The 10 Best (And Doable) Ways To Make Money Abroad

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Moving to a new country every two years

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The freedom to travel is attractive, but the realization that you may need to set aside a lot of money to do so can be discouraging. It’s possible to travel on a tight budget but having a way to bring in some cash once you’ve arrived in a foreign country will come in very handy.

It’s important to remember that different countries have different requirements for work visas. In some countries, it may be necessary for any job, while in others, it is required only for contract work with foreign companies.

If you’re wondering where to begin while traveling internationally, check out my previous post.

Throughout my entire life, I’ve worked for myself. Except for my time in China, I’ve never held a job with a firm.

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve had to face the challenge of figuring out how to make money in a foreign land. It opened my mind to a world of possibilities.

These are things I did or learned from others. Here are 10 unique (and doable) approaches to making money in a foreign country.

Table of Contents

Become A DJ

Well hold on! You might think, ok sure become a DJ… right! But wait a second, it’s possible and the opportunities are bigger overseas! I will share a secret with you. Let’s say you’re a Brit and you live in Mexico. Clubs, restaurants, and bars, just for the fact that you are from the UK, will treat you with more interest. A British DJ, here in Mexico, that’s so awesome! Are you from Africa living in Spain? Nice we need an African DJ for our club! Being a foreigner automatically gives you a special edge when trying to book gigs at nightclubs. It’s also a great chance for bars and clubs to book you because they won’t have to spend money on transportation or lodging.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “How do I get into the DJ business?” Do you think that’s a lot of work? So, it’s not as hard as you might think. No, you don’t need to devote your life to creating electronic music that becomes a Billboard Top 100 hit. You need to learn how to mix, but that’s really not hard at all. If you put in the time and effort, you can learn to mix house music or any other electronic music in about two months. Find useful advice and tutorials online. It’s possible to rent gear, or you can purchase a midi-controller for a reasonable price.

And now is the time to brand yourself! Create a mix and a profile as the next steps. Creating a brand name and logo could be the initial step. A professional-quality logo can simply be made by using Fiverr. Examine the work of other DJs as a source of inspiration. Check out some festival posters to get an idea of what aesthetic might work with your music.

You and your pal should pull out your phone and start snapping away. No concert or festival attendance is required. Create an eye-catching profile pic by tweaking it in Photoshop. Complete the profile and start promoting your DJ services at local establishments.

Amazingly, being from a different country will put you miles ahead of the local DJ competition.

And there are nightclubs on every corner in the world. Therefore, the options are unbounded. So if you’re into music, living abroad might be the chance to use it.

Teaching and Translating

Second, you can monetize your knowledge by translating. You probably know more than one language. There may be job openings for bilingual speakers of Spanish and English or Dutch and French, for example.

So many people were teaching their native language to others simply because they were fluent in it, without having any formal training or education in teaching.

Also, it doesn’t even make a difference! People in a far-away land will welcome you with open arms as a teacher despite some shortcomings in your linguistic abilities. I’m Dutch and I still make spelling mistakes when I write in Dutch… Try getting in touch with local institutions offering language classes to see what options you have.

Make A Website

In the past, developing a website was a major pain. You’d have to study coding languages like HTML, PHP, HTB, or FDRT (Does are completely made up ;-)). But not anymore! Wordpress and other web-building tools, such as Divi and Elementor, have made it much simpler. Alternatively, Wix and Squarespace could be even easier to use but these will be limited in design options.

Although I have dabbled in HTML since I was 16, I used Elementor to create my website. I did everything from writing blog posts to designing the site’s layout myself, without needing any knowledge of code. It’s also trivial to add responsive features (So it will look good on desktop, phone and tablet)

It’s another example of how to think outside the box when looking for work in a foreign country. Pick one of these, study it with the help of YouTube tutorials, create a sample website, and start spreading the word.

As an added bonus, you don’t have to be able to create the most complex websites. Even more businesses, events, and clubs than we’d like to think don’t have their own websites, and many of these are located in foreign countries. There are plenty of openings.

Create a blog of your own

Since you now know how to create a website, why not create one for yourself?

It would be interesting for others to read about your travels if you are also doing so, like I am. This is essentially the impetus behind the development of various forms of online communication.

