How To Make A Living In A Foreign Country

There are better places to raise a family than the United States.  Places with lower costs of living, better schools, and more intellectual freedom. However, one has to eat.

The most significant question is one that arises anywhere: should you work for somebody else or for yourself? Be a wage-slave or an entrepreneur? Given that wages are low by definition in places that are cheap to live, the balance overseas is even more favorable for investing and entrepreneurship. The person with capital to invest will get better returns, especially in this age in which the central banks have driven interest rates down to nothing in the developed world.  This article addresses Ukraine, but the principles are the same everywhere.


By all means, if you can avoid it, do not go overseas expecting to look for a job. Get somebody to send you. Let them pay for your relocation expenses and language lessons. Most companies will offer you an American salary, and if you are lucky they may give you an overseas differential and provide benefits such as housing. Every major city has some US-based law firms and accounting firms. Most have international schools for expatriates, and those schools recruit teachers in the United States through job fairs.

For the English speaker arriving on his own without special skills there are always low-paying jobs teaching and proofreading English. If you speak the local language you can translate and perhaps write for local English-language newspapers.  However, competing with other expats and hungry, talented locals will not make you rich.

Entrepreneurial opportunities

Henry J. Kaiser’s credo was “Find a need and fill it.” Each of us has a unique set of resources—intelligence, skills, education, persuasiveness, connections, access to money and so on. Each of us is continually surrounded by opportunities, needs to be filled. The entrepreneur is the guy who can profitably match the two sides of the equation.

The same holds overseas, but the balance is different. Command of the local language is usually worse. Some of your skills and credentials may not be valued in the local market. On the other hand, your knowledge of English, appreciation of how things are done in the West and problem-solving skills may give you an edge.

1. Offshoring


Information Technology is the best place for a young Ukrainian to make money

Ukraine enjoys several advantages. Young people here are intelligent, hard-working, and speak adequate English. Ukraine is culturally European and close to European markets.

Wages are low. Locals have yet to overcome the wage-slave mindset related to the country’s Soviet legacy. There is a lot of corruption.  But…in chaos there is opportunity. There are no customs agents on the Internet. Businesses dealing exclusively in intellectual property can thrive. The biggest such business here in Ukraine is software development. There is a lot of programming talent. Danes, Dutchmen and others who know their home markets well are able to sell the services of Ukrainian software developers.

Ukrainians are geniuses with design software such as Adobe and CAD/CAM. They can do amazing graphics, animation and videos in support of advertising, receiving the requirements over the Internet and sending the product back by the same. A Ukrainian friend with no capital but a good knowledge of English and a gift of gab via Skype has built a solid business over the past year and a half producing advertising animations.

It takes only an office and a telephone to get started.  Besides being low wage, Ukraine is right-to-work.  There are no unions, no diversity issues and little government interference.  The benefits on the employment side offset the hassles with payroll taxes, tax reporting and corruption.

2. Import and business services

Many Europeans have succeeded with very traditional businesses. One acquaintance imports goods such as silverware, ladies’ clothing and handbags for distribution through Ukrainian retailers. Another founded a freight expediting service serving primarily Northern European companies shipping goods into and out of Ukraine. These guys’ asset is knowledge of the business and clients.   They hire people to handle local language communications and interactions with government.

3.  Agriculture and food


Agribusiness is big – and needs business services

Ukraine’s agricultural sector continues to grow. The business model exploits the defects in Ukrainian law. It is hard for a farmer to sell his land and illegal for a foreigner to buy it. The workaround is leasing. Half a dozen large agricultural companies have acquired leasehold rights to great swathes of farmland. They buy fleets of modern equipment, brands such as John Deere, International Harvester and Claas, bring in Dutch agronomists to consult on crop rotation, seed selection and all such issues, and do a very good job of factory farming. There are opportunities in providing them professional services.

One is amazed, shopping in the Ukrainian markets, at the huge array of cured meat products and cheeses available. But few of them have brand names or distinctive flavors. Compare with France, where Camembert, brie, Roquefort and Gruyere are unique and command high prices. There is a niche to be exploited creating artisanal cheeses and meat products in Ukraine.

Specialty foodstuffs could grow the same way as fashion has. It requires intelligent, creative designers, a low-wage workforce to produce the clothes, and proximity to market. Just in the last five years several Ukrainian fashion firms such as Vovk and Olga Egorova seem to have come from nowhere.  For the moment they are taking domestic market share from European exporters, but they will soon be competing in Europe and the United States.

