Four Working Holiday Programs for Students or New Grads
Doing jello shots off the washboard abs of the pool boy in Cancun is so 2005. With the reach of technology and the sheer number of devastating natural disasters over the past few years, students are becoming progressively more aware of the world around them and that awareness is seeping into their spring break and summer vacation plans.
We've touched on spring break volunteer opportunities before, but if you can't swallow the costs of a lot of these programs (and who can blame you?), there are still ways to make a significant difference in your community and the world around you with working holiday programs.
1. Hard Labor (WWOOFing) in New Zealand
Want to spend a few months overseas, but have no idea how to go about navigating work visas and finding a job? New Zealand has a multitude of working programs for people who want to be outdoors and aren't afraid of a little hard work. The work is on a volunteer basis, but hosts typically take care of modest accommodations and food for working on dairy farms and picking fruit. Contracts usually start at a few weeks, and can sometimes run for an entire year.
Find Positions here: World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
2. Au Pair Programs
Au Pair jobs are aplenty in Europe, mainly because there are usually government stipends that allow parents to bring on a live-in nanny that is partially subsidized by the government. It's great for the student as well, as it provides housing, an excellent opportunity to learn a new language (classes are usually included for a small fee each week) and a few days off to travel to nearby places for sightseeing. Most Au Pair companies also offer weekly meetups for their au pairs to intermingle and meet one another. Contracts are usually long-term, but there are a good deal of summer opportunities that last between two and four months.
Find Positions Here: Au Pair USA
3. English Tutors
English tutors are needed all over the globe and are, for the most part, easy positions to snag. Another plus for these openings is that they're typically paid and offer free accommodations for the duration of the assignment. Like the WWOOFing programs, the contract lengths for TEFL programs can range from a two week summer camp stint to a year-long position in an elementary school in China. Likewise, programs are offered everywhere from Asia to the UK and Europe to South America
Find Positions Here: TEFL
A growing trend in British Columbia is for young university students to spend their summers treeplanting for private reforestation companies. According to the Wikipedia page for treeplanting, a typical planter plants around 1,600 trees per day - not a small accomplishment. While this job can be financially rewarding if you're a whiz at planting trees (pay ranges around .25 per tree planted, so a typical day could yield $300 - $400), it certainly isn't for everyone. Days are long and tedious and the work is physically exhausting and seriously demanding on the body. However, if you're unbelievably outdoorsy and like the idea of roughing it for a few months, this might be a good way to spend a summer.
Find Positions Here: Tree-Planter