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Most Americans don’t have the time to take a month off work to visit a foreign country — in fact, according to a recent MarketWatch study, 55% of the US workforce doesn’t take any time off at all. But what if you could take your work with you, relocating your whole life for a month, or two or even six? Co-working and work-and-travel programs allow intrepid entrepreneurs and vagabonds to temporarily move their work-life balance to another continent. Aside from airfare, these programs help arrange everything one might need to subsist in a foreign country for a given period of time, from housing and workspace to organizing various cultural programs and professional classes to help immerse travelers in a foreign land. If this sounds like something you’d like to consider doing, here are three such programs to look into.
Co-founded by tech entrepreneur Jonathan Kalan, Unsettled offers month-long co-working experiences in five different countries — and that list is soon to grow. The company arranges private apartments or villas and co-working spaces in each destination, provides SIM cards for phones and resource guides and can be used by small companies of up to 30 people.
“It’s a luxurious and livable accommodation in every city we go to. Everybody’s stay will be comfortable. You will have a private room and private bathroom at all locations,” Unsettled spokesman Michael Youngblood said. “You’re in the most central part of that city. You’re going to be walking to your coffee shop, walking to go get groceries, walking to the co-working space.”
Participants in the program are encouraged to lead a workshop during their stay, during which they’ll share a skill or idea with the other program participants. Co-working spaces are pre-existing, meaning you’ll be co-working with local residents as well as your fellow travelers.
Duration: Two weeks or 30 days.
What’s Provided: A private room in a shared apartment or home, dedicated co-working space, SIM card for cell phone and wireless internet service, workshop training sessions and some guided tours.
Requirements: Applicants are each interviewed for 30 minutes, with 95 percent being accepted to the program.
Pricing: $500 for an application deposit, then $1,900 to $2,100 for one month, depending on duration and location.
Among a variety of college study-abroad, English-teaching and au pair programs, Interexchange offers work-and-travel experiences open to both college graduates and adults. But unlike Unsettled’s co-working experience, Interexchange helps place travelers with full-time employers in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Canada, connecting applicants to employers, completing necessary visa paperwork and arranging short-term accommodations. Interexchange is also available to provide assistance throughout their work-study program. Applicants apply independently to jobs, however, and are also responsible for paying for their airfare and housing during their stay.
“Those are going to be more temporary jobs, seasonal jobs, hospitality jobs, lower-skilled jobs,” Interexchange vice president of external affairs Mark Overmann said. “These are opportunities that are going to allow you to have a working experience, travel to the country you’re in, and work on language skills.”
Participants have the ability to take on multiple jobs in multiple cities throughout the duration of a program. The company also offers Outback Australia, a unique program in which participants work either farm jobs or naturalist positions in rural parts of the country. Paid teaching and au pair programs are also available, but under more rigid scheduling.
Duration: From one month up to one year, depending on the location.
What’s Provided: Help finding employment and housing, troubleshooting throughout the trip, visa application assistance.
Requirements: Overmann recommends that applicants begin the process at least three months in advance of their desired travel date. Some programs have age restrictions or are dependent on available work visas.
Cost: From $400 to $1,900, depending on location.
3. The Nomads Co-Work & Travel
All programs offered by The Nomads Co-Work and Travel are six months long and include six-week stays in four popular South American cities. You’ll get private accommodations and co-working space in each stop, while an introductory tour and cafeteria-style lunch during workdays is also provided. Flights between cities are included as well, but not flights to and from your place of origin. Some entertainment and professional networking opportunities are also planned at each destination, while you can expect plenty of sports, fitness and yoga opportunities, and access to language classes, cooking classes and volunteering programs.
Duration: Six months split among four destinations.
What’s Provided: Co-working space in four different locales, a private room in a local apartment, tours in each city, airfare between the South American cities.
Requirements: Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online.
Cost: $3,000 down payment, $1,850 per month.
Would you be interested in temporarily relocating your office to a foreign country? Have you done it yourself? Sound off, below.
Featured image courtesy of Floresco Productions via Getty Images.
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