6 Of The Best Gap Year Jobs To Work Abroad

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Not so long ago gap years were reserved for the privileged few who could afford (or whose parents could afford!) to take some time off after school to spend time travelling the world, deciding what they wanted to study, and finding themselves. What that actually meant was they’d spend the better part of a year travelling around on Kontiki tours, staying in cheap hostels and drinking excessive amounts of beer.

These days, gap years have changed.

Nowadays, it is not uncommon to take a gap year not after graduating from high school but after graduating from university. In other words, taking some time out before you start a job. A gap year working abroad is not only a fantastic way to travel, but also to add some serious skills to your CV to wow your future employers.

If you’ve ever wondered, how can I take a gap year with no money? Then we’re here to help!

Let’s look at some of the best gap year jobs for working abroad before or after college.

1. Become a summer camp counselor

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a common way to spend a gap year – and it’s such a cool gap year job. 

Read more: 5 Reasons To Become A TEFL Teacher

Working with children is viewed as the best way to spend a gap year by many employers. Communication is another important skill valued by employers. Employers love to see something different on your CV. You might not plan on teaching English forever, but when you return home, having been an English teacher will make you stand out from the crowd. 

Being a summer camp counsellor is an entertaining, energetic way to spend a summer abroad. Summer camp counsellors teach English for a few lessons every day, and then get involved in sports, arts and crafts, and other fun activities for the rest of the day.

TEFL teachers on summer camps are paid quite well, considering accommodation and food are included. Plus, your summer camp could be in an exotic location!

Read more: 5 Characteristics Of A Summer Camp Teacher

If you find you really enjoy teaching English as a Foreign Language, you might just choose to teach for longer than a summer camp! If so, you should do a TEFL course.

Instead of a gap year which wholly consists of drinking beer and the usual gap year jobs, teaching English on your gap year demonstrates your ability to work internationally, that you have great communication skills and that you really love a challenge!

Read more: How To Teach English Abroad On Your Gap Year

A TEFL teacher and learners on a summer camp in the UK

2. Become an au pair

If you enjoy working with kids, working as an au pair is right up your alley. 

Families hire au pairs to look after their children, usually while the parents work. This involves getting the child/ren ready for school, picking them up from school, doing homework, and entertaining them until the parents come home. It can include some cooking and light housework too. 

Au pairing is a great gap year job if you are a people-person and would like to experience family life in another country. Salaries are reasonable considering you live with the family. If not, your salary would be higher.

Popular countries for au pairs are England, Germany and Holland.

Read more: Working Abroad Opportunities: Here Are 10 Ways You Can Work Abroad

3. Find a job on a cruise ship

For those who don’t get seasick, finding a job on a cruise ship is a great way to travel the world. 

If you’ve ever seen Below Deck, you’ll know there are a range of different jobs on a boat – and a range of different boats to work on. Smaller boats offer gap year employment as deckhands, stewards/stewardesses and chefs. The bigger cruise liners also offer gap year opportunities for entertainers, waitrons, childcare, administration, management – even sports and fitness staff.

Cruise ship jobs salaries differ but their popularity speaks to their generous packages. 

4. Work for a volunteer organization

Gap year jobs abroad can be a lucrative gig for you, but they could also be a heart-warming adventure. Gap year volunteering is one of the best ways to give back to a community in your gap year.

Volunteering placement programmes abroad provide a controlled environment in which to serve a local community. It’s a great option for those who prefer others to deal with the paperwork and bureaucracy of finding a job abroad.

Volunteer organizations are always looking for volunteers, especially volunteers from abroad. Popular volunteering experiences include teaching surfing in South Africa, beach cleaning in Portugal, and conservation in Australia.

Read more: How To Find TEFL Volunteer Jobs

5. Try out working holiday jobs

Depending on your nationality, your country might have an agreement with other countries with regard to a Working Holiday Visa. These exchange programmes allow young people to live and work in another country in order to fund their travels around that country. 

Generally, there are no restrictions on the type of work you can do with a Working Holiday Visa, provided it’s not a permanent placement. Many people choose to do bar work or office work, but it’s also possible to do an internship or study for a short time. 

Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and South Korea are popular options for working holiday jobs.

6. Consider WWOOFing

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a popular gap year programme which sees you working on a farm for your gap year. Yes, the great outdoors! 

WWOOFing, as it is known, doesn’t pay but it provides food and accommodation in return for farm labour. As a WWOOFer, you could mend fences, feed livestock or work a harvest.

Popular WWOOFing countries are Costa Rica, Australia and South Africa.

We must admit, we think gap year jobs abroad are the way forward! 

Choosing to work abroad on your gap is never not a good idea. It provides you with opportunities to travel, earn money, and have experiences you wouldn’t otherwise have. 

While having a gap year under your belt won’t guarantee you a job in future, it can give your CV the edge over the competition if it has given you the right experience.  And it shows your future employers you are independent, adaptable and worldly, with international working experience. 

Now, how cool does that sound?

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