However, unless you have a large enough following and enough influence on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, it can be tough to turn a profit. Although many people will read what you have to say, you will not receive any financial reward. To put it bluntly, that’s not right!

If you want to make money online, you should consider starting your own website and monetizing it through advertising or affiliate programs. You can find a wealth of resources on the web that will walk you through the setup process. Come on, let’s get going!

get in touch with media outlets

You’re going on a trip, and your destination is one that few others will ever see. The news industry is widespread, and in many nations, news agencies could use some extra help. Informing them in advance of your intended country of residence is a good idea.

offer in-home cooking classes.

I wish I could cook better, but alas, I cannot! But one of my friends could, and he taught others how to cook by hosting in-home classes. Whether you’re looking to rent a house or an apartment, you can expect to find a kitchen and the necessary cooking appliances. There is most of the stuff you need already to hold cooking lessons.

Plus, the fact that you’re not from around there only adds to the allure of sampling the delicacies of your homeland’s cuisine. Imagine you’re a native of the Netherlands currently residing in the People’s Republic of China.

I guarantee that they will enjoy learning how to make and eating some Dutch meatballs, stamppot, and stroopwafels. As an added bonus, it’s not restricted to the district. The ability to prepare dishes from one’s home country while living abroad is something that many expats will find very appealing.

It’s not rocket science, but with a little ingenuity and work, you can launch your own profitable side business.

Sell your own dishes

If you want to make some money, you should try to sell some traditional food from your home country.

You’ve already gone to the trouble of starting your own cooking class; why stop there? Why not make and sell some delicious meals inspired by traditional fare from your home country? You can start a business selling spices from your country, frozen meals, or your own recipes. Try to think outside the (meal)box.


Though it could be more challenging to turn a profit with this one, it’s still possible. Again, the fact that you are in a special country presents wonderful photographic possibilities.

These days, all you need is a decent phone camera. Take your camera and go outside. You can either make money off of them by selling them on stock photo websites like Alamy or you can reach out to media outlets and let them know you have content they might be interested in.

Put on a tour for expats

Expats live in large numbers in many nations. Most of them don’t venture out of the expat community to learn about the host country. That means they’re on the hunt for entertainment.

You’ll have a lot more to offer if you can give people options and you know your way around the country. The best and most well-known bars in town could be the focus of a citywide drinking tour.

host a pub-quiz

Ten. Host a pub quiz for the international community where you live. Get in touch with the owners of local watering holes and pitch the idea to them, explaining that you know an expat community that would enjoy taking part in a pub quiz. These are fantastic; I really enjoy using them.

Trivia nights are great for a group of friends of any age. The question now is how to ensure its success.

Make your plans far in advance! Without people to play with, a pub quiz isn’t much fun, so give yourself plenty of lead time to spread the word and get people to commit to attending. You have complete control over the cost to enter and the value of the grand prize. You could play music videos in the bar based on a certain theme, like ’90s movies or music.

If it goes well, maybe you can make it a regular occurrence, say, on the first Thursday of each month.


In the end it comes down to exploring as many options as you can, make a decision and go for it. If you’re young, you’ll be more flexible. For older explorers or travelers with a degree or expertise, you generally desire a more conventional employment that pays well and fits your skill set. They are findable, but it takes a lot longer.

Whether you end up working in a restaurant, a finance firm, an office, or a high-paying position in your industry, working abroad will alter you for the better. Few people are fortunate enough to have the chance to experience life outside of their home country. My time spent working for a Shenzhen firm was truly unforgettable. It’s a rare opportunity to learn about a new culture.

It’s possible that online job boards will prove useful for those seeking “normal” employment. On the other hand, in my experience, if you want a traditional job at a foreign company, you need to either be approached by the company or build your own network to help you pave the way inside the company.

Positions with foreign firms do exist. Try some of these websites as a jumping off point:

A man standing on top of a sand dune with his arms outstretched.

About the author

Chris Oberman is the founder and author of Moving Jack and has been traveling the world for over 20 years to 40+ countries.

He lives in a different country every two years which allows him to gain unique in-depth insights and experiences in new places abroad.

Quoted on, NRC Newspaper, Vice,and Feedspot.

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