Working overseas | Overseas employment| Youth Central

A working holiday is when you travel to another country on a travel permit (visa) that gives you the right to work during your stay. A working holiday is a good way to travel, meet people, experience new things, learn or get better at another language and earn money.

You can also choose to volunteer overseas. Volunteering can be a meaningful way to learn and help others while you travel.

Spending time working or volunteering overseas can be a good career move too. Many Australian employers will be impressed when they find you have overseas experience on your resume. It shows you have initiative, and can adapt to different circumstances.

Kinds of overseas work

It’s easy for most people to find some sort of work overseas. Some common work choices for working holidaymakers include:

  • pubs in the UK
  • nannying or Au Pairing
  • teaching English
  • summer camps or ski fields in the USA and Canada
  • cafés and restaurants
  • office temping
  • farming.

Ask people who've worked overseas about their experiences, and search online to get an idea of what's possible. You can also use the links at the bottom of this page to get started.

Working holiday visas

Australia has working holiday agreements with several countries. If you’ve got an Australian passport and you’re aged 18 to 30, you can get a visa that lets you work in these countries while you visit.

The rules about working as a traveller are different in each country. Do some research to find out about the rules in the countries you want to visit.

A good place to find that information about working overseas is on the Australian government's Smartraveller website. 

Preparation before you work overseas

Do your research on where you want to travel to before you go. Don’t assume things work the same way as in Australia. Even if English is the main language, life could be quite different to Australia.

For example, the sorts of things you need to do to get a job or find accommodation in the country might be different to what you’re used to.

It’s worth finding out about:

  • positions available – What jobs will accept travellers, and what do they pay?
  • living costs – How much will you will need to live there?
  • job environment – Will you be respected, and will you have to work long hours and weekends?
  • living arrangements – What kind of accommodation will you live in, and is it close to where you’re working?
  • language, culture and customs – Do you need to learn the language before you go? Are there laws and customs about behaviour, dress, food or drinking you need to understand?
  • safety issues – Is the country safe for travellers, and is the workplace generally safe?

Many travel and recruitment companies offer information on working overseas. Do an online search for the terms ‘working holiday Australian citizen’.

There are agencies, companies and other organisations that can help you find a position and prepare for your trip. Our travelling overseas section has general information about travelling.

Volunteering overseas

Volunteering overseas is another option for working overseas. Volunteering lets you make a contribution while you travel. It can also be a good way to live and work with local communities in the country you’re visiting.

Volunteering counts as work in most countries, even if you don’t get paid. You’ll need to find out about getting a work permit or working visa even if you’re not planning on earning an income overseas.

Thoroughly research different organisations and volunteer opportunities before you go. Talk to others about their experiences.

Make sure the organisation you choose has a good reputation. The organisation should be officially registered to use volunteers in the country you’re going to.

The International Volunteer Programs Association website has information on organisations – it lists programs by country, type of service and length of stay.

Our volunteering page also has useful information (LINK to Volunteering page).


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

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

Many travel and recruitment companies offer information on working overseas. Do an online search for the terms ‘working holiday Australian citizen’.