12 Ways to Earn Money as an Expat
Working and Living Abroad
Jobs for Expats
Have you thought of moving to another country but wondered if you would be able to earn an income there? Perhaps you have been on vacation and fell in love with the slower pace of life and culture and decided that life as an expat was for you. Before making such a move there are many things to consider, one of which is how will you earn an income. If you are retired and have a pension coming in each month, this may not be a problem for you or maybe you'd like to work part-time to stay active and supplement your income.
I have compiled some ideas for you to consider as a way to earn money as an expat. Some of these will be more suited to your circumstance than others. Some ideas may work in one country and not in another, take a look and decide for yourself which could assist you in building a new life in abroad.
Before you begin earning an income, even if it is only a part-time, speak to an accountant to determine the best way to declare this, you don't want problems to arise later. You may also need to check if your visa allows to to work in a foreign country.
Online Business Consultancy
The most obvious choice is to continue your current occupation by becoming an online consultant. I know many people who now conduct the majority of their business via the internet.
Conference calls and meetings with staff are handled easily. The nature of the internet means you don't have to be in an office with your colleagues, in fact, you don't even need to be in the same country. You can also become a consultant to businesses in your new country, however, unless the people are fluent in English, or you speak their language, a translator will needed.
Own a Bed and Breakfast
This too is a popular choice for people returning from a vacation who see this as a way to enjoy the area but earn money. Some will buy an existing guesthouse as a turnkey business and others may buy a large building and convert it into a bed and breakfast. Often there is much competition as other foreigners have also had this idea and there will be many people chasing only a handful of customers.
Ask yourself if the market is saturated in your chosen area. How will you market your guesthouse? Write it down on paper, to see if the numbers work out.
Teach English as a Foreign Language
This can be to professional business groups or to people wanting to improve their conversational skills. If you wish to become qualified, this often requires that you have a BA or BS degree first, then there are online TEFL and TEFOL courses. Some will give you accreditation to teach only in certain countries. If this is the road you wish to pursue check that the course you sign up for will give you accreditation in the country you are in. Also note, that if you travel to teach English, often your salary will only cover your living expenses. Those that teach do it for the love of teaching and not for the money.
This can also be done online with people in countries such as Korea, Taiwan, and Japan who wish to improve their English. Often many already speak English but don't have the opportunity to practice with native English speakers. To do this online you need to have a fast and consistent internet connection.
Bars and Restaurants
Many people go on vacation and return thinking that they could open a bar or restaurant in this new location. This is one of the most popular choices and for many it is successful. Experience in this field is crucial as I have seen many people underestimate the amount of work it takes to run a bar or restaurant. If you are planning on having this business in a tourist destination, what will you do in the low season? Can you afford to keep it open or will you close for several months?
Earn Money Writing Online
Start a blog or write articles online. This requires no money, only the ideas and time. This is a popular choice as many people want a relaxed lifestyle and this fits in nicely. You can write about your new area and give advice to people about moving. Possible topics to discuss could be, how to avoid pitfalls when moving abroad or recommending the best property agents.
Any topics of interest or hobbies you have can be written about. By placing ads on your blog or website you can earn money from the advice you are giving people. I write here on Hubpages, it is free to join and you can earn a passive income from your articles. The advantage of earning money online is you can become a digital nomad if you want and not necessarily settle in one place.
Make Specialty Foods
Make foods targeted for foreigners. When many foreigners first arrive they are keen to try the local foods and fully immerse themselves into the new culture which drew them to their new life abroad.
However after awhile, they will begin to miss certain things about their home country. Very possibly it will be a particular type of food. This is your new niche market.
The internet is a great place to find recipes that are copycats of some of your favorite foods. Don't just limit yourself to your nationality though, experiment with other cuisines from around the world. Things such as breads, cakes, sausages, all have a different taste from different regions. The next time you are speaking to a foreigner, ask them which foods they miss and see if you can locate a recipe for it.
Au pair jobs
Normally an au pair is a young unmarried man or woman. They will live with a host family and take care of their children and some may be required to do light housework. An au pair won't receive a salary just room and board, although some families opt to give them small amounts as pocket money. It is a great way to learn a new language, and experience other cultures.
Are you interested in living abroad?
Would you live and work overseas?
Manage Vacation Homes
Manage property for other foreigners in the area. Often people will visit for only a short time, and rent their homes out for additional income. If you are living in an area full time, you can act as their agent. You could let the property out for them and charge a percentage. Normally this is around 15%.
You then would be in charge of greeting the guests and answering questions and dealing with any problems that may arise. It may also be working with staff such as housekeepers and gardeners on your clients behalf. Although 15% doesn't sound like much, if you have a few properties, it can soon add up to a tidy sum. Depending on your location, you may need official certification to do this.
Sell Handicrafts Online
Sell items online. What can you sell from your new location? Are there handicrafts made that could be sold over the internet? Often with a bit of research, you can find outlets where you can buy products from the wholesalers and sell them much cheaper than they would normally be in other countries.
What is your new country known for? Here in Brazil, it's Havaianas flip flops, leather goods and crafts made by artisans. Always check the restrictions on items that can be sent abroad.
Sites such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon are a great place to start. You may also decide to create your own website, featuring the products you're selling.
Become a Tour Guide in your Area
There are two areas in which you can act as a guide. The first is for people visiting from your home country or one where you can speak the same language. Some people prefer to be escorted around to different venues and perhaps see things that they wouldn't normally see. If you are familiar with an area, market yourself as, "English speaking tour guide".
The other option is as a helper with the bureaucracy for new residents. Moving somewhere new can be a minefield and people will pay for assistance to get things done in the most efficient way possible. If you have mastered the local language and the bureaucratic side of your area, hire yourself out as a 'helper or a guide' to new expats.
What is special about your area? Could you organize trips for people to come and experience it? Below are some ideas. You wouldn't need to run these trips, unless you wanted to and were qualified, merely organize them and take a commission.
- Boat trips
- Ski Lessons
- Horseback riding
- Mountain biking
- Photography courses
- Beach weddings
- Surfing lessons
Begin a Taxi Service
If there are many foreigners in your area or visiting, consider starting a taxi service. There are many people who prefer to use a service with someone who speaks the same language. Familiarize yourself with various stores, clinics, and resorts.
Airport runs in a tourist town are always an option but you will need a vehicle that is suitable. If people are coming as a group, you will need ample space for baggage. Your vehicle will need to be in good mechanical order and clean. Keep in mind gas mileage as well.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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© 2013 Mary Wickison