Everybody grows up with the dream of seeing the world, or at least as much of it as possible. But, unless you were blessed with some serious financial backing, making this dream come true will take a little bit of intelligence and effort on your part. If you have your heart set on exploring the land Down Under, for example, then you should definitely consider finding temporary employment during your vacation.
Luckily there is such a system already in place and it is quite accessible to visitors from around the world. It is called the Working Holiday Visa and it grants holders the possibility of spending up to a year in Australia, with permission to work for a maximum of six months with any one employer. What’s more, you can even leave and return to the country at will during this period due to the visa’s multiple entry clause. Requirements include being between the ages of 18 and 30 and having proof of sufficient funds at the onset of your trip (AU$5000). After that the application procedure is as simple as can be, with the whole process taking place online and no actual physical visa being stamped on your passport. Still, it’s best that you print out your confirmation before heading to the airport.
Traveling to Australia is easy if not exactly cheap, with numerous flights being available from all major airports. Still, you can catch good offers if you book a flight several months in advance. Also make sure you buy your return flight at the same time, as it is one of the conditions for being granted a visa. Accommodation options vary greatly by city and state, with Australia having a little bit of something for everyone. Most people start out with short hostel stays, after which they graduate to renting a flat together with some friends or by themselves. Prices are per week and range from AU$100 to AU$250, with most properties coming unfurnished so you’ll be free to customize them according to your own tastes.
But where exactly can you find employment during your stay? Well, the Working Holiday experience is a common one throughout Australia, with employers in major cities being especially open to hiring temporary workers from across the globe. While you can technically be employed in any industry, some types of jobs are much more widespread than others. The following list offers you a quick primer on the industries that will be eager to hire an international worker, even one with little or no previous experience:
- The food industry
Includes work in restaurants and bars. Can be a wonderful way to meet new people and get some free meals as well. Just know that tipping isn’t a requirement in Australia as it is in the US. And be aware that if you’re going to serve alcohol, you’ll need to have a special certification, one that you can luckily obtain online in no time.
Another popular source of income lies in working for department stores and other shops. You’ll need top grade customer service skills and a natural aptitude for salesmanship.
Many places in Australia offer work-for-housing arrangements that can be quite useful in the beginning stages of your trip, when you’re still figuring things out. Positions include either front-desk or housekeeping jobs, but some places will also let you handle bar hopping duties if you’re lucky.
As profitable as it is exciting, working in gambling nonetheless requires a special certification of its own. Be sure to get yours online before you start looking for work in this industry.
- Seasonal farm work
It’s hard work if you aren’t used to it, but farm employment and fruit picking is the best option for prolonging your Working Holiday Visa by another year, if you so desire. Most places also offer room and board for those willing to join their ranks.
As you can see, working and traveling in Australia is far from being an impossible dream. You probably won’t get rich doing it, as pay usually hovers around AU$13-$17 per hour in the service industry at least, but you’ll make enough money to travel at the end of your visa and see this most remarkable country in all its glory. Just remember to apply for a tax file number as soon as you arrive and you’ll also benefit from the 29% base tax for non-residents. Oh, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.