English-speaking journalist with the travel bug
June 15, 2008 2:14 PM   Subscribe

English-speaking journalist with travel bug: where should I go?

I'm getting antsy, and would like to see more of the world before I (theoretically) settle down. What's a good place for a young, Canadian, English-speaking journalist to live and work for a year or two?

I have a few years experience reporting at a daily newspaper, and I'm comfortable with online media. That said, I'm functionally unilingual, which I'm guessing will pose problems. I speak some French - enough to get by as a tourist, but not enough to converse fluently.

My only criterion is that my new home not be in Canada or the USA - otherwise, I'll consider all options, however obscure, strange or low-paying. And I know that 'good place' is pretty subjective, so I should add that (very generally speaking) I'm more interested in arts/culture/history, less concerned with nightlife/glitz/shopping.

Any ideas, hive mind? I'd appreciate hearing any first or second-hand experiences, good or bad, and tips for how to make this happen. And if, in your opinion, my chance of getting hired elsewhere is slim to none - well, that's useful information too, even if I don't really want to hear it.
posted by lindsey.nicole to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
how about going where you think you'd be least welcome? perhaps because of nationality, gender, race, age and writing about how you were received? (think of this less in terms of nations and more as in "I wonder what happened if I'd walk into xyz... and smiled like a lost tourist." people have tons of supersticions about far-away places and you'll never know if they're true until you've gone there to check for yourself. anyway... what's the most impossible place you could happen to stroll into?

play the 'blind death dumb anthropologist from mars' and see what happens...
posted by krautland at 2:57 PM on June 15, 2008

teaching english as a foreign language is a pretty standard way to go abroad for a while. get your tefl (or celta). i believe most accredited schools include job placement counseling.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:32 PM on June 15, 2008

Response by poster: To clarify, I'd like to work as a journalist if at all possible - sorry, should have included that in the original question. I haven't ruled out teaching English, but there's quite a lot of information available online to help me with that.
posted by lindsey.nicole at 4:08 PM on June 15, 2008

There is always Australia.
posted by t0astie at 4:56 PM on June 15, 2008

What about somewhere in Europe? Besides Great Britain, there's quite a few newspapers geared towards English speaking expats, both dealing with general news, commentary (and the obvious classifieds); Amsterdam, has a few, in Berlin there's a few more, Spain has lots, and so has France. Good luck.
posted by _dario at 5:01 PM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

What about the English-speaking Caribbean? Quite a few newspapers there (plus radio, tv, and internet journalism), nice weather, etc.
posted by Forktine at 6:21 PM on June 15, 2008

As _dario said, expat rags "enjoy" high turnover and are usually looking for writers and freelancers. Lots of big cities all over the world have them. For example, in my city there's City Weekend, SH, and That's/Urbanatony.
posted by msittig at 10:31 PM on June 15, 2008

You could focus on improving your French - becoming fluent in a second language opens doors all over whatever you may do afterwards, plus it opens your eyes to a culture in so many unexpected ways.

If you went and lived in Paris, Geneva or Brussels you'd probably have no trouble finding English based work of one sort or another - you could look for an English based primary job and then take the plunge into a fully French environment by working a few shifts a week doing something physical and fast paced . . . bar work and kitchen work, for instance, bring your language up to speed very quickly, although the sort of language you learn might need some refining before moving onto society functions ;)

Another benefit of Europe is that it's incredibly diverse but also quick and (relatively) cheap to travel around, thus making it very easy to take in a huge amount on the arts / culture / history front.

(Side note - if you do go down the EFL route the Trinity ESOL or Cambridge CELTA qualifications are generally easier to get a job with worldwide than US based accreditation)
posted by protorp at 12:20 AM on June 16, 2008

Scandinavia might be a good fit. Everyone speaks English, the land is gorgeous, the cities are clean, and the people are beautiful.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:12 AM on June 16, 2008

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