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Going Abroad After College Changed My Life

Going abroad after college changed my life, although I did not recognize it at the time. After my graduation ceremony my family presented me with a card that read “Valid for one round trip ticket to go anywhere in the world.”  So I hit the road for a temporary move to Thailand and with a friend and was bitten by the travel bug every since. If you are getting ready to graduate from high school or college, and anyone asks you what you want for graduation, by all means ask for a plane ticket or a financial contribution to your travel plans. Moving abroad after college is definitely one of the most liberating experiences you can ever have in your life. Lets face it your going to work 9 to 5 the rest of your life you might as well enjoy a hard earned break.

I planed a temporary stay for six months with a friend. We had talked about going to Thailand for almost a year and thought getting some kind of job waiting tables or working in a hotel might be enough to give us a little extra cash for extra things we wanted to do. What we found out was that it was not as easy as we thought. First off if you go abroad for more than 90 days in most countries you need to apply for a residence visa. Not all residence visas will allow you to work. Usually you need to apply for a separate work permit and have a tax ID. In our case, we had already applied for a residence visa ahead of time and it was not an easy thing to do. I always recommend doing your homework on applying for visas ahead of time and know how long tourist visas are good for.

If you need to find a spare job to help provide you with a little income when you go overseas then getting a job will all depend on how long you plan on staying. If you go abroad for a year or so, then it is worth the hassle getting a work permit. With a work permit, you can apply for just about any job and have a larger chance of finding something at a better salary. If your stay abroad less then six months, it is not worth it to apply for a work permit because permits can sometimes take up to 3 months before you receive them.

It is possible to find a job under the table if you know where to look. Restaurants, bars, hotels and cafes are sometimes the easiest options. Another way to look for a job is to search for a paper or community website that has international residents in your visiting country. Sometimes it’s possible to find postings for daycare, housecleaning, odd jobs or there may be small businesses from an internationals living in the area. But just remember they expect to pay you at the local rate.

Moving abroad or going abroad after college for me was the greatest times of my life. We stayed in a hostel meet several people like us traveling around and seeing the world. We enjoyed the bars, clubs and went on many trips into the jungle, temples and villages with people we met. We sat on pristine white sandy beaches in the sun, and bought groceries from floating markets. We learned to walk or use buses to save money when we had to and had a few things disappear from our backpacks in a hostel. These things are all part of the adventure and you will rarely get a second chance after you graduate from college.

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