Popular Asian Destinations:
Australia, New Zealand
Quick Asia Facts:
Population - 30 million
Languages - English, Maori, and many other Polynesian languages and native languages
You will need a visa to visit Australia and New Zealand, the type depends upon the duration of your stay.
Australia & New Zealand Gap Travel
What is the attraction when it comes to Australia, New Zealand and the many Pacific Islands? Is it because they are about as far away as you can possibly get? Is it because many Australians and New Zealanders are our distant ancestors and therefore speak the same language? Is it because everything from the landscape down to the trees, is so very different? Or perhaps it is because the weather that we like to moan and fret about is so much warmer and brighter.
Want a thrill-seeking tour of Australasia as part of a round the world trip? Fancy learning to be a surfing instructor or lifeguard with a course at some of the best beaches in Australia? How about teaching sports to underprivileged children in New Zealand? Or you could take part in wildlife conservation in Western Australia?
My Australian Gap Year
I have recently returned from a 12 month working gap year in Australia, a trip that was one of the best experiences of my life! I travelled on a 12 month package with Real Gap which started off in Sydney with an amazing week of sight seeing, meeting new people and partying! Real Gap's rep was really helpful, especially during the first week because even though I was excited and looking forward to the adventure, it was still a daunting experience. The work experience program was very helpful in helping me set up my bank account, apply for an Australian National Insurance Number, sign up for job support and providing me with guidance in Sydney when I first arrived. They also helped me find my first job which allowed me to get the hang of how it works over there, after which I felt confident enough to go solo, do my own thing and find my own work with the knowledge that if I needed assistance Real Gap would be there to offer help and advice.
If you go to Australia on a working holiday or working gap year, be sure to go with an open mind and don't expect to land your dream job right away. I started off fruit picking on a vineyard for a few weeks which was hard work, but ultimately enjoyable and paid reasonably well. It also allowed me to work in the beautiful Australian countryside and get rid of my English sun tan! I then signed up to a recruitment agency which was owned by a friend of a friend and they landed me plenty of work, which varied from unloading a 40ft shipping container filled floor to ceiling with tins of Tuna, to helping move and set up furniture for a catalogue photo shoot! Although some of this work was hard going, it allowed me to see new places, experience working life in another country and meet new people who could provide me with other opportunities. I was never destined to be the best Tuna unloader (my office hands were too soft!), so I was fortunate to get an interview through a friend at a Industrial Castings company (it turned out to be one of Australia's largest companies) and I secured an office based Sales Co-ordinator role which was fantastic. This gave me a great opportunity to build my confidence, learn new skills and really immerse myself in the Australian lifestyle. The extra money was great because it meant I could plan weekend trips to various places of interest, I was able to buy a car so I could get about more easily, and I was able to play rugby and surf every weekend. At the end of my time in Australian Gap Year I was offered a position with the same company in their Perth office, and although this would have been an amazing opportunity, for one reason or another I had to return home (not before I enjoyed a 4 week road trip up the east coast to Brisbane!)
If you're planning on taking an Australian Working Gap Year, give yourself plenty of time to do everything you want to do because the country really is that big. There's plenty of work out there but as I mentioned earlier, go with an open mind and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty because it will be worth it in the end. I'm really glad I used a company like Real Gap because they were fantastic in helping me get established, secure my first job and I'd imagine it was far easier and less daunting than doing it by myself, but once you're out there make the most of it and take every opportunity that comes your way.