Extended Travel Abroad for the Young

This article is a guest blogger submission written by plonkee of plonkee money. If you like what you see, why not subscribe to plonkee’s RSS feed?

I didn’t take a gap year between school and Uni, nor between Uni and starting my first proper job. However, one summer I did travel to the States for three months at a bargain basement price. All together it cost me about £800 including flights, accomodation, insurance, travel, spending money etc. How did I manage it?

I was a BUNAC-er. I took advantage of the J1 exchange visitor visa that allowed me to work in the US for a few months whilst a student.

There are plenty of options for working holidays for students and young people. From the UK, you could go to the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand as well as all the European Union countries (although you’ll find it easier if you speak the language). From the US, you could go to Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

Working holidays in the US, Canada, Britain and Ireland require you to be a student (sometime a recent graduate). The Australia and New Zealand options don’t require you to be a student, just a young unencumbered person.

People generally work for a few months to save up some money and then travel for the rest of the time – I spent just over 2 months working in North Carolina and then several weeks travelling through Texas and the Deep South.

To me the best part about my experience was actually the time that I spent working. I got to know plenty of local people and to truly appreciate and understand another country in depth. .

It has been an investment that has really paid off. When I went to graduate job interviews, people were impressed by my international work experience and travelling several thousand miles independently massively increased my self-confidence. Travel really did broaden my mind.

6 Responses to “Extended Travel Abroad for the Young”

  1. Anonymous

    My husband came to LA on a J1 visa from Ireland…still here. It’s a hard bug to shake. Together, we’ve traveled to Europe, Asia, South America, and soon we’ll be indoctrinating our son, too 😉

  2. Anonymous

    Maybe over a summer, but not any longer than that.

    Worked my first job out of college with a guy who had spent several years working/traveling through Europe after high school.

    Trouble was he had just graduated from college at 30, had a wife and kids, but was earning first job wages – it was hard for him to even afford $300/month for the house he rented (even then, that was very little money)

  3. Anonymous

    I have always been a huge fan of traveling abroad for students – it just gives a wider view of the world. I’ve worked abroad before and it was a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing about your experiences … I hope more people try it out!

  4. Anonymous

    I totally agree. My university gave me the option of doing a group project in London for 7 weeks. We worked for a non-profit there, and got all the experience of actually living in a foreign country, instead of just visiting. It was for school credit, so we didn’t get paid, however. I’d recommend it to any other young person.

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