Your child's gap year options: working overseas

With school finishing up in just a couple of months, Year 12 students are carefully weighing up their plans for the year ahead — and heading straight back to study isn’t the only option. If travelling overseas is on your child’s radar, we explore some of the exciting gap year opportunities if they would like to work abroad.

Working at a summer camp

Summer camps offer paid camp counsellor roles for periods of around two to eight weeks. As well as a wage, camp counsellors receive meals and accommodation, take part in training and orientation, and may be covered by policies such as travel insurance. CCUSA Australia provides information for students interested in camp counsellor programs in the United States, Canada and Russia.

Teaching English

Teaching English is a great option if your child enjoys working with people or is looking at further study in education, languages or social sciences. The first step is getting certified, either through a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. The best programs should provide practical teaching experience, assistance to organise a placement, and pre-departure and on-site support. Teaching roles vary from country to country but include everything from providing instruction in schools or universities to facilitating private tutoring or conversational English classes.

Becoming a nanny or au pair

For those who like working with children, working as a nanny or au pair is a great way to experience a new culture while living with a local family. Students heading to a non-English-speaking country can also brush up on their language skills. Au Pair Experience provides information for those interested in programs in the United States, France, Germany and Spain

Joining a volunteer program

If your child is happy to forgo paid work, volunteering programs can be a life-changing experience. Lattitude Global Volunteering can place them as a school assistant, teacher, sports coach, outdoor activities instructor, community worker, medical assistant or caring assistant. Roles are available locally as well as in Canada, China, Fiji, India, Japan, Malawi, Poland, the UK, Vanuatu and Vietnam. Real Gap Experience also provides information about volunteering, with opportunities across all continents. Volunteering programs generally have a placement fee, and airfares and accommodation may be packaged into the program cost.

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