4. Real estate and real estate information


Buildable lots 3 miles from Presidential Palace – $200,000 per acre

Raw land prices have fallen as much as 75% on account of the 2007 crisis and the war. Apartments and rents have fallen somewhat less. The upshot is that residential real estate will yield a fairly good return both in current income and future appreciation. Residential land titles are secure, registered via a comprehensive land cadaster.

Mortgage money is scarce and expensive in Ukraine.  It keeps prices down, an advantage for an investor able to borrow in his home market at a rate close to zero.  Structuring such deals—convincing foreigners that the reward of foreign land ownership offsets the risk, and setting up deals—is an entrepreneurial opportunity.

There are no national real estate companies like Century 21. There is no widespread information service such as Zillow to help standardize pricing. Therefore, there are more pricing anomalies to take advantage of in Ukraine. Less efficient markets mean that more opportunities for people who are willing to do their homework.

The pieces are in place to establish a real estate information service.  There are three major online listing services. One could pull information from them to compile a comprehensive database of real estate for sale. The best source for actual sales prices would be registries with the land cadaster. Any system that employed algorithms such as Zillow’s to estimate the market value of property for sale would be a tremendous benefit. The business model might be advertising based, or premised on selling information on a proprietary basis to real estate investors.

5. Offshore Education


Medical students

American higher education is a slow-motion train wreck. It continues to use a nineteenth century model – stand and deliver teaching in a classroom. It is fraught with systematic problems:

  • It is customer driven, but the customers often do not recognize or want quality.
  • Costs have risen far more rapidly than inflation.
  • The mandate to educate all comers drives quality down to the lowest common denominator.
  • The leftist professoriate is politically out of touch with the country.
  • There is a pervasive bias against men and marriage.

Education is the process of imparting knowledge, ending with the issuance of a piece of paper attesting to it.  It is actually the student who must develop the knowledge within his own head. The University just midwifes the process through a system of lectures, assigned readings, laboratory experiments and discussion sessions.

The disadvantages are obvious. The rising generation is exempted from responsibility as they are bathed in anti-establishment thinking and social justice rhetoric which renders many unsuited to the workplace. This is a Kaiser-sized need to be filled.  Ukraine could do it!

Ukraine is an ideal place for a residential, campus-based education serving both foreign and Ukrainian students. Ukrainians want to study in the English language and to obtain an American diploma. Americans will be attracted by the low price. Americans will also appreciate the lack of political correctness, forced diversity and anti-male bias.  This is a society that accepts that men and women are different, amply demonstrated by attractive and traditional Ukrainian coeds.

The entrepreneur can arrange to use MOOC (massive online open course) lectures that are already available for free from a number of leading universities.  Inexpensive and public domain E-books can serve as textbooks.  The Internet can serve as the campus library.

The primary human interaction, as on most campuses, would be with teaching assistants.  In the USA these lowly paid graduate students lead small group discussions of the lecture and reading material and grade written assignments. In Ukraine it will be easy to find better qualified teaching assistants for less money.

American colleges and universities are fighting over a shrinking pool of qualified students. Convincing one to expand overseas and make a dollar or two in the process should not be hard.


The best way to make money overseas is as an entrepreneur, whereby your income depends on your human and material resources rather than the level of prevailing wages. Every country offers a number of entrepreneurial opportunities. It is worth investigating doing it overseas.  The opportunities are different, startup costs are lower, and foreign countries offer better opportunities for finding marriage partners and raising families.

Read More: What You Need To Know Before You Consider Living in Another Country

103 thoughts on “How To Make A Living In A Foreign Country”

  1. “I am job”? If there is one fucking job you’ve got, it’s to learn to speak English to an adequate level before applying for an actual job. It’s the number 1 job skill for planet Earth in the 21st century. Everything else goes from there.

  2. I’m surprised the US keeps importing shitty Indian H1b workers who can’t code for shit, yet won’t hire Ukranian or Russian programmers who actually are the best coders in the world.

    1. H-1Bs aren’t about talent, they’re about bargain-basement pricing. Many H-1Bs are so technologically impaired that they have to be given crash courses upon arrival by fired Americans.
      The visa for folks with actual skill is the EB-2 visa.

