Work & Travel in Australia

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  • Overview

    This is your chance to dive into Australia and truly live like a local. Spend up to a year working and traveling throughout Australia while experiencing lively cities, incredible wildlife, adventure sports, and engaging with new friends from all over the world!

    Greenheart Travel’s program is ideal if you:

    • Are between the ages of 18-30 and want to live abroad in a country known for its natural wonders
    • Looking for an adventure, and are open to working a variety of jobs
    • Are looking for the long-term study abroad experience that you never had
    • Want to meet a community of travelers like yourself!

    Program at a Glance:

    • Sufficient salary to live and travel!
    • Assistance finding work in bars, restaurants, resorts, farms, and other short-term jobs.
    • Group program start dates
    • Pre-departure and in-country support
    • Welcome Week in Sydney with excursions and group activities
    • Friends, couples, and siblings are welcome!

    Ready to have the adventure of a lifetime? Check out our alumni’s video of her adventures in Australia here:

  • Eligibility

    You must meet the following requirements to apply

    • Citizen of one of the following: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, EU
    • Must be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa
    • Be between the ages of 18-30 years old
    • Must be outside of Australia for the visa application process
    • Be a native English speaker or have near-native fluency

    **Due to visa regulations for a Working Holiday Visa we cannot make exceptions to these requirements. These are put in place by the Australian government.

  • Program Dates

    The Sydney Welcome Week starts on Fridays, so you’ll arrive on one of these Thursdays:

    Start Dates Deadlines Availability
    December 3, 2020 October 1, 2020 Open
    January 14, 2021 November 1, 2020 Open
    February 11, 2021 December 1, 2020 Open
    March 11, 2021 January 1, 2021 Open

    Wondering when to arrive?

    If you have a specific industry that you’re interested in, arriving during peak hiring seasons can increase your chance of landing the right interview! 

  • Costs and Inclusions

    $1,450 USD

    Packaged into Program Cost:

    • Adventure welcome week in Sydney
    • 6 months of international medical insurance
    • Airport pickup and transfer to hostel
    • 7 nights’ hostel accommodation (shared room) and breakfasts
    • Group arrival orientation
    • 1-on-1 job assistance service, support, and advice
    • Bank account set up prior to arrival
    • Alcohol service certificate (allows you to work in bars and restaurants)
    • Resources and support for finding permanent housing
    • Cellphone setup
    • Australian SIM card
    • Organized social events and activities
    • Greenheart Atlas Program
    • Greenheart Club Membership

    Our Support and Services:

    • Online logistical and cultural training before departure from an Experienced Travel Program Manager
    • 24 hour in-country emergency support for the duration of your program
    • Job and accommodation support for the full duration of your program, not just the duration of the welcome week!
    • Visa Assistance as needed
    • Assistance preparing tax paperwork upon arrival and before departure home
    • Opportunity to apply for a Greenheart Grant to give back to your community at home or abroad
    • Highly experienced team of in-country support staff members

    Additional Expenses to Consider:

    • Visa processing and fees (about $450 AUD- you will apply for your visa online)
    • Flights and return transfers
    • Lunch and dinner during Welcome Week
    • Housing costs and living expenses (meals, utilities, etc.)
    • Personal expenses

    Wondering where exactly your program fee goes? Here is a breakdown.

  • Make it a Gap Year

    Work Abroad Australia is a tremendous gap year option! Our program is designed to have a structural component that assists our travelers with pre-departure and arrival logistics such as bank account setup, obtaining the equivalent of their Social Security number, finding accommodation, securing a job, and making friends! This work abroad program also allows for enough flexibility for travelers to experience self-discovery by choosing where they live, what jobs they secure, and when and where they would like to travel.

    This is a great gap year program for you if you:

    • Want a program centered around community
    • Are seeking guidance to help you navigate getting settled abroad, but desire the flexibility to work and travel on your own schedule
    • Enjoy outdoor activities
    • Are open to working a variety of jobs
    • Crave a travel abroad experience that lasts for 6-12 months
    • Are looking to add work abroad experience to your resume

    Skills and personal growth that our Greenheart Travelers have acquired while on program:

    • Customer service
    • Cross-cultural communication
    • Agricultural
    • Interpersonal
    • Leadership
    • Budgeting
    • Problem-solving
    • Traveling know-how
    • Strong sense of self
    • Confidence
    • Independence
  • Startup Budget

    The cost of living in Australia, especially in big cities like Sydney, is likely more than what you’re used to in your home country. So, it is important to budget accordingly to make sure you are financially prepared upon arrival and until you begin to make a regular paycheck.

    Here is a rough estimate of your initial start-up costs (in USD):

    Flight:                           $1200

    Program Fee:              $1430

    Visa:                               $350

    Savings:                        $2500-$4000*

    Total:                           $6000

    *this total amount is a requirement of the Working Holiday Visa, however, it is a good amount to have to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably until you start working

  • Income

    Average Weekly Budget:

    Your salary will depend on how often you decide to work and what work you end up getting into. However, you are guaranteed to make Australian minimum wage ($19.49 AUD/hour), and as long as you’re working 28-38 hours per week, you’ll be making enough to live and travel on.

