Top 10 Places to Work Abroad in 2017

Backpacker's Best Of

When we were younger, most of us dreamed about a gap year. A year we’d spend traveling and working abroad. Soaking up the local lifestyles and just enjoying every moment of the amazing journey.

One of the biggest issues among the majority of today’s adult population is the fact that those dreams stayed exactly that. Dreams…

The good news is that it’s never too late, and even better yet, there are a bunch of great destinations abroad to live and work in, even if you’re not the engineer you set out to become as a child.

We rounded up some of the best places to live and work in so that you can pick one and finally head off to chase the dream. Here they are, so sit back and enjoy!

1. New Zealand

Road in New Zealand
Road in New Zealand

In terms of a work-life balance, New Zealand ranks among the top countries in the world to live and work in. The Kiwi dream might cost you some seriously long flights to get there, very slow internet connections (since you’ll be at the end of the world), and a higher cost of living, but it might just be what you’ve been chasing after all.

Why work here?

New Zealand is renowned for its pristine natural beauty, an abundance of sheep, friendly locals, a great work-life balance, and of course the opportunity to raise children in a safe environment.

2. United Kingdom

Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle

The UK is a country known to be abundant in job opportunities, albeit the weather might be a bummer at times. If you choose to work in the United Kingdom, chances are pretty good you don’t even need to secure a job before heading there; you’ll probably find something when you get there!

Why work here?

The UK is in close proximity to the rest of Europe, making it the perfect gateway destination to see a few interesting places. Foreigners with a good skill set and work ethics are highly likely to find a job there too, even if they don’t secure a position before heading over.

3. Belize

Caye Caulker Belize
Caye Caulker, Belize

Although Belize is a small, developing country, it can be a dream come true for expats looking to find their peace of paradise. The island lifestyle can ensure that you have a good quality of life, and since it’s safe (and very serene) you’ll have the best of both worlds here.

Why work here?

Living costs in Belize are very affordable; you can live on as little as $1,500 per month. Belize is also former British colony, which means that most people speak English, giving you a steady foot in the door if you’ve got a few great skills.

4. Switzerland

Chapel Bridge Switzerland
Chapel Bridge, Switzerland

If you’re a nomad looking for Nirvana, Switzerland might just be it. Working here will provide you with a more relaxed lifestyle while giving you access to some of the most picturesque views in the world. The business hours might take some getting used to, but we reckon that it’s a reasonable price to pay for a great quality of life.

Why work here?

Switzerland is a very clean and safe country to live in. Quality of life is extremely high and the country has some of the best schools and healthcare facilities in the world.

5. China

Wuxi China
Wuxi, China

While teaching is probably one of the biggest talent draws for China, one-fourth of expats living in China don’t teach, so opportunities here are abundant. The country offers you a low cost of living, so if you can deal with the air pollution and don’t plan on having kids, this might be your ideal destination to work in.

Why work here?

China has a lot of work opportunities for expats, even more so if you’re looking at teaching English. You’ll probably score a package that includes assistance with utilities, travel expenses, and utility payments if you sign up to be a local teacher.

6. Hong Kong

Hong Kong at night
Hong Kong at night

Another eastern country worth considering as a working destination is Hong Kong. Sure living costs might be a lot higher than they are in China, but the experience promises to be much more exciting.

Why work here?

Hong Kong is a great place for skilled expats that are looking at scoring a high-paying job and landing a great compensation package as part of the deal. You’ll also benefit from the fact that this country is predominantly English, and hiring a housekeeper is super affordable!

7. India

Celebrating Bombay
Celebrating Bombay

It’s busy and super exciting, making India one of the most popular countries for expats to live and work abroad. The quality of life in India is good, despite the fact that it's super-hot there and also pretty polluted.

Why work here?

India has been rated as one of the best countries in the world to live in since it offers great entertainment, a satisfying social life, and a scrumptious diet. Education and childcare services here are cheap, which may be rewarding after you’ve settled into the local culture.

8. Thailand

Boats in Thailand
Boats in Thailand

Freelancers, this one is for you! Thailand is an island paradise that doesn’t have a lot of strict Visa requirements, and they are also more than willing to give expats part-time jobs. The food is great and so are the people!

Why work here?

The cost of living is very low in Thailand, plus you’ll get to see some of the most breathtaking sights ever. Thailand also has a lot of part-time jobs on offer for expats, making it very accessible.

9. Ecuador

A carpet vendor
A carpet vendor

If you can speak a little Spanish, you should definitely be considering Ecuador as a working abroad destination. You’ll get along with the locals and also have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating lower prices on food and rental fees.

Why work here?

This is a budget-friendly country offering you year-round spring weather. Cheap healthcare services and a low general cost of living are some of the biggest draws for expats here.

10. Singapore

Singapore Skyline
Singapore Skyline by David Russo on Flickr

Australia and Asia see Singapore as a trading hub, making it one of the busiest countries in the world, which is why it’s perfect for expats looking for a job abroad. While rent costs are sky-high you can still live comfortably on a relatively limited budget here.

Why work here?

A lot of international companies are based in Singapore, giving you the opportunity to apply for a job with one of them. Food and transport costs are very affordable, plus it’s located in a central spot, making this country a great base for exploring the rest of Asia in your off time.

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Eric Carrell

I’m Eric, and I’m the Editor in Chief of True North Athletics. I’m also an avid adventurer, digital nomad, and traveler. I enjoy all types of outdoor sports, a good golf tan, and spontaneous weekend trips. I currently live in Brazil where I can be found frequently hiking the rainforest around my city!

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