Gap Year Work Exchange Programs

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A Guide to Taking a Gap Year Work Exchange

Want to take a gap year abroad but can’t quite afford the “luxury” backpacking life? You can still take a gap year and work in exchange for room and board! Yup, you read that right—there are many places around the world that offer you free housing in exchange for work. Awesome? Uhh, yeah! This is also a perfect time to submerge yourself in another culture AND get some work experience. Maybe you will even pick up a new language while you work abroad for a year. Tight on a budget but still itching to explore the world? Find gap year work exchange programs now!

Everything else you need to know gap year work exchange programs

Costs. FREE! Well, sorta. The nifty part work exchange programs is that you work in exchange for room and board, experience, and a great chance for personal growth. Some work exchange programs are part time, which leaves with with down time to explore the surrounding area. However, since you won’t be making cash for your work, you’ll need to come up with another option to help fund the fun factor in your life. FundMyTravel is a perfect solution for that! FundMyTravel can help you save up for initial costs like flights and last-minute gear.

Accommodations. Checkmate. The whole point of work exchange programs is that you get free housing in exchange for working! You might get your own room or stay in shared living accommodations depending on the program. Maybe there were even be a chance for bungalow living or hanging a hammock near the beach. Confirm with the work exchange program that you are interested in to get a better feel for where you’ll be crashing when you aren’t working and having a great time working abroad.

Visas. Check ahead before you leave to figure out what kind of visa you will need in the country you are doing a gap year program abroad in. Since you are working abroad, you might qualify for a special type of work visa. Check out to find out what you need, along with reaching out to your work exchange program.

Safety. The good thing doing a gap year work program is that you will probably be in a single location for a while, meaning you can do in-depth research this area and any safety concerns. Most work exchanges will do their best to ensure nothing bad happens to you. Since you might be a little secluded from the outside world, be sure to think in advance how to handle emergency situations—bring an unlocked iPhone, confirm whether or not your placement has WIFI, etc. Keep your wits and you shouldn’t run into any problems.

GoAbroad's Inside Scoop

Work exchanges were MADE for people with that infinite wanderlust spirit but a tight budget. You get the chance to be part of a new community, especially since you’ll likely be living in shared accommodations with them. This gives you easy access to learning a new language, making lifelong friends, and getting hands-on work experience while living a simple life. All without sweating too much green!

It’s recommended that you save up some extra money before you leave or get another part time job while you are doing your work exchange program since you aren’t getting cash for your work. This lets you still have some spending money to take care of any recurring bills that you need to pay off (if only those could be put on hold) or go out and explore the land!

If you want to get extra work experience or you need a cheaper way to travel, working away for a year is path for you!

