It's often possible to get shorter contracts. Not all schools require somebody to stay for a year. Many schoolds run intensive courses for a duration of one month, one week etc. So these schools don't need teachers on one-year contracts. You can check out this information when applying for jobs.
Also learning Enlish can be a seasonal activity in some countries depending on when training budgets are passed, etc. So some periods will be busier than others. This will affect schools' requirements for teaching staff.
In some countries (e.g. France), schools employ teachers on an hourly basis. This means working for a school for a few hours a week and being paid for those hours. You can build up the hours by working for 2 or 3 schools. This allows you a lot more flexibility but the disadvantages are that you earn less (or nothing at all) during holiday periods e.g. Christmas. It will also be necessary to travel between the various schools.
It all really depends on what you're looking for, shorter contracts do exist. You just need to find out which schools are offering them.
As for your question about working in other countries, your consulate can probably give you the information you need.
The information provided in this forum is intended for guidance only. We can only provide general information as situations vary from country to country. It should also be noted that economic and political situations change. We advise you to contact embassies and consulates before making decisions involving a move to another country. Tefl.net cannot be held responsible for any decisions you make based on the information provided here. It is your responsibility to gather information about employers before accepting a job.