Working abroad can be a boon to both your financial life and mental health. it can also provide insight into another culture, broaden your horizons, and allow you to explore exotic cities that you may never have had the time or money to visit on your own.
When deciding to work abroad, there are two routes that you can choose: you can go it alone and find job opportunities by yourself through websites like TEFL.com, which lists short and long term teaching jobs abroad, or you can do it through a certified work abroad program. Many people like the idea of having help with the process of working abroad, since it usually dictates that you have a work permit and a VISA, and a work abroad program will have professionals that can assist you through the entire (and sometimes overwhelming) process of finding a job abroad.
It can be difficult to sort through all of the au pair programs that are offered nowadays. It can be ever harder to find agencies that specialize in sending U.S. residents overseas to work. Interexchange is a nonprofit that places U.S. au pairs in host homes in Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Spain. Program fees can vary with each organization, but Interexchange program fees typically range between $495 and $595, which covers the process of finding your host family and getting everything set up. Once set up with a host family, an au pair can expect to earn anywhere from US $350 - $600 per month, with additional stipends for language classes and a few days off each week. Housing and health insurance is also included in these work opportunities.
If living with a host family isn't really your thing, but the idea of working around kids is still appealing, teaching English abroad might be the right choice. TEFL.com has got a laundry list of teaching options - and not just your typical 6-8 month school assignment. Payment occasionally includes housing and a monthly stipend (or a higher monthly payment if no housing is included). Payment varies greatly depending on which part of the world you're working in, and the cost of living of each locale. They also have a good amount of hospitality jobs, as well as foreign summer camp jobs - like working at an acting camp in Italy for a few months. There's no fee to register, and applying for the positions is quick and easy.
For students looking to get more real world work experience, rather than just traveling, the International Cooperative Education Program has a comprehensive listing of paid interships. Note: these positions all require at least a basic comprehension of a foreign language. But the rewards are typically greater than those of the au pair and TEFL jobs, with monthly stipends ranging from US $600 - $1400. Also, many of the companies are willing to reimburse airfare, which can drastically reduce students' costs.