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The Best Countries For A Work And Play Gap Year (And All The Visas You Need)

The gap year. The ultimate millennial getaway and excuse to travel with zero worries about what we’re going to do upon our return. Whether you’re fresh out of school, uni or you’re just plain sick of the 50 hour weeks in your hospo job, take a break and go exploring. And if you’re pretty unsure with what to do on yours, (most of us are, don’t worry) jump onto this list of ideas. Visa info included at no extra cost!

South Africa

Visa: Volunteer Visitor

If animals and wildlife are your thing, volunteering on a game reserve in South Africa is one of the best experiences that aren’t just working in another café or shop on your gap year. Lots of different programs enable you to do rhino surveys, elephant monitoring, and local community work as well as horse-riding, bush walks and game drives. Proper Russell Coight stuff. Placements can often last up to 12 weeks and are super popular so get researching quick.


Visa: US J1 Exchange

Ever wanted to experience real American camp vibes? Here’s your chance to find your inner Lindsay Lohan and become a Camp Counsellor at Camp America in the USA. If you have little experience, you can still apply, you’ll just be in charge of helping the kids about their daily camp life. As a basic camp counsellor you can earn between $1250-1575 USD in a typical 9 week placement.  Even more if you have those all important qualifications and experience! The visa even gives you a 30 day period before and after the camp so you have travel around and get some more of America ticked off your bucket list. Just enough time to fit in a mini Man Vs. Food trip.


Visa: Various dependent on country

Sun? Check. Sea? Check. Gap Year? Sorted. If you love being by (in) the ocean, working on boats in the Caribbean is your dream come true. Cooking, cleaning, serving and other cabin duties would be day to day life on a beaut yacht – as well as soaking up the sun and scenery. Most positions are paid and some owners pay for your travelling costs which is a huge bonus. Check out Crewseekers for up to date job opportunities. Just make sure you don’t suffer from seasickness. That would be awks.


Visa: IEC

If you’re an avid snowboarder or skier, a gap year (or two, as the visa allows) in Whistler or the like may be the perfect adventure. Epic parties, amazing scenery and lots of fun on the slopes will be an amazing experience even if you have never been to the snow before. You could end up working in rental shops, restaurants or even as a ski instructor. All the costs (insurance, visas, funds etc) can definitely add up here, so it’s often wise to go through a company like IEP who set you all up so you have nada to worry about.


Visa: Working Holiday

If nature ain’t your thang, Japan’s city culture is definitely a go to. English teachers are in high demand, so it would be easy to get a job in this field, as well as the regular hospo and retail jobs. Although Japan is super expensive, if you’re working at the same time, you’ll definitely be able to raise the funds to explore the wide array of beauty and culture throughout the country. If Tokyo and the big city isn’t for you, Japan is home to some incredible ski resorts. Or, why not do both?

Image Source: Camp America

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