WANT TO GO ABROAD?

Maracas Beach. Shark and bake. Doubles. An ice cold Carib. Crossing the stage on Carnival Tuesday. Feting till the sun comes up and crawling into bed at 6 am. Sunday lunch with family. Liming with friends who you’ve known all your life. All of these things make Trinidad a beautiful and blessed place to live.

But, for some people who have itchy feet, these things are sometimes not enough to keep you there for ever and ever. Some just feel the need to get out, whether for a few months, a few years, or for good.

If you feel a desire to spread your wings but don’t know where to start, I have compiled a mother load of information and links on things you can do to get yourself overseas exploring the world. I hope you will find them useful.

1. Going abroad to study
:  If you happen to have generous parents, this is an easy option, and a good opportunity to try to stay somewhere long term by finding a job during or after graduation. If you aren’t blessed with parents with deep pockets, don’t despair. There are a number of countries in Europe that offer free or very low tuition even to international students, such as Germany, Spain, Finland, and more.

2. Join the JET Program
: Already got a degree? Consider joining the JET Program – Japan Exchange Teaching — run by the Embassy of Japan in T&T.  The job entails teaching English in Japan at a Japanese high school for a year. This job has pretty good benefits — housing, flights, good salary, good holidays. You must apply in October-November, interviews are held in Jan-Feb, candidates are chosen in April, and off you go to Japan in July.

3. Teaching at international schools: 
If you are a qualified teacher with a Bachelors or Masters degree in Education, there are many jobs at international schools all over the globe. The hottest place to work these days is in Asia and the Middle East where there is a large young population, fast economic growth, and an ever increasing number of international schools. Think Dubai, Bahrain, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Turkey.

4. Cruise ship jobs
: How about a life at sea? Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean regularly employ Trinis to work on board in hospitality jobs. Can be a great opportunity to see a lot of different countries in a short period of time. I’ve been told you have to get used to living in small quarters with a roommate, and quite long work hours. It is a good option for saving cash, as you’re stuck on board anyway and don’t have much to spend it on. The only recruiter I know in Trinidad is called Shipmate Services. You can visit their office to get an application.

5. CARICOM visa: 
If you don’t want to go too far from home, you could apply for the Caricom single market and economy scheme which allows for free movement of skilled people in any Caricom member state. A good friend of mine is working right now in Barbados on this and loves it, and I know people who have been to Grenada, St. Kitts, Barbuda and Jamaica for work. At least you will be closer to home!

6. Become a flight attendantMany flight attendants take up this job for the sole purpose of travelling the world (or at least as far as CAL flies). You could soon be snapping pictures of Big Ben in England, or shopping in Times Square in New York. But don’t just limit yourself locally. In the papers recently, there have been many job ads for airlines in the Middle East, particularly Qatar and Dubai, which are poaching flight attendants from smaller airlines. These are very big and prestigious airlines that will provide transport, housing, and benefits, and give you the chance to literally fly everywhere, from Paris to Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro. Just be mindful of the local laws and customs when living in a Middle Eastern country.

So, in conclusion, if you are a determined young Trini, there are obviously many ways to ship yourself abroad. Just start doing research, and start saving money. Take a course, if necessary. It may take many months to finally get the opportunity you want, but patience is a virtue. The day that you get that letter saying that you have been accepted to the program/job/course will be a happy and exciting day. Leaving home for a foreign land is a scary and wonderful experience, but well worth the risk.

In closing, I’d like to share my favourite quote, from the movie Big Fish:

“Kept in a small bowl, the goldfish will remain small.
With more space, the fish can grow double, triple, or quadruple its size.”

Hope these tips will help you find that bigger bowl out there…

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Shiv says:

    Hi fellow Trini! I’ve just moved to Vietnam after three years in Japan. I’m making my way around the world as an English teacher and freelance writer. Just wondering what the job prospects are like in Hong Kong for Trinis since I’m already thinking about my next destination. Please give me some inside tips!

    1. Len says:

      Hey, I’m also a fellow Trini and I’m interested in teaching English aboard. How did you go about teaching in Japan and other countries? I realise that most teaching jobs, even if you are certified ask for passports from the US, Canada, Australia but never the Caribbean. Any advice or guidance?

      1. the_travelling_trini says:

        Hi Len, you need to apply for the JET Program through the Embassy of Japan in T&T. This is the only way for Trinis to get a teaching job in Japan.

  2. the_travelling_trini says:

    Hi Shiv! A Trini in Vietnam — we really are EVERYwhere ent? Why don’t you drop me a line at thetravellingtrini@yahoo.com to keep in touch, I’d be glad to send some info about working in HKG. Are you teaching in Vietnam too? Or trying to get OUT of teaching? Hope to hear from you!

