Everyone dreams of having a bit of adventure in their lives, but really the only time we can afford to have such an adventure is while we’re young; before the commitments of career, family and things like paying the mortgage become a reality. So it’s no wonder that the gap year continues to be such a popular thing for young people to do, usually between finishing high school and starting university, or after graduating from university but before starting a full time job.
Many countries have reciprocal working holiday visa arrangements with each other, and it’s simply a case of looking at the website for the embassy or consulate of the country you want to spend time in, and seeing just what you need to do to qualify.
But what can you do once you actually land in that exotic foreign land? Many people opt for something relatively straightforward, like working at a bar or restaurant, or even working on a farm and helping with the harvest. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, then not to worry, since there are many other options. So what are some of the best jobs for your gap year- jobs that will give you great work experience and will fund your stay?
Doctors and Nurses are always in demand; it’s one of those professions that is most definitely recession proof. The United Kingdom has always been a top destination for recently qualified medical professionals to come for a year or two and gain some work experience while practising their craft, and also having the potential to earn an impressive salary. Like many countries, the UK views qualified medical professionals as skilled migrants, and while the word “migrant” has a sense of finality to it, many professionals just stay for a while to experience working in another country, before heading home. Working in this field is regulated by the National Health Service (NHS), who has certain criteria that must be met.
Much of the Australian economy is dependant on the vast wealth of natural resources that are found in this sweeping country, and the mining sector is a substantial source of employment in the country, whether it’s for those who work in the mines themselves, or engineers and various other support staff. Working in mining in Australia is an appealing option for many, largely due to the attractive amounts of money on offer, and there are numerous job recruitment agencies in the country that deal exclusively with the mining sector. It’s perhaps not ideal for a young professional who wants to spend six months in Sydney, since the mining industry operates in fairly isolated parts of the country.
For those who want a truly foreign experience, teaching can be a viable option. You might not have thought of yourself as a teacher, but many foreign countries want native English speakers to work as teachers or teaching assistants, and the main qualification is the fact that you speak English. Depending on the country you want to work in, a university degree is often necessary, and so is a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate, which can be obtained from many training institutes. The work opportunities and rates of pay vary greatly from country to country, and you’re more likely to find work in Paris than in Berlin- it all depends on how many people in the city already speak English as a second language. Teaching English in Asian countries is also a popular option, with many young people deciding to teach in Korea Japan, Malaysia, or Thailand.