Gap Year - Overseas Work
The benefits of working overseas
Working overseas will provide you will all these new experiences along with the opportunity to travel the world and earn money at the same time. Financially you may find that you are better off in the amount of that you have to pay, allowing you to live life to a high standard.
The drawbacks of working overseas
Finally, although the yearning for fairer shores are appealing for some it could be the first time you have been away from home; and living without the support of family and friends for a period can be a daunting, if not lonely experience.
Finding employment overseas
- Ideally you will have visited the country before going to work there, and have made friends or there. Going to a country on holiday and going there to work are completely different experiences and should be treated as such. The things that you do and see while on holiday are not necessarily the same as you encounter while working. For instance while on you may have stayed at a resort and not seen life outside of the resort itself.
- Language may be a barrier that you have to overcome to be able to live and work there, as communication will be vital to succeed in your job. Being able to speak the native language will also make working overseas an altogether more pleasurable experience for you.
- If you haven't found a job yet, consider whether you do want to work in job day to day or travel and just work occasionally. If you do not want to have a more permanent base then you will need to find within bars and restaurants for example.
- To be able to live and work in your chosen country you may need to have a and or a . Visas can be obtained by calling into the for the country and they will also be able to advise on any work restrictions.
- Laws and regulations of a country should also be looked into as some are policed and the way of life may be very different to what you have experienced. You should respect the culture of the country that you are living in, i.e. in Muslim countries you will not be able to drink alcohol in public places and the dress code can be strict especially for women. You will also need to think about religious festivals like (where you will not be able to eat or drink in public in daylight hours).
- If at all possible try and work in a country that has a shortage of skills in your chosen profession, or one where it is highly respected as this can ensure a better rate of pay.
- Travelling to a country far away can be daunting for some and you may not want to put much distance between you and your loved ones. If this is the case you may want to examine the possibility of working away during the week and returning home at weekends. You may wish to apply for jobs within the UK that require significant travel to other countries as an alternative. You could also think about choosing a country that is easy to reach by plane, train or sea.
Places you may not want to work
If it is safe you should also heed any advice given, especially if you are going to a remote area of the country. Always think about your personal safety and do not put yourself in a situation that would compromise it.
Is it the right time to work overseas?
Although the thought of doing what you want, when you want may feel appealing it's worth thinking about how you will cope without those that have influenced you so far - namely your friends and family.
If you have lived away from home while studying at for instance, it may not be such a shock to you, however if you have never left the family home, managing housework, money, shopping and work could be a headache you might want to live without!
Working for the first time after University in another country may place too much pressure on you, so you may want to wait a year, by finding a UK based company. If you do need to experience the travel immediately, you can test the waters by looking at . This will enable you to get a taste of working away from home for extended periods, whilst being within a short and not too costly travelling distance.
Preparing to work overseas
- Calculate what your living expenses will be.
- Take any for the country you are travelling to.
- Organise all travel arrangements, flights, cars etc. (You may want to arrange for someone to meet you when you arrive).
- Ensure all are up to date; be advised that some countries will require at least 6 months validity on your passport.
- Ensure that you have enough funding for the trip and for any emergencies that may occur.
- Take out if necessary. Some companies may provide this as part of your remuneration package.
- Ensure that you have adequate supplies of any medication that you take regularly.
- Contact the company that you are working for and finalise accommodation, travel and work arrangements.
- Make sure that all lines of communication are open, i.e. your has enabled, has etc.
- Finally make sure you ring home regularly and that someone always knows of your location.