    2. Because all good Americans will not trust the evil godless Russians and/or Ukrainians.

        1. I was a child of the 80s.
          If someone had told me that 30 years in the future, Russia would hold God in higher regard than the USA, and that latter would spread moral perversity and feminism in the name of ‘freedom and equality’, I would had that person committed.

        2. Even the MSM admit now that he was a bad president, I remember when he was to be elected the first time here, in Greece, people were saying and even the MSM that we would see a white (good) day with the black! All that hype in the end for a near third-world leader, according to many of his actions and his propaganda machine, especially the two flicks that were made for him… and his wife, that lead the whole of the first world near to ruin!

    3. I retired as a consultant in 1998, just in time. The Indian invasion was underway. My colleagues are bitter. The Indians aren’t as good, and being minorities they get preferences, even if they are just off the boat. It’s a strange, strange world over there in the USA.

  3. Is there anyone who’s been living and working in Latin America long-term? Care to share your experiences?

    1. I’ve neither worked or lived in a Latin American country, but Nicaragua is up and coming (assuming you speak Spanish): I’ve looked at properties there and Belize (those speak English). Not too certain about the educational opportunities in either, though.
      Isn’t there a user named ‘Bucky’ on ROK who lives somewhere in Latin America?
      I personally wouldn’t live there because
      1) too hot and humid (though Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast is rather mild).
      2) I’m so fair-skinned, I get a burn from the moonlight.
      Edit: Escape Artist is a site dedicated to expat living and has useful information ( It is not limited to only Latin America, however.
      But to each his own.

      1. I’d like to live in Latin America one day, when I escape here. If you really want real opportunities with “primo” women that’s the best way. Especially the sexy, younger ones.
        You would have to pick a more comfortable spot, as yes some areas/countries are so %[email protected]#@ hot! I got bad sunburn in Cartagena once, and places like that are so humid. Fun, pretty girls, but hot!

    2. I lived in Chile and Argentina from age 20 to 22. It was a very rewarding experience, but will admit there were high points and very low points, which is normal living in your non-native home country for an extended period of time. I both studied and worked (primarily in Chile), which provided me with an extensive understanding of both these countries and respective cultures. Beyond this inbox me and I can offer you more information.

    1. Lots of these Arab sheiks will by their ladies Gucci bags in exchange for being able to urinate and defecate on a Western lady.
      Being a whore is so glamorous !

      1. It started as dubai porta potties a few years back with instagram hos as reported on ROK. But its so mainstream now they developed their own specialized “dating” site

      2. Are they unaware that they can get paid to do the urination/defecation on some other men?

  4. Ahhhh Ukraine , chock full of nazi grandchildren , facism and the oh so wonderful silencers for the press .
    lovely place if your not jewish European merican Canadian mexican African , russian , slavic, roman Catholic LGBTQ or a fan of rree speech and human rights .
    come visit !!
    We’ve a secret prison for all entrepreneurs

        1. Face of facts? That’s Ukraine and if you don’t like it then fuck off!
          Btw, your fellow bum chum had me at ‘nazi grandchildren’. They fought for their country just a few years after being subject to Holodomor!
          I’m pretty sure there’s a full raging meltdown on Brexit/Trump on the Guardian comments section where you can drown your sorrow.

        2. Glad you admit my perspective on Ukraine is accurate .
          tho , supporting nazi murderers and betraying the historical record in ones country so as to finally seize power for an uninformed inbred percentage of locals who constantly lost wars and battles throughout the regions 1000’s of years of history , sure looks like sore losers aiding a bully to grasp power with bloody hands .
          oh look , even with the maidan , these nazi grandchildren are too inbred to actually remove corruption and create a better country , great folks to respect and support .

        3. Unlike many, many tribes and peoples out there they still have a country and are fighting for it! Doesn’t make them bad or good and certainly they don’t care about your opinion. If they gave notice to shit like you’re spewing right now they would have been toast a long time ago.
          Wondering what your ancestors would have done if they were in the those lands at that time, or any other time for that matter?!!? Probs another bitch tribe that would’ve the way of the dodo bird!
          You’re judging them as if Ukraine was some little county in Nevada or Idaho where the only trouble would stem from 3 raging pistoleros and the odd Indian scalping a random drunk venturing out of town. If your had a ounce of knowledge regarding that region you would not be so hasty to criticise.
          I haven’t any affinity to Ukrainians and what they did is their business, however, you do sound particularly sour about he whole thing!

