The InterExchange Work & Travel Australia program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel Australia open-endedly for up to a year. Your visa will allow you to take on short-term jobs to fund your travels. If you're an independent adventure-seeker but want support to back you up, this is an ideal program!
A working holiday should be an adventure. A way to try new things and meet new people from around the world. It should not be stressful. The InterExchange Work & Travel Australia program provides support on your adventure, particularly during the transition and during your job search. Start off with an airport transfer, four to seven nights of accommodation and an orientation session in Sydney or Melbourne, and enjoy a leg-up with job search guidance throughout your program.
Working holiday participants generally take on seasonal positions lasting a few days or a few months. Typical jobs include hospitality work, casual event positions, fruit picking, warehouse labor, telemarketing and office temp jobs. Our partner maintains a sortable database listing positions throughout the country and friendly job support staff are available for extra support. You will receive your member login details about two weeks before traveling.
Positions listed recently have included
- Event staff for sports venues in greater Sydney
- Warehouse picking and packing
- Retail assistant at a boutique clothing store
- Banana picking in Northern Queensland
- Ski resort positions at Mt. Buller, Victoria
- Apple picking in Jarrahdale, Western Australia
- Face-to-face fundraising for charities in Sydney
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the dates of the program?
There is no set start or end date but the optional Welcome Weeks begin on specific dates (see below). You'll decide your exact program dates and can stay in Australia for up to a year. Most participants purchase a one-way ticket initially, allowing ultimate flexibility.
How does the application process work?
Our online application is free to start and easy to complete. Just a few forms and documents and we're always here if you have any questions. Sign Up.
What happens after I apply?
After you submit your application, we'll make sure you've got everything in order and reach out to you for an informational call.
Once you've been accepted into our program, we'll advise you on getting your visa and set you up with our international partner, who will be there to support you on the ground throughout your adventure in New Zealand.
How will I be supported on the program?
Moving to the other side of the world can be stressful. InterExchange Work & Travel Australia includes support before, during and after your program.
We provide you with:
- Visa assistance
- Four nights of accommodation at one of Sydney or Melbourne's hippest hostels upon arrival
- Event notices to meet new peeps!
- Three extra nights of accommodation and daily group activities (Welcome Week program only)
- Comprehensive orientation session covering job search, travel and logistics
- Resume support
- Bank account opened on your behalf
- Assistance obtaining your tax ID
- SIM card with local phone number
- Help finding jobs and housing
- Advice on all things related to living, working and traveling in Australia
- Alumni resources once you've returned home
- WWOOF Australia Membership (must apply by April 30th, 2016)
What does orientation cover?
During orientation, you'll meet other travelers in Australia on Work and Holiday Visas and our in-country support team and learn how they can help you during your travels. You will also learn:
- How the Australian banking system works (your bank account will be opened for you in advance)
- Important details about working in Australia and the Australian tax system
- How to find housing throughout Australia
- Where the best places are to travel in Australia
- How to backpack safely in Australia
- Beach safety information
How do you help me find a job?
Our partner posts thousands of jobs each year, throughout the country. They also hire directly as a labor hire agency in the Sydney vicinity (and to a smaller extent Melbourne). Most jobs are low-skill and temporary in nature (warehouse work, hospitality, office temp. jobs, farm work, etc.), allowing you the freedom to work for a few weeks or months and then take time to explore Australia on holiday! When you need extra help, friendly staff are available in person (Sydney and Melbourne) or of course by phone and email.
Many jobs don't require previous experience so don't worry if you haven't worked before. If you have applicable experience or specific skills, we do have some jobs that would help boost your resume (e.g., waitstaff and chefs).
How long will it take me to find a job?
If you are proactive, professional and open to various types of jobs (rather than aiming for one specific position), you can find a job quickly! There are many jobs available and most of our participants land their first position within their first one or two weeks. Keep in mind that many positions are very short term and most people string together various jobs through their program to make it work.
Can I get a job placement before I get to Australia?
Most employers will not hire before a participant is in the country and often with a face-to-face interview. You will have access to the jobs database before arrival and it never hurts to do some initial searching and outreach beforehand.
How much will I earn in Australia?
The amount of money you earn depends on the type of job you do. The minimum wage is AUD $17.29 but many jobs pay upwards of AUD $20.00 per hour. Certain jobs (like farm work or resort work) may adjust pay to some extent if housing is included.
Here is a rough idea of the wages you can earn (all shown in Australian dollars)
|Factory or labor||$19 - $25|
|Hospitality||$19 - $25|
|Office||$19 - $25|
|Fruit Picking||$15 - $20|
|Resort||$15 - $20|
What's the Welcome Week?
With our Standard program beginning from Sydney or Melbourne you can arrive any time of the year and you'll have four nights of accommodation at the hostel. With the Welcome Week (Sydney only), you'll get three extra nights of accommodation (seven total) plus daily outings with new friends, including beach and mountain day trips, paddle boarding, a trip to Wildlife World, guided walks, and lunch at the Sydney Tower.
If you are signing up for a Welcome Week, you must arrive on one of the following dates (Standard program participants can arrive at any time):
- May 9th
- June 20th
- July 4th
- August 15th
- September 19th
- October 3rd
- October 17th
- November 14th
- December 5th
What happens when I arrive in Australia?
You'll be transported from the airport to a modern hostel in Sydney or Melbourne, where you'll get four nights (seven nights on Welcome Week program in Sydney) to recover from your journey and connect with fellow international travelers. The hostels and our partner organize fun social activities to help you acclimate to your new home!
What else should I know about the program?
Can I leave Australia and re-enter?
Yes. The Work and Holiday Visa is a multiple-entry visa, which means you can leave the country and come back during the 12 months your visa is valid. Make sure you are aware of entry/exit requirements for any other countries you visit.
Do I have to stay in Australia for 12 months?
No. You can stay as long as 12 months, but there's no minimum stay. We recommend staying for at least 6 months in order to get the full experience.
Can I extend my Work and Holiday Visa?
No, U.S. citizens are only eligible for the Work and Holiday Visa for Australia one time.
Can I take classes while on a Work and Holiday Visa in Australia?
Yes, you can study for up to 4 months.
Can I work for the same employer the entire time of my stay?
Under the Work and Holiday Visa, the maximum you can work for one employer is 6 months and some jobs are very short (e.g. one day or a few days).
How much does housing cost in Australia?
Sydney and Melbourne are generally the most expensive cities for accommodation. You'll probably pay around $200 AUD for a shared room per week if you are in short-term accommodation. If you want your own room, it'll cost more.
If you are staying in a town or city, it's worth thinking about staying in an apartment, or sharing an apartment. It's generally cheaper to do this, and you will be paying by the week rather than by the day. Our partner can help you find housing and even arrange apartment viewings.
What other costs are there to consider?
- Airfare (most participants buy a one-way ticket initially)
- Support funds of AUD $5,000 is a visa requirement. It's important to have savings especially during your first month.
- Travel medical insurance (we will gladly name a few options)
- Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate one-day course ($140 AUD), only if you want to work in a place that serves alcohol
What our participants are saying
I went abroad with InterExchange to Australia and New Zealand. I definitely would recommend it! My sister and I did a lot of the WWoofing program because we wanted to experience the full culture of the country. You stay with very friendly people and it is definitely a phenomenal experience. Bonnie
I know if I need anything I can send a quick email and be assisted right away. I feel secure with [InterExchange] staff and am grateful for the extensive information that has been provided. Keirsten