The Basics

+ What is Remote Year?

Remote Year brings together 50-80 inspiring professionals, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and adventurers to see the world as they never have before during an unforgettable year of personal and professional growth. Participants (called “Remotes”) live and work in a different city around the globe each month.

+ Do I need to have a job to participate in Remote Year?

Yes, though it doesn’t have to be a traditional 9-to-5 job. You don’t need to be a full-time employee of a company in order to join Remote Year, but we want to make it clear that Remote Year is a work and travel program, rather than just a travel program.

If you don’t have a job that can be done from anywhere, you can work with Remote Year staff to develop materials that might help your employer better understand remote work arrangements and their benefits. Whether you’re a freelancer, a business owner, a full-time employee of a company, or some other category of worker, we’ll need to understand how you plan to financially support your Remote Year journey.

+ Can Remote Year help me find a remote job?

Unfortunately, no. Remote Year is not a job provider.

+ How can I transition to a remote work arrangement with my current employer?

Remote Year’s staff can provide you with guidance and resources to help your employer get comfortable with a remote work arrangement. We’ve helped hundreds of employees working for Fortune 500 companies and startups alike transition from traditional in-house positions to remote roles.

+ What are the benefits of working remotely?

We believe that people are at their most creative when they’re inspired by their surroundings, and there have been countless studies backing this up. Remote work not only increases employees’ production, effectiveness, and overall happiness, but also offers many financial benefits to employers.

+ What kind of people take part in Remote Year?

Current Remotes range in age from 21-64. The average age of Remotes is 30 and people from almost 40 countries are currently participating in Remote Year. You can see what people are saying about Remote Year here.

+ Can couples apply to Remote Year?

We love couples! In fact, we offer a 20% discount on our monthly rates for couples that plan on living together on Remote Year. That means monthly program costs would be $1,600 per person per month rather than $2,000.

To apply as a couple, both members should request an application independently. If you are both then invited to submit a full application, indicate that you would like to be considered jointly in the corresponding field.

+ What kinds of jobs do Remotes have?

Each trip is made up of a diverse group of applicants from a variety of backgrounds and industries. Many are full-time employees of companies, some are entrepreneurs, and others are freelancers, independent contractors, and solopreneurs. You can learn more about some of the awesome people who have traveled with Remote Year here.

+ Do I have to speak English?

While you certainly don’t need to be fluent in English to join Remote Year, you should have basic English conversational skills.

+ Can I bring pets or children?

Remote Year is not currently equipped to accommodate pets or children.

 

Working Remotely

+ Where do people work while on Remote Year?

In short: Wherever they’d like. Whether you choose to work from a cafe, a beach, or a mountaintop, it’s entirely up to you. Remote Year provides the opportunity to work in some of the most interesting and inspiring co-working spaces in the world. In each city where we travel, Remote Year has identified and developed modern co-working spaces for Remotes to utilize as much or as little as they wish. Each has fast and reliable WiFi, spacious lounges, and comfortable conference spaces with 24/7 access. Here is an example of the co-working space we designed for Remotes in Split, Croatia.

+ Where are the co-working spaces located?

The co-working spaces are located within an approximate 30-minute commute (walking or public transportation) from Remote Year’s various accommodations in each city. If public transportation is part of your commute, you will receive a transport card courtesy of Remote Year.

 

Costs

+ How much does Remote Year cost?

Remote Year costs $27,000 for the 12-month program. There is a $5,000 down payment followed by a monthly payment of $2,000 for the first 11 months, with no payment due on the 12th month.

+ What's included in the cost of Remote Year?

A lot more than just bullet points. Think of it as trading in your rent, utilities, monthly Internet/cable bills for a life-changing year of living, traveling, and working around the world with a community of inspiring people. Here are some of the tangibles:

• All travel between destinations on the itinerary

• All accommodations throughout the year in hotels and apartments with a private bedroom

• Co-working space in each city with 24/7 access and high-speed Internet

• A passionate, inspiring, and creative community of 50-80 professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers, independent contractors, and solopreneurs that you’ll learn from while exploring the globe

• Extensive coaching and guidance for you to transition to a remote working arrangement with your current employer (with our help, 79% of accepted applicants who utilize our curated process receive approval from their employer and join us)

• Personal development “Tracks” based on your interests that offer immersive, local experiences at each of the Remote Year destinations–some recent examples have included a tango lesson at a Milonga in Buenos Aires, lunch in Medellin with startup founders, and cooking dinner with grandmothers in Mexico City.

