What are some common jobs in Australia

Work and travel

What is work and travel?

Does “Work and Travel” sound like a contradiction in terms to you? The opposite is the case! With Work and Travel you have the ideal opportunity to go abroad for a longer period of time without getting into financial distress: With odd jobs on site, you regularly replenish your travel budget so that you can then explore the country further.

The idea for Work and Travel arose in 1980 with the first bilateral agreement between Japan and New Zealand. This type of travel was mainly designed for young people who want to take a break and at the same time want to get to know something of the world. Nowadays, work and travel is possible in numerous countries around the globe. Special visas often ensure that neither of the two aspects of “work” and “travel” is neglected.

Work and Travel is an important addition to other types of stays abroad, such as internships abroad or au pairs. In contrast to them, Work and Travel offers far more flexibility and self-determination with regard to the length of the stay and the choice of location. Staying mobile and getting to know as much as possible is one of the goals of Work and Travel.

It is a pleasant effect that you experience the country and its people in a much more authentic way than you would, for example, be able to do as a tourist. You take part in normal everyday life and gain insights into the working world there. And that is exactly another intention behind Work and Travel: young people should become more familiar and tolerant in dealing with other mentalities and cultures. At the same time, they act as ambassadors for their homeland abroad. So both sides benefit. Not infrequently, friendships that cross borders and last a lifetime develop during this time.

What are the requirements for work and travel?

The requirements for work and travel differ depending on the destination country. On the one hand, this applies to the visa and work requirements. You can find detailed information on this in the respective country texts. However, there are some almost general requirements for aspiring work and travelers:

- Minimum age of 18 years (sometimes also 21 years)
- German citizenship or of a country that has a bilateral agreement with the destination country
- valid passport
- good knowledge of the national language or at least English
- Sufficient financial means for the return flight and the first part of the stay
- Flexibility, tolerance and the willingness to get involved with the standard of living and the culture of the country
- No criminal record
- a valid international health insurance
- a good physique, as many typical jobs are physically demanding

If you decide to do voluntary work, i.e. for unpaid employment, you can also enter with a tourist visa. Here the requirements are usually much lower.

How does work and travel work?

The principle of work and travel is based on the self-financing of the stay abroad by doing odd jobs and getting to know the country and the people at the same time. With “job hopping” you wander from one short-term job to the next and explore the foreign country in the process. The route depends on your personal interests and the best job opportunities.

During your travels you get a very authentic approach to the country and its people. You can get to know people's everyday and professional life in an unadulterated way - in other words, in a completely different way than from a purely tourist perspective. Your foreign language skills will improve every day, which of course will also benefit you in the future.

In which countries can you do Work on Travel?

Work and travel is possible in many countries around the world. The “classics” among the destination countries are Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada. Decades of experience and established structures can be used here. New Zealand, for example, has focused heavily on work and travelers as seasonal fruit pickers and in return offers them a three month longer stay after three months of fruit picking. However, due to their diversity of landscapes alone, these countries offer numerous opportunities to tread individual paths.

The neighboring European countries are also popular among work and travelers. Working in Italian restaurants, French cafés or Spanish hotel complexes promises a holiday feeling despite work. At the same time, travel expenses are kept within reasonable limits. Compared to the “classics” mentioned above, the work and travel experience in Europe may not be that “exotic”, but it has the great advantage that the countries with their different cultures are very close together.

Destinations in Asia are increasingly popular: Far Eastern exoticism, ancient traditions versus growing economic markets and modern metropolises promise an exciting stay. As a work and traveler you are treading relatively new paths and the job opportunities are currently limited primarily to "teach and travel".

So far, Germany has bilateral agreements with Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. There are special working holiday visas (WHV) that guarantee relatively uncomplicated entry and a stay of up to 12 months in the country. For work and travel in the USA, the J-1 visa has a specific feature that is similar to the WHV.

What are typical jobs at Work and Travel?

Work and travel cannot really be compared to a regular job or internship abroad that matches your personal mental abilities.

As a rule, you can expect unskilled jobs as a work and traveler that are more physically demanding than mentally. It is therefore clear that these jobs are intended more to earn money or in exchange for board and lodging and not necessarily to polish up your career.

