How does this program work?
U.S. citizens have access to a Work and Holiday Visa in Australia, which allows you to travel and take on paid seasonal work for up to one year (with the possibility for a second year visa). There is a lot of seasonal work available and young adults between 18 and 30 are able to take on such work as a way to help fund travels. The InterExchange program gives you a leg up and transitional support. It's generally not difficult to find short-term positions if you're pro-active, professional and a bit flexible. You can read more on the concept of a working holiday or drop us a line - we're the experts!
How do you help me find a job?
Our partner handles staffing for short-term positions in Melbourne and Sydney, often things like warehouse work, hospitality, office temping 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! They also maintain a jobs database listing positions throughout Australia. When you need extra help, friendly staff are available in person (Sydney and Melbourne) and 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. It’s very possible to fund all of your in-country expenses, and as long you aren’t an excessive spender, to put money aside for some adventures!
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 $17.70 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.
When do I start?
You can arrive any day and stay as long as you want (up to one year) but the optional Welcome Weeks begin on specific dates (see below). Many participants purchase a one-way ticket initially, allowing ultimate flexibility. The only time we would not recommend arriving is during the December holiday season and the first few days of the new year (about Dec 20 - Jan 4). You do not have to stick to a specific end date either. We'll ask for your best estimate so that we know when to send your alumni materials but if you decide to change this while you're in the country it's totally fine.
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.
What's the Welcome Week?
With the Welcome Week in Sydney or Melbourne, you'll get five extra nights of accommodation (seven total) plus daily outings with new friends, including beach and mountain day trips, a trip to Wildlife World, guided walks, and lunch at the Sydney Tower. For more information please contact us.
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 two nights (seven nights on Welcome Week program) to recover from your journey and connect with fellow international travelers. The hostels organize fun social activities to help you acclimate to your new home!
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 (with the option for a second year visa), but there's no minimum stay. We recommend staying for at least 6 months in order to get the full experience. If you can only do 3 or 4 months, you might want to contact us for some ideas so we can make sure you’re ready to hit the ground running when you arrive.
Can I extend my Work and Holiday Visa?
U.S. citizens who work in northern Australia for at least three months in tourism and hospitality or agriculture, forestry and fishing can apply for a second Work and Holiday visa.
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.
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. The support teams in Melbourne and Sydney can help you find housing and even arrange apartment viewings.
What other costs are there to consider?
- Travel medical insurance. You’ll want to make sure you have coverage and we can name some affordable options.
In addition, make sure that you have some savings, especially for the first month or two of your program Within the visa application you may be asked to show that you have support funds of AUD $5,000.
If you’re not sure if you meet the requirements for this program, please feel free to contact us to discuss. The majority of applicants will be accepted but it’s always good to check in with us so we can talk about your goals!