Sometimes a week just doesn't cut it. But without a stash of cash how do you really experience a culture? Well, a working holiday visa might be the answer you are looking for. These visas, which are typically issued for one year at a time, allow you to truly immerse yourself in a new culture and live life the fullest. Here are some of the best working holiday visa schemes, and an easy way to find out which ones you qualify for.
Think sunshine, skiing, beaches, the outback, great restaurants and so much more. Australian working holiday visas are offered to over 19 countries and are issued for one year. From farming in the red centre, tour guiding anywhere to manning the barbie at a Sydney restaurant, there are plenty of opportunities to work and live Down Under.
One of the most welcoming people in all the world, with a country that has postcard views around every corner the Kiwis offer over 36 countries the ability to obtain a working holiday visa. Much like its neighbour to the West, New Zealand offers many job opportunities for foreigners, from picking fruit at their famous vineyards, to herding sheep at a local farm, you will feel like the true Kiwi welcome in New Zealand.
A country so vast that you could spend a lifetime crossing it. If you're a citizen of over 10 countries, you can find a working holiday visa with the Canucks. Canada is renowned the world over for its immense beauty. They offer opportunities for working holiday visas with positions like summer camp counsellors, adventure tour guides, and more.
Citizens from Australia, New Zealand and Canada can say “bonjourno” to a year working in Italy. You can hit the slopes, hit the classroom, or work at a wonderful summer resort whilst filling up on wine and pasta. Native English Speakers are often highly sought after for their ability to Teach English as a Foreign Language (a TEFL certificate often helps!).
Say “adios” to rushing and “hola” to a nice relaxed lifestyle. In Spain, life moves a bit slower. Spain offers working holiday visas to citizens of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. In recent years, Spain's economy was in a state of crisis, but it is rebounding in a big way. Opportunities for native English speakers are in high demand for teaching and tourism. (again, the TEFL certificate helps here!).
Generations of young people from around the world can’t be wrong, a gap year or two in the UK is an amazing experience. The U.K. offers the opportunity for citizens from 8 countries to enter a program called the Youth Mobility Scheme. This program allows for a 2-year stay. For some, it can be a great opportunity to sharpen their English skills from the original source of the language. For others, they can take advantage of London's bustling economy, or head to on of the many small villages and towns for a more relaxed experience.
If you want to experience a truly different cultural experience, a working holiday visa in Japan should be at the top of your list. Japan offers 10 different countries the ability to live and work and take advantage of their explosive economy and innovative delights. Not sure of where to work? If you are a native English speaker, your mother tongue with be highly sought after for English lessons and in tourism.
An amazing base to explore Asia and a global city in its own right, Singapore has a lot to offer. If you are a student or a recent graduate, from 1 of 8 countries, and aged 18 to 25, you can likely find a job easily with your working holiday visa in Singapore. Their economy continues to grow, offering great opportunities for native English speakers. Unlike other working holiday visas, theirs is only good for 6 months.
To find out if you're eligible for a working holiday visa in any of these countries, click here.
The citizens of some countries have some wonderful opportunities. Are you from one of these places?
If you are a US Citizen:
As a US citizen, you may be eligible under the Working Holiday Visa programme in Ireland. To qualify, you must be over 18 years of age and enrolled in, or graduated from in the last year, postsecondary education. You can also investigate living and working in Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea.
If you are a British citizen:
Currently, you can legally work in any EU country with any additional visa. However, this may change soon as a result of Brexit. British citizens can also obtain working holiday visas to: Canada, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia or New Zealand.
If you are a Canadian citizen:
There are over 32 countries that offer working holiday visas around the world for Canadians. As a Canadian citizen, you may be eligible for a working holiday in many European countries, parts of Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and several Asian countries.
If you are an Australian citizen:
Much like Canadians, the world is truly your oyster as an Australian. There are over 32 countries that offer working holiday visas around the world. From Europe to the USA, to Asia, there are several options to obtain your working holiday visa.
For Canadians, Brits, Americans, and Australians, you typically need to be under 30 or 35 years of age and have a sum of money (determined by the country) in your bank account. If you are not from any of the above countries, or you want to find out more, find out exactly where you can live using our Smart Wizard.
Living abroad can truly be the experience of a lifetime. We spoke to 2 young women who have experienced life and culture in foreign countries. Below, they share their experiences:
Krista D'Elia, 27
Citizenship: Canada / USA
Visa: Student Visa in Spain
I participated in the Auxiliar de Conversacion program in Madrid through the Spanish government. This program allows Canadian citizens to live and work in Spain as English Language Assistants in schools. I loved having the opportunity to be an assistant teacher and make a meaningful impact on students' lives. I was able to learn a lot from them and in turn taught them about Canadian culture.
Spain was an amazing place to be. From the food, to the weather, and the language, it was really hard to leave! The best thing about being an auxiliar in Madrid was having the freedom to travel around Europe. I was able to visit every country in the EU during my 2 years, which inspired by travel blog, Chasing Krista.
The one thing that I really didn't like about the program was the headache of getting the visa, the paperwork, and the many back and forth trips to the ministry. Luckily, I had wherecani.live who connected me to the resources I needed. Even with the stacks of paperwork, going to Spain and teaching was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Meghan Chatellier, 27
Visa: Working holiday visa in New Zealand
The working holiday visa process for New Zealand was incredibly easy. It was all online and was only a few questions about general health and profession. For US citizens, there is no fee required, and we heard back in a few weeks about our acceptance.
The New Zealand government gave us clear instructions of the visa process once we arrived in the country. We had to get a tax ID number and a bank account. Then we were able to start applying for jobs. I've really loved being in New Zealand. Everyone is really friendly and curious about our travel. They want to know where you've been, where you're going, etc.
Most Kiwis are very well-travelled, so they appreciate having people here visiting their country. I've been lucky enough to see many parts of New Zealand, and have travelled to Australia, Bali, and Fiji. I've also had jobs I never thought I would, like working on farms, tending to lambs, and picking fruit for a wine harvest, which was a really incredible experience. Kiwis are great people and New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful. Living in New Zealand forced me to live outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to be more adventurous. Since I've been here I've been sky diving, bungee jumping, and glacier hiking!
The hardest part of being so far away is not being able to see my family for the holidays. I am from Boston, and the 24-hour flight is not very accessible.
To find out where you can go on a Working Holiday Visa use our Smart Wizard