I have lived in Japan and worked in the UK where I grew up as well as Chicago and LA in the US. In between times I have visited another 20 or so countries for fun or work. Every trip I learned something but it was only when I was living in another country did I really start to understand the culture. Celebrating Christmas in Japan with only chopsticks to attack the turkey and brussel sprouts was a time never to forget.

But how can you work abroad?

Be Flexible. If your organizational is global then you may have the opportunity to visit another location, go on an exchange program or transfer if you are willing to be flexible. The Christian Childrens Fund has operations in 40 different countries and so travel for many of their staff is a real possibility. Find out about transfers: http://monster.typepad.com/monsterblog/2008/02/the-right-way-t.html

Be Talented. If you are unique or special then you could find yourself packing. A friend of mine a legal expert has taught in China, Vietnam and Thailand. Another friend was sent to Russia.

Be Brave. If you want to go - just do it. Go as a tourist and find a teaching job or true love and stay. Or look for job advertisements or friends with contacts abroad. An old friend of mine answered an ad for a job in Oman and had the unique experience on living in a Muslim country and a working woman. Transitions Abroad: http://www.transitionsabroad.com/index.shtml

Be Nice. Volunteer. There are lots of chances for work abroad for short or long term and whatever age you are. This is a good site: http://www.workingabroad.com/

And finally, some basic information about cultural considerations. Not all good - no striped ties in England seems a little strange especially as I have about 30 of them. But mostly it's useful and interesting stuff e.g. Brits like gambling and 70% of them buy lottery tickets.

Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and in the USA with major organizations including the BBC, Fuji Television, Mattel, Sony, and Warner Bros.

He has successfully coached individuals at all levels including CEOs of major companies wanting a new challenge, frustrated souls wanting to make their dream come true, and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job.

David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA.

David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television.

He has dual US/UK citizenship and speaks French and Japanese.

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