Classic jobs are offered by seasonal work: in the tourism industry, waiters, kitchen staff, room service etc. are increasingly sought after during vacation periods, outside work or during the ski season. As a work and traveler, you will usually be provided with board and lodging as well as work clothes and then deducted from your salary.
Agriculture also offers typical work and traveler jobs. During so-called farm or ranch stays, you work on farms. It could be a sheep farm in New Zealand or Ireland, or a cattle farm in Argentina. You then feed the animals, for example, clear their stalls and help with minor repairs. The “classic”, however, is fruit picking, ie the harvest, picking and packaging of fruit and vegetables.

Other job options are e.g. as a supervisor in a youth camp or as an unskilled worker on a construction site or in a factory. Depending on your previous personal knowledge and your local needs, you can also apply for more demanding jobs, such as a private language teacher, travel guide or office help.

The higher your qualifications, the better your earning potential. But you cannot always expect financial reward - even if this apparently contradicts the work and travel principle. In some jobs, especially in volunteering (e.g. in environmental protection or social projects), you are only given food

How much does work and travel cost?

The early calculation of the costs incurred is the be-all and end-all of good travel planning for your working holidays. In any case, this includes the following cost factors:

- Flight costs and other transport costs, such as domestic flights, rail, bus, car (plus fuel costs) or taxi
- Visa fees
- Overnight stays (a cushion for the first three months makes sense)
- Groceries (also plan to eat out)
- general basic care (clothing, personal hygiene, etc.)
- Telephone and internet costs
- Activities (sports, culture, guided tours, admissions, nightlife)
- Health insurance, liability and accident insurance are also useful
- One-time expenses, such as a travel backpack and multifunctional clothing
- possibly on-site language course
- possible booking fees for a program
- Possibly membership in a youth hostel association, backpacker hostel association

Of course, how much you spend depends on your lifestyle. As a rule, you can save well if you get involved with the local standard of living and do without export items.

Most countries require proof of sufficient finances as part of the visa application to cover your return flight and your first stay. You can prove it, for example, with a bank statement, a letter of credit from your bank or a return flight ticket.

However, you should not only keep an eye on the costs incurred under the guarantee, you should also be aware that there will always be special expenses. They range from gifts and souvenirs to shoe and car repairs. You have to plan a corresponding buffer.

How can you finance work and travel?

In order to experience a carefree stay, where you don't have to turn every penny twice and can treat yourself to something, you can heed some financing tips.

Save at home
"The early bird catches the worm" - this also applies to work and travel: You can cut some costs by, for example, booking your flights early. If possible, you should choose the off-season, then traveling is even cheaper.

You can limit running costs by, for example, canceling subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and the gym. You can also terminate telephone contracts. Don't forget to de-register electricity, water and heating and get exempt from the GEZ fee. If you take work and travel during a semester off, you can have the semester fee reimbursed or apply for a semester off in advance.

Choose free alternatives
Couchsurfing is the ideal way to save money. You stay with a private person free of charge, but in return you do without your own room. At the same time, you can easily meet new people. Before you go to a new city, find out more about it in portals such as staydu.com, couchsurfing.com and wimdu.de.

Wwoof offers another option: you help on an ecological farm and in return you will be provided with board and lodging. At HelpX you will find similar but broader offers (e.g. cleaning or reception jobs). You can also become a house carer and live free of charge in a house that you are responsible for while the owner is away. That means, for example, you take care of the house and garden and look after pets (see housecarers.com).

Foreign BAföG
With the Auslands-BAföG you can partially finance your work and travel stay if it is related to an internship of at least three months abroad and you are a student. Since there are different funding rates abroad, you can calculate your chances even if you are not entitled to domestic BAföG (auslandsbafoeg.de).

There are no grants for a work and travel stay per se. However, if you help with a charitable project or do an internship during your stay, you can hope for some funding opportunities. Stipendienlotse.de, for example, provides an overview

Sponsorship group
Another option is to set up a private sponsorship group made up of family members and friends. Even if it is uncomfortable to talk to others about money problems: many will surely be happy to support your project to the best of their ability. In return, you can inform them about your trip via blog and postcards.

Tax refund
In some countries you have a good chance of getting (not insignificant) tax refunds. Don't worry: tax issues are almost always less complicated abroad than in Germany.

International student ID
If you are studying, you should get an international student ID. With this you get discounts in many countries, e.g. for purchases in shops, but also at many online shops, or for admission prices and even insurance and flights.

Should you do work and travel alone or with someone?

Work and Travel was designed for individual travelers. While there is nothing against traveling together with other work and travelers, it becomes difficult to find a job together with a travel partner or even just a job in the same city and in the same period of time with regard to the “work” aspect.

