This guest article was written by Letz Live.
A Gap Year is a year in between school, study, or work where you have the opportunity to do something different. Sometimes people work, or they may use the whole year to travel and volunteer. Many people take a Gap Year if they need a break before starting further study, or if they are a bit unsure about what they want to do when leaving school.
There are so many benefits to taking a Gap Year. In a survey conducted by the Gap Year Association in 2020, they found that around 80% of people who took a Gap Year improved their self-confidence and maturity, and it helped them to interact with people from other cultures and backgrounds.
Grace from WA took her gap year in the UK and says this:
“Looking back, I find it impossible to choose a particular moment of my Gap Year that has been the best. I am so grateful for every second of this year. From the mind-blowing moments (jet skiing with 6 of my friends around Hvar in Croatia) to the not-so-great moments (freezing afternoons at work teaching in the rain). At the end of the day, all your experiences, good and bad, will blur together. You will then be left with the most amazing stories that even people 5 times your age may not have.”
Working while on your Gap Year is a great way to add some new skills to your portfolio, and earn some money so you can make the most of your time overseas. You’ll also make a heap of new friends and learn to live independently.
In this blog, we talk about some of the most common jobs for those thinking about taking a Gap Year abroad.
Work at an activity camp
In places like the UK, summer camps are huge! They offer a whole range of activities, from canoeing to high ropes courses, archery, paddle boarding, and more. School-aged students will come and stay, either as part of a school camp, or during their holidays as part of a summer camp programme.
These activity centres are looking for enthusiastic staff who are excited to work with kids outdoors. It’s a fun and rewarding job where no two days are the same.
You’ll live on-site with other staff, which is the best way to make new friends from all over the world. Like most jobs, you will generally have two days off a week and be able to take holidays so you can travel either within the country you work or abroad.
What you’ll get: roles include accommodation and food, usually with a small payment deducted from your weekly salary.
What you’ll need: depending on the location, you will need to check your eligibility for a working visa. Most countries employing staff to work with school-aged children will also need you to complete a police/background check (similar to getting a working with children check in Australia).
Work in a school
A classic Gap Year job is working as an assistant in a boarding school. These live-in positions are a great way to live in another country. You’ll have support from staff and usually be placed with other Gap Assistants.
Essentially, you’ll be like an older sibling to the school-aged children. Duties may include supporting and supervising students before and after school, helping with school trips or town visits, supporting teachers with classroom or sports tasks, and anything else that may be required.
Working in a school means you also get the school holidays off to explore and travel. If working in the UK, for example, this equates to about 10-12 weeks of holidays, at least 6 weeks over summer. You could be sailing in Croatia, on a sun lounger in Greece, or cooling down with a gelato in Italy.
What you’ll get: food and accommodation, weekly salary, and any required training.
What you’ll need: depending on the location you will need to check your eligibility for a working visa. Most countries employing staff to work with school-aged children will also need you to complete a police/background check (similar to getting a working with children check in Australia). You’ll also need references from three adults (these can be teachers/employers).
Work in a hospitality venue
If you have experience working in a restaurant, cafe, bar, or similar, you’ll be pleased to know there are many opportunities overseas. Many hospitality venues, large hotels, and clubs offer live-in positions, which can be an ideal way to get set up when you first arrive.
A live-in job means you don’t need to find nearby accommodation when you arrive – all you have to do is turn up, get unpacked, and get ready to start working.
What you’ll get: a live-in hospitality job and (usually) discounted meals.
What you’ll need: depending on the location, you’ll need to check eligibility for a working visa.
How can I get going?
Letz Live is one of Australia’s leading Gap Year programme providers. They send hundreds of Australian school leavers overseas on Gap Years and Working Holidays every year.
The first thing to do is decide where you want to go and see what positions are on offer. You can find out about locations, programmes and application closing dates on their website.
You need to apply for your gap year about 12-18 months before you’d like to go. This way you have enough time for your interview, to accept your placement, apply for a visa, and arrange flights.
So if taking a Gap Year is something you’ve been thinking about, we recommend you start your planning as soon as you can.
Head to www.letzlive.org to find out more.
Interested in seeing what this year’s Gap year participants have been up to? Visit the Letz Live Instagram @letz_live.