• Professional development seminars throughout the year

• Exclusive Remote Year discounts from local partners

• A valuable alumni community (“Citizens”) offering countless networking opportunities, free monthly memberships at select worldwide co-working spaces, and much more

+ What is not included in the cost of Remote Year?

Remote Year does not cover participants’ meals, personal expenses, and vacation or personal travel expenses. Since Remotes come from all over the world, Remote Year also doesn’t cover participants’ flights to the first city and from the final city of the Remote Year itinerary.

+ How much money should I plan on budgeting for Remote Year?

This really depends on your personal budget and preferences. Outside of the program fee, the amount of money Remotes spend each month on things like meals, entertainment, and side trips varies greatly. Most Remotes typically spend anywhere between $1,000-$2,000 USD per month outside of program costs–some more, some less. For more info, you may find this blog post helpful.

+ Could I travel cheaper on my own?

Probably, but there are a ton of benefits to participating in Remote Year that money can’t buy.

For starters, we take care of all traveling, accommodation, co-working, and other logistics for a year. Not only does this save Remotes countless hours of planning, but also, when coupled with the wealth of on-the-ground advice from our City Managers at each destination, Remote Year helps you truly get to know each city from a local’s perspective. Plus, Remote Year has staff in each city, so when things don’t go as planned, they can help you effectively navigate through the speed bumps that pop up along your journey.

In addition, we offer a variety of dynamic programming opportunities (called “Tracks”) at each of the 12 Remote Year destinations throughout the year. Remotes are able to select these based on their personal interests and each allows participants to experience the city in an immersive way. Professional development seminars (called “Knowledge Drops”) are also available to all Remotes throughout the year. These video sessions draw on the unique talents and perspectives of all Remotes and provide a way for Remotes across all active programs to learn from one another

Finally, traveling for 12 months with a community of amazingly talented, passionate, and inspiring people is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We’ve found that the relationships Remotes form with the other group members during the year has invaluable professional and personal benefits that last well after the trip has ended.

 

Accommodations

+ What are the accommodations like?

Accommodations vary from city to city, but we always provide Remotes with a private bedroom in a hotel, house, or apartment. Please note that a private bedroom may be part of a multi-bedroom apartment where several Remotes live together, each with their own bedroom but often sharing a bathroom. Remote Year accommodations are clean and secure. They include linens, towels, and an Internet connection. If you have any lodging preferences or special needs, we’ll do our best to prioritize those requests.

 

Traveling

+ Where does Remote Year travel?

Remote Year launches a variety of trips throughout the year with varying start dates and itineraries. If accepted, a Remote Year admissions consultant will work to find the program that you’re the best fit for and that works for you.

Our programs travel through destinations across Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. To learn more, see Where We Go.

+ How does Remote Year travel?

Planes, buses, ferries– whatever makes the most sense given the location. Programs always change city locations on weekends so that Remotes don’t have to take time out of a work day to transition from one city to the next.

+ What should I bring?

This is totally up to you but the best advice we can give is to pack lightly! Laundry is available at every Remote Year destination, and we offer a suggested packing list to all accepted Remotes.

+ Am I able to take breaks or go on vacation while on Remote Year?

You are free to leave and rejoin the group as you wish throughout the trip, though Remotes are responsible for funding any personal trips that are not part of the Remote Year itinerary.

+ What if I have an unexpected emergency and must leave the program early?

We understand that life happens. While we’d certainly be sad to see you go, in the event that a personal emergency occurs, you’re free to leave Remote Year early and would not be financially responsible for the months that you’re no longer with the program.

 

Health and Safety

+ Do I need visas?

We aren’t immigration/visa professionals, and the following shouldn’t be construed as visa, immigration, or legal advice rendered by Remote Year.

As a general rule, whether or not you need a visa depends on what country you’re from and which countries your Remote Year trip is traveling to. While some participants may need a visa to enter certain countries, many countries have visa waiver programs for tourists. To date, Remote Year has traveled to more than 20 countries with people holding more than 30 types of passports and we’ve found the process to be quite smooth.

For US passport holders, the State Department has a “country specific information” website where you can check the visa requirements for each country you’ll be visiting. There are also private companies like VisaHQ that can help you determine what visa, if any, you may need (they do this part for free), and also help you obtain any visas you may need (this part isn’t free).

