Have you recently matriculated and don’t know where to go from here? Do you want to travel and make money at the same time? Then your best option is to consider working abroad. While this may seem daunting, many matriculants just don’t quite know what they want to do as soon as they graduate high school. Some take a gap year and some choose to enter the job market as soon as they leave school, while the lucky few who are able to continue studying will enter college or university. The most enriching experience would be to travel and work. There are many organisations which offer these opportunities to young people who have just graduated from high school and are legally considered to be adults (18+) who are able to fend for themselves.
Where are the best places to apply?
With the internet as widespread as it is today, you are more able to find these agencies that allow you to work and travel. Sites like jobsabroad.co.za, epicexchange.co.za, ccusa.co.za, awesometravel.co.za, and statravel.co.za to name a few. Some of these organisations place their focus on certain types of jobs, from au pairing to hospitality work to seasonal work to even working in agriculture and all of these need to specific training.
What jobs are available abroad without prior experience?
There are many opportunities available to you as a school-leaver who does not have experience and your choice depends on what you are willing to do or where you desire to go. In order of the above links:
They offer the opportunity for you to work in amusement parks all around the U.S.A, with jobs ranging from various tasks from Ride Operator, Games Worker, Ticket Seller to Food Worker. It will all depend on where you would like to work. They do require that you be between the ages of 19-29 years of age, be physically fit, and can communicate well in English and have a valid passport. Jobs Abroad has been doing this for over 15 years and has placed thousands of South Africans all over America, and you can be one of them too. If this opportunity appeals to you follow this link and apply, but I would suggest doing more research before making your decision.
Epic Exchange are a bit more diverse in the locations they have on offer for you to explore. Their destinations include Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A., Canada, Mauritius and the U.K. Offers range from Agricultural programs, Hospitality programs, Paid Internships, Au Pairing or simply taking a gap year. Gap year programs are offered in Australia and New Zealand and you will work within their local schools as an assistant while at the same time being immersed in every aspect of the local culture. Follow this link to review all the programs they currently have available, and I would suggest looking deeper into the one you choose for yourself.
CCUSA’s focus lies in the field of being a camp counselor in the United States of America. They have two programs specifically geared toward being a camp counselor, other programs include working at a ski resort (these are seasonal), and finally, they also offer practical training in the fields of Business, Management, Finance and Commerce. The practical training program lasts for 18 months, whilst the other programs are season dependent. For more information, I suggest looking deeper into what the programs involve and require from you by following this link.
Awesome Travel’s catalogue of programs seems to be a lot more diverse in terms of locations and work they have on offer. The majority of these jobs don’t need any sort of experience, offering placements in countries like the U.S.A., New Zealand, Mauritius, Thailand, South Korea, China and the U.K. In the U.S.A. they offer programs like a camp exchange, work exchange and au pairing. In Thailand, South Korea and China, you are able to teach English in a completely different world. If you like what you have read, I suggest following this link to find the program that most suits what you are looking for.
Start The Adventure as they are otherwise known, is a travel agency that offers working, learning and volunteering opportunities overseas. They offer work in locations such as America’s, Asia and Australasia with additional locations in Italy, Mauritius and the U.K. They have a wide range of jobs available in each location and I would suggest you take a look at their programs to decide which one works for you.
How do I apply for these jobs?
In order to apply for these jobs, you will first need your passport. This only takes a quick visit to your nearest home affairs and completing your application. For most of these jobs, you also need to be between the ages of 19-30. If you are 18, I suggest trying to gain some experience in your chosen field, for example, if you want to work in hospitality then it would be to your advantage to find a job in a hotel. Doing this will put you ahead of anyone applying for the same post since your training will be considerably less than someone who has no experience in the field. Once you have checked all of the boxes, you need to make contact with your relevant agent on one of the sites mentioned above or one of the many others and start the process with by making your desire to work and travel clear to them.
Whatever you decide you would like to do, remember there is no substitute for experience. Your travels will teach you more about yourself than you could ever learn while remaining in your birthplace. It might even help you decide what you want to do with your life, or help you consider the path you would like your career to take. There is no guarantee that what we choose to study will keep us happy 10 or 20 years down the line. Travelling to another country will help you discover more wonders and help you to grow as an individual as you independently work and travel new lands. It’s the best way to spend a gap year I would say.
Written By: Nathan Keytle
Last Updated: June 20, 2019