As a work and traveler you are always part of a special community that is held together by a thirst for travel and adventure. Even if you go it alone, you are unlikely to be left alone during your travels. In hostels or at work you will of course meet other work and travelers. Perhaps spontaneous travel groups are formed that exist for a short or long period of time. If you book work and travel through an agency, you can get to know potential fellow travelers during the preparation and language courses.

The advantages of traveling together are obvious: you share the costs and experience a lot together. Maybe this creates friendships that last for years. Of course, you can also plan your trip in advance with a permanent travel partner. Or you look for a travel partner through a travel exchange. At the latest when looking for a job on site, it will be difficult to stay together here too.

Can you organize work and travel yourself?

If you want to plan your adventure completely independently, you can do that without any problems. The advantages over a booked program are obvious: you are flexible, save money and can plan your trip 100% according to your wishes. By dealing with your journey early and intensively, you will start extremely well prepared. Another advantage is that you can try your luck beyond the age limits set by the organizers.

But the disadvantages cannot be dismissed out of hand. You will have to deal with the entire bureaucratic effort yourself: These include visa, flight, accommodation, health insurance, tax number, bank account and of course the job search. Even if planning starts early, it will probably result in multitasking in the direction of the final spurt.

So you invest a lot of time. Another disadvantage is that you don't have a direct contact person on site if you should get into trouble. Even if the learning effect is immense, if you are rather chaotic, you should better keep your distance from this type of organization.

Tips for self-organization

- Create an individual schedule (with time buffers!) And stick to it.
- Above all, find out about all formalities such as visa application and health insurance at an early stage and deal with them quickly.
- Find out more in blogs from other Work and Travelers. You can get good tips to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
- You can use forums to ask questions and exchange ideas with others
- Many people find it easier to tackle something collectively. This is how you can do it with Work and Travel and look for a travel buddy on the go.

What should I consider when booking work and travel through an agency?

The market for organized work and travel has grown steadily over the years. If you fall back on the offer of a (reputable) agency, you are booking a piece of security in a certain way - and in many ways it is easy on your nerves. With their contacts and experience, the customer advisors relieve you of a large part of the formalities that arise in the course of travel preparation.

The organizers cooperate with private and state job agencies abroad and can therefore help you with your job search. They will also help you find your first accommodation, apply for a visa, choose suitable insurance cover, set up a bank account, apply for a tax number, etc. A return flight and flight advice are often included. It is of course important that you choose a reputable agency. One selection criterion is membership in international quality associations, which collect mandatory common criteria.

Criteria for a good provider
A good provider will inform you in advance about your destination country and the conditions for work and travel through information events. It is equally important to choose a provider whose programs match your personal interests. The offers and extras should ultimately get you ahead and not pull the money out of your pocket. Such extras can be e.g. diving and surfing courses or other excursions. They give you the opportunity to get to know other Work and Travelers. In any case, your agency should cooperate with local language schools where you can book a language course. It then runs either before or in parallel with the first job.

He should also provide you with a local contact person and have a 24-hour emergency number. For example, if you get sick or lose a document, you can be helped quickly. And you should also receive support for your further job search. For example, through access to an exclusive job database or placements with employers.

All of these services are of course associated with fees. Depending on the agency, destination country and booked extras, it can be relatively expensive. Depending on the individual willingness to take risks, it can make sense to choose a German agency, as this is subject to the (mostly stricter) German (travel) law.
Critics of work and travel programs don't just complain about the cost. They also find this form of travel organization to be too less independent and self-determined. If you're struggling with similar thoughts, a starter package might be right for you. It gives you at least a jump start in a foreign country and lets you benefit from numerous services.

What is a Work and Travel Starter Package?

A starter package is a compromise between completely self-organized work and travel and booked full programs. Other names are welcome or arrival packages. With such a package you can enjoy the advantages of both variants without having to commit yourself.

A starter package usually covers the first two to five days after arrival. The usual services include an airport transfer and first night's accommodation. You can also take part in an introductory seminar in which you can learn more about the country and its people.

Different services are added depending on the package. E.g. a 24-hour hotline, support with the job search, a SIM card for the mobile phone, storage or forwarding of the mail, help with the application of the tax number, etc. So you are not completely on your own, but immediately get to know like-minded people.

One advantage of many packages is that very short-term bookings are possible. Most packages can start on a daily basis, depending on the date of your choice. Most offers focus on Australia and New Zealand.

How does the planning for work and travel work?

Here you will find some advice and time guidance for your work and travel stay.