Working Holidays in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand
A Working Holiday allows someone to visit a country for longer than the average tourist, with the opportunity to take on short-term jobs to save money or at least help fund the trip. Many people seek short-term jobs in multiple regions as a way to explore that country in-depth. In some cases, a working holiday also refers to the specific type of visa needed to embark on this style of trip. The idea is to have an adventure, make a million friends from around the world, and try new things!
What are the requirements for getting a Working Holiday Visa?
Each country has specific requirements, but generally the minimum age is 18. New Zealand has an upper age limit of 30, whereas Australia and Canada have recently increased their age caps to 35. In Ireland, there is no age cap but applicants must be students or recent students. There is no student status requirement for U.S. citizens doing working holidays in Australia, New Zealand, or Canada.
InterExchange offers working holiday experiences for U.S. citizens in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand for up to one year, though the specific duration is up to the person traveling.
For those seeking to visit the U.S., InterExchange offers several options under the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa categories.
How do I find work and housing?
You'll find lots of seasonal jobs! Common ones include waitstaff, fruit picking, hotel or resort jobs, office temp work, and cleaning. With a good attitude and some flexibility, it's generally not difficult to find short-term work. On the Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand programs, InterExchange provides access to jobs databases, support from in-country staff, and assistance in the transition. To help you with jet lag recovery, transitional housing is included or available upon arrival. Beyond those initial nights, most participants do a combination of hostel stays and short-term apartment rentals.
How does InterExchange help organize working holidays?
Working holidays are typically more freestyle and open-ended travel experiences geared towards those seeking more independence and less structure. That being said, InterExchange provides background support by way of transitional accommodation, an orientation session, access to social activities, work and travel support staff, and more. In some countries, the program will provide an airport transfer, open a bank account on behalf of participants prior to arrival, and provide a SIM card with a local phone number.
Participants are free to seek out work on their own, but the program is meant to give participants a leg up.
For those who want a guaranteed job, the InterExchange Work & Travel Australia, Outback program may be a good fit. This program starts with a beach getaway and a weeklong farm skills training in the Australian Outback. During training, participants are matched with a job opportunity. The work tends to be more rugged and suited for those up for manual labor.
Can I travel with friends or will I meet other people on the program?
Since there are so many solo travelers doing working holidays, it's not difficult to make new friends. We recommend signing up for group activities like surf or diving courses early in your program, which can help you make those connections! For those traveling with a friend or partner, working holidays are ideal since you can plan together where and when you travel and work.
How do I get started?
Applying for the InterExchange Work & Travel programs is easy! Read more online and look for the Sign Up buttons to enroll!
James is an education abroad professional whose career was launched at 12,000 feet, outside the Indian Himalayan village of Phey, Ladakh. He manages the InterExchange Working Abroad department and lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.