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Gap Year Work - Choosing A Destination

Which Country Will Offer You The Gap Year Work You Want?

Tuesday 23rd October 2012

It is important that when you take a gap year that you enter it with ‘open eyes’. You sometimes may have to work in less than glamorous locations and you won’t earn a massive wage but you will be experiencing another country and adding to your skill set.

Which Country Will Offer You The Gap Year Work You Want?

If you are undertaking a gap year because you want to work then you need to think carefully about the type of work you want to do as well as the gap year destination that you want to visit. Once you have decided what to do, you need to make sure that your chosen work options are available in your destination of choice. You also need to consider whether it is possible for you to get a working holiday visa, for example and if there are any other barriers which may stand in your way.

Below we detail what to expect in the most popular gap year destinations of Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada by looking at three basic points – visas, work options and living costs.

Gap Years in Australia

  1. Australian Visas:
    • If you are wanting a working holiday visa then if you are between 18 and 30 years old then you can apply for a visa that lasts up to 12 months and you can work for any employer however only for a period of six months.
  2. Gap work in Australia:
  3. Living Costs:
    • The cost of living in Australia can be high and is stated to be £750-£1000 per month if you are looking to live in one of the major cities. It is generally felt that accommodation is more expensive than the UK.

Gap Years in New Zealand

  1. New Zealand Visas:
    • If you are looking for a working holiday visa there are two different schemes available. You can either apply for a 12 month or 23 month visa (if you are aged between 18-30).
  2. Gap work in New Zealand:
  3. Living Costs:
    • The cost of living in New Zealand can be expensive and food will be more expensive than in the UK. However, accommodation is cheaper compared to places like Australia and you are likely to spend around £450 per month.

Gap Years in the USA

  1. USA Visas:
    • The USA is a very difficult place to work. They don’t have any working holiday visa schemes and the only way to get a visa is applying when you have a job in place.
  2. Gap work in the USA:
    • The best work option for the US is to get a job which comes with a J-1 visa. This visa is open for people between the 18 and 26 years old and they can au-pair. This is a good job in America as it also means your food and accommodation will be provided for you.
  3. Living Costs:
    • The cost of living in the USA is roughly the same as in the UK. Depending on your tastes the accommodation costs can vary as well as the location you are staying in. Expect to pay more if you are looking for accommodation in New York, for example rather than somewhere rural.

Gap Years in the Canada

  1. Canadian Visas:
    • If you are aged 18 to 35 then you can apply for a working holiday visa that falls under the ‘International Experience Canada Programme’.  However, you need to be quick when applying as there is only a limited number of spaces available which get snapped up quickly each year.
  2. Gap work in Canada:
  3. Living Costs:
    • The cost of living in the Canada can vary dependent on where you stay. You are likely to pay more when living in a city when compared with a more rural destination.