Globe-Trekking: 5 Post-Grad Jobs to Travel the World

It’s that time of year, graduating collegiettes! You’ve packed up your bags, saved up your pennies and with diploma in hand, you’re ready to take on the world!

But before you step off the graduation stage and buy that plane ticket to Barcelona, you might want to consider the different jobs and volunteer programs that can take you there for free—some complete with medical insurance and housing packages! Whether you’re backpacking through Europe or bicycling across the African continent, there are plenty of professional and volunteer-based opportunities for you to fit some globe-trekking into your post-grad plans.

1. Tour guide

This is probably the most obvious choice for limitless locales and paid-for flights, accommodations and day-to-day expenses. As a tour guide, you escort tourists from city to city and country to country, interpreting the cultural heritage of your tour. While your friends back home are stuck at the office, you’ll be working your 9 to 5 on a double-decker bus rolling down Oxford Street in London, a safari jeep crossing the Saharan desert or a tent camped out in the Swiss Alps! You should be able to retain historical facts, dates and names, but also be able to relate this information in a fun way to your tour group!

Brittany King, a graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s class of 2010, found a job as a hotel caterer and part-time tour guide through the BUNAC work abroad program. This program placed her in Ireland’s capital, Dublin.

“I applied through BUNAC’s 4-month program,” Brittany said. “Since I graduated with a degree in hospitality, I found a job as a caterer at the Merrion in Dublin, a five-star luxury hotel. On the side, I worked part-time as a tour guide, which was a way to have fun and get to know the city myself. I love the Irish culture and history and I wanted to relay that to people!”

Career Advisor Nancy Hoff at the University of New Hampshire says this career is great for those who have graduated with communications or public relations majors or those with strong communication and people skills. “There are lots of opportunities in the international tourism industry,” says Hoff. “There are hundreds of multinational hotel chains that hire through placement programs.”

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2. ESL teaching


English as Second Language, or more commonly referred to as ESL teaching, is a great way to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and make an impact on the community. It’s easy for a recently graduated collegiette to teach ESL in a foreign country, because all that you generally need is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, and a work visa to teach ESL abroad. If you want to teach ESL in a foreign country, then you don’t need to have an ESL teacher certification, but it definitely makes you more attractive in an increasingly competitive job market.

The easiest way to apply for an ESL teaching job overseas is through a U.S.-based program. When choosing among these programs, it’s best to ask about fees, salary, job placement, housing, insurance, whether there is an orientation and the level of on-site support. Remember, in some cases of ESL teaching, you’re traveling to a foreign place with little to no orientation. It’s best to orient yourself with the cultural norms and basic language of your host country beforehand!

Kerry Mayou, a graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s class of 2010, has been teaching English to grade school children in Beijing. “I literally had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated from UNH,” Kerry said. “All I knew was that I wanted to travel, so I looked into placement programs for ESL teaching. I applied through the CIEE. Now that I’ve spent a year in Beijing, I’ve made friends here, built a life here, and become a part of the culture. I was provided a housing package and lessons in Mandarin Chinese. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

The good news is that the demand for ESL teachers is increasing every year, says Hoff. “ESL teaching is probably the best way to work abroad,” she says. “There are three major regions that are looking for English teachers- South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia.”

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3. Volunteer programs

Wouldn’t it be nice to get paid to travel around the world and also feel like you were making a difference? Volunteer programs and non-profit organizations like AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, WOOF and Vista hire graduating collegiettes every year of all majors and interests.

UNH campus recruiter for the Peace Corps, Ally Snell, says that like a lot of volunteer programs out there, the Peace Corps particularly provides nice benefits to reward the helpful volunteer, including a monthly living allowance, education and medical benefits. All volunteers are required to commit 27 months or two-and-a-half years of training and service, but they schedule vacation time as well.

Carolyn Lishawa, a junior at Ohio Northern University, is considering going into the Peace Corps after graduation.

“I think what appeals to me most about the Peace Corps is the chance it gives me to focus all of my time on serving and helping other people who really need it,” Carolyn said. “I would love to go to other countries and be able to physically interact with the people there!”

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