I went to New Zealand on a Working Holiday visa in 2015. It was an absolutely wonderful experience; one I loved so much, that I plan to hopefully do another Working Holiday in Australia in 2018. I... Canuck
Health & Safety
Submitted by Canuck - Winnipeg Canada University of Manitoba | October 02, 2017
I went to New Zealand on a Working Holiday visa in 2015. It was an absolutely wonderful experience; one I loved so much, that I plan to hopefully do another Working Holiday in Australia in 2018. I met so many wonderful people, who have now become "whānau" to me :) We still keep in touch, years later, and I've even gone to visit them. I was lucky enough to be given a job working in a newly constructed hostel. That became my "home-away-from-home", as I explored the North Island, went sand boarding down the Te Paki Stream, bathed in mineral mud, discovered the Shire and Hobbiton, met the wildlife face-to-face, and really just made memories that will last a lifetime. Overall the travel experience was excellent and one that I believe that everyone who is interested in it, should try.
The program I did my travel through though was.. a program. Looking back now, I honestly don't remember what I paid them for. I don't mean that in a rude way, just in a way that is unremarkable. Besides a two-night hostel stay (which amounts to ~$60), one Skype interview with a coordinator, an info package and mini book on the country, and well.. advice on what I should do before I left.. it was an expensive cost for very little. Upon arrival, I had somewhere to stay, which was nice for a first time, nervous traveler, and a membership to a sort of work/travel agency that offered me a one-time group orientation session, access to a computer during business hours, and.. more advice. I was aided in setting up a bank account abroad but it was a very messy process as the Customs agent did not sign the proper papers for me (*not the program's fault). A lot of the nitty, gritty work was done by me. I found myself a job, I found somewhere to stay, I learned how to budget, I booked my flight, I applied for my visa, I applied for my health insurance, all which was more or less completely on my own (or with the help of family members). Overall, if you're a young traveler that is adamant about having help abroad and needs the security of being able to reach out for it (keep in mind that it's across an ocean, from a different time zone), then it MIGHT be worth the money. Even if it's just for your first time alone abroad. Personally I, having done it once and having learned the ropes by now, would not spend extra funds to do it through a program again. I would sooner arrange it myself, and keep the money I would have spent paying someone to "be there just in case" instead on the flight out.
But.. To each their own.
How you do it is up to you.... but you should definitely do it!