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Network42
Oct 23, 2002


I've become really interested in the idea over the years, and am looking to get people's experiences.

If you work outside the US, what do you do? How did you get your job? Are/did you enjoy the experience? Would you recommend it?

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Barracuda Bang!
Oct 21, 2008


Network42 posted:

I've become really interested in the idea over the years, and am looking to get people's experiences.

If you work outside the US, what do you do? How did you get your job? Are/did you enjoy the experience? Would you recommend it?

I was wondering about this too, but with the idea of working inside the US. What kinds of jobs are available?

Xandu
Feb 19, 2006


It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am.

You really need a lot of experience or some sort of in demand skill. Most countries won't just give you a visa to let you come work there, and companies/organizations with large overseas presence are switching more and more towards locals instead of hiring expats.

My last job was abroad and I got kind of lucky, but it was a very small company in need of foreigners and I was being paid a local salary (which wasn't much).

Xandu fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2013 around 02:40

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008

One day I will be happy
every day


Network42 posted:

I've become really interested in the idea over the years, and am looking to get people's experiences.

If you work outside the US, what do you do? How did you get your job? Are/did you enjoy the experience? Would you recommend it?

If you don't have any applicable work experience/expertise just go to Asia and teach English for a couplefew years like everyone else.

GTGastby
Dec 28, 2006


LimburgLimbo posted:

If you don't have any applicable work experience/expertise just go to Asia and teach English for a couplefew years like everyone else.

Yeah, easiest path to go abroad is to volunteer, or teach English. If you want to actually work abroad, your best chances are probably to work at a large company that you know has a large presence in your target company. Work at said company for 3 years or so, and prove you are talented enough and somehow manage to get yourself transferred over.

Getting hired directly into a job in another country is extremely difficult these days.

I worked at a bank doing IT work. They needed someone to support/develop the software outside the US, so I put my hand up. I was initially over here for 6 months to train a local person, that got extended 6 months, then after that they said I could either stay as a local employee, or move back home. I chose to stay and haven't regretted a thing. I'd recommend everyone live abroad for at least a couple years.

Network42
Oct 23, 2002


GTGastby posted:

Yeah, easiest path to go abroad is to volunteer, or teach English. If you want to actually work abroad, your best chances are probably to work at a large company that you know has a large presence in your target company. Work at said company for 3 years or so, and prove you are talented enough and somehow manage to get yourself transferred over.


Yeah, this is my current longer-term plan, I guess my OP was kinda lovely.
I was trying to get more personal experiences, like did people speak the language of the country they were working in, mesh with the local culture, or stick to expat communities? Just anecdotes and experiences living abroad for a longer time, not flitting through as a tourist, but having an actual job not bumming around as a backpacker.

Womens Jeans
Sep 13, 2007
POO IS FUN

As a non-US citizen I moved to the US to do a phd. I found the US work culture to be extremely dehumanizing and depressing, although (some of) the fellow grad students were actually really nice. It was especially bad as I felt trapped -- I was dependent upon my school for a visa and an income. I had no options but to do exactly what they wanted, or else move back to my home country and move in with my parents.

I got fed up and abandoned it all to go to Geneva and work for a UN organization. Again, the work culture was extremely awful (which was due to a combination of American bosses and a massive downsizing that was occurring). In Geneva the general lifestyle was pretty rough: I didn't speak French, the Swiss didn't want to speak English, I had no friends and I couldn't make any at work as all of my coworkers were at least 10 years older than me and constantly focused on not losing their jobs. I found the stress to be overwhelming with no support structure, no friends, no job future, and an inability to speak the language. I tried joining the local rowing club, but found the Swiss to be very intolerant of non-Swiss people (especially those that didn't speak French).

I quit my job after six months and moved to Scandinavia with my (Scandinavian) girlfriend. The work-life culture here is amazing, especially considering the seven kinds of hell that my previous jobs involved, and while I am pretty terrible at everything but English, I found that people here are a lot more accepting. I hang out with some coworkers and my girlfriend's friends, but also spend a lot of time by myself. If I didn't have my girlfriend, or her support network, it would be pretty rough.

As must as I love this new place, the winters are absolutely brutal and not sustainable longterm for me. It's nearly below freezing now, and it won't become decent weather again until May. Coming from a warm country, you never really know what it's like to be exposed to such varied climates, and how tough it is to have to change everything about how you live. Every day when I want to go outside I have to put jackets, mittens, and a hat on. Some days I don't go outside because it's too cold. For me this is incredibly shocking, and somewhat depressing, considering that I used to spend every day at the beach. Unfortunately the climate is unbearable for me, so we are moving next year to a warmer country, which is a shame, because it's such a nice country besides that one issue.

