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How to Work Abroad Without Experience + The 8 Best Jobs

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Here’s everything you need to know about how to work abroad without experience!

Are you yearning to traverse the globe, savoring the vibrancy of foreign cultures, and weaving your own travel tales? You have a desire to work abroad, it’s a force, but you’re just starting out, don’t know where to start, and you have no experience!?

No worries, I’ll help, but before we even start, you might be asking, “What the heck do you know!?” Trust me, I’ve been there!

Here’s my list of the 11 travel jobs abroad with no prior experience I’ve had in the last decade! Yes, I said 11! In short, I was clueless but ended up with my dream job. So yeah, I think I know a thing or two, so I’m here to share all my knowledge with you.

Securing paid work abroad isn’t as impossible as it seems, and countless individuals have ventured into this world without prior experience, including me! Let’s get into it…

How to Work Abroad Without Experience


Getting work abroad doesn’t take a miracle. It just takes… work! If it was super easy, everyone would be doing it. Let’s be real. It can be hard to navigate moving abroad, no matter what your career situation is like.

There are SO many ways you can move abroad to work, you just need to figure out a job that is a good fit for YOU. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to work abroad without experience. Before we get into the jobs you can do abroad, let’s talk about a few things…

Work Abroad vs Work Anywhere

First of all, let’s talk about the difference between working abroad and working from anywhere.

“Work abroad” can be done in various countries around the world. You’ll physically need to show up for the job, which will need a work visa, and you’ll likely be in one place for the duration of your position.

“Work anywhere” is a remote position – so just grab a laptop and a wifi connection, and you’re sorted!

Nina hitting a gong during her first week living in Thailand
Fresh off the plane in Thailand, having no idea what I’m doing, but ready to work abroad without experience… somehow!

For me, since I started this life in ancient times (2011), online jobs were barely a thing! So I started abroad, which led me to work online. There’s no right or wrong choice, and you don’t even need to pick one or the other. I did both for years!

You might want to read my post on travel jobs so you can check out ALL the possibilities you can work towards, or maybe you’ll find something you’re kind of experienced in to start out with.

I also have an extensive list of the best digital nomad jobs you might want to check out. Most don’t require much experience. You just need to put the work in.

RELATED: How to Work and Travel Around the World

What You Want vs Starting Out

As you set out on the journey of working abroad without prior experience, it’s crucial to distinguish between two key aspects: What you want versus just getting started.

You’re just starting out, you’re not going to get your dream job!

After all, you’re here because you are about to break into the world of working abroad without experience. Let’s get real, right? Your primary goal should be to take that first step, get your foot in the door, and use this opportunity to learn and just get abroad doing SOMETHING!

Of course, I’m not asking you to take a job abroad that you hate but be realistic with yourself. There’s a difference between the job you want now and what’s actually feasible for you now.

Colorful huts at Bambarra beach best beaches in Turks and Caicos
There was a job I wanted, but the job I had to start out with was what I had to aim for first…

While it’s natural to aim high, sometimes, the path to your ultimate dream job begins with a slightly less dreamy position. You may not find your ideal job immediately, and that’s perfectly fine.

What if you can’t secure your dream job right off the bat, but you’re willing to accept something less thrilling just to facilitate your journey abroad? This was my reality when I first started out. I’ve done lots of random jobs, but they all lead me to where I am today.

What’s truly advantageous about entering the world of working abroad without experience is that the stakes are relatively low. If you discover that your initial role doesn’t align with your long-term aspirations, you have the flexibility to explore other opportunities.

RELATED: 73 Travel Jobs—How to Make Money While Traveling!

Gathering the Tools Needed for Your Job Abroad

Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room. Even jobs that don’t require experience still require some soft skills, at the very least.

“Uhm, Nina… wtf. I thought you were going to tell me how to work abroad WITHOUT experience. I want to do this, like, tomorrow, please. Thanks!”

Sorry, but having no experience is not the same as having no qualifications. You wouldn’t waltz up to a ski resort and apply for a job as a ski instructor if you’ve never conquered the bunny hill, right?

Person skiing on mountain.
This isn’t the bunny hill!

So what are some of the requirements for the job you’ve chosen? What would it take for you to obtain this job and actually start getting paid for it?

Here are a few examples:

  • Dive instructor –  Be certified as an open water diver, dive rescue, and emergency instructor and have 100+ dives is the basis for being an instructor.
  • Yoga instructor –  Be dedicated to the practice and become a yoga instructor by completing the proper training.
  • Graphic designer – Get the tools, research, learn, take a course, and practice it. Then, show what you can do with your skills to gain jobs.

So What Should You Do?!

The good news is that a lot of times, you can gain the skills and qualifications you need abroad before you even apply for a job.

