Join the almighty ranks of Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope with a job abroad in parks & recreation! Over several months of adventure, the great outdoors will be your biggest teacher as you climb the highest peaks, meander through glacier-driven river valleys, and hang from enormous rock faces. Working in public parks will give you a new perspective on leadership, teach you new outdoor skills, and provide strategies to adapt to unforeseen challenges in all areas of your life. There are thousands of parks throughout the word looking for someone like you to help maintain the beauty of nature!
Why Work Abroad in Parks & Recreation?
National parks are some of the best ways to experience the natural diversity of a new country. Even as civilizations progress, mankind has learned to adapt to parts of nature— which in turn influenced the culture of the region. With a job abroad in parks and recreation, you’ll gain insight on the development of people and culture (along with some fire selfies with squirrels)!
Staffing in public parks is kept in a relatively small range, so you’ll be able to form super tight bonds with your co-workers (maybe even find the Andy to your April along the way?). Despite playing different roles, at the end of the day you and your team are all working towards the same goal of preserving nature. If you’re in a country that speaks a different language, the full immersion of a parks & recreation job abroad will hone your skills in no time.
Another perk of being an international worker in a field that caters specifically to visitors is the ability to understand different perspectives. By living abroad, you will be put right in the worn shoes of travelers themselves— thus allowing you to provide a better experience by anticipating their needs.
We’ve all heard of summer camps, and maybe even have dreamed of running off to work in a resort and meet our Patrick Swayze dancing after-hours. Now imagine that— abroad. Things just got a lot more interesting! Apart from the friendships you’ll make with people from around the world, a job abroad in the recreation industry will give you the chance to get paid to live like a local, and see the world in ways few people have the chance.
Canada. is known for its stunning backdrop of mountains, lakes, and endless forests. What you might not know is that it’s all full of job opportunities. Whether you want to serve diners in a top restaurant in Banff, guide tourists through the vineyards of the Okanagan Valley, operate a ski-lift in the Rockies, or go to sleep under the Northern Lights in the Yukon Territory, Canada will make all your wilderness dreams a reality.
New Zealand. The cinematic landscapes of Australia’s little sister are a veritable playground for thrill seekers. Ideal for aspiring adventure guides, the country is also soaked with culture, history, and heritage, calling for people to tell its story.
China. Recent decades have seen China emerge as a global powerhouse. China is known as for its burgeoning cities, business prowess, and appreciation for the history found in local towns and protected wilderness. In all areas, China has truly embraced the value of foreign workers to enhance the effectiveness of the job at hand. Placements can have a steep learning curve, but oftentimes come with a greater chance for upward mobility and exciting professional contacts.
The Benefits of Parks & Rec Jobs Abroad
Get paid to work outside? Yes, please! Your job abroad in Parks & Recreation will probably fall under one of the following three categories: protect, present, and support. Protecting the park involves conservation, presenting supports public education, heritage presentation, and guided tours, and support involves everything needed to keep the organization running smoothly, from HR to funding and marketing.
Knowing the local language is obviously a perk in being able to understand the basics of how the park runs, and in setting up your life outside of work. However, many jobs, particularly within the hospitality and tourism sectors, find speaking English a bonus and they’ll perhaps have hired you specifically for your ability to speak it!
Some based out of hotels, and others in parks, upbeat adventure tour guides are needed to provide safety and expertise on thrilling experiences within the park. Rock climbing, white water rafting, and horseback riding are popular activities that novices and pros alike want to partake in. You’ll learn how to deal with clients, and effectively ride the line between peer and instructor.
To work in nature preservation itself, consider a job as an ecosystem scientist. They study the well-being of the flora and fauna and devise solutions to keep everything alive and flourishing. You’ll need to be super organized, as data collection plays a big role.
Parks and resorts couldn’t run without an organized team at its helm. An organization’s greatest asset is its people, and Human Resources is the first line in recruiting the best and keep everyone happy, safe, and respected.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for Expats Working in Parks & Rec Abroad
One indisputable perk is that you get to call a beautiful national park home. Who gets to do that?! You’ll work with people who share your love for the outdoors, and make connections worldwide for future travels! Meeting and working with people of different nationalities, learning to coexist, and producing something beautiful is nothing short of the perfect metaphor for what nature does every day. At the end of your stay, you can proudly say that you made a positive impact in the world.
Accommodation can be sparse, and amenities few. This might be exactly what you’re looking for, or it might be a nightmare! Make sure you understand what your program entails and what essentials are included. Make sure to pack those extra lantern batteries if electricity isn’t promised and the extra pair of socks if you’ll be bunkering down in a tent at night.
Whether you want to make strides in your career or simply look for a job in greener pastures, a job abroad in Parks & Recreation will set you on the right path for your future. And if there isn’t a path, you’ll at least know how to make one! People who work jobs in Parks & Recreation abroad are ordinary people striving to give visitors and extraordinary (Leslie Knope) experience.