If you’re a student or a soon-to-be graduate and want to travel for a few months before heading back to school or entering the “real world,” you might consider working abroad to help cover your expenses and gain a deeper understanding of the country you’re visiting. However, finding a job and obtaining the proper permits can be very difficult on your own to due to foreign labor laws.
Luckily for you, students and recent grads can turn to BUNAC, an international nonprofit student organization that specializes in facilitating work-abroad programs for young people. By applying for BUNAC work programs, you’ll save the time and hassle of negotiating confusing foreign labor rules on your own. And, you’ll have the freedom to start working and earning money as soon as you enter the country.
BUNAC offers the opportunity to finance travel and gain resume-enhancing experience through work programs in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. While BUNAC cannot arrange a job for you, it will take care of all the arrangements that are necessary for you to work legally in these countries.
Program participants do not need to have set jobs before they arrive, and BUNAC reports that most find work within a few days of entering the country. While it is possible to find career-related or office work, most participants find service-oriented jobs, such as working in a pub, restaurant, or shop.
For a fee of $205 to $495, BUNAC will:
- Obtain the necessary work permits and visas to work in the country of your choice,
- offer job- and accommodations-hunting assistance before and during your time abroad
- assist you in setting up a bank account and making tax arrangements
- provide travel information and guides
- host an in-country orientation before you begin working
- offer discounted, comprehensive travel insurance (insurance is mandatory)
Cost and rules for work-abroad programs vary by country. The U.K., Ireland, and Canada all require that you be a full-time student or that you enter the country within one semester of graduating. For instance, if you graduate this spring and want to work in the U.K., you have until December 31 to begin the program. Australia and New Zealand allow anyone ages 18 to 30 to work. Ireland and Australia allow participants to work for up to four months, the U.K. and Canada allow up to six months, and New Zealand allows up to 12 months.
All programs require proof that you have access to fundsÂ?$700 to $2,000Â?in order to support yourself until you start getting paid. Programs have no official start dates or applications deadlines, but it’s recommended that you apply at least three weeks in advance of travel for Europe and Canada programs, and eight weeks for Australia. The New Zealand program is so popular that it’s completely filled at the moment. Other rules and restrictions apply to each program.
For more information about BUNAC work abroad programs, visit the BUNAC website, or call 800-GO-BUNAC (800-462-8622). You can request applications online.