    Wages and rent are paid weekly which makes budgeting your paychecks much easier:

    These weekly costs will, of course, depend on your personal spending habits, where you live, how many hours you work, and if your job provides a higher pay/accommodation, but you should expect to be able to save some of your paycheck every week.

    Although you will most likely spend any extra cash on travel opportunities in between jobs, you have the potential to make back your start up costs:

    Monthly Savings =                               $410.20 AUD

    Yearly Savings =                                   $4,922.40 AUD

  • Sydney Welcome Week

    During your first week in Sydney, you’ll have 7 days of activities and excursions where you’ll get to know fellow travelers and enjoy your introduction to this gorgeous country!

    Thursday: Arrive, hang out, settle in, and meet your new travel buddies!

    Friday: Orientation and City tour

    Saturday: Pub Crawl

    Sunday: Harbour Cruise

    Monday: Excursion to Blue Mountains National Park

    Tuesday: Visit Pylon Lookout

    Wednesday: Coastal Walk and Beach BBQ

    *** Welcome week activities are subject to change based on seasonality.

  • Orientation

    During your first week in Sydney, you’ll attend a brief orientation to prepare you for your job and housing search. Before you arrive, your bank account will already be opened – you won’t have to research Australian banks or finalize your account. Instead, the team will have prepared all of your paperwork in advance. They will also set you up for the Australian tax system and give you your Tax ID so you file taxes before you leave.

    During orientation you will meet the team and get all the information necessary to start planning your time in Australia. You will learn about life in Australia, when to work, where to work, where to travel and when to travel.

    At orientation, you will:

    • Learn about Australian culture
    • Review the yearly job market; what jobs are abundant and where
    • Be introduced to online job boards for future jobs
    • Sign up for any required courses you may need to be eligible for work, like the RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) if you plan to work in environments where you serve alcohol (resorts, bars, cruise ships)
    • Receive assistance in finding short or long term accommodation
    • Receive tax ID and learn how to file taxes when you leave the country

    You will meet 1-on-1 with a job consultant to review resume, skill set, and job preferences.

    Job Consultation

    You will have the opportunity to meet with a job consultant and talk about your resume, what other skills you may have that aren’t listed on your resume, and to set your expectations for the type of work that you would be best suited for.

    After the job consultant gets to know you a little better, you will be put on an Availability List along with all the other travelers. This list shows who is available to work, what their skills and preferences are as well as who is traveling and unavailable for work. This list is constantly changing as 50-60 employers call every day looking for employees to start working ASAP.

    Our in-country staff will call you to let you know when you have been matched with a job, which you can take or turn down. Travelers who are open minded to the work they do may start working the day after they are placed on the Availability list, where others may hold out for their preferred position or decide to travel first. If you’re looking to work, you should expect to have a job within 2-3 weeks.

    You may use this method to find work later in the year, though most travelers prefer to use the online job board to find subsequent work, especially if they have relocated outside of Sydney.

  • Jobs

    Most of your job opportunities will be in the Sydney area and in the southern region of Australia around Melbourne, Brisbane, and Cairns. Resort and agriculture jobs are offered in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. Greenheart Travel’s partner has professional relationships with trusted employers around Australia who pay fair wages and alert us whenever they have positions available.

    What are the most common job types?

    Hospitality, customer service, and office work are by far the most common job type as Australian companies report that the high level of service in the US and Canada tends to produce workers who are well-suited for these types of positions.

    Seasonal work in amusement parks, resorts, and on offshore cruises, etc. are great positions for more consistent and long-term jobs (3-6 months) where jobs in restaurants, bars, hostels, and hotels are widely available for shorter contracts.

    Working on farms and WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) are also popular among Working Holiday travelers who want to experience a different type of work outside of a city.

    Can I change jobs while I am there?

    Yes. Many jobs are seasonal, so it is likely you will hold more than one job in your host country. Also, visa requirements dictate that you will not be allowed to work for a given employer for a period longer than six months. Due to these factors, most Work and Travel travelers hold 2-3 jobs over the duration of their stay, which is a great way to travel to different parts of the country and experience as much authentic Aussie culture as you can!

    You will have access to an online job board which will enable you to check employment postings wherever you are. You should also call or visit the Center in Sydney regularly to keep informed of new work opportunities.

    Greenheart Traveler, Ashana, and her fruit picking co-workers!

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    There are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from your program manager, Zoe, who has lived abroad in several countries!
    • We make our program fees as inclusive as possible. We include things like extensive medical insurance for the duration of the program, airport pickup, and extensive pre-departure and on-program support, so you’re not on your own for any part of your adventure
    • Our alumni recommend us! GoAbroad.com Reviews
    • Exclusive access to the Greenheart Atlas, our interactive program that will guide you through your cultural immersion experience before, during, and after your program
    • Hands on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission based organization
    • Continued support throughout your program

    We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel participants and alumni!

