5 Ways to Continue Your Education Overseas That Aren’t Study Abroad

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 | 2 comments

5 Ways to Continue Your Education Overseas That Aren’t Study Abroad

While overseas sometimes it’s impossible to find a job or working is not the right choice for you. If that’s the case and you’re wondering what to do with your time, continuing your education is a great option. There are a ton of online classes and opportunities that are worth taking advantage of when you’re living in a foreign country. Most importantly, if you feel like you have too much time on your hands you could eventually get very frustrated at living in that foreign country. Don’t let yourself get to that point! Here is a list to get you started:


1. Earn a degree online

Go big or go home! If you’ve been putting off earning your undergraduate or master’s degree and you have a few years overseas, this could be the perfect time to do it. Some online programs will require an in-person course or two so make sure to check all the requirements before signing up to see if it will work for you.


Some may cost a lot too – nearly as much as it costs to earn the degree while in person. If money is no object for you, that’s great! If it is, don’t discard this option. With a plethora of online courses that are being offered for free, you can earn a non-traditional degree almost for free. For more ideas on how this works, check out expat spouse Laurie Pickard’s No Pay MBA.


2. Take an online class

Always wanted to learn more about marketing? Not very good at Excel but want to learn more? There are tons of online classes available from respected universities around the world that offer classes for free (or very low cost) online via sites like Coursera, Udacity, Lynda, and edX.


3. Volunteer

Not education you say? I beg to differ! Volunteering for an organization that’s in your career field or outside of it can give you valuable learning experience that you can add to your resume later. Want to get into bookkeeping but have no experience? Volunteer to help a small non-profit that needs assistance? Thinking about earning a yoga teacher certification? Now is the time to volunteer to teach a class at your kids’ school or to other expats to test it out.


4. Learn a language

If you’re in a country where another language is spoken, take steps to learn it. Even if it isn’t a language that you’ll use again in your life, your quality of life will improve dramatically if you don’t feel lost in every conversation or worried that you don’t know what others are saying. Knowing at least a little bit of the local language no only contributes to your safety and happiness in that country but it also challenges your brain in a completely different way.


5. Figure out how to do something you’ve been wanting to learn

Always wanted to learn to knit? Dying to get back to playing tennis like you did when you were a kid? Have you been telling yourself that you’ll learn how to cook one of these days? Spend some time online watching YouTube videos (free!) to walk you through the steps of how to learn your new hobby.


Now is the time! Allocate a few hours every day to learning your new craft or accomplishing your goal. There are many alternative opportunities, including continuing your education, available if you are not looking or cannot get traditional employment. For more details about your opportunities, see the Passport Career’s Global Topics chapter on Alternative Options.



Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, or alternative career opportunities. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or send email to: info@passportcareer.com) regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.

Anna Sparks, Expert Global Career Consultant


  1. Hi. Cheers for the great ideas! Keep on working on what you are doing.

  2. Greetings. You’ve inspired me personally. Great job.

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