Expats fan out around the world in search of a new life, a fresh start doing work they love or to retire and begin the next chapter on their journeys. It’s not always easy for them to find work if that’s a goal they’re after. There’s also no authority on quality recommendations written by expats so others can discern which experiences are right for them. These five startups take a step towards creating verified expat review forums, online jobs boards exclusively for expats and communities where expats can become more than a tourist snapping photos and sampling the local cuisine.
>>Vagalife is a platform for travelers to find work while traveling and for hosts to find skill sets they’re looking for in new hires. Hosts and travelers both leave reviews of their experiences and in exchange for their work travelers are given food and a place to stay by their hosts/employers.
SkiftTake: The two way, verified review system, an Airbnb-like feature, will help both expats and employers ensure that they’re not wasting time and money, something more than a traditional jobs board can offer.
>>Jetsetter Jobs is an international jobs board for temporary jobs in the hospitality, teaching and volunteer sectors.
SkiftTake: Jetsetter Jobs says its platform helps employers find talent and skill sets that can’t be found in the traditional workforce. Besides language skills and familiarity with international travel there’s plenty of talent to be found among travelers and non-travelers.
>>Expat Reviews is a forum of reviews left by experienced immigrants that also includes maps, local information and price comparison of different cities.
SkiftTake: As it’s essentially the Yelp for Expats, travelers must expect to find a similar user base on the platform, unless Expat Reviews institutes verified reviews.
>>GigRove is platform where travelers can exchange their personal services for a place to stay from a local host. Hosts list what kind of help they need, how many hours of work they require, and what they can provide travelers. Travelers can list their skills and desired locations and the two parties can search and contact one another and currently GigRove primarily connects startup hosts and skilled travelers.
SkiftTake: The Internet has fostered marketplaces that facilitate travel without trading actual money, however, such communities are destined to remain small with restrictions on destinations and lodging options.
>>travel2change helps expat travelers find sustainable volunteer experiences and they can book these activities on the platform. Activities are listed by local non-profit organizations in various destinations and are meant to connect travelers with local communities.
SkiftTake: Voluntourism like travel2change promotes isn’t always helpful for local communities. In fact, it often takes away local jobs and doesn’t contribute to much economic growth in the long-term. But if expats have laid down roots in an area and plan to engrain themselves in the fabric of a community, travel2change might do more good than harm.