So one of my great friends and sorority sisters, Lane, has always been an adventurous and wander-ful soul. After envying her pictures last year while in Jordan, New Zealand, and all over the world, I thought I could never be more surprised what Lane was up to. That was until recently when she posted repeatedly about multiple internship opportunities she snagged for the summer in Croatia, Portugal, and Netherlands. I was shocked that she was able to not only find something so quickly, but so many, I had to know her secret (even though I doubt my boss would be okay with me taking an internship in Croatia…).
I asked Lane to do a guest post because I think she not only is so brave and courageous for finding these opportunities, but also because I think everyone should consider this as a valuable option to travel the world, gain business experience, and try something different!
I’m Lane! I’m a 22 year-old, dog obsessed, dog-less, world traveling student! My good friend and previous sorority sister Amelia was so gracious to ask if I would do a guest article on her blog about working abroad, so of course I had to say yes!
I have had a lot of friends and family ask me where I’m going and what I’m exactly doing, so I thought that I would address those questions along with other frequently asked questions. The most frequently asked question I get is…
How did you find these jobs?
My best friend is Google. Sorry for anyone reading this that thought we were bffls because Google has taken your spot. In broad terms, I found these jobs through Google. Now let’s break it down. I knew I wanted to work abroad but I didn’t know how to go about doing it. After much research I came across a website called www.workaway.info. This website is where I found my Portugal and Netherlands internship. It is an awesome website because you can put in what you want to do and where you want to do it and it will show you the places that fall under those categories. You are also able to look up reviews of particular hostels from other people that have worked there. The only downside is that you have to pay around $30 for a year subscription. To me though, that was totally worth it. I found my Croatia job on an old school forum…literally the type of forum with one color scheme. Totally brought me back to the 90’s.
What exactly will you be doing?
I will be working in hostels in exchange for a place to stay. For the detail lovers, I will be working five hours a day, five days a week in exchange for a bed to sleep in at the hostel. It’s a pretty sweet deal!
What did you have to provide to the owners of the hostels when you contacted them?
I pretty much offered verbal confirmation on the dates that I wanted to work. I only did a Skype interview with the Croatian hostel. To both of the other hostels I pretty much said, “Hey, I want to work for you from this date to this date. Do you have any availability?” For people that like a much more planned itinerary when working, this is not the best option for you!
What are some things to consider if I want to work abroad?
- Passport: Make sure that your passport is valid three months prior to leaving and three months after returning from traveling.
- Where you are traveling and for how long: There are rules and regulations for how long you can be in certain countries, so make sure to go to the countries governmental sites and do your research beforehand. Also, there are some countries with more turmoil than others right now. Always be aware of what’s going on politically in other countries.
- Price: Traveling costs money! Besides the plane tickets, you have gear, accommodation, food, and etc.
- Languages/cultural difference: I know Americans like to think that all countries should mimic the USA in everything that they do (eye roll), but that’s not how it works! When traveling, you will be thrown into a cultural tornado and you need to be willing to brave the storm. Do not expect people in other countries to understand what you’re are saying or what your needs are. That’s not their job. Although I have found that people in other countries are some of the most genuine people, there will be differences that you will need to learn how to accept.
Why are you doing this?
I knew that I needed an internship this summer so in January, I started applying to internships inside the United States, but outside of Michigan. I thought I was being professional and on top of things since I was applying so early. I applied to about seven internships and I only heard back from one. The one internship essentially told me that if they were interested in interviewing me (not even hiring me) that they would send me an email in the future. There was no time frame. Internshipless Lane started freaking out. Once I realized that I wasn’t going to hear back from the other places, I started doing research about working abroad. I am very comfortable traveling because my sister and I traveled the world in the fall of 2014. We went to New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Bhutan, Jordan, Spain, and Italy. Having extensive traveling experience really helped when it came to applying to these internships because I had no second thoughts about working in another country. Overall, I am doing this because I love to travel. Traveling is in my blood. I started traveling from a young age (I took my first road trip at a week old…holla). My parents traveled and I think all of my siblings got their travel genes. Traveling makes me happy, and who doesn’t like to be happy?!
Why is it important to travel?
In the words of Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” It is as if Mark went right into my soul and pulled out that quote! It is so important to travel when you can, and to realize that there is more to life than the little speck of the world that you inhabit. I promise after traveling, you will come back a changed person.
Overall, I can’t wait to travel the world for a second time. I feel so humbled to be surrounded by so many supportive friends and family. If you would like to keep up with my journey, visit http://lanerachel.wix.com/whereislane
If you liked this post, please check out her blog and keep up with her through all of her adventures, I know I will!