        4. Particularly sour , yup .
          Ain’t a fan of nazi’s , nor zionists nor closed minded fools who don’t feel the strings the puppet masters stapled to one’s indoctrination .
          As to the simplicity you’ve reviewed in my perspective .
          Your being an idiot cuck , I referenced history and historical fact , which you equate to three something something obfuscation .
          Total shill fail , and transparently so .
          Now considering slavic and russo history , three religions and amalgamation of numerous ethnicities for a thousand years of russian history , it is obvious the banderites arent a people looking for a home , its provable that the nazi grandchildren are sore losers , and as such the intelligence quotient of these inbreeders demonstated through their actions , the fact that once again , their being used for an agenda they dont grasp , nor have even considered.
          It was once join in become a team member , now its take your fools gold and leave the gold market .

        5. My ancestors would have rocked the place , we’re not and never have been into inbreeding , lowers the IQ ya see !
          Maybe you want to make a generational change ?
          Gramma will be upset you dont marry your cousin’s , but the world will be grateful , tho , I think I just pissed of the genetic code of humanity by slowig your genes demise .

        6. Got you right there Mr Angry, he he he! From what I’ve seen on the internet, the whole inbreeding argument is used as a argument by non-whites against whites on various comment sections. Newsflash boyo, the whole inbred shtick only works on southerners in the US because they are inbred and prolly your ancestors where bummed by these inbred douches. Keep that shit in the US, bitch boy.
          Where in Europe does this inbreeding happen? Nowhere, so you can quit the whole while people=inbred BS. Don’t force it you try hard, it’s rather pathetic.
          “My ancestors would have rocked that place”. Hmmm….yeah,about that, let’s just me just say no and that will be the end of that discussion.
          Oh, btw, I not a fan of totalitarian regimes and ROK regulars can back that up as well.
          Bye Felicia!

        7. The inbreeding I refered to is taking place in the middle east , tho , it appears your family endorses the practice as well .

        8. What ? Please , please please ,, from now on when commenting type only of what you know it true and accurate .
          Lemme help , I believe you’ll need to begin all postigs with ,,,, Derp .

    1. “nazi grandchildren” in Ukraine??? Guess Stalin had a soft spot for Hitler after all.

      1. Ukraine means “borderlands ” , when hitler advanced on russia , many Ukrainian fools took advantage of the turmoil and formed military structures to take arms against the enemies of the reich .
        look up Banderas , pogroms in lviv .
        its only the ignorant who haven’t a clue about historical fat that label intelligence idiotic.
        so CUCK , hows voting for killary doing for ya ?

        1. Guess you skipped that day in world history. Does typing in all caps help you feel better? Try getting out of mom’s basement once in a while.

        2. Really ?
          Of all the rebuttals you could hae crafted , you post this lump of poop ?
          What did you do copy and paste it from a handout received at the last convention you attended ?
          I assume the convention was titled “how to look like an idiot on the interweb ”

    2. Why is it that people are so into LGBTQRSTUV shit? What’s next? there are more than 2 genders?

      1. LGBTQ+
        is the new pet project for one appearing moral.
        Once I had no problem but….
        let’s say that I got fed up with their mania for promoting their private lives in the public. I got sick of it + the fact that they are so defined by what they do in their private lifes that they can think of nothing else!

        1. That and folks have realized gays and fags aren’t the devil , so having pogroms to kill them is a wasted and inefficient means to an end .

        2. Yeah.. it’s like they are convincing the “homophobic society” that they have no value other than their sexuality, other than being gay. I didn’t care much about others’ sexual preferences back then; what YOU DO that defines your value as a person. But now with all the “pride parade” and walking around almost naked wearing their sex-toys as accessories IN FRONT OF CHILDREN, I’m not sorry to say that I am against them. Half part of me do not blame the Muslims for throwing faggots off a building. They’re making it harder for themselves to be accepted by society. I used to like this Milo guy, didn’t care about his sexuality at first. I thought he was different, ’til I saw him sipped his drink out of his penis shaped water bottle, which could be translated as “Look everyone, I suck cock! I want y’all to know in detail what I do behind the closed door of my bedroom.”
          It’s sickening.