  3. ebites1 says:

    Hi, I’m a The_Travelling _Trini can I also email you more information on Trini’s working abroad, I have a degree in Agribusiness and have never been beyond Trinindad & Tobago I would love to know more about teaching abroad.

  4. bunny says:

    hey came across this site. Do you know anyone offering job sponsorships in the USA? I havent been able to locate one and I’ve been trying for a year now…

    1. the_travelling_trini says:

      Hi Bunny, I’m sorry but no, I don’t have any useful information about getting a job in the US nowadays! The only Trinis I know working in the US are those either working for multinational companies, or those who went to university in the US and then went straight into a job out of school. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  5. Sunny says:

    HI, travelling Trini I am also looking into ways to explore the world especially Asia. Although i am very much determined to go I have a fear of being alone there (Im gay so im knida alone im trinidad too). I jsut want to go around the world to meet people who dont know me or my family so even if i mess up it wont reach back home. I have been looking into South Korea and Japan recently but anywhere seems to be fine. Did you set out on this by yourself? how old were you? i dont have a degree in anything though i am still in UWI in my 3rd year of medical school. I fear that i will be stuck here or at work. I love medicine but now i am thinking that i want something more.

  6. Sunny says:

    How important is it that you speak the languages of the country you are currently staying?

  7. Sunny says:

    HI, i do want to go around the world also. but i am scared of being alone and getting homesick. how did you deal with this? did you initially travel by yourself. also i am gay and as you may know trinidad is quite homophobic is it like that in the other countries you have been. i want to be free i here locked up not wanting to disappoint my parents or loose the few friends i have by coming out. I also dont have a degree but i am in my 3rd year of medical school at uwi. is it possible for me to get work elsewhere?

    1. the_travelling_trini says:

      Hi Sunny, I’ve sent you a nice long email which I hope you’ll find helpful. Please keep in touch!

  8. Bunny says:

    Hey Sunny I know the feeling! It’s the main reason I do want to get out! I can tell you for certain that travelling to Massachusetts in USA is most welcoming of same sex people. In fact the people are not bothered whether you hold your partner’s hand or kiss your partner etc… Since you are doing Medicine you will have a lot better chance for firstly an H1B work visa to USA and then good chances to get the company to sponsor you a green card. Also Canada is another great option for you!! 🙂

    1. the_travelling_trini says:

      I have to agree with Bunny — Canada is a very open minded and liberal place!

  9. Sunny says:

    wow thanks @the_travelling_trini i shall look into all these great help. and @Bunny wow thanks to you i’m using all the help i can get so i can make a good decision. this site is truly helpful and also it looks like there are very nice trinis visiting here.

  10. Bunny says:

    You’re welcome Sunny! I’m glad I can help… and remember the USA and Canada are very huge countries… your family can be states away, should you choose those places… some areas are not Trini or Caribbean people infested….. 😉 Don’t give up! I’m not 🙂

  11. Mandy says:

    Hello All,

    I am originally from Trinidad but I have lived in Canada for a while.
    I spent the last year in Trinidad trying to make some personal decisions and I do believe that I am more prepared for a change.
    I have been interested in teaching ESL in China/ Japan/ South Korea for a few years. I have done my degrees, TESOL certification, taught ESL online and volunteered as an ESL tutor.
    I know that I would like to give it a shot however the fear of not knowing what to expect is an issue.
    I do want to move back to Trinidad at some point in the future, at the same time, I want to take the chance because I may never do so again.
    I have received several offers but I do not know if they are “legit” or work-friendly schools. Can someone suggest a few recruiters/ schools?
    Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

  12. Bunny says:

    Apologies Mandy, but I do not know of agencies or recruiters… Good luck to you!

  13. Apphia says:

    I’m finally going to make my first step to get out of my country by applying for the JET and now I’m stumbling upon so many unique blogs and youtube channels and this is one so I’m shouting out hello!! If I require any extra info I’ll send you an email.

    1. the_travelling_trini says:

      Hi Apphia, that’s a great choice about applying for the JET Program. I hope you get through. Email me any time!

  14. AstridOxford says:

    I’m always so excited to find blogs by fellow Trinis abroad! I’m leaving tomorrow for my second year abroad teaching English in Colombia, looking forward to more adventures in South America.

    1. the_travelling_trini says:

      Hi Astrid, do you keep a blog? I wish that I had gone to South America while I lived in Trinidad… and I’d love to hear more about your travels and what life is like in Colombia!

      1. AstridOxford says:

        I blog about my travels at astridoxfordtravels.wordpress.com … There’s a whole lot more to Colombia than meets the eye! You should definitely try to visit sometime!

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