Working Overseas

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A lot of young people who come back from a working holiday overseas describe it as a life-changing experience. It's easy to see why.

Working overseas can be a great way to travel, meet people, experience new things, and get paid for it. The experience of self-reliance you gain will be useful for many years to come.

It can be a good career move too. Many Australian employers will be impressed when they see overseas work experience on your resume. It helps demonstrate that you have initiative, drive and can adapt to different circumstances.

Kinds of Work

Most people find it fairly easy to get some sort of work overseas. Some common choices for overseas work include:

  • Pubs in the UK
  • Summer camps or ski fields in the USA and Canada
  • Caf├ęs and restaurants
  • Office temping
  • Teaching English

There are some links at the bottom of this page to places that list overseas vacancies, but it's not an exhaustive list. Talking to other people who've worked overseas, or even just looking around online, will give you an even better picture of what's possible.

Working Holiday Visas

Australia has agreements with several countries that mean that Australians under 30 years of age can usually get a working holiday visa, which allows you to legally work in the countries you're visiting.

The rules about working as a traveller vary from country to country, but a little bit of research will let you know what's what. Two good places to go to check out the deal with working visas are:

  • The Federal Government's Department of Immigration and Citzenship's Working Holidays Overseas (new window)
  • Smartraveller (new window), the Federal Government's travel advice site, which has a good range of tips about working overseas

Prepare Before You Travel

Some people who travel prefer to just book a ticket and see what kind of work's around when they get there. But this can be daunting and even a bit risky, so it's a good idea to do some homework before you go.

Some of the things that could be quite different from Australia that are worth finding out about are:

  • Positions Available - What sort of what jobs will accept travellers and what do they pay?
  • Living Costs - How much you will need to live on?
  • Job Environment - Will you be respected and will you have to work long hours and weekends?
  • Living Arrangements - What accommodation and other amenities are available near the workplace?
  • Language, Culture and Customs - Can you learn the language and are there any laws and customs affecting behaviour, dress, food, drinking, etc?
  • Safety Issues - Is the location safe for foreigners and is the workplace generally safe?

There are agencies, companies and other organisations that can help you find a position and prepare for your trip.

For more general information about travelling overseas, check out the rest of our Travelling Overseas section.

Links

Smartraveller - Living and Working Overseas
This Australian Federal Government site provides tips for working overseas.

Any Work Anywhere
This site lists international work opportunities and provides information for organising your journey.

International Exchange Programs
A non-profit organisation specialising in sending young Australians on working holidays overseas.

TEFL - Teaching English Overseas
This site lists positions and provides information and guidance for people wanting to teach English overseas.