Where does yoga come from? India. How about learning how to be a yoga instructor there? Diving needs an ocean, duh! How about getting your cheap diving course done in Bali or Thailand?

Graphic design? Well, you can learn that online and then continue working online for clients, and guess what? Pretty much most of the world has wifi!

Get a job abroad without experience to up your savings!
You can get paid to do this, ya know!

These are just random examples, I don’t teach yoga, dive, or know anything about graphic design, but I know for a fact that’s how you can get into those fields. I’ve met people who have done these exact things in my travels. It’s 100% possible, and there are more jobs that can be done in a similar way.

Remember, I didn’t have experience for the travel jobs I’ve done, I’ve taught myself along the way so you can gain “experience” if you’re willing to put the time into learning skills.

Top Jobs to Work Abroad Without Experience


Okay! Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s get into the fun stuff. What are the best job opportunities abroad that don’t require experience?

1. Work Abroad Without Experience Teaching English

I started out as an English teacher. My Bachelor’s degree was in Criminal Justice and International Affairs. Yeah… Nothing to do with teaching at all!

I took an online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course while I was still saving money back home, got certified, got a job abroad without experience teaching English in Thailand, and then down the line, I even got a job teaching English online!

How to Teach Abroad - The Guide to Teaching Anywhere
TOTALLY working abroad without experience here. I had no idea how to teach English!

Teaching online DID require experience, but since I had experience “in the field” (Thailand) I was hired by multiple companies, made more money, and obviously, working online made my travels more flexible. I only had about five months of experience when I was hired online.

You will need to get a TEFL certificate, most schools want a degree (in anything), but other than that, the only skill you really need is speaking English!

RELATED: Can You Teach English Online/Abroad Without a Degree?

👉 TIP

student reading a book outside

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2. Work Abroad Without Experience As a Digital Nomad

I eventually moved into freelance writing and started blogging for ESL and travel websites and even helped to curate content for an English learning phone app. Uhm, making content for a phone app!?

Do I even need to repeat how inexperienced I was? I had, like, a negative experience in this… But I did it, and I did it well, and best of all, I was making money and actually I really enjoyed it.

Freelancing isn’t just writing, either! So many jobs can be done remotely online as a freelancer in today’s world. You could find work as an editor, graphic designer, developer, photographer, virtual assistant, or video editor… this list is long!

woman working on laptop as a digital nomad with beach behind here
Oh, hi, it’s me, working online!

You’ll need to have some skill for this one. Good organization and communication is key! It may take a while to get a breakthrough, but if you start with low rates, get some good reviews under your belt and good work in your portfolio, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful freelancer.

If freelancing scares you, you might be able to keep your current job and switch to remote work! More and more companies are realizing they don’t need to house people in offices. It saves the company money and makes the worker feel like they have more of a life when they can work from anywhere.

There are TONS of digital nomad jobs you can do, so read my guide, I won’t go over it in depth here. But I will say again, I had no experience doing anything and found work online. So I would highly suggest trying anyway despite your doubts.

RELATED: Becoming A Digital Nomad: Realities & Resources

💁‍♀️ Digital Nomad Tips 👩‍💻

1. Teach yourself new SKILLS!

Start learning—for FREE

3. Make sure you’re COVERED abroad!

Best travel insurance for digital nomads.

3. Work Abroad Without Experience on a Working Holiday Visa

Snagging a working holiday visa is one of the easiest ways to get work abroad without experience.

Depending on where you’re from, there are a few different choices, but for my American friends, you could spend a year (or more) in places like Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Singapore, and South Korea!

The one bummer about this visa: You have to be under 30 years old (some could be 35).

Working and living in Australia as an American
Me wandering in a forest in Darwin on my day off from working abroad in Australia.

So what jobs can you do on a working holiday visa? Jobs like waitressing, bartending, and retail (all of which I did), or getting a job at a hostel, a call center, or a cafe.

You can get a job abroad without experience quite easily this way, and again, I’m telling you this because I’ve done it! Here’s everything about living and working in Australia and how I saved a ton of money there too.

RELATED: Working Holiday Visas: Everything You Need to Know

4. Work Abroad Without Experience By Exchanging Your Time

Another option is to look for ways to cut back costs and do things for exchange. Have a green thumb? Handy work experience? Willing to work at a hostel? Cool with doing random manual labor? Willing to nanny? Milk cows? Like, pretty much up for anything?

Two women drinking beer and eating popcorn in Xela Guatemala with Worldpackers
My host! I got my own room in Krista’s home for free, and in exchange, I taught her English and got to see more of Guatemala.

Well, you rarely need tons, if any, experience to do some of that work, and you can do that work in exchange for housing costs and sometimes even food. This has to be one of the easiest ways to work abroad without experience, the only downside is that it’s not paid.