Womens Jeans fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2013 around 19:10

My Rhythmic Crotch
Jan 13, 2011



The vast majority of people go abroad by teaching English. From what I understand, it gives you a lot more control over where you go, but the pay is going to be poo poo.

I went the other route. I was an engineer at a smallish company, and was able to go abroad after about 3 years. I was at the mercy of the company, it was their way or the highway regarding where I lived and how long I stayed there. The money was great but it was maddening. I loved the location but hated the job and my managers.

So I'd say it depends on what you want. If you value just going abroad ASAP over the pay, then just teach English.

Edit: just to add some other thoughts about things:

Loneliness: I am not the type who gets lonely, and never did I expect that I would feel lonely when I was abroad. I had plenty of friends and activities but I still felt lonely a lot of the time. I managed to have a girlfriend for a while, and that period was probably when I felt the best.

Job stuff: All the Americans I knew who were permanent residents started their own businesses, and I didn't understand until later on why that was. When you own your own business, you are free to fuckoff back to the states for a few months if you need/want to. You can control the culture and the environment of your work place. You're not subject to the whims of some corporate mothership that decides where you'll live and for how long. That flexibility is crucial to being able to find longterm happiness I think.

Stereotyping: You will be stereotyped. A lot. Mostly it's pretty harmless, but I was surprised just how much it happened.

Language: If you plan on being there for a year or two, I would say just learn the basics, hello, goodbye, learn to count to 100 or whatever. If you plan to be there longterm, hit the language hard and don't get discouraged, you will get it eventually.

My Rhythmic Crotch fucked around with this message at Oct 5, 2013 around 17:37

Omits-Bagels
Feb 12, 2001


My wife and I moved to Paris for about 18 months. She was doing grad school and went there to do an internship. Somehow I found a job there. It honestly doesn't make sense why I was hired actually, my boss was kind of nuts so it does kinda make sense. I had no real qualifications and didn't speak French. My pay was pretty low (1300/month) and so was my wife's (1000/month) but it was enough for us to live pretty easily.

I loved it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Switchback
Jul 23, 2001



I feel like I just answered this question the other day, but it's my favorite thing to talk about so I'll go again!

I have unique skills in a niche industry with relevant experience forecasting the weather offshore for oil vessels. This brings me into quite a global market, but the city choices are slim (Aberdeen, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, Perth..). Job popped up in Singapore, I was qualified, match made in heaven. I'm on an expat package so I make good money, I have fun expat friends who are in the same limbo/life stage of post-school but not ready to settle down. Everybody here speaks english. I rarely encounter any anti-american sentiment, and when I do it's certainly not personal (I mean, I also tend to agree). I love being somewhere with no guns. It's easy and beautiful and warm and friendly and I've never been happier.

Not everyone loves it though. I am retardedly optimistic and have an overwhelmingly positive attitude, but I used to live in houston and got quite depressed there because it just wasn't the right place for me. Singapore seems to be working out though! For now, anyway.

zmcnulty
Jul 26, 2003



Everyone in APAC in my company says if you're single you should live in Hong Kong or Tokyo. If you have a family, Singapore.

Gold and a Pager
Oct 9, 2004

I was like tree huggin' ass bitch please!


I moved to Germany because of my girlfriend and after about a year of taking language classes and then teaching English, I got a job at a language school doing admin/office work. The pay is OK and I feel like I was very lucky to find a company willing to support my visa application (which in the end wasn't as complicated as I would have thought). Now that I've been employed for two years, my new work permit isn't tied to my company so I could quit and go work at Starbucks if I wanted, which is a nice feeling.

I wouldn't have been able to do it without having a someone from here to rely on. I didn't have to worry about finding an apartment and I instantly had a social life via her social circle. I could have done it alone, but it just would have been a lot harder. The first year was probably the hardest as you're still figuring out how things work, meeting new people, it's lonelier, but now that I've had stable employment and have gotten used to everything, I really like it.

I really dislike expat culture, but it can be hard to escape. It's the easiest way to start to build a social life in a new place and it can be comforting to deal with people from a similar cultural background or just other people who can understand the struggles of integrating into the local culture. My main thing against it is that it's so insular. It's the same people who all go to the same Irish bars and only hang out with other expats. I know people who have been in Germany for years who barely speak German. Not to say that you can't hang out with expats (I do), but you should try and break out of the bubble.

I was thinking about creating some sort of megathread about being an expat, not sure if there is enough interest. Something with resources about how to send money home, best ways to stay in touch, how to deal with taxes/finances, maybe some region-specific info, etc.

