Gap it overseas
The most attractive option might well be a gap year overseas.
Your mind can be opened up to the huge variety of peoples and cultures in the world. Your experiences can shape your life, but they can just as easily be shaped by spending time working, exploring or volunteering right here in New Zealand. Here are some ideas to have the best time overseas in your gap year:
A gap year can be many things. It can be a great opportunity to explore the world at a time when you are not tied to a full-time job. It can give you the chance to put some funds together for your studies in the future. If you are looking for work experience, a gap year can give you plenty of this. It is what you make it.
The most attractive option might well be a gap year overseas. Your mind can be opened up to the huge variety of peoples and cultures in the world. Your experiences can shape your life, but they can just as easily be shaped by spending time working, exploring or volunteering right here in New Zealand.
Here are some ideas to have the best time overseas in your gap year:
Working in a school in the UK
A number of UK schools host gap-year programmes for foreign students to go and work as assistant teachers, sports coaches and boarding-house assistants. This can be a neat way to see the UK, gain experience in teaching or supervision (great on a CV), and to meet other students doing gap years from around the world.
There is a cost to this. Organisations such as Tutors Worldwide can help arrange your gap year, but will take a fee for this. You may be paid a small sum (around 100 pounds/week) but will receive accommodation and meals during school terms. With return airfares (required) and the fees, a gap year like this could cost around $7000. Applications close quite early the year before so get onto it reasonably smartly if this is your goal.
General work in the UK
There is a massive range of jobs available for gap year visitors in the UK, but you will need a Visa to be allowed to work and earn money while you are there. The most common form of visa in what is referred to as the youth mobility visa (YMV) which is easy to get if you are from NZ. You only get this once and it is valid for two years. An ancestry visa can get you there if you have a grandparent (by blood) who is from the UK.
Summer Camp USA
If working with kids and enjoying the outdoors are things you like, consider summer camps in the United States. These camps happen over June-August northern summer, and Kiwis are popular workers at them. You also get the opportunity to travel in the United States before or after your camp 9-10 weeks placement.
Camp America is the big player in this field looking after more than 1000 camps. They conduct interviews in NZ of prospective camp counselors, so it pays to read the details and get your application underway.
The European tour
If you’ve found yourself in the UK (maybe tutoring) or are planning a trip for your gap year, then a trip across Europe either on a tour group or on your own, could be a great thing to do. If you want to meet other travellers as you go, companies like Contiki and Top Deck offer group tours specifically for young people. Travelling in Europe isn’t cheap so do some saving up, but the whole experience will definitely be worth it.
http://www.eurotrip.com - Lots of info on travelling (incl rail) and accommodation in Europe
Travel and work in Australia
Why not take the time to explore this huge country, from the Eastern coastline to global cities like Melbourne and Sydney, to the wide expanses of the Northern Territory – there’s a massive range of things to see and do. New Zealanders are free to work in Australia, so a working holiday can give you unforgettable experiences plus could help with your next year’s study costs.
There are always opportunities for you to offer your smarts, energy and time to those who need it more through volunteering. You could end up on a Pacific island, a Peruvian jungle or in a Thai classroom teaching English. Projects can range from environmental conservation to sports coaching. Volunteering overseas is a great way to see the world and contribute something positive at the same time. Plus it looks great on your CV.
Schoolleaver has some great ideas about volunteering during your gap year [can we now link this to the site page on volunteering please?]
Check out these overseas volunteering opportunities with IEP
VSA – New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteer agency working in international development
Go Kiwi Go - global volunteering adventures
Some of the world’s best skiing or boarding can be had in the US and Canada, so if this is your thing, consider a skiing working holiday in North America. This is an ideal way to combine paid work and travel, making new friends and hitting the slopes in your free time. You will need to look at the visa and work situation, and will need to find some money for airfares and travel.
Work as an au pair or nanny
If you love spending time with young children, being a nanny can take you all over the world. There are a number of organisations that offer nanny or au-pair programmes that enable young Kiwis to live and work overseas as live-in nannies/tutors. It can be a great way to get to know a family overseas and experience life in a foreign country in a little more style and comfort than a backpacker lodge.
- Useful information about visas and working in a huge range of countries is available at Anywork Anywhere. This site also has information on volunteering overseas.