How to live abroad

In college, after doing my study abroad in Austria (which I loved!!!) I pretty much decided I was going to live abroad again, by hook or by crook. The most obvious way to do that seemed to be teaching English. I don’t know how much time I spent researching this subject. And now I just decided, well, maybe there’s someone out there who might like to know that information. I never actually taught abroad, but I’ve researched it like I have.

Now I’m biased of course–I think, ideally, internet business is a more lucrative and enjoyable way to travel than teaching. But I got an email from an agency this week that said they were hiring in Bhutan. Bhutan!

An opportunity like that is one-of-a-kind. Why? Because the country doesn’t allow tourists to enter the country unless on an extremely expensive monitored tour.

So the only way to experience the country without being a tourist would be to go there to work. And internet business won’t cut it. Teaching English would.

This is a country whose ruler actually has a measurement of the country called Gross National Happiness. It’s a country that is completely undiscovered–almost like North Korea. And most people probably wouldn’t think about going there because they are more interested in more traditional destinations.

And people are freaking out about the job situation in the US–well, there’s always teaching English in Bhutan.

Here is the job:

Footprints Recruiting is recruiting qualified teachers to teach in The Kingdom of Bhutan for year long contracts February 2011 – December 2011. We are looking for Primary Specialists, Special Education Specialists, as well as High School Math, Science and English specialists. No other language necessary as English is the language of instruction in Bhutan beginning in Grade 2. Teachers will be placed in Bhutanese government funded schools across the country. You are able to request posting location as well as age of students and subject that you would like to teach.  
Who we’re looking for:

  • Qualified teachers holding a degree in Education, teacher certification or 3  years relevant teaching experience  (with references)
  • Aged 22-59
  • Native English speakers from Canada, The United States, The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand
  • Adaptable and enthusiastic adventurers who are looking to make a difference!

Compensation:Teachers are paid a local salary of 20,000 Ngultrums which is about $500 USD a month. This is more than enough to cover your living expenses in Bhutan.  Accommodations will be found for you. Successful applicants may also be eligible to apply for student loan deferral or reduced payment programs.
Application Deadline:  September 30, 2010  
Spend a year in the Land of the Thunder Dragon – We believe that education is key to the thoughtful transformation of the new democracy of Bhutan. Through the provisioning of teachers, materials, and scholarships we encourage the growth of a universal system of education, which upholds the tenets of Gross National Happiness and focuses on human well being and environmental conservation.
If you are interested in applying for this unique opportunity, please respond to this e-mail with the word ‘Bhutan’ in the subject line.

Best Regards,
Ben Glickman
CEO – Co-Owner
Footprints Recruiting Inc.®
Phone: +1 604-677-6556 ext. 6000


Here is some basic information on getting a job overseas that I wrote for a friend:

So as I flirted with the idea of going to teach English abroad, I often applied and was actually offered positions in several places. The best way to get a job is just to make a resume and post in on the teach English abroad websites like or There are a lot of them. I don’t remember which one I posted in on which got me the job in Germany, but is one which I remember I got bombarded with offers. All you have to do is post your resume on the site, look at jobs you like and hit “apply.” 

Some things to think about: 
Salary isn’t everything. Cost of living will make a big difference, as well as if round trip airfare is provided, or insurance, meals, and housing.
China will have a lower pay scale, but you can live well for what you get. Japan will pay higher, but the cost of living is so high you will have a harder time saving anything.
What’s more, Japan is extremely competitive, whereas China is desperate for teachers.
A place like Saudi Arabia, you could make $60,000 a year but die of boredom in the mean time because you have to live on a compound.

One other thing to decide is if you want TEFL certification. Some jobs require it, but not all. Sometimes you can make a little more money if you have it…

Although it’s not necessary, it is possible to use something like Footprints EF First 
These are services that do placement based on openings they have in their databases. I had job offers from both of them too.

I also looked into being an au pair: shows listings by country. I think I got TONS of job offers from Almondbury Agency Everybody wants their little kid to learn English.

To sum up…if you want to live abroad as desperately as I did, there are ways to go about it :)

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 377 awesome articles for us.

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