Gap Year Work Exchange Programs

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A Guide to Taking a Gap Year Work Exchange

Want to take a gap year abroad but can’t quite afford the “luxury” backpacking life? You can still take a gap year and work in exchange for room and board! Yup, you read that right—there are many places around the world that offer you free housing in exchange for work. Awesome? Uhh, yeah! This is also a perfect time to submerge yourself in another culture AND get some work experience. Maybe you will even pick up a new language while you work abroad for a year. Tight on a budget but still itching to explore the world? Find gap year work exchange programs now!

Everything else you need to know about gap year work exchange programs

Costs. FREE! Well, sorta. The nifty part about work exchange programs is that you work in exchange for room and board, experience, and a great chance for personal growth. Some work exchange programs are part time, which leaves with with down time to explore the surrounding area. However, since you won’t be making cash for your work, you’ll need to come up with another option to help fund the fun factor in your life. FundMyTravel is a perfect solution for that! FundMyTravel can help you save up for initial costs like flights and last-minute gear.

Accommodations. Checkmate. The whole point of work exchange programs is that you get free housing in exchange for working! You might get your own room or stay in shared living accommodations depending on the program. Maybe there were even be a chance for bungalow living or hanging a hammock near the beach. Confirm with the work exchange program that you are interested in to get a better feel for where you’ll be crashing when you aren’t working and having a great time working abroad.

Visas. Check ahead before you leave to figure out what kind of visa you will need in the country you are doing a gap year program abroad in. Since you are working abroad, you might qualify for a special type of work visa. Check out GoAbroad embassy directory to find out what you need, along with reaching out to your work exchange program.

Safety. The good thing about doing a gap year work program is that you will probably be in a single location for a while, meaning you can do in-depth research about this area and any safety concerns. Most work exchanges will do their best to ensure nothing bad happens to you. Since you might be a little secluded from the outside world, be sure to think in advance about how to handle emergency situations—bring an unlocked iPhone, confirm whether or not your placement has WIFI, etc. Keep your wits and you shouldn’t run into any problems.

GoAbroad's Inside Scoop

Work exchanges were MADE for people with that infinite wanderlust spirit but a tight budget. You get the chance to be part of a new community, especially since you’ll likely be living in shared accommodations with them. This gives you easy access to learning a new language, making lifelong friends, and getting hands-on work experience while living a simple life. All without sweating too much green!

It’s recommended that you save up some extra money before you leave or get another part time job while you are doing your work exchange program since you aren’t getting cash for your work. This lets you still have some spending money to take care of any recurring bills that you need to pay off (if only those could be put on hold) or go out and explore the land!

If you want to get extra work experience or you need a cheaper way to travel, working away for a year is path for you!

Keep reading about how to maximize learning during your work exchange gap year program.

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A Guide To
Taking a Gap Year Work Exchange

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Tutor English and Learn Mandarin in China

Live with a Chinese family for flexible 3-12 months with free round-way flights, food and accommodation to exchange your 30 hours per week of tutoring to your host family kids. You also get 4-6 weekly Mandarin lessons at Beijing Foreign Studies University or a local language school plus monthly cultural activities to enrich your stay! With 6 months or longer stay, we offer you a trip to Xi'an...

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Work and Travel Ireland

Are you a US student or recent graduate? Or are you an 18-35 year old Canadian? USIT has the perfect opportunity for you to live and work in Ireland for 4 months to 2 Years on a Working Holiday Visa. This is an opportunity to gain valuable international work and life experiences whilst receiving full pre-departure and on the ground support! With USIT's Work in Ireland Program you can take up...

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Au Pair in New Zealand

Being an au pair is about spreading positivity, helping out in a home, and contributing to the healthy upbringing of children. You will live with a host family and help in the care of their children from 6 to 12 month in New Zealand. You'll have room, meals and a stipend of NZD $180 and $295 per week. After applying online with InterExchange, we'll present potential host families that you can ...

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Tivnu: Building Justice Gap Year Program

Do you want to: Learn hands-on skills that last a lifetime? Make a concrete contribution to a more just society? Create your own communal household with other young adults? Explore what Jewish and other global perspectives offer in confronting our most pressing social issues? Develop your leadership and advocacy skills? Have adventures in Portland and travel in the beautiful Pacific North...

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Work and Travel in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Working abroad in Argentina is your chance to immerse in a Spanish-speaking country and the thrilling Argentine culture while getting to know the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. Add international experience to your resume and explore the incredible diversity the landscape of Argentina has to offer! Program Overview: - Live in Buenos Aires for up to six months with an option to extend - Work...

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Abraham Hostels & Tours is looking for Video Interns!

The Abraham Hostels and Tours is looking for Video intern to join the Marketing department. We're looking for a professional or amateur video photographers who can inspire people to join Abraham Hostels & Tours new video content. As a video intern you will carry out hostel or event assignments to help with online marketing and to keep the video library up to date. The best part of this job is t...

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India Business & Travel Programme

Our 10-day programme in India is designed with industry professionals to give you an in-depth insight into India's unique and dynamic business environment and how this impacts organizations operating in a rapidly emerging economy, primed for even further growth. The opportunity awaits you as your future employers seek to expand into new emerging markets, strengthen their communication strat...

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New Zealand Farm Exchange

Earn, learn and travel while working on a farm in New Zealand. We partner with a number of amazing farmers interested in learning about your culture and way of life. In turn, they’ll show you their culture and traditions. Throughout the program, you’ll gain valuable learning opportunities while working in one of the of the most productive agricultural countries in the world. Majority of the ...

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International Gap Year Experiences with Freepackers

At Freepackers, we help independent and group travelers find a placement abroad through our selection of 100+ gap year programs in 27 destinations across five continents! Dedicate your time to a placement for as long as one year, depending on the program and its level of flexibility. What are your goals or objectives while spending time in a foreign country? Do you wish to engage in communit...

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6 Month Scuba Diving and Marketing Internship

Paradise Interns runs FREE six-month scuba diving and digital marketing internships at Indonesia’s leading dive centres. Over the first month’s ‘marketing boot camp’ in Bali, interns are trained in branding, social media marketing, content marketing, graphic design and SEO. During the subsequent 5 months, candidates will have the opportunity to apply their new skills towards a professional port...