        3. When I was in college it was the red AIDS ribbon. I’m not sure but I think that was where it started.
          “AIDS Awareness” had us afraid to blow out nose with a borrowed tissue because AIDS was everywhere. The paranoia was incredible in the 80’s and then in the 90’s the red ribbons came out. You wore one to support AIDS awareness.
          The odd thing was that it was totally taboo to not wear one, be apathetic or mock it. The red ribbon was necessary social proof to a lot of people

        4. I had no problem with them when they kept their private businesses private, today they make the public and by all means let them continue their orgiastic dances it further discredits them and the more unlikable it makes them.
          I do not remember the source for that it was study published and commented upon an alt-right site but forgot also which but it said that public homosexuality destroys the relations between men. I believe it! In cultures that homosexualism has not developed or spread the relationships between men and those between women are closer: remember the kissing scandal of the two russian runners that was hailed here as a protest while they simply shared their joy, or brezhnev’s kiss with another man in a public ceremony, it simply implied close and warm relations. To a smaller extent this remains characteristic in the most traditional places in Greece (not so much in cities) the result is that people simply do not think dirtily.
          The problem is that this tendency harms and hinders the developing of friendships as today is some countries and places it will appear implying if two men or two women share a lot of common time. As long as homosexuals kept it private and showed some self-respect (think here Freddie Mercury, well he couldn’t hide it, but he kept it private even to his dying breath so he was remembered as a tremendous singer) things are alright.

        5. AIDS…
          While it is a harmful disease that has caused many deaths and remains incurable, to a large extent, it completely takes over ALL STDs . AIDS is uncommon and requires blood (so sexually it requires an elongated or violent or unnatural intercourse to transfer) to transmit so it remains to a large extent a homosexual and junkie disease there are so many others like syphilis, chlamydia, herpes etc which basically are ignored for it. I never understood that, I do not advocate for dropping it out but simply paying it its deserved attention as with all others.
          Anyway moral posturing- Was always founded to be nothing but disgusting. It says “Here, look, is a good and moral person” while semantics are agreeable as one should communicate what that one is, like a greek idiom which says: “The Caesar’s wife should not only be modest but also look so” but posturing is sickening: one does nothing but gets applauded like he does something. Liberalism is all about acting and giving easy gratification through ribbons, tweets and thums ups. It’s message was that of taking postures more reality!

        6. LOL I didn’t even know Freddie Mercury was gay until now! I know a bit about his music carrier though, my dad is a fan.
          All those 3 little paragraphs, I agree with them all, Sir.
          LOL Freddie Mercury…. I had no idea…

        7. All true. I am personally of the belief that first world, non drug using white men simply cannot get AIDS unless it comes from a freak blood transfusion (like the 600 veterans who got it from an unclean dentist at a VA hospital).
          I am glad you bring up the Ceasar’s wife truism. I think it is important for understanding a lot of things. While it is true that Ceasar’s wife must be beyond reproach what has happened is that everyone, in their narcissism, has internalized that they are Ceasar’s wife and simultaneously, in their materialism, decided that looking beyond reproach and being beyond reproach are the same thing

        8. The simple (’cause it is simple) philosophical implications of the Caesar’s wife is based upon some observations of Aristotle I think on his ethics or on the first half of his metaphysics: that one should appear what he is. Needless to say this does not follow today due to 3 reasons:
          1) Feminization of culture: the idea of the wife of a Caesar is that of a traditional “masculine” woman while in the modern feminized world appearance is all that matters.
          2)Peasant Culture: This has been quite dominant in Greece due to the complete and total hegemonic dominance of the left (there are not even vestiges of the right in culture) which was followed due to the effects of romanticism in which the nation as a coherent equal group develops all. The lower classes tend to mostly care for appearance, hence the fact that politicians need to be popular and not effective, not being able to understand inner meanings.
          3) The Vulgarization and Ironization of th language: the left has managed to ironize and vulgarize the language to the point that genuine meaning in the words has been removed. For example normaly Churches were holy sites. Today though that means: Churches are holy sites for Christians. The vulgarization of the language think how common the word f*ck is being used for no reason at all. In the case of Greek vulgarization has managed to remove nearly all the individual weight of the words, so you cannot have affective literature anymore.

        9. not sure if you are the right age and we’re in new York at the time, but while this is a little bit exaggerated for comedic purposes it is not very far from the attitude about the ribbons in the early 90’s

        10. My friend’s mother said he used to throw out bananas at concerts and she saw it too when she went to one so long ago.
          There are interesting stories about the outlandish parties he threw as well as the “company” he kept at times.

