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Travel, Volunteer and Work Abroad Ideas for Recent College Graduates
Hey, recent college graduates, now what?
It was two years ago when I shook the deans hand, received my diploma and shed a tear at my college graduation. The day had finally come, but like many of you recent graduates, I was not - and still am not - able to answer the inescapable question of "what are you going to do now?" As I moved the tassel on my cap from right to left, I was excited. But as it's symbolism sunk in, so did the fear.
What will my career path be? How will I contribute to society? Do I become a sloth in my parent's basement or a corporate robot in an office cubicle? These are tough questions. But it doesn't have to be this way. For the recent graduate, there are lots of opportunities for adventure and discovery. With time travel, er, I mean, taking time to travel, work abroad, or volunteer, you can do all of this. Here are some ideas on how:
"Not all who wander are lost."
If you are a college graduate and a United States citizen, then you are eligible to join the Peacecorps. What kind of people join? People with a desire to travel, an adventurous spirit and a passion for helping others. After your two years of service in a TBD location somewhere abroad, you will receive a myriad of benefits including eligibility for free graduate school, non-competitive status on federal jobs and an awesome story to tell. Americorps is a similar, government funded program. The main difference is that your volunteer service will be done somewhere in America, and for a length of 8 to 12 months.
No, not on all fours like a dog. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is an international organization that helps people share and teach each other about sustainable ways of living. As a volunteer, you will help out on a farm or co-op anywhere in the world, and in return, receive food, accommodation and knowledge about organic farming (i.e. viniculture in Italy or cotton-picking in New Zealand).
Teach English abroad:
Knowledge of the English language is in high demand all across the world, and if you can read this text, you are already at the top of the class. Teaching English abroad allows us native English speakers a unique opportunity to live and work nearly anywhere in the world, teaching English and getting paid for it. Depending on where you choose to go, it may be helpful to receive a certification to teach ESL beforehand.
Employment on a cruise ship is often a 6 month to a year commitment. Your eligibility for work will vary depending on your country of origin. For example, Americans have fewer options of ships to work on, while European citizens have more (more ships are built/registered in Europe than America). Of course, there are two sides to every coin. On one hand, the hours are long and you are in close living quarters. On the other hand, you are in a new city every day and working with new and interesting people from all around the world.
- Peace Corps
Promote world peace by serving your country and helping another abroad
Search non-profit and government jobs around the world. "Imagine. Connect. Act."
Books that will light your fire. (metaphorically speaking)
Search non-profit and government jobs around the world. Imagine. Connect. Act.
- Peace Corps
Promote world peace by serving your country abroad
Site for free work exchange. Volunteer for food and accommodation.
Help people in need all across America
- Habitat for Humanity
Help build homes for people who need them.
- WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Live, work, and learn about sustainable living on a farm
- Teaching English in Spain: Insider Tips and Job Guidance
Advice on finding a job teaching English in Spain.
- TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Teach English abroad
- Cruise Ship Employment Agency
Become a staff member aboard a cruise ship
- Short-Term Job Adventures
Find seasonal or part-time adventure jobs across the world
- Club Med
Work nearly anywhere in the world at a Club Med resort
Don't be this guy.
Other volunteer programs:
Many volunteer programs across the world are open to just about anyone of any skill level. Do some research using the links provided and find a location and program that you can give your time to. The amount of money needed for these programs can vary from zero to thousands of dollars. Either way, devoting some of your brain and muscle power to others in need can be extremely benificial to their lives, and your own.
Other adventure jobs:
There are thousands of opportunities to work either seasonal or year-round in a job that is exciting, challenging and far away from the three walls of an office cubicle. There are countless options: why not spend a winter in the Colorado Rockies as a ski-school instructor, or a summer on the beach in Jamaica as a scuba instructor at Club Med.