After college and 2 study abroad experiences, I wasn’t quite ready to settle down and begin my ‘forever life’ at home. Instead, I had big dreams of working abroad. I wanted to become a European citizen, benefit from the EU’s amazing free-mobility benefits and live happily ever after…in multiple European countries.Longing to Travel - About Pouneh - Copenhagen, Denmark

Fast forward to over a decade later and…well…that’s not exactly what happened.

So after graduation, I landed a great job in Chicago, but within a few weeks the urge to return to Europe hit. So I did what any responsible, career-oriented person would do. I applied for jobs abroad and quickly learned that few companies were interested in sending abroad new graduates abroad to represent their organization…and with a fluffy expat package on top of that!

After hundreds of unanswered applications for jobs in Spain and elsewhere in Europe, I turned to my next option: grad school in Europe. I decided that grad school in Europe was the easiest way to get myself 2 more years in Europe without totally sacrificing my career. While my intentions were far from scholarly or professional (read more here), it ended up being the best thing for me. It led me to my current career in international education. It also led me to several work contracts in Europe which would help bolster my credibility as a capable, global professional in my field.

What I learned during my time in grad school was more than just theory. I learned the strategies and practicalities of landing a job in Europe without having an EU passport. And it wasn’t as hard as you’d think.

By taking advantage of grad school in Europe, teaching English abroad and even a career break, I have secured work contracts in Spain, Denmark, Turkey and Sweden.

Longing to Travel - About - Berlin

Some of my global highlights include:

  • getting my first passport at the age of 5;
  • visiting 8 countries before the age of 18…and visiting 21 more since;
  • studying abroad as an undergraduate in France and Spain;
  • earning two master’s degrees from universities in Denmark and Spain;
  • work experience in my field in China, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA;
  • celebrating 7 birthdays overseas (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015);
  • learning Spanish, French, Danish, Turkish…and recently Swedish while living abroad;
  • getting paid to do researcher for a European Union while still in grad school;
  • attending professional development conferences in the USA, Italy, Belgium and Austria; and
  • visiting 13 countries (and living in 3) in 2015!

(And before you ask: we don’t have EU passports, we do have debt and we’re not rich. But what we are is strategic in our choices and intentional in everything that we do.)


I was once in your shoes, desperate to find a way back to Europe, but hopeless without an EU passport. But now I know better…and I’m hear to teach you how!

After 10+ years of trial and error, I’ve discovered proven strategies to help you grow professionally, land jobs locally and make a living abroad even if you don’t know the local language or don’t have a work visa.

If this sounds interesting, you can learn more about how I’ve used Grad School in Europea Career Break & Teaching English Abroad to make my global dreams a reality.

And if you’re not quite sure what to do next, check out this handy workbook to decide what your next move should be!

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