        11. Hey, he just maybe wanted his fans to be healthy. Banana is good for you.

      1. Facts stupid , thats what I am WRITING about , obviously something thats beyond you when you READ words and label your inner dialogs as me talking .
        sheesh what a moron you are , go beat your soon to be exwife .

    3. chock full of nazi grandchildren
      You’re thinking about Argentina – where a large number of Germans and Nazis escaped to after WWII.

  5. In the 90’s, I made a decent living teaching English in Japan. Was able to rent a small apartment aand support a wife and small child.
    I think it is harder now though. I am glad I left when I did. I saved enough to come home and make a down payment on a lower middle class townhouse and buy a Buick LeSabre in cash. I was there for eight years.
    Arrived with a backpack in 1990. Left in 1998 with a pretty wife, a M.A. from an overseas Temple University branch campus and some decent skills in Japanese.
    My son is now 20 and just came back from a year in his country of birth. I am happy now working back in the USA. I wish I had done more with my job and work skills I acquired overseas. Have spent the past 18 years teaching public school.
    Nice, enjoyable, rewarding job. But I could have been more ambitious. I recommend the Englsi teacher stint abroad. I have noticed that some people have used it as a springboard for the big bucks. I never did, but I still have no regrets.
    Seven years from retirement. Looking forward to going back and visiting. But I am glad I left. I would have been a much better linguist had I stayed. And with my coffee shop and bookshop life, I would have been smarter.
    But I would never have been able to enjoy the redneck lifestyle I enjoy here. For just 25ooo dollars, got me a 5.5 acre bug out terrain in mountainous backwoods country where the few neighbors around all have Trump signs on their property. Isolated property, way in the boonies and two hours away from my residential suburban home.
    Looking forward to planting lots of trees. Fruit, nut, pecans for my bug-out refuge and home shooting range. There is a ravine and gully there that would be great for lining up whisky bottles and opening fire. Not to mention the occosiaonal buck that wanders through. No way in any other country except maybe Switzerland would I be the proud owner of over 20 guns !
    I could never have had this redneck paradise in Japan. And my son would have never had the opportunity to chew tobacco, dip snuff and would not own an AR-15 !

        1. Good on the whole. Killed lots of debt, used cash to by first rental property, learned the lanugage (conversational), but did not bring home a princess (almost did)..
          Work wise: JET / Juku / Private school Dispatch / Corporate Dispatch..
          In the end was living in Co-Op housing like a native of sorts..
          All in and around Chiba and Tokyo..
          I should have been more finanancially adept, especially with buying rentals, but really I didn’t have a clear plan so didn’t do too bad..
          There are times I miss it. The food. The alieness of the place. The nuanaces of Japan. The excellent cycling
          And of course the conquests of Japanicus femininicus especially..
          Where were you? What type of teaching gigs?

        2. Congrats on the purchase of rental property. Smart move if it works. I just got rid of my own townhouse, as it was starting to have way too many issues with plumbing. Sold it to my tenants and bought my bug-out property.
          I started off in 1990 in Osaka at YMCA. Had a contract with local public schools. At the time, you could be a university prof with an MA, so I started on an MA in 1992, the year I married my wife. Hoped to use my MA to land that big easy high paying job. Unfortunatley, when I finished my degree in teaching English, market was glutted, but I still managed to move up to a public jr. high school. Easier work, good vacation, a little more money. Which became a lot more money as my regular schedule allowed me to freelance. But still not the Japanese Dream Bonanza.
          Big disappointment was that I did not get on the gravy train of university teaching. However, my MA in ESL saved my butt. It allowed me to get a job here in the USA. Schools were starting to hire people here in the late 90’s and nobody had a degree in ESL yet.
          As I had a 2 year old son, I did not have the luxury of coming home and spending 6 months looking for work, burning though savings. So I got home in July and by August had a purchased a townhouse and was working in my current job.
          It was nice to not really have to grow up until age 35. In the responsibility department, little is expected of gaijin. As long as you were polite and a little competent, you were already in the top half of spoiled gaijin there. The flipside of that is you cannot move up no matter how hard you try.
          I do recognize that if you were amazingly great, you would still have a glass ceiling for promotions as a gaijin.
          Japan in the 90’s was great for young foreigners to get very easily a somewhat professional salary, chase skirts, get skills, have a blast. But it is hard to really do well. I saw many expats just grow old in mediocrity. And become embittered as they became too old to come home and start anew but confined to mediocre long term perspectives.
          I did see some who really did find a way to get ahead. I did not. Fortunatley, I did not get stuck there either.

