Are you dreaming of going to another country to work abroad for a year?
Working abroad is a wonderful way to travel because it allows you to make money as you go so that you can afford to extend your travels for longer. It also gives you the chance to experience your destination beyond the tourist sites and actually get a sense of what it is like to be a local. You will stay longer, make friends and truly get to understand the culture.
Many countries all over the world offer Working Holiday Visa programs which allow you to apply to work and travel for up to 12 months. You can check out our list of countries with Working Holiday schemes and find out which ones you are eligible for.
The hardest part of planning an adventure like this is deciding which country is the best to work abroad for a year in. There are so many to choose from, so which destination will give you the most enjoyable travel experience?
This decision is ultimately up to you, but we can tell you which countries we think are the easiest to work abroad for a year in. These countries are perfect for first time travelers because they are different enough to give you an exciting travel experience but also very easy to adjust to and find work in. English is widely spoken, which can be nice because traveling for the first time is a steep enough learning curve without having to fumble your way through a new language.
Our Top Five Easiest Countries to Work Abroad For a Year
We wrote a post recently about all of the reasons why New Zealand is a great place to work abroad for a year. It is a gorgeous country with a great climate, fascinating culture and beautiful scenery, which is super easy for backpackers to get around in and find jobs. The people are friendly and laid back, there’s every kind of landscape from tropical beaches to mountain glaciers and you’ve never lived until you have tasted Hokey Pokey Ice Cream.
There are so many young travelers working and exploring New Zealand, finding jobs in hostels, pubs, retail, hospitality and more. There is also a huge abundance of seasonal work on farms and fruit orchards, enough to make your way around the entire country from one agricultural job to the next following the harvest.
Countries Accepted: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.
Canada offers another great option if you want to work abroad for a year. Obtaining a Working Holiday visa for the second largest country in the world means that you have opened up an enormous landmass of gorgeous locations to choose from for your year abroad. Perhaps you want to work at a ski hill in the stunning snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains, or at a hip bar in downtown Toronto? Maybe you want to spend your days off wandering through the French-Canadian cobblestone streets of Old Quebec City, hiking in the coastal temperate rain-forests of British Columbia or drinking Screech rum in a pub near the harbor in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Canada has lots of job opportunities for backpackers, especially in the tourism and hospitality industry. You might also find seasonal work on farms during the harvest season and lots of jobs at the ski resorts in the wintertime.
Countries Accepted: United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Latvia, Republic of Korea, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Estonia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Chile, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Ukraine and Australia.
Australia is an amazing place to work abroad for a year. At the moment the Aussie economy is booming which means that jobs are plentiful and high paying in the Land Down Under. Of course, Australia is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in the world with golden sandy beaches, tropical reefs and epic wide open spaces.
Australia is a popular backpacking destination so the locals will be used to hiring temporary workers, especially in seasonal jobs. It is also big enough to give you plenty to explore throughout the year.
Whether you want to live the party life hanging out in clubs and restaurants in the cities, or enjoy the outdoor life on farms, beaches, forests and deserts, going to work abroad for a year in Australia will be an experience you will never forget.
Countries Accepted: Taiwan, Estonia, Belgium, Italy, France, Cyprus, Finland, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Malta, Republic of Korea, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, Canada, United Kingdom
Passport holders from Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran, Indonesia, Chile, Bangladesh, Argentina and the USA need to apply for a subclass 462 visa and are required to have a tertiary education.
Ireland is a very small country, but its culture and history is known throughout the world. You’ve probably drank a Guinness and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in your home country, but what about actually getting to know the authentic Irish culture? Not only is the countryside beautiful and filled with lots of fascinating ancient castles, the people are famous for being some of the friendliest in the world.
Dublin is a popular city for backpackers and there will be plenty of hospitality jobs on offer here in the many pubs, restaurants and hotels. You might also work abroad for a year in one of the smaller cities such as Cork, Galway or Killarney.
Countries Accepted: Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Korea
Last but not least, one of the other easiest countries to work abroad for a year is the United Kingdom. The UK has a lot more to offer beyond London and you could work in Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff or many other fantastic cities.
I worked abroad for a year in Lancashire and I absolutely loved it. It is so easy to get around the UK, so you can take a train or a bus to explore another city for the day or the weekend. There are plenty of tourism and hospitality jobs, but if you have experience you might also find a job in your field.
The UK has a great music scene, excellent free museums and art galleries, tons of historical architecture and many beautiful walking trails through the peaceful countryside.
Countries Accepted: Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, British Overseas Territories
These are our top five picks for the easiest countries for a first time traveler to work abroad for a year in. Which destination calls out to you the most?