International Development Jobs For Expats – Where Are The Best Locations?- part 2

International Development Jobs For Expats – Where Are The Best Locations?- part 2. You can see part one here.

10 Countries Suitable For International Development Jobs

The International Development industry is rapidly expanding and with it, more opportunities for international job seekers. Whether you are looking to get your foot in the door or want to switch up professions, here are the ten countries where the need for quality development work is high.

1.       Australia

International Development Jobs For Expats

Excellent weather, low cost of living and high salaries are just three of the many reasons to consider moving to Australia. With a population of around 23 million people, Australia is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The U.S dollar goes pretty far in Oz with $100 US equivalent to $109 Australian dollars in 2012.

What can expats expect in terms of job prospects? The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) reported that there were 8,838 total US short-term temporary employment visa holders and 32,241 permanent residence nominations approved by the Australian government between 2006 and 2010.

2.       Zambia

International Development Jobs For Expats

For those seeking a more affordable and adventure filled expatriate experience, Zambia offers an excellent chance to live and work in a less developed part of the world. With a population of just over 13 million people, Zambia is home to some stunning landscapes including Victoria Falls.

In terms of cost of living, when compared with other African countries such as South Africa and Nigeria, the cost of living in Zambia is substantially lower. The USD to Zambian Kwacha conversion rate in 2012 was 1USD = 10,000Kwacha.

3.       Mexico

If you’re looking for a safe and fun place to raise your family then Mexico should be at the top of your list. Although US citizens face a substantially higher cost of living in Mexico than they do back home, expats report that the quality of life is very good with plenty to see and do.

A recent survey by HSBC bank found that Mexico was one of the happiest places on earth with around 85% rating their overall happiness as either “extremely happy” or “very happy.” This makes Mexico the 2nd happiest country in the world. The greatest concentration of expats is found in Mexicali, a city on the Baja California peninsula which has a population of around 1 million.

4.       Colombia

International Development Jobs For Expats

Colombia has been an International Development Hub for many years now and with good reason. With a population of 46 million people, a stable economy and a great climate you couldn’t ask for a better place to live and work.

According to International Living Colombia is one of the best places in the world to retire with an abundance of affordable healthcare and good weather year round. The monthly cost of living index published by Mercer Consulting ranked Bogota as the 272nd most expensive city in the world.

5.       Indonesia

Indonesia has a population of around 240 million people and is home to some of the most beautiful and unspoiled tropical scenery on earth. Bali, Lombok, and Yogyakarta are just three popular expat destinations that offer large numbers of international development jobs with expat benefits.

Indonesia has a strong economy, although it’s still developing and ranks #30 worldwide. Living costs for expats are very low in comparison to other countries on this list making Indonesia an ideal location for those looking forward to working abroad.

6.       South Africa

South African international development jobs are probably the most popular jobs offered among big economies offering expat benefits. The average per capita income of South Africa is $10,400 with an inflation rate of 5%.

According to the Expatica website, South African’s are some of the most contented people in the world with around 92% rating their overall happiness as either “extremely happy” or “very happy.” The South African rand is one of the strongest currencies in Africa and it’s also a great idea to learn Afrikaans, an official language spoken by many South Africans.

7.       Kenya

Kenya has rapidly become popular among expats looking for international development jobs with an attractive climate, up-market resorts, wildlife parks and some of the best beaches in Africa. The capital city Nairobi is home to around 3 million people and the country has a population of 45 million in total.

The Kenyan economy is strong with an inflation rate of 8-10%. According to HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey, Kenya scored 3rd place worldwide for financial wellbeing with 72% reporting that they are either “better off” or “as well off financially” as they were back home.

8.       Panama

Panama has just 3 million people living on a total area that’s twice the size of California. There’s plenty of room to enjoy Panama’s beaches, jungles and mountainous regions. The country has a large number of expats working in the construction sector where international development jobs are plentiful.

It also happens to be one of the most affordable places on earth with an average cost of living at just $7,000 per year. Panama is one of the world’s best tax havens and the Panamanian “dollarized” economy means that the country enjoys a stable economy with low inflation.

9.       Philippines

The Philippines has only just made it into this list but it’s growing in popularity among expats looking for International Development Jobs. The Filipino government welcomes friendly foreigners to come, and live, work and retire in the Philippines.

The country is full of friendly people, exotic scenery and great food with many Filipinas choosing to marry foreigners and live a life of luxury overseas. As a result, there are a large number of single women aged 30-50 living in the Philippines who would consider marrying an expat for financial stability.

10.   Malaysia

Malaysia has a population of around 28 million people with an unemployment rate of 3.1% in 2006, down from 5.4% in 2003 according to the Malaysian Statistics Department website. There’s plenty of work available in Malaysia among the many large international companies who provide expats with International Development Jobs in South East Asia.

