Where in the world is your dream job?

Where in the world would you go, if you could? What would keep you there?

The rite of passage for many students is to travel abroad, whether on spring break or during the long academic summer. Returning to life at home and a summer job may be most anticlimactic of all summer stories. Many a student returns with, “I wish I could have stayed just one more month.” You can. With a bit of luck and a lot of research, summer opportunities around the globe are available both in “legitimate” (i.e. government-approved jobs) and informal venues. The Vanguard has compiled a list of resources that will help with the research. Now all you need is that bit of luck (and that’s your karma).

If you could work any where in the world, where would it be?

Sarah Griffiths, nurse, child-family studies, China

The size of the country and the sheer numbers of Chinese citizens looking for English-speaking classes and experience make China one of the top (though not the most lucrative) locations in the world for teaching English. Many of the English schools require a college degree, a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate or a CETL (Cambridge English Teaching Certificate). The Cambridge certificate is considered the most prestigious, but is rather uncommon in U.S. training programs. The Vanguard has recently learned of several students who were even able to secure employment without a formal certificate; the demand is that high. The only downside of teaching English may be the contracted timeframes to which a teacher of English must commit. A search online, however, revealed several schools that hire for shortened terms. Private tutoring may be possible, but running afoul of the Chinese authorities is not in your best interest.

Dave Jansen, political science, Netherlands

The plethora of caf퀌�s and independently owned businesses make the Netherlands, and specifically Amsterdam, a great location to find short-term summer employment. Many of the jobs are rumored to be “under the table” and, for Americans, many of the jobs are in heavily touristed urban areas, where you may want to hang out anyways. Especially promising are the large number of pubs and bistros that hire on the spot for short-term employment. If you are seriously concerned about the “illegality” of your summer job, it has been said that authorities look the other way, preferring to focus on other crimes.

Travis Sunde, political science, Finland

A real office job in the cool of Scandinavia. International work exchanges sponsored by the Council on International Exchange (CIE) (see Web site resources below) can make this a reality. The Nordic countries are among the world’s most advanced nations in engineering, computer technology and education. Paid short-term and long-term training positions with private industry and technical universities in chemistry, computer science, forestry, horticulture and engineering are available throughout Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden lasting from eight to 12 weeks from May to October, and are available and sponsored by the American-Scandinavian Exchange Program. Or you could hang with little kids: au pair and nanny jobs are plentiful throughout the region, due to all those high-powered industry mommies and daddies.

Kazu Tamaki, psychology, Japan

Another dream job in Tokyo, we wish. There are a swelling number of Japanese citizens who want to learn the language of commerce, and there are just as many English schools looking for teachers (check JET: Japanese Exchange Teaching program). Many U.S. students also receive internships in high-powered marketing firms. The caveat? You must learn, or already know Japanese. The Vanguard, though, has learned of several students who dropped everything and moved to a prefecture of Tokyo. Their “unofficial” jobs ranged from working in a vintage “American” clothing store (where U.S. students are always experts) to interning with a photographer at a newspaper. We recommend, however, that students navigate the official channels of Japanese bureaucracy in an attempt to secure an official work permit (not that easy). If you teach English, though, the permit will be secured for you. But, like in China, a commitment of at least three months is expected (sometimes many more). You can always play guitar in the streets, though. A little yen may not secure a top-notch place to crash, but it will make you popular with the local students and other hosteliers

Sachina Shrestha Australia, New Zealand

The wild outback, the diverse and spectacular coast of Melbourne, and the misty mountains of New Zealand AND a work permit burning a hole in your pocket? Yes, it is true, work permits can be secured for Australia and New Zealand. The British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) allows participants to experience short-term work programs in Australia for up to four months and New Zealand for up to one year. These programs are open to U.S. citizens aged 18-30, currently residing in the United States. Participants find their own jobs and may work in any field, although most find work in the service industry (retail, restaurants, pubs, etc.). The program is open to U.S. citizens who are full-time students or graduating seniors, provided they begin the program within six months after graduation. Many students and youth (under 50 years of age, right?), once departing the plane after 18 hours, decide to stay without a permit; work is available in the touristy areas and on many farms throughout the region. Competition is substantial, though, and the working conditions aren’t exactly OSHA standards.

International Employment Resources
Teaching English
Volunteer Opportunities
Other Industries and Opportunities

-Jason Damron