Work & Travel in Australia

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  • Overview

    Spend up to a year working and traveling throughout Australia with assistance finding work in bars, restaurants, hostels, farms, and other short-term jobs.

    • Sufficient salary to live and travel
    • Save up to $400 AUD/month after living expenses
    • Pre-departure and in-country support
    • Welcome Week in Sydney with daily 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
    January 16, 2020 November 1, 2019 Open-Full
    February 20, 2020 December 1, 2019 Open-4 spots left
    March 19, 2020 January 1, 2020 Open-6 spots left
    April 2, 2020 February 1, 2020 Open-3 spots left
    May 14, 2020 March 1, 2020 Open
    June 4,  2020 April 1, 2020 Open
    July 16,  2020 May 1, 2020 Open
    August 13, 2020 June 1, 2020 Open
    September 10, 2020 July 1, 2020 Open
    October 15, 2020 August 1, 2020 Open
    November 12, 2020 September 1, 2020 Open
    December 3, 2020 October 1, 2020 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.

  • 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 ($18.93 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

  • 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! 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

    Where will I live when I am hired?

    Some jobs, especially those on resorts and farms, include housing or subsidized housing. Our in-country partner has relationships with some property managers who lease long term and/or group housing, and they can also provide guidance and resources to participants to help them find other types of housing depending on where they are working. Sometimes the employer can provide assistance as well.

    Sydney generally has the highest cost-of-living. In Sydney, you will probably pay $160-$200 for a shared room (per week) if you are in short-term accommodation. 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.

    Will I be able to get a job that will enhance my career?

    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.

    If you’re looking for a more professional experience, consider our sister program in New Zealand! In that program, you can work in higher-skilled jobs for the full year of your visa. That program is a great option for nurses, teachers, skilled laborers, etc, looking to add international experience to their resume.

    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 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.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application Here: Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.

    2. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.

    3. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): 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. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts.

    5. Submitting Your Documents: Submit your required documents (below) at the link provided.

    6. Skype Interview (Approximately 10-15 Minutes):  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.

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

    8. 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.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Australia!

    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.

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to the program manager, Zoe? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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