I have used this outlandish claim as the headline in my Study Abroad How-To Course giveaways in the past. It strikes a lot of people as “spammy” and unrealistic because it is. Most people don’t get paid to study abroad. I don’t think this is because they can’t. I think it’s because they haven’t made it a priority.
Precisely because it seem unrealistic, it never gets honestly tried.
There are two keys to getting paid to do what you want (not just travel goals, any career, too!)
- Let people know that you want to get paid to do what you want (in detail). Then, while you wait for opportunities to show up, be generous with your time, attention, and support and help other people out. They will help you in return.
I was paid to go to Germany for free earlier this year. One of my best friends from high school got a full-ride two-week trip to Israel over winter break. These opportunities were both offered to us. We didn’t even have to ask for them because people knew we wanted them.
This isn’t just due to luck. It’s mostly because the people around us already knew that we wanted to travel. We made it a priority and we were vocal about it, and then when the opportunity came up we were both front-of-mind. People who had money paid us to go because we were the first people that came to mind.
Even more recently, I got to give two friends of mine a free trip to India because they were the first people that came to mind when someone offered me a video production trip that didn’t work with my schedule.
You can be the first person who comes to mind in your friends’ heads when they hear about travel opportunities, simply by talking about your dreams and desires.
If you let the people around you know what you want and you are helpful and pleasant person to be around in the meantime, when they find an opportunity that looks promising they will be more than happy to let you know!
- Actively look into ways to make your dreams happen. This means looking up and interviewing people who have done it before, apply for grants, scholarships, and any other opportunities you can dig up.
You can find help for doing these things all over the web. Google “how to interview famous people” or “how to apply for grants and scholarships” to get started right now. It’s seriously that easy.
- Let people around you know what you want out of life.
- Take just a little time each day to look into how to make those things happen.
Big things will happen if you let people know that you want those things and make yourself valuable. You’ll find unusual opportunities if you keep an eye out for them. Those are the most unusual and effective lessons to getting paid to do what you want.
These tips may not be the usual advice for “how to get paid” to do something, but because they’re unusual they work extraordinarily well. Remember to be persistent, optimistic, and find ways to help out.
If you like the sound of that and you’d like to learn more about how to apply creative persistence to the rest of your study abroad journey (from getting scholarships to finding affordable plane tickets) check out The World’s Best School: Travel – my online course that helps students find social support and study abroad, even if they think it’s impossible at first.
Guest Blogger –