Is your life feeling more like Office Space and Horrible Bosses day in, day out? Tired of the same old jokes at the water cooler? We’ve got a solution for you. Get some much needed razzle-dazzle in your work life by applying for jobs abroad—better yet, look for international job opportunities in Europe. This Old World continent might have just what you’re looking for to spice up that career of yours, and catapult you towards your next great promotion.
Programs to work abroad in Europe can take you lots of places, from Scandinavia and the British Isles in the north to the Greek mainland and the Costa del Sol in the south. When you decide to work overseas in Europe, you could find yourself smack-dab in the middle of historic cities like Rome, modern metropolises like Amsterdam, or even rustic mountain towns in Switzerland.
The great thing finding work abroad in Europe is that the workplace is globally oriented. You could find yourself sharing a cubicle with an intern from Australia or a teacher from South America. European jobs abroad also give you the opportunity to learn or practice a foreign language, whether it’s Portuguese, Norwegian, or German.
Ready to hop aboard the work-and-travel-in-Europe-train now? We asked, you told. Here are the 10 best places to work abroad in Europe in 2018 according to our meaningful traveler community.
Your Europe work abroad search should absolutely start with Spain, the top place to find work abroad in Europe programs. This peninsular nation is the perfect place to practice your Spanish in the workplace, whether it’s Castilian or Catalan. Spend long lunch breaks with work friends and take a siesta to refresh yourself after a long day at the oficina, then prepare to get to know your boss better after a few glasses of vino. Popular jobs abroad in Europe include teaching English or working in tourism, and recommend you start your job hunt in badass cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla.
Recommended program: Teach in Spain with i-to-i TEFL
Like Spain, you can look forward to two-hour long lunches in Italy. Who can blame the Italians when there’s so much good food around? Work abroad in Europe in Italy also means channeling la bella figura, so you better clean up nice to get the approval of your new work colleagues! Get used to the Italian way of doing business with lots of drama, emotion, and yes, hand gestures—but don’t get too graphic! The decision to work overseas in Europe could take you to fine, world-class, and historic cities like Rome, Milan, and Florence.
Recommended program: Work in Theater in Education across Italy with EDUCO
Still thinking of finding work abroad? Europe powerhouse, England, awaits. Keep calm and carry on in the motherland of the English language (although watch out for those slang and subtle differences, mate!). London is the undisputed leader when it comes to jobs abroad in Europe, brimming with jobs in finance, the fine arts, hospitality, research, and just everything else. If the capital isn’t your cup of tea, seek work up north in Manchester, Birmingham, or Cambridge. Also, forget what you’ve heard the British stiff upper lip. Your coworkers know how to let loose over a pint or two.
Recommended program: Teach in England with ACT
France is one of the most popular destinations for sophisticated international travelers and workers alike. It oozes high culture, from haute couture to haute cuisine. This West European nation also leads the pack if you’re talking work/life balance. French workers work a 35 hour week and often have flexible hours—and it’s illegal to send emails after 6pm. Why not also learn the language of love on your work abroad Europe adventure? P.S. Don’t be that American working in Europe who wears berets and striped tees in Paris. It’s so gauche!
Recommended program: Teach in France with International TEFL Academy
Although the Germans have a reputation for being straight-laced and hard-nosed, their work environments are the stuff of fairy tales—incredibly efficient, emphasis on work/life balance, and freshly pulled pilsners await your office life. You can easily find some of the best of jobs abroad in Europe in culture and history-rich cities like Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Hamburg. Germany is also the leading location if you’re looking for positions in research and innovation and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Even if you aren’t a science geek, you can still work in Germany as an au pair or English teacher in Deutschland.
Recommended program: Become an au pair in Germany with GeoVisions
Working abroad can also take you to the Celtic Tiger. In recent years, Ireland’s become very attractive to internationals seeking job experience in one of Europe's emerging economies. A huge emphasis on business creation and tech has led to a startup boom in the capital, Dublin. You can also find cool, eclectic jobs, like barista or art curator, in cultural cities like Galway and Cork. City life not for you? Get down on the farm. Forget what you think you know the Irish from TV and movies (sorry to break it to you, but they’re not a nation of drunks or fools chasing leprechauns all day). Irishmen and women are really fun though…
Recommended program: Work in Dublin with Stint Ireland
Find jobs abroad in a country that gave the world the Olympics, democracy, and Aristotelian tragedy. Although Greece has been suffering economic setbacks in recent times, the seat of Western civilization remains a good place to get some international work experience. Marvel at the Acropolis from your office window in Athens, study ancient Greek ruins at dig sites, or work as a tour guide on the always beautiful Crete or Corfu islands. Note: If your boss invites you to his home, don’t refuse because family means everything to the Greeks.
Recommended program: Work in Greece with Remarc Sunseafun Group
If you love languages, Switzerland is your perfect destination to work abroad in Europe. In a single walk to the market, you can hear French, German, Italian, and Romansch spoken in Swiss cities, alpine towns, and mountain villages. Geneva, the peace capital, has an excellent reputation when it comes to finding jobs in international relations. If global banking’s more your style, find great positions in Zurich, Europe’s wealthiest city and home of the infamous Swiss bank account. You can also find work easily in ski resorts or as an au pair to international families.
Recommended program: Work in Switzerland with Viamonde
Want to work in one of the oldest cultures in Europe? Head to Scotland, home of the kilt and the best whiskey in the world. This British country has big cities and quiet villages to suit any expat’s desires. Work in medieval Edinburgh, where the castle overlooks the city like a hawk or in Glasgow, which is nothing like what you’ve seen on Trainspotting. Fancy yourself the next Rolf Potts or Freya Stark? Scotland also has lots of opportunities for travel writers so pick up your travel journal/laptop and hit the road!
Recommended program: Become a stadium reporter in Scotland with MS Data Agency
10. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is right up your alley if you want to work in an European country that welcomes diversity and a progressive society with open arms. Work in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague, global cities that are also popular destinations for workers from all backgrounds and corners of the globe. Culture vultures will also love the Netherlands because of its many world-class museums, whether it’s Anne Frank House or Van Gogh Museum. If you’re looking for more local vibes, head to Maastricht, the namesake of a famous treaty that helped to create the EU.
Recommended program: Au pair in the Netherlands with InterExchange
A note from GoAbroad
We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.
Learn more our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.