Well over half of the world’s population lives in Asia, a fact that is sometimes lost in the Western world. Indeed, with so much cultural and historical complexity, it seems unfair to even group the entire Asian continent under one category. Yet, geographical ties do create some similarities amid the vast diversity. While much of the continent remains underdeveloped, many Asian countries’ have economies that are beginning to catch up at exponential rates, making it a great place to seek out jobs abroad.
There are around 50 countries on the world’s largest continent, each with a distinct national and cultural identity. As an English speaker you can look for work just about anywhere – which countries present the best opportunity really depends on the line of work your are looking to get into.
In the far East, China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea are some of the most popular destinations where to work abroad. Though very different culturally from one another, each country has a booming economy and a moderately to highly developed infrastructure (Japan easily the most so).
In Southeast Asia, countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are also all promising locations to find jobs abroad. These are the four so-called “tiger cub economies,” countries where many investors and economists see the emerging actualization of great potential for growth.
The Indian subcontinent, which encompasses countries south of the Himalayas including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, can be another rewarding place to look for a job abroad. Though one of the world’s poorest regions, there is great cultural richness and complexity to the area, and it is truly a fascinating place to live abroad.
Finally western Asia, including countries such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and the UAE, is the choice of many where to work abroad as well. Though currently hindered by regional instability, Western Asia is a beautiful and fascinating region with many promising job opportunities.
Jobs Abroad in Asia
As you would expect from a continent with over 4 billion people, you can find a job abroad for pretty much any line of work in Asia. The primary difference will be between whether you plan on working abroad temporarily, or whether you plan on moving abroad permanently to begin a career as an expatriate.
If you want to work abroad for a short period of time in Asia, the best way to go about doing so is apply through a jobs abroad program for temporary positions. The most available openings across the continent are typically for teaching, au pairing, and working in the tourism or hospitality industry. These jobs often last for one or two years, and there is always the possibility that you can extend if you fall in love with your new job and country.
If you are looking for a more fruitful job, say in a global city such as Tokyo, Shanghai, or Dubai, then the situation can become a bit more complex. You will almost always need to be endorsed for a work and residential visa to move abroad, and this can be harder in some countries than others. Often the best strategy is to work for a multinational company in your home country with the objective of being transferred abroad.
Salary & Costs
A lot of Asia is underdeveloped and therefore less expensive to live in than the industrialized Western world. This is just a rule of thumb however, and there are obviously exceptions. Japan is one of the most expensive countries on the planet, and global cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore can prove equally as much so. Salaries range widely, though you can generally expect your relative pay scale to reflect the costs of living in the country you are living in.
Accommodation & Visas
Again, housing situations will vary widely depending on the type of job you attain and the place where you are working abroad. In most cases you should not expect accommodations to be as spacious or luxurious as abodes in the West, due to population density and less advanced infrastructure. All part of the experience of working abroad!
Most employers in Asia will help you to obtain the proper visa and work documentation, either prior to departure or upon arrival. You can get more details about the specific visa you might need via checking out GoAbroad's Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Culture Shock. Wherever you go in Asia, there is bound to be some degree of culture shock embedded in adapting to life abroad. This turns out to be one of the most valuable aspects of the experience, expanding your comfort zone and common ground with people from all over the world!
Communication Expert. Learning a new language, or at least picking up enough to get by, should be a top priority while working abroad in Asia. Not only will it make life easier while abroad, but it will greatly enhance your future job prospects back home.
New History. One of the most fascinating parts of working abroad is all that you learn about your host country. Asia’s history is incredibly complex and interesting, and will teach you so much more about the way the world has developed.