Malaysia is the third most popular country in the world for expats according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey. It’s also a great place to retire with both low living costs and no income tax on overseas earnings. Malaysia scores highly for quality of life, safety and family benefits making it one of the most popular destinations for British retirees looking for International Development Jobs.

7 Important Reasons to Getting International Development Jobs

People today dream of having a successful career! But keep this in mind, there are different careers that people can choose from. If you have been thinking about your career and looking into what job will be most suited for your skills, it’s quite essential to know the benefits. Below are the 7 reasons to consider international development jobs.

  • Self-development
  • World experience
  • Use of skills and talents in a unique environment
  • Variety, adventure, challenge and uncertainty
  • Increased language proficiency through increased use/learning of other languages
  • Exposure to different ways of life, belief systems and customs
  • Growth in responsibility and level over time


This is a great benefit for those who are looking to learn more about themselves, their skillset and how they work best as a member of an organization or community. The roles may be challenging, but it is a great way to learn more about oneself as well as what opportunities are currently offered in the world of work.

World experience

Learning abroad gives students a chance to travel and discover different ways of living, which can be very beneficial, especially for those who want to work or travel abroad later on in life.

Use of Skills and Talents

This is a great benefit for those who are looking for ways to use their education or talent in situations where it may be beneficial for the community, the company or even the world as a whole. The issues that arise will make you evaluate your views on what is important and how to resolve problems.

Variety, Adventure, Challenge and Uncertainty

This benefit gives students an opportunity to travel abroad, learn about different people’s culture, see interesting things that they may not have seen before or even meet new people. These are some of the most important benefits for those who want to try new things and gain experience in new areas.

Increased Language Proficiency

 This is benefit comes with the new vocabulary or language that one may learn while living abroad; an example would be learning more French if you are living in France, Or even picking up on some new words in Spanish while traveling to Mexico.

Exposure to Different Ways of Life

The people that one would meet while living abroad may have a completely different lifestyle from what you are used to at home or even from your country’s culture or religion. They may also have quite the diverse beliefs and hold very liberal views on many things which can be very intriguing to learn about. The customs of the place you are living may also be very different, which is good for students who want an educational experience that gives them choices.

Growth in Responsibility and Level over Time

This benefit comes with the expanded life experiences that one may gain through this process. Whether it’s a personal or professional growth, it is good to see what one can do when faced with different problems or situations that may arise.

Frequently Asked Questions about Development Jobs

I’m a student, what can I do?

Well, not to worry, Students have a unique contribution to make on development projects. They are more flexible and able to respond quickly to new situations on the ground. The first step for students is to talk about their goals with their university advisors, who might have some good suggestions on what kinds of opportunities are available.

How do I become an international development worker?

There are many ways to get started in international development. One popular option is to take courses about the field of study at a university or community college. There are also many online resources available for self-study, including MOOCs (massive open online courses). Volunteer work can also help you get started.

What are the prerequisites?

It is always a good idea to have a bachelor’s degree or higher when applying for international development positions. You can take classes in economic development, environmental sciences, international studies and many other disciplines that support the overall goal of your job.

Who does this benefit?

No matter how you slice it, the beneficiaries of these programs are always rural communities in developing countries around the world. It is true that industrialized nations have profited immensely from trade agreements and money loans, but it is also true that the negative impacts of these agreements have been unevenly distributed.

What education level do I need to get this job?

Most international development jobs require a bachelor’s degree or higher. You can take classes in fields like economics, public policy and global studies to build the skills required for these roles. You can check out our advanced guide on how to become an International Development Professional.

What do international development worker’s jobs entail?

International development workers are involved with agriculture, technology, education, economic growth or any other cause that can help out another nation. There are many different types of organizations that hire these workers; it really depends on their skillset and what they’re looking for.

What is the application process like?

The application process really depends on what kind of job you’re applying for and who it’s posted by. Many larger organizations will post their openings online, on job search websites or universities and newspapers throughout their targeted country of employment. You can find out about the application process through the organization you’re applying to directly.

What skills and qualities do I need?

Depending on the organization you work for, you may need various sets of skills such as business development or knowledge about specific regions (Russia, South East Asia etc.).  Meanwhile, when it comes to general digital skills such as proficiency in MS Office or Excel, social media marketing or internet research you can use your existing expertise while you learn new skills on the job.


International development is the process of enabling people to improve their lives. As mentioned above, it can be achieved by tackling poverty or other symptoms of deprivation, including hunger, poor health and sanitation, lack of shelter, and others. Nonetheless, it’s something you should consider as an expat.

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