges. You have to work around a language barrier, learn new customs and adapt to different ways of doing things. By meeting these challenges, though, you’ll sharpen your language skills and broaden your horizons. Along the way, you’re sure to gain lots of self-confidence.
If your job takes too much energy from your studies, then it might not be worth it. However, with the range of opportunities for making money while studying abroad, you’ll be able to find a flexible role. By working abroad, you’ll take the pressure off your finances and hopefully reduce the amount you need to borrow in student loans.
For more tips, check out this guide for six ways to pay for study abroad without going into debt.
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