BUT this will get you abroad ASAP and will prevent you from using much of the money you saved prior to going abroad.

Woman working on laptop with view of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala with Worldpackers
Here’s me working on a Worldpackers experience in Guatemala! My exchange was photography, marketing, and SEO work they needed.

How do you go about starting to find these opportunities? Easy! Worldpackers is where you can search for these “jobs.” It’s a trusted platform with TONS of this type of work where you can get room and board covered while traveling!

TIP – Do this in the meantime and work on gaining experience in something else. For example: garden during the day, don’t shell money out for food and shelter, and at night, take your graphic design course online.

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5. House and Pet Sit

You know, one of the things that sucks the most for me as someone who works and lives abroad is that I can’t have pets (well, I could, but it makes travel a bit more complicated).

So you know what I do to get my puppy and kitty fixes? Use TrustedHousessiters. The platform connects homeowners in need of pet and house sitters, and there are opportunities worldwide. Oh, and of course, the major perk is that it’s a free house to stay in!

Remote work with Lola the dog as part of a TrustedHousesitters review
Me and Lola getting work done!

Experience? Not necessary. All you need is a love for animals and a sense of responsibility. Sure, it’s not a job that pays, but it sure helps your wallet out while you’re abroad.

Since I work online, it’s the ultimate setup! I’m looking for a place abroad to lay low and get some work done online. So I use TrustedHousesitters to find a person who needs a pet sitter, and now I get to work online, from home, without paying rent, and with a pet—Score!

I’ve got free accommodation in the UK, Germany, and Portugal using TrustedHousesitters and made lifelong doggo friends too.

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RELATED: 11 Ways on How to Travel The World for Free

6. Work Abroad Without Experience As a Seasonal Worker

If you’re here for a good time, not a long time (abroad, that is), then you can seek out a job as a seasonal worker.

This type of job can be as bougie as working at a ski resort or bartending on a beach, but it can also be as difficult as working on a farm or doing construction.

How to become a ski instructor
Ski instructing is a good seasonal job

The good news about seasonal jobs is that you can often find special visas for this kind of work, which makes it easier to get abroad faster.

You can simply Google “seasonal jobs for Americans going to *country* and you’ll find tons of things to look into. You can also check out programs like GoAbroad that can help place you.

RELATED: The Longest Tourist Visas for U.S.A Citizens, How to Extend Visas, and More

Your Shortcut to Living Around The World

No, seriously, I’m not joking! I made this e-book JUST FOR YOU! No need to figure everything out alone.
I GOT YOU!
Live abroad like a pro from the start.

  • How to maintain a life abroad
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7. Au Pair or Travel Nannys

Being an Au Pair or a travel nanny is an opportunity that not only allows you to travel but also provides a chance to form lasting bonds with a host family and their children. The best part? That’s right… no experience is required!

Instead, what’s crucial is a genuine passion for working with kids and a sense of responsibility. As an Au Pair, you’ll assist with childcare, probably help with English speaking skills, and occasionally help with light household tasks.

Get free accommodation as an au air or travel nanny
Travel nannies and au pairs are a good job abroad without experience.

Getting started is relatively straightforward. Begin by researching reputable agencies or platforms that connect host families with prospective Au Pairs in X country. These platforms usually provide support in finding suitable matches and navigating the necessary paperwork.

Since there are so many countries you can do this in, rules and regulations will vary, but this is a great resource for Au Pairs starting and this one for being a travel nanny.

RELATED: How to Be an Au Pair in Spain + Tips for Getting a Job

8. Working on Superyachts

Superyachts offer an exciting gateway to international work without extensive experience—YAY! You might be thinking, uhm, yeah right, this sounds wayyyyy too cool to be true. But it’s not!

Experience may not be a must, but a positive attitude and strong work ethic are essential, oh and maybe being proficient in the art of not getting seasick (unfortunately, I fail in this department).

How to get a job as a yacht stewardess on a Superyacht.
Sailing the world as a yacht stewardess.

Superyachts host various roles, such as stewardesses and deckhands. Whether you’re serving guests or maintaining the vessel, a willingness to learn matters more than prior experience. Haven’t you seen the show Below Deck!? Those people are mostly newbies.

Start by acquiring essential certifications like STCW and network through crew training programs and online platforms dedicated to yacht jobs. Read more on how to work on Superyachts!

Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself to Get Paid Work Abroad Without Experience:

  • What skills do I have? This doesn’t have to be something complex, just figure out what you’re already good at!
  • What do I really want to do?
  • Can I do something that is remote or mobile?
  • Is it relatively easy for me to do? (I don’t mean easy as in you can do it tomorrow or with little effort, I mean easy as in you can take a relatively inexpensive or free course or it’s something that’s really needed and you can learn on-site – like teaching English… That kind of “easy”)
  • Possibly the most important question — How much money do you need to save? Before hopping into new endeavors that won’t be paying you right away, make sure you have some cash stowed away. Here are some temp and side jobs to boost your savings quickly.
Getting paid work abroad without experience is the best thing I did!
Getting paid work abroad without experience is the best thing I did for myself!

Your Next Steps to Making it Happen:

  1. Make sure you have some cash saved.
  2. Google your face off educating yourself on the job. Remember – zero experience does NOT equal zero skills!
  3. Take whatever courses or certifications are needed to obtain the job. (Remember, these can often be done abroad/online and for decently cheap!)
  4. Start obtaining experience in some way. Unpaid, internships, teaching yourself, doing side projects, working for less to build a portfolio… Whatever.
  5. Apply, apply, apply… Gun for jobs you want, and don’t be shy.
  6. Grab this shortcut to help you find travel jobs AND sustain your life abroad.
  7. Become a badass and achieve what you want – getting work abroad without experience is hard work. You may pat yourself on the back now.

Getting a job abroad literally changed my life. If it wasn’t for getting on a plane to teach English in Thailand, I wouldn’t be where I am today, this blog wouldn’t exist, and I’d likely still be miserable behind a desk in Tampa, Florida.

Are you willing to take the dive? To take risks? Are you willing to do something hard to find what you want out of life?

What life are you willing to work for? Are you not only willing to find work abroad without experience BUT are willing to work for that experience to get ahead?

Want me to digitally hold your hand through this even more? I got you! Grab my shortcut…

Your Shortcut to Living Around The World

No, seriously, I’m not joking! I made this e-book JUST FOR YOU! No need to figure everything out alone.
I GOT YOU!
Live abroad like a pro from the start.

  • How to maintain a life abroad
  • Making money abroad and online
  • Over a decade’s worth of knowledge
  • Life and money-saving tips
  • Start-to-finish guide

I hope this helped you find your first job abroad without experience!

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20 Comments

  1. What a wonderful articile. I am an asipiring travel nomad and enthusiastic write in travel niche myself. But I am passionate about work and travel on the go. I am stuck to 9-6 job only to save bucks before I take off , and in the meanwhile also gearing myself to be able to sustain while on travel. Your article helped me to motivate me to the core. Thanks .. Although its hard for a third world passport holder to get a working visa without a prior job in hand but nevertheless I am hopeful ..

  2. Awsome post. You are inspiring me to do something that i haven’t thought of in the past.

  3. This is a very useful article for those considering to travel and work abroad. I have many friends who are digital nomads and I know it is totally possible. It is a lot of hard work, but anything is possible!

  4. So true! Even if pay isn’t the greatest, it’s still money you can make abroad to cover the basics. Thailand has crap pay too but it was cheap living. The point is, don’t envy, go do something about it! 🙂 Thanks, Vibeke!

  5. This is a great post full of stacks of information! I have had a working visa for USA, Canada, and Germany (luckily, thanks to the country I was born in) – and could have had more if I had of prepared and timed it better before turning 31 (the cut off for Australian working holidays). I think everyone should take the chance to work abroad. And you don’t need to be limited to hospitality or tourism-related jobs. In NYC, I worked in Finance and in Vancouver I worked in Project Management (my background). There are so many opportunities out there.

  6. Great article. It is not cool when people just envy travellers and think it is impossible to do the same. Some people have actually deleted me because of that lol. I have taught English abroad, but here in Ecuador it is quite shit paid. I usually work home in Norway for some months and then go back. I also, do some freelancing. There are so many opportunities online, especially as an English teacher if you are a native speaker.

  7. This post is so awesome. DAILY I see people asking this through different groups on Facebook and I am going to start sharing this post. Traveling ALL the time is not as easy as it looks on those Instagram photos! I think teaching english is the easiest way (that’s what we did) in unless you already have some of the skills you mentioned, but again it’s all hard work!

  8. So happy to hear this was helpful, Rebecca! Yes, I don’t do graphic design but it makes sense it’s so in demand! And it just so happens to be a super mobile job, too 🙂

  9. OMG ! Brilliant post!
    I am a graphic designer, working with a team. By implementing your informative article we Can now work abroad without experience.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this helpful life changing tutorial !

  10. Okay, I see that Graphic designing is a big business overseas. I liked all the ideas and thanks for explaining in detail. You kind of went above and beyond to make your points more meaningful and it was easy to understand.

  11. That was a great article,so inspiring ,definitly will put your words into action..don’t want spend more time behind a desk..it’s killing me.Thanks for such good advice.Keep em coming