The summer of 2021 is shaping up to be much better than last year with widespread vaccinations and fewer Covid restrictions. As borders open up, so do job opportunities for students looking for their first taste of living abroad.
If you're planning on traveling after your exams and getting a bit of sunshine after a dark year, then you might come across a job opportunity or two on the way. Here are five sunny places that could give you a regular dose of vitamin D along with your first proper salary.
Malta boasts an average of 300 sunny days a year and offers a wide variety of working opportunities in the popular tourist sector there.
A lesser-known fact is that it's also a digital gaming hub, and home to a host iGaming companies who abide by the island's important Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) legislation.
Not all the jobs there demand computer expertise, either. IGaming is a growing, vibrant sector that needs motivated customer-friendly graduates to work in client support. Experience isn't important here, what counts is a good work ethic and a positive, can-do attitude. Having prior knowledge of how the sector works is also very handy, and websites such as Casino Guru offer courses for iGaming customer support agents designed to educate potential employees and give them an edge in the interviewing process.
Advances in technology and a growing social trend towards gaming indoors have contributed to iGaming being one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world , and Malta is set to be at the center of it.
Whether it's the stunning beauty of Granada's ancient Alhambra palace or the intoxicating scent of oranges in Seville, Andalucia remains one of the most visited tourist destinations in Europe. It's also one of the warmest, with temperatures rarely dropping below 15c in the winter and almost constant sunshine all year round.
The region's thriving tourist sector means that there's a big demand for English, not to mention the language's status as lingua franca in the international business world for Spanish entrepreneurs.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or TEFL, courses offer a straightforward way into teaching in Spain. Over the course of 10-12 weeks, you learn the fundamentals of teaching and gain a qualification that will help you get hired in one of many academies and schools.
While teaching salaries aren't great in Spain, TEFL still offers you a launchpad into a teaching career, while taking in the sights and sounds of a brand-new culture.
If you're looking a little further afield than Europe, then Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is another great place to start a teaching career, but with a much higher salary than in Europe.
Salaries typically range between $3-5,000 (£2,100 – 3,500) and there are normally perks thrown in such as travel expenses, utility costs and even rent in some cases.
However, moving to the Middle East might be a culture shock to some. It's forbidden to consume alcohol without a permit or live with someone of the opposite sex (if you're not married or related), amongst other things. Living there might feel restrictive at first, but many Europeans enjoy the local culture and way of life, not to mention the superb weather.
Once traveling returns to some kind of normality, then there's likely to be a rise in demand for new teachers – and nowhere pays better than the UAE for graduates.
'Down Under' is the classic backpacking destination with many people choosing to take their gap year there. In the past, people took menial labour work to fund their travels, but poor pay and difficult conditions have led to travellers searching for other ways of making money.
Online writing jobs have risen dramatically since the pandemic, with freelancing sites such as Upwork and iWriter posting hundreds of temporary and permanent positions every day. Traveling is a popular topic, and Australia gives you the perfect inspiration for its jaw-dropping scenery.
Finding writing work is easy to get into: you simply post a few details to create an online profile and list your skills and qualifications. You might need to start off with some low-paid work to build up a reputation, but a few positive reviews will put you on track towards some nice writing opportunities.
Another great way to get paid for seeing the world is on board a luxury cruise liner. Cruise ship jobs are diverse, ranging from swimming instructors to onboard paramedics, so you're bound to find something that fits your skills should you decide to go down this route.
It also goes without saying that working on cruises is a fine way to explore new places. Mediterranean trips often stop at a different location every day thanks to the close proximity of places of interest, and you'll typically find Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey on the same itinerary.
Cruise ship work can be intense, but it more than makes up for it with its sense of adventure – and the downtime you get to spend in the sun.
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