Year Intro | Volunteer
Abroad | Gap Year Organisations
take Paid Work Abroad during your Gap Year?
money is in short supply, you may have no option but to earn your
keep, but in another country.
- you'll have a ready-made social circle to introduce you to life
in that area.
- you may learn work or language skills that will help you later.
- it will inform you about the real world if you are a student
and help you decide if a similar career path is for you.
- you will probably have a great, mind-broadening time.
- they don't call it work for nothing, it's not exactly a holiday.
- wages for short-term employed foreigners are very low or exist
only as 'pocket money' in addition to accommodation and food.
English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
is unlikely that you will get a well-paid job teaching English
without experience, though if you're reasonably articulate any English-speaking traveller can find some kind of TEFL work.
- the TESOL game is very interesting; boredom is not an option.
- it enables you to live in some very exotic places.
- it gives you a huge and immediate social circle, natives and foreigners.
- it is possible to teach with no qualifications but native English
(often only voluntarily), though short courses ranging from a
week to a month will enable better jobs, better money prospects
and most importantly more fun in the classroom.
- a successful lesson will be immensely satisfying.
- pay can be very good in some parts of the world for the well
qualified and/or experienced (around 18K pa +).
- pay may also be pathetic, many third
world countries requiring a more voluntary approach.
- standing up in front of 10- 50 strangers and 'entertaining'
them for a couple of hours is not easy and will involve tears
from time to time.
- lesson preparation time will take more time than lessons themselves
in the early days.
- more info
British nannies have long been highly regarded, though the Louise
Woodward (USA) case a while back blighted attitudes somewhat,
proving just what a big responsibility looking after someone else's
children can be.
in accommodation with food and pocket money, in what is likely
to be at least middle class accommodation.
use of a car in the USA.
- no qualifications required, though some experience would help.
and unsociable hours may be required, especially where night waking
babies are concerned.
- you may find yourself taking on a whole manner of chores around
the house beyond just looking after the children.
- it's a big responsibility looking after people's young genetic
assets and parents can be obsessive about child care, not to mention being overbearing demagogues!
Europe and North America):
Many travel companies operating throughout the world seek young
people from the UK to work in their lower paid temporary jobs.
Accommodation and food are typically provided along with spending
- usually find yourself with other similarly aged individuals
doing similar jobs.
- usually live in accommodation with food and pocket money, in
what is likely to be at least a fun environment.
- 18-30 type holiday places are hard fought for as you essentially
become the fun maker, and this can be a riot if you are into that
type of thing.
- ski resorts are big on parties, and you can usually find time
to ski also.
- the responsibility of cleaning up after, shopping for, or cooking
for people is a far cry from the holiday they are probably having.
- pay, other than for the top end holiday rep. type job, can be
abysmal (though accommodation and food are usually thrown in,
which is of high value if you consider what the tourists are paying!)
(especially Europe, Australia
and North America).
are a wide variety of options for activity orientated individuals
- with qualifications where relevant.
Surfers and other watersports enthusiasts with good swimming abilities
and life guard certification can work as lifeguards on all kinds
of beaches where many bathers are to be found, or even as pool
- the sun, the Baywatch image, large amounts of water nearby.
- pathetic pay, boredom.
On the piste skiers and boarders are usually well paid but 'experts'
only are in demand, and competition is high.
- ski or board for a living and get paid quite well for it while
- teaching little Jimmy not to break a leg may do your head in.
Even those with less experienced sea legs but who can cook may
find crewing a possibility. Sometimes hanging out marinas in the
Caribbean and asking around can be an entreé to this world.
- get to exotic ports for free.
- get fit and a great tan.
- escape traffic, TV and modern society's trappings.
- boats can be very claustrophobic after even a few hours, let
- a lot depends on your relationship with the other crew, which
in a small space is extremely delicate..
- you can expect to get cold and wet regularly (even in the Caribbean!).
- probably no TV, serious sound system, films for...ever
- unless you are an experienced sea dog for which you may be paid
modestly, you will most likely still have to pay for what you
use (mainly food).
Camps in the USA
19-35 year olds (not necessarily students), preferably with some
experience of dealing with children and/or a sports qualification
can work in USA June-August in kid's camps. Students can also
work on the housekeeping/maintenance side if they have no qualifications.
Accommodation is provided, naturally, and the pay - after deducting
the flight - is relatively generous, leaving you with a few hundred dollars
at the end of the job.
- a lively job with plenty on the social side.
- unusually good pay.
- study the north American beast in its natural habitat.
- trapped in the woods for 2 months with deranged children? Hmm.
- it's not exactly exotic.
Picking the harvest off of a wide variety of plants (or
just pulling them up) is a popular, though often demanding, way
of seeing the world, particularly Europe and Australia/New Zealand.
- out in the fresh air.
- usually get to see the real country.
- keeps you fit.
- hopefully some good wholesome food about.
- European work is getting less easy to get due to competition
with very eager migrant North Africans and Eastern Europeans for
- females may find they need to arm wrestle or otherwise demonstrate
suitable machismo to indicate their manual value!
- sun exposure can be a real problem, no getting away from it
when it's shining.
- pay is at the very best, pretty low, and even this
Australia and New Zealand permit young people to work in their
countries and offer yearlong work visas. The main constraint is
that you can work for one employer for no more than 3 months.
www.immigration.govt.nz for New Zealand visa application forms,
and www.immi.gov.au for Australian Visa application.
- wide variety of jobs, especially good for outdoor pursuits.
- usually a lot of the sunny stuff in Oz, less in NZ.
- the three month rule will give you little time to settle (could
equally be a good thing though).
- big long haul travel expenses to get you there and back.
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