The Work & Travel program is an amazing opportunity to travel and explore Australia for up to one year, while taking on short-term jobs and making friends from around the world. If you’re an independent adventure-seeker but want support to back you up, this is an ideal program for you. Start dates are flexible, as are job types and hours, travel and living arrangements. You can make this program your own while experiencing all that Australia and its friendly locals have to offer!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the dates of the program?
We accept applications for our Work & Travel Australia program on a rolling basis. There is no set start or end date but your visa allows you to stay for up to one year. For our Welcome Week programs there are start dates about once per month (see below).
How does the application process work?
Our online application is easy, and we're always here if you have any questions. You can get started by signing up now.
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 we'll advise you on getting your visa and set you up with our international cooperator, who will be available for support throughout your time in Australia.
How will I be supported on the program?
We're here to help you with your application, provide pre-departure support and guidance, and support you throughout your time abroad.
Moving across the world and getting situated can be stressful. We smooth your transition by handling logistics such as your bank account, connecting you with fellow travelers and providing in-country support via our international cooperator.
We provide you with:
- Four nights of accommodation at one of Sydney's hippest hostels upon arrival
- A comprehensive orientation within your first 4 days in Australia
- Three extra nights of accommodation and daily group activities (Welcome Week program only)
- Help finding jobs and housing
- Travel support
- Advice on all things related to living, working and traveling in Australia
- WWOOF Australia Membership (must apply by December 31st, 2015)
We also offer alumni resources for you once you've returned home.
What will I learn in orientation?
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
What are the jobs like?
Our international cooperator's recruitment agency posts thousands of jobs each year and their focus is in the Sydney vicinity. They also list positions that could take you to the most beautiful parts of Australia. 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!
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 do you help me find a job?
Our international cooperator will be there to assist you in person, by phone/email, and via their online jobs database. This is a recruitment agency with exclusive access to jobs in Sydney and the surrounding area. While based in Sydney, the staff are also experts on job markets throughout Australia and can point you in the right direction during your job search through the country.
Examples of jobs often listed include:
- Warehouse labor
- Event set-up
- Ride attendants at theme parks
- Fruit and vegetable picking
- Wait staff
- Retail positions
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.
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 but 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, but hourly pay is often much higher in Australia than compared to the U.S. job market. Plus, certain jobs (like farm work or resort work) come with great perks.
Here is a rough idea of the wages you can earn (all shown in Australian dollars):
- Factory or labor work
$19 - $25 per hour
- Hospitality work
$19 - $25 per hour
- Office work
$19 - $25 per hour
- Fruit-picking work
$15 - $20 per hour or contract rates
- Resort work
$15 - $20 per hour
What's the Welcome Week?
With our Welcome Week package, you'll get seven nights of accommodation (three more nights than the standard program) 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. Welcome dates for 2016 are as follows:
- January 4th
- January 25th
- February 1st
- February 22nd
- March 14th
- April 4th
- May 9th
- June 20th
- July 4th
- August 15th
- September 19th
- 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 the heart of Sydney, where you'll get four nights (seven nights on Welcome Week program) to recover from your journey and connect with fellow international travelers. The hostel organizes 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.
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?
- This depends on how long you'll be in Australia. Under the Work and Holiday Visa, the maximum you can work for one employer is 6 months and many 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 international cooperator can help you find housing and can even arrange apartment viewings.
What other costs are there to consider?
- Australia visa application ($440 AUD)
- Travel costs
- Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate ($140 AUD): This is required for working in a place that serves alcohol - even food runners will need this. To obtain an RSA, participants must attend a one-day course and pay a fee of $140 AUD.
- Travel health insurance (available through InterExchange if needed)
Are my flights covered by my program fee?
- No, please be prepared to pay the cost of your round-trip airfare.
The Work & Travel in Australia program sounds great! How do I start?
Sign up and start your application!
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
Photo courtesy of IEP Work New Zealand
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