Discuss working and making a living overseas, starting a business, or studying abroad.
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I'm living and working in the states, and I just found out that my contract is ending next week. My friend and I have always talked about moving abroad, and I'm sensing the time is just about right.
I'm almost 42, and have a decent educational background (BA & JD) with an underwhelming list of work experiences. I don't have any real foreign language skills.
Money wise, I have some credit card debt and student loans (still!) and roughly $7-$8K in cash. Unemployment is $450/wk and I can sublet my appartment for about another $500/mo extra....so, I believe these will probably cover living expenses for a while.
As far as where to live, my friend is particurlarly fond of Vietnam. I prefer Thailand or maybe Phillipines, though my teenage daughter would love it if it was Japan. Anyways, I'm pretty much open to any of them, and mostly looking to the country which offers the best opportunities. Which leads me to the question that everyone asks over and over....HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY! lol
In a perfect world, I'd love to land in thailand and immediately have a great job, but without being able to speak the language I sense that my opportunities are slim. Am I pretty much correct on this?
Japan is best for making money BUT you'd need to work out a way of getting a visa (which is harder when you're older).
Thailand is poor and overrun with foreigners so money making options are limited. But there are jobs for foreigners there IF you have an in demand skill and can get a work visa.
As far as cost of living goes, don't buy into the story of Japan being hugely more expensive than Thailand, blah, blah, blah. I'm actually in Barcelona now. A world class city. And yet the math doesn't lie - it's cheaper to live here than it was in Bangkok.
There's still TEFL as a relatively field to break into. Since you've got a degree, you could build off of that and go into teaching. But the field is getting more restrictive.
As far as other professional jobs, I think that would be a numbers game: trawl the foreign job sites and hit every decent job posting you see.
Best option is always starting your own business. Something mobile that you can do online, but if you are looking to settle down in a certain country, research business visas and what the local economy is demanding, and if the government is trying to bring in business. You might be able to work up a plan from that.
Welcometo the forum, SFDude!
Your degrees are gold overseas, in terms of setting you apart from the crowd. Furriners love fancy certifications.
Thailand would seem the worst choice. Crafty people arent going to share legal fees with you or let you operate in any way. And English teachers there are a dime a dozen.
Vietnam would be the place. They like and respect Americans (in Saigon). They're rising fast. Their language is written in normal letters instead of odd pictures. And you have a friend there.
Are you a member of the bar anywhere? I am guessing not. In any case, furriners probably wont understand the difference. The point is that you are an American educated lawyer. What you want to go for is some kind of consultancy wherein you leverage the legal background to get a real-life work permit, or start your own local company -- not online work.
"U.S. trade consultant"
"Bilingual contract writing"
"TEFL for Lawyers and International Traders"
BTW you have a teen daughter in tow? Single dad, or is mom coming with?
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
I'm single (divorced), but still active in our daughter's life. I'm not sure what would happen exactly if things worked out well in Asia...I imagine there would be a lot of frequent flyer miles between us. But, if it all worked out, it would be worth it.
What you say about leveraging the legal background is interesting. Though I don't know anything about being a trade consultant, I'm sure I could sell myself as one. I also forgot to mention that I have another friend who has been working in Saigon for several years now. I'm sure that he could help with some of the nuances of working/starting a business in Saigon.
It's funny that many people are afraid to make a move like this, thinking that being a foreigner puts them at a disadvantage. But, I am starting to realize that being a foreigner may also be an advantage
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