Switchback
Jul 23, 2001



Gold and a Pager posted:

I really dislike expat culture, but it can be hard to escape. It's the easiest way to start to build a social life in a new place and it can be comforting to deal with people from a similar cultural background or just other people who can understand the struggles of integrating into the local culture. My main thing against it is that it's so insular. It's the same people who all go to the same Irish bars and only hang out with other expats. I know people who have been in Germany for years who barely speak German. Not to say that you can't hang out with expats (I do), but you should try and break out of the bubble.

I was thinking about creating some sort of megathread about being an expat, not sure if there is enough interest. Something with resources about how to send money home, best ways to stay in touch, how to deal with taxes/finances, maybe some region-specific info, etc.

I've thought we need an expat megathread, but mostly from the BFC perspective because there are financial things I have yet to deal with (mostly just filing taxes as an american, which I haven't dealt with yet).

Expat culture is frustrating. One one hand, it's nice to be around people who were also looking for this abroad adventure, it's a huge thing to have in common and what I was lacking in houston. Singaporeans are famous for complaining a lot so I appreciate people who are somewhere they want to be, and often worked very hard to get here. On the other, lots of expats don't really love it here. Britons are second only to Americans in thinking their country is the Best In The World, and I don't want to hear it.

The most fascinating culture I've found here are kids of expats. This is their homeland, their still kind of foreigners, they don't really fit into the country they often have passports from. My sample size is still a bit small on this, but it'd be a great anthropological study.

Gold and a Pager
Oct 9, 2004

I was like tree huggin' ass bitch please!


Switchback posted:

I've thought we need an expat megathread, but mostly from the BFC perspective because there are financial things I have yet to deal with (mostly just filing taxes as an american, which I haven't dealt with yet).

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3573959

It still needs a lot of work, but I'm not an expert on a lot of things myself. I'm hoping more people can chime in and add to it.

Spadoink
Oct 10, 2005

Tea, earl grey, hot.


I'm just going to throw this out there - I work in Canadian immigration law. Since a lot of this forum is made of up members who are <35, if you're interested in working overseas, there are a lot of countries that have working holiday programs (WHP) or international experience programs for under 35s (or under 30s, or whatever - it depends on the country and the agreement). WHPs are great, as they don't necessarily need a job offer to get the work permit. You apply, get your work permit (for up to 18 months usually - depending again on the country and the agreement) and go.

Canada has WHP agreements with lots of fine and sunny countries, as well as some dark and rainy ones, if you want to work on your moody brooding instead of your tan.

For Canadians: http://www.international.gc.ca/expe...t.aspx?lang=eng

For non-Canadians wanting to come to Canada: http://www.international.gc.ca/expe...t.aspx?lang=eng

Spend some time in Toronto in the summer, and you're guaranteed to be served by a UK/Irish/Australian server at some point, who is on a WHP work permit

LurkingAsian
Jul 27, 2007
Shhhh.......

I think a lot of what makes or breaks an overseas stint is not really the location but the people you are with. I'm currently an engineer working in central asian gas fields. The conditions are not great, living in shipping containers in the middle of a sandy wasteland is not fun, but the pay is good and the people are cool so its very manageable for me.

Uncle Jam
Aug 20, 2005

Perfect


If you have time, make friends with people in your country who are from the country you want to go to. Some places you can volunteer as a tour guide for internationals to start. When they return, you keep in touch and when you arrive you will have good support, especially if you gave them a good time while they were visiting you.

For example, I had a banking disaster once and a person that I took dancing a few times in the US sorted it all out for me really quick. Its also a good way to prevent falling into the expat circuit.

QUEEN CAUCUS
Oct 26, 2004

The rodent of your dreams

My boyfriend and I are both rearing to go work and live abroad for a while. He's a professor who teaches fine arts, game concept art, and game programming basics. I work in social games, right now at a studio job doing Flash art and animation. I think I have a pretty good shot at freelancing or working digitally for a smaller studio, so we're mostly focusing on finding some place where he could get a job teaching. He was in the final running for a job at a US-based art school who had a branch in Hong Kong, but wasn't chosen. We're still hopeful, though.

I don't think ESL is his bag and small children are pretty much right out, but we're pretty much looking anywhere. Europe, Asia, especially Australia... but I'm not really sure how we can gauge interest in concept art or game basics in other countries or even in what threads we could broach the subject.

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tvb
Dec 22, 2004

We don't understand Chinese, dude!

I could really use some advice in this area, too. My wife is a PhD student (seems to be a running theme in here), and she's going to be in England for two months this summer and then a year starting in Fall 2015. Obviously, teaching English isn't quite the option there as it is in Japan or South Korea or somewhere. I'm a marketing copywriter, so now I'm stuck between figuring out a job abroad or trying to find a full-time telecommuting job. Neither is easy, and if I telecommute from the UK for a US company, I doubt that will qualify me for a work visa.

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