    1. Greenheart Grants: Greenheart Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A Greenheart Grant is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.
    2. Greenheart Alumni Program: We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!
    3. Greenheart Global Leaders Conference: Each August Greenheart offers full ride scholarships to over 40 alumni to attend our annual conference in Washington, DC. Participants even get a chance to advocate for cultural exchange in a presentation to the US Department of State. You can see more about what GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.

    Read more about why people are choosing Greenheart Travel: Why Choose Greenheart Travel? 

  • FAQs

    What will my first week look like?

    Your first week is a time of exploration, preparation, and fun!

    All programs begin on Thursdays. The program start date that you select from our website will be your arrival date. Our travelers use this time to settle into their accommodation, review their itinerary for the week, explore a bit, and recharge for the rest of the welcome week ahead!

    The next 6 days will be dedicated to reviewing job resources, becoming familiar with local transportation, learning about housing, solidifying tax documents, meeting new friends, and getting to know Australia!

    Where will I live during welcome week?

    We have all of our travelers meet up at a hostel in the center of Sydney so everyone can get acquainted! For the first week you will live in shared hostel accommodation.

    Where will I live when I am hired?

    Shared flats, hostels, Airbnbs, and homestays are all potential accommodation options based on the lifestyle you would like to lead (i.e. backpacker or sedentary).

    Some jobs, especially those on resorts and farms, include housing or subsidized housing. Our in-country partner does take housing requests within the Sydney and Melbourne area. Regardless of where you plan to live, they are happy to provide guidance and resources to help you find accommodation.

    As a note, Sydney generally has the highest cost-of-living. In Sydney, you will likely pay $160-$200 for a shared room per week. If you want your own room, it is more expensive. If you are staying a while, think about renting an apartment with some friends or moving in with some Aussies, as it is generally the cheapest option. However, some jobs will only be short term (1-2 months) and it can be difficult to find a short or open lease, so you may need to spend more towards $200 AUD/week to stay at a hostel. Melbourne and other major cities have a lower cost of living than in Sydney, but most jobs are available in and around Sydney.

     

    Do I have to stay for the full 12 months?

    No, you don’t have to stay for the full 12 months.

    We recommend that our travelers plan a trip that is 3 months or longer, but it isn’t mandatory. In our experience, we find that it takes our travelers a month or so to get acclimated in their new surroundings. The first few weeks are used to secure jobs, accommodation, and tax information. Having a handful of months in Australia will allow you to fully settle in, work, and travel comfortably.

    If you’re looking for programs that range from 1, 2, or 3 months, take a look at a few of these program options:

    How long does it take the get a job?

    This varies. During the busy season when lots of jobs are available, sometimes several job prospects are already awaiting you when you arrive and you can start work right away. Other times it can take up to 6 weeks. Usually if there is a delay it is because you have rejected initial job prospects because they did not meet your expectations for some reason.

    Can I get a career-oriented job?

    The visa you’ll get only allows you to work at any one job for 6 months or less. Since employers looking to fill high-skill positions generally want someone for longer than that, it’s unlikely (although not impossible) that you’d get a more professional or high-skilled position. This program caters to people looking for a more casual work experience, and who are more focused on travel.

     

    Can I work for longer than one year?

    United States citizens are eligible for a second Working Holiday visa if they spend 3 months working in Northern Australia in one of the following industries:

    • plant and animal cultivation
    • fishing and pearling
    • tree farming and felling
    • tourism and hospitality

    This means you could work for three months in one place, then have 21 more months to work and travel as you please in Australia! Our in-country staff will help you secure this type of work if you’re interested in taking advantage of this policy.

    Will I need a car?

    No, public transportation is widely available in Australia, especially within the cities and urban areas.

    Will I meet other travelers?

    Yes, we’ve designed this as a group program! Each start date allows for up to 25 travelers.

    Our welcome week includes an orientation in addition to numerous group activities that allow you to meet a bunch of individuals who are also looking to work and travel throughout the country. Since you’re all on the same program, you’ll already have a lot in common!

    What qualities does Greenheart Travel look for in Australia Work Abroad applicants?

    We look for applicants that are open-minded, flexible, adventurous, hardworking, and communicative!

    Open-mindedness and flexibility are qualities that we seek because it is not uncommon that travelers work 2-3 jobs during their stay abroad. Not everyone will start off with their dream job, BUT everyone gains valuable experience—the more open-minded you are, the sooner you will find work!

    Adventurous individuals are great for this program because Australia provides ample opportunity for travelers to be engaged in nature and participate in exciting activities.

    We seek hardworking and communicative individuals because each traveler must be willing to do their share of work in order to solidify housing and employment. Our team works hard to assist and support our travelers, but travelers must be willing to attend job interviews and communicate with our team abroad.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.

    2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.

    3. Submit your deposit: A $300 deposit is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.

    4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.

    5. Skype Interview: Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    7. Commitment Deposit: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. Once you submit your commitment deposit you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Australia! The rest of your balance is due 60 days before you leave.

    The above process can take as little as 1 week to complete, so it’s up to you how quickly you’re able to complete each step.

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