History is everywhere. You’ve read about it in books, you’ve learned about it through movies, and you’ve witnessed it at museums and monuments. But, if you are fresh out of school and looking for jobs, consider putting all those hours of memorization to good use and travel out into the real world to experience history on a larger scale. Whatever interest area in the field, history jobs abroad are a surefire way to bring you closer to the antiquities you love, and advance your career dramatically.
Why Work Abroad in History
The odds of you committing to a discipline of history related to your home country are slim. The reality is, if you are truly passionate and committed to your history interest area, it seems completely logical to want to spend time working in the region or even city where the history took place. If you study American history, what better place to look for history jobs than in Philadelphia or Virginia? If your specialty happens to be diasporic movements in Africa, where better to pursue history job opportunities than Ghana or Mali?
In and of itself, working abroad is an incredible opportunity, but for those dedicating their life to the study of past events and human affairs, the question becomes: why not completely immerse yourself in a history job abroad?
The rules of history are the same as the rules of real estate: location, location, location. This sounds simple, but is such an important point that is often overlooked. If you’ve dedicated your life and time to studying South Korean political movements, you want to work in South Korea. With the latter interest area, working in Hungary would never make sense. While there are many avenues you can take to find history jobs abroad, it often makes sense to continue your career in the location that is most related to your focus area.
Washington D.C. History and politics go together like, well, history and politics. Individuals seeking history jobs abroad should look no further than one of the most powerful capital cities in the world. The District of Columbia has everything a historian could possibly dream of, including national monuments, historic buildings, and of course, over 200 years of presidential history.
London. World renown for its culture and history, London presents an ideal place to work abroad in history. With famous museums, historic landmarks, and intricate infrastructure, London (and the surrounding towns) are a fantastic place for historians to develop roots.
Jerusalem. Especially pertinent to those with a hand in religious histories and diaspora, Jerusalem is known across the world as the central home to three of the most historic and popular religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Walk anywhere in this city and you are bound to stumble across a historic marker of the myriad of stories and folklore that surround this ancient capital.
History Jobs Abroad
History jobs abroad typically fall under one of three distinct categories: education, research, and archival. By far the most popular and common route, history education jobs abound at all levels abroad. Teaching jobs abroad range from elementary school to university positions and are accessible to nearly anyone with the right qualifications (aka. either a bachelors in education or masters/doctorate in history). History teaching jobs can offer competitive salaries, depending on the type of school and location.
Research fellowships are an excellent example of history jobs abroad that will apply your academic skills to hands-on fieldwork. While much more competitive than other types of history jobs abroad, individuals who do win these coveted positions will be treated to an incredible opportunity to conduct research abroad. Effective fieldwork calls for all kinds of skills and attributes, so be sure to illustrate how you are qualified and contribute to the team in a unique way when applying for history jobs abroad related to research. Research fellowships are all about what you can bring to the team and,of course, producing original, innovative historical research.
Archival positions make up a crucial element of the historical information management community. Archivists are responsible for the maintenance and establishment of the physical and digital records in their care. Archiving positions vary, so employment can be found in government offices, religious, cultural, or educational institutions, and many more. Entry-level history jobs related to archiving generally require at least a bachelor degree, and more often than not, a master’s degree in history or a related social science as well as a basic archival skills.
Salary & Affordability
Salaries range within each of the latter three sub-categories, but any history job abroad will be relative to the local cost of living. That being said, there are some general averages for each type of job:
History Education. Depending on the location, individuals can expect a salary slightly above a “break even” scenario. History teaching jobs offer a range of salaries, based on qualifications and experience, and placement in the organizational structure; if you are part of leadership and administration, you will generally be offered a higher salary. Most history teaching jobs include contracts for one or two years, as well as health insurance, housing, and paid vacation time.
Research. The lower end of the bunch here, most research jobs related to history come in the form of research fellowships, which means salaries and stipends will vary greatly depending on granting organizations or university affiliation. Some grants offer up to $50,000 and above for yearlong research fellowships, while others are not so generous.
Archival. Entry-level history jobs in archival supply an average yearly salary of $45,000. It is crucial to note that this figure will vary greatly depending not only on your country of employment, but also on the type of archiving role. Typically, governmental archivists earn a higher salary than those who work at public or community institutions.
History Up Close. There truly is no greater feeling than being surrounded by the life and culture that you’ve spent your life studying and analyzing. It will feel surreal to live in a place with a history that you know so much about and have spent so much time studying and examining. History jobs abroad give you the chance you have been waiting for, to view history up close and completely immerse yourself in locations that have been influential to the history of the world.
Different Perspectives. It is one thing to study history from the comfort of your home or university, but it is entirely another to work in history from the perspective of the native country. Imagine teaching U.S. American history in England, and what they might teach, or how they might posit on different theoretical or philosophical issues. Now you can see why working in the country of focus is so imperative.