With the U.S. economy struggling to recover from the depths of the Great Recession, young people may find it hard to find a job opportunity here at home. There are a number of work abroad programs available that either pay modest sums initially, or can lead to full employment overseas. They also provide unique ways to travel to international locations, which can be appealing and fulfilling in their own right. Below are five current programs for young people to consider.
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The Peace Corps was officially established in 1961 and has sent more than 200,000 volunteers to nearly 140 countries since it was founded. It is also officially a U.S. government agency and sends Americans abroad to assist other countries in a wide array of areas including education, health, environment, agriculture and youth development. Participants are considered volunteers, but are provided with living allowances while abroad. Additionally, the relationships and contacts developed in overseas locations usually prove invaluable and provide opportunities for international employment down the road.
Studying abroad is another avenue that can lead to a job overseas down the road, but doesn't tend to pay much initially. Attending university internationally is quite common and available from a high percentage of American-based colleges. The American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) also helps organize cultural exchange programs and states it is one of the oldest and largest organizations to do so. It does offer a few paid programs, such as helping foreign students come to the U.S. as summer camp counselors. It also helps facilitate au pair programs across the world.
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The terms au pair and nanny are used interchangeably, but there are some differences. AIFS has a program to help au pairs reach the U.S. for paid assistance. U.S.-based students and individuals also have opportunities to travel abroad and get paid while helping out a host family in an international location. For many individuals, it can represent an appealing way to travel overseas and pursue an education.
Joining the U.S. military, such as the Navy or Marines, can frequently lead to overseas opportunities at U.S. bases or other locales. Both military arms also offer international civilian employment for those that may not have served in the military before. A recent perusal of job opportunities includes naval support activity in Bahrain, a commander of U.S. Naval forces in Japan and an opportunity at a Marine Corps base in Africa. In this respect, a military career provides many opportunities to go to unique global locations.
The U.S. Department of State lists a number of opportunities for Americans to head overseas and teach at international schools. It also operates a separate U.S. agency to help find employment for dependents of the military whose significant others may be stationed in an overseas location. The State Department can also put individuals in touch with private organizations that help facilitate the hiring of teachers in universities throughout the world.
The Bottom Line
Many of these programs are sponsored by organizations that operate between the public and private realms, but they can receive government funding to carry out their missions. Most of these programs also combine the ability to receive modest monetary compensation with an opportunity to live abroad and gain valuable education. Some of these career paths can even lead to a permanent job down the road.
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