+ If I do need a visa to enter certain countries, will Remote Year provide one for me?

If you end up needing a visa to enter a country, you will be responsible for obtaining it. With that said, if you let us know beforehand, we can provide you with the travel and accommodation documentation needed to secure your visa.

+ Are cities where Remote Year travels safe?

The short answer is, yes. The long answer is: Regardless of where you are in the world, most big cities are likely to have good spots and spots that some may want to avoid. Plus there is always some level of risk inherent in international travel. Using common sense and being aware of your surroundings goes a long way. Remote Year takes many steps and uses many different resources to maximize safety and minimize risk. Some are government resources, some are private resources, and some are in-house resources. At a high level, here the resources that we use to minimize the risks associated with international travel:

  1. The U.S. State Department. The State Department provides country reports and security assessments on every country we visit. These are public documents that we rely on, and we suggest that you check them out as well. (If you’re from the US, you should join STEP as well.) Also, we have a relationship with the U.S. Embassy in nearly every country we visit.

  2. International SOS. In order to get the fullest possible picture regarding safety, and to supplement the U.S. State Department reports, we contract with International SOS, one of the largest international security firms in the world, and they provide us with: (a) safety reports and information on each city we visit; and, (b) worldwide emergency services .

  3. Network Engineer. We have a network engineer that visits our co-working spaces to maximize network stability and security.

  4. Local Teams. We feel that nothing is more valuable than local knowledge when it comes to safety. We have full-time staff members in each of the cities we visit and they provide Remotes with intimate firsthand safety advice regarding what neighborhoods or areas should be avoided, local do's and don'ts, etc.

+ Do I need health insurance?

Whether you choose to keep your domestic health insurance or purchase international health insurance ultimately depends on your personal preference and comfort level. Regardless of your choice, we strongly advise that you reach out to your health provider before departing for Remote Year and visiting a clinic that specializes in travel health for more personalized guidance.

+ Do I need travel insurance?

It’s not required, but we strongly suggest it. We’re happy to recommend several providers we regularly work with– each has a variety of different service levels available.

 

Application Process

+ What's the application process for Remote Year?

There are three steps:

  1. To start, fill in an application request to tell us a little bit about yourself and to help us understand if Remote Year is right for you.

  2. After reviewing your responses, you will be invited to complete an application. This is where you tell us more about your employment situation, your personal and professional goals for the year, and your possible departure dates.

  3. Selected applicants will be asked to participate in a video interview with a member of our admissions team.

If you’re accepted, you’ll then receive an offer from our admissions committee for a specific Remote Year program and be given access to critical resources and coaching to assist you in preparing for your year of travels.

+ What do you look for in an applicant?

Being open to new experiences is essential. Traveling the world for a year offers the rare opportunity to see and experience the world in a way most people never will. Many of the benefits of the Remote Year experience stem from one's ability to say "Yes!" to new things.

Remote Year is not a solo activity, so creating and maintaining productive and respectful relationships is a top priority. You're going to be meeting and traveling with new people, and your fellow travelers will quickly become some of your closest friends. Therefore, it's very important to be tolerant and have a generous spirit towards other people, whether they are your fellow travelers or local residents.

Finally, get ready to learn and challenge yourself. Your fellow travelers are going to be talented, passionate people. Be ready to share what you know, come ready to grow, and prepare to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.

+ Are there specific dates and deadlines to apply?

Nope. We review applications on a rolling basis and launch multiple Remote Year trips each year.

+ What do people who have completed Remote Year think of the experience?

We’ve included a few samples below, but you can check out what past and present Remotes have said here.

“I can absolutely say that this was the best decision I’ve ever made!”
-Casey Hekker- Cousteau Group (2016)

“Being in an environment where everyone is constantly pushing themselves to grow personally and professionally has been immensely inspiring and I leave Remote Year a better person than I was going in.”
-Trevor Gerhardt- Remote Year (2015)

“When you are outside your comfort zone, you have no choice but to open yourself up to others. I’ve been surprised to learn that being vulnerable is not as terrifying when you have 74 other people who also have no choice but to throw caution to the wind and put their whole selves out there for strangers to see.”
-Angela Sandall- Darién Group (2016)

 

This year is going to be different, and so will every year after it.