        3. “Japan in the 90’s was great for young foreigners to get very easily a somewhat professional salary, chase skirts, get skills, have a blast. But it is hard to really do well. I saw many expats just grow old in mediocrity. And become embittered as they became too old to come home and start anew but confined to mediocre long term perspectives.
          I did see some who really did find a way to get ahead. I did not. Fortunatley, I did not get stuck there either.”
          It wasn’t much different after you left just when I arrived. Still some decent money but lots of downward preassure on wages. I think they’re lower now or just the same like JET.
          I met lots of ET Refugees at some point you’re not so young and the allure of Japan fades. One can get trapped.
          Even the university people can be quite screwed once they get pushed out of their cushy gigs are old and stuck in Japan..
          Like yourself I knew when to fold -em and walk away but really should have saved more and done more.
          The rentals have worked out but back then in 99 it was 71 yen to the Canadian dollar and duplexes sold for $80,000 with good cash flow. I should have bought one a year.
          Instead of 3 I’d have a dozen I’m sure. Much harder now as the real estate virus has spead from the Big Smoke 100k up the road
          Buy hey water under the bridge now..

        4. “As long as you were polite and a little competent, you were already in the top half of spoiled gaijin there. The flipside of that is you cannot move up no matter how hard you try.”
          True but funny enough I had the most working independace ever outside of running my own business. It semed if you spoke a few phrases in Japanese, acted according to protocol they would just turn classes, courses over to you and let you develop a currucilum of sort for EFL…
          But you’re always a “Gaijin.” That bothered some but not me as was mostly left work out in public, heck even the cops wouldn’t stop you drunk bike reiding home form the bar because they figured you couldn’t speak Japanese..

        5. I was in the JET program in 1993 (Osaka) — might as well have been another planet back then.

        6. Japan’s economic bubble popped in the 90s. Is it the same place any more? Are bored japanese housewives still willing to drop $100/hr on “private english conversation” lessions?

        7. I remember that. Those were beautiful days. I never got that, but I remember, there were a few who did. But the bubble days in Japan were great.

        8. Obviously not. Market is saturated. Still good times to be had there for a young man I’m sure!

        9. “But it is hard to really do well. I saw many expats just grow old in mediocrity. And become embittered as they became too old to come home and start anew but confined to mediocre long term perspectives”
          this is me, except china, not japan. i painted myself into a corner a long time ago.
          now when i am asked why i am still here, the only honest answer is because no -one else will have me.

        10. Fourteen months ago,after resigning my desk job , i’ve had fortune to find out about this awesome site online which saved me… They offer online jobs for people to work from their home. Last payment after being on this job with them for 4 months was $10k… Cool thing about it was that the only thing required is simple typing and connection to the internet…

        11. I was in Tokyo 90-92. Learned the language, chased skirts, trained in bad ass karate. Went back as an Expat 98-00. Married a Japanese girl (met in NYC). I got out at the right time. Have worked for several Japanese companies over the years (just interviewed again). The language is an advantage, but working for Jap companies sux. Haven’t been back in 13 years. Miss the food…

        12. I guess it’s kind of stale after so many years? Or is it the culture /people getting to you?
          That’s what I found…

        13. long story short, i floundered my way through life until i got here and found i can earn a comfortable living for doing almost nothing. that was enough for me for a long time.
          but i have sacrificed my life and my happiness, in a place which i oftentimes “hate” surrounded by people for whom i feel contempt.
          it’s significantly better than being home on the dole, but, as stated, i’m waiting in the corner for the paint to dry, but it’s not going to. and now i’m fucked

  6. i like the idea of ukranian women but i dont like all the undercover russia war mongering ukraine helps fund in the american fake news

        1. So “cuck” is all that you’ve got. You’re a master debater.
          How is the view from mom’s basement today?

        2. Please explain to me why pointing out that the Ukraine is broke makes me a cuck. Sure, they’ve got some folks that are rich. You do realize that they’re taking money from the west at a far greater rate than any monies they’ve been giving out, don’t you? If not, look up the IMF loans and try to figure out where that money went. Until then, just continue to be the uneducated internet troll you are.

  7. No comments so far on the topic – taking control of your life and becoming an entrepreneur. I’m not shocked – this is the state of mankind.

  8. Everywhere in the west you find small businessmen with their immigrant families running niche and standard businesses. How many Vietnamese families operate a dry cleaner and purchase one of these within walking distance?
    And then there are the ethnic restaurants. Asian, Italian and so on. A REAL Irish pub run by proprietors and staffed with family members that speak with heavy Irish accents is always a novelty. Americans shouldn’t discount their culture. Flaunt it. How about ‘Texas Burger’ in Odessa with a big 20 foot cowboy hat on a rotating sign above? And Hooters caliber servers that wear Dallas Cowboy cheerleader outfits. It’s funny a Mcdonalds that pulled out of eastern Ukraine for safety reasons was left abandoned. Some locals fired the place back up and began selling ‘mc-esque’ faux big macs and get this, real mcd attorneys came and tried to shut them down over proprietary brand licencing violations. They should have taken down the arches and done a ‘Texas Burger’.

  9. “Get somebody to send you. Let them pay for your relocation expenses and language lessons. Most companies will offer you an American salary, and if you are lucky they may give you an overseas differential and provide benefits such as housing. Every major city has some US-based law firms and accounting firms. Most have international schools for expatriates, and those schools recruit teachers in the United States through job fairs.”
    Good luck if you can find the above unicorn. These kinds of sponsored international gigs are disappearing. Even where they exist, it’s usually for top talent in a specialized field. But when available they’re still often considered a step down. You, as a ladder climbing employee, do not want to be too far away from headquarters for too long as it’s more likely to result in a missed promotion or other opportunity that goes given to the ones top management can see.

    1. Agreed. Those sponsored opportunities are usually reserved for executives these days. And good luck getting an immigrant visa in your country of choice. Sure, some will let you come on a temporary visa to teach English, but to get the equivalent of a green can be next to impossible. And even if you can get papers, either through marriage or through ancestry, you will find that pay will be abysmally low in many countries. Sure, you can live like a king in central Europe on an American salary … good luck finding one. In places like Hungary, Slovakia or the Czech republic, $2000 USD a month is a princely salary.

  10. Thanks for the article, Graham! A subject I’m extremely interested in now.
    I’m one of the men who are simply getting tired of the 9-5 here in the USA as well as the bleak outlook (despite a Trump presidency) due to the eroding culture and anti-male SJW brainwashing that universities and dysfunctional culture is producing.
    I’ve run across several men who are “digital nomads” – they live abroad and travel and enjoy a lifestyle (and women) that you simply can’t get here – all while earning American dollars. Many are entrepreneurs who started their own businesses, do freelance work, or other internet-related income sources.
    My recent job change had me looking at how little freedom we have, and how precious vacation days are for the average career man. It bothered me to know (after travelling abroad, especially) how much adventure is out there and how little we’ll see if we’re stuck in the boring, monotonous 9-5 cubicle job. It’s depressing and something just doesn’t “set well” with me inside.
    It appears the best way to make the move is to look into online income resources & entrepreneurial ideas.
    This guy is giving me great motivation, and has an online business and lived in Thailand for a long time:
    Very cool guy (Johnny FD).
    I’ve started working on eCommerce and soon affiliate marketing.
    My dream is to leave the USA, try Thailand and travel (Ukraine as well, but I like latin countries). Most especially the women!
    Best time to take action is now.
    NOTE: Just a heads up – there is a possibility that even if you could get a “real” job in a foreign country, some have limitations on what fields foreigners can work in. For example, in Panama I discovered that engineers aren’t eligible for work.

  11. Possibly worst (partial) article I’ve ever read. I thought it would be about living in foreign countries, but all I ever saw were mentions of Ukraine. I was in Ukraine for a full month in 2015, and it sucked ass. It was cheap, but it sucked ass.

  12. I will soon have my teaching credentials to teach English. I’m in my 30s. In 2 months I plan to leave California and move to Odessa, Ukraine to teach English and explore other opportunities. I visited Kiev in September and really liked the people, cost, possible opportunities. Any advice on get situated in Ukraine and contacts would be great. Thanks

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