Your ticket to seeing the world on a gap year obviously comes much cheaper if you are able to spend some time working! A job in an exotic location is a fantastic opportunity to meet interesting people, really get to know the area, learn new skills, acquire CV-enhancing work experience, and perhaps even fund a trip-extension. Here are three great gap-year destinations you should consider:
Australia is a beautiful country and a wildly popular backpacking destination. With a culture very similar to the UK’s, living and working far away can still feel reassuringly familiar. This is a land of sunshine and spectacular natural wonders where most people live on the coast within reach of multicultural cities and enjoy the beach and active outdoor lifestyles.
Work opportunities and jobs in Australia include harvest work, bar work and catering, and office temping. Ranch work can offer more adventure – working on an outback cattle station, for example – but may require some farming experience.
As recruitment consultant Daniel Lucas confirms, UK job-seekers will be warmly welcomed: ‘Any Brits with a sales background, farming background, au-pair or nanny experience, horse-riding skills or nursing, care experience need to buy a ticket and get over here ASAP.’
Working in the USA could be your once-in-a-lifetime chance to put aside your media-driven expectations and explore the reality of this dynamic country which exerts a truly global influence. Diverse landscapes and cultural experiences abound though you will find many echoes of home too.
Working at an American summer camp is a well-established paid-work option which entails inspiring and educating young people during their summer vacation. You will meet many friends and get plenty of free time to explore the country.
Au pair work with host families is another established employment route which offers the chance to experience the American way of life, yet also allows you plenty of time off to socialise. Those with special skills can often take advantage of niche opportunities, working, for example, as ski or snowboard instructors in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain resorts. As with similar ‘dream’ jobs, the pay may not be top drawer, but you will get to spend as much time as you choose on the slopes.
New Zealand, ‘the adventure capital of the world’, is another all-action destination for sports and outdoor enthusiasts that is also crammed full of truly stunning natural landscapes and amazing wildlife. Kiwi society and lifestyles will seem very familiar to UK travellers, as will New Zealand’s climate.
There are a variety of jobs open to ‘gappers’ in hospitality, promotions, IT, finance and similar industries. Outdoor options range from fruit-picking and construction to more specialised work for those with expertise, or willing to undergo training. For example, a white-water rafting company in Rotorua is willing to hire instructors who successfully complete a five-week training course.
Earn as you travel
For pay-as-you-go travel opportunities, a gap year working abroad is hard to beat. You are bound to meet new friends and gain ‘inside track’ knowledge about your chosen destination, both of which could prove invaluable if you are considering a career move overseas. Whatever your plans, the trip will enrich your life and future job prospects in equal measure.
11 Feb 2014