It's 6 am. Your alarm is buzzing, and it's time to go to work.
You get out of bed, complete your morning routine, grab a cup of coffee, maybe an apple, and jet out of the door.
You do this every day, Monday through Friday, and you are exhausted.
You go to the office and depressingly stare at the pile of work on your desk. You have a great salary and benefits, and everyone would love to have your job, but you've been lacking fulfillment for quite some time.
One day you make the decision to quit your salaried job and travel the world in search of passion and fulfillment.
Your savings aren't unlimited, so you begin searching for ways to save money and earn money while abroad.
While there are several opportunities to earn extra income while abroad, working on a farm is one that you may have overlooked.
Here are the 5 ways you can work on a farm as an expat.
World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, (WWOOF) is part of a worldwide movement linking visitors with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange thereby helping to build a sustainable global community.
WWOOF has location is 120 countries and offers travelers food, accommodations, and learning opportunities in exchange for farming work.
Adventure seekers may decide to "WWOOF" in Hawaii.
If surfing and shrimping sounds ideal, Hawaii. There are many farms that deal with gardening and growing but it’s also a great place if you want to learn about shrimp brooding and sustainable seafood farming. There are also several horse ranches and camping farms, so you can really exercise your wild side.
VisitOz, (also known as Australian Working Adventures) is an award-winning training and job service. They offer programs and services that provide access to a unique range of employers and roles all over rural and Outback Australia.
If you are interested in rural Australia, VisitOz provides a 5-day residential farm work training, skills assessment, and farm work job matching service. The company guarantees to organize an 88 day 2nd visa qualifying job that matches your skills during the training course and support you until you have completed 88 days.
In addition to farming, they offer several other programs that would allow you to earn money while living abroad.
Oyster Worldwide also offers paid farm work in Australia with programs ranging from 3 months to 1 year.
3. International Volunteer HQ
International Volunteer HQ provides opportunities all over the world in a variety of fields ranging from agriculture and conservation to teaching and refugee support.
One of the highlighted countries for farming is Ghana. It’s a great place to go if your passion is in volunteering abroad. There are opportunities to work with children, grow crops take care of animals, and engage in education.
For volunteers who have a passion for the environment and conservation, IVHQ offers programs in sustainable agriculture in countries such as Mexico. The sustainable agriculture project provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to work on sustainable farms within Merida. This project is ideal if you are looking for a volunteer opportunity that will allow you to work outdoors, or you’re interested in learning more about sustainable farming practices or have experience as an organic farm volunteer
4. CIS Abroad Internship
Interested in an internship in environmental and sustainability studies? There are opportunities with CIS Abroad in 9 different countries that you can participate in to receive college credit.
You can work on an organic farm in Ecuador learning part agriculture and part education. In your first role, you'll focus on reforestation through seed collection, nursery plant production, plant monitoring, and garden maintenance. In your second role, you'll educate the local community—specifically children—on the importance of environmental sustainability.
You could even be an Environmental Protection Intern in Thai Village. Your focus will be on planting trees and other conservation work in a community forest. The exact work depends on the time of year, but you could plant saplings, work on cloning trees, or construct water retention areas. All of this work is done in a rural Thai village, where every day you will interact with local Thai people as they work with you.
5. Contacting Farms Directly
If you enjoy negotiation or a low-cost solution, this method may be perfect for you.
While it may require more time and language skills, it can save you costs by eliminating the middle-man program costs.
Picking Jobs will save you some time as they provide a free directory of farms categorized by country. There are lists for farmers, growers, and wineries, as well as job postings. Grape-picking in France or strawberry-picking sound interesting? Contact the farm directly to secure a volunteer spot.
The next method of attack is every millennial's best friend, Google. Simply type in "farms in Italy" and an extensive list will populate.
Looking for a one-stop-shop for farm job postings? Read more here.
What Working on a Farm is Like
Now that you know what opportunities are available for farming and earning some extra income abroad, you may be wondering what the actual work entails.
While it will vary by country/region, season/weather, and the type of farm, there are some basic commonalities. Accommodations tend to be basic and farm work is strenuous. It will be wildly different from your office job, but if you're already physically fit or worked in an active job, the transition will be much easier.
Besides the physical challenges, farming can be very rewarding. You're supporting the local and global economy, you're experiencing life abroad as a local, and of course, you'll be provided with some monetary benefits.
Imagine eating a banana in 10 years remembering how you worked on a farm in Costa Rica one summer?
It will be an experience of a lifetime.
Now that you know where to begin your research and have a general idea of what working on a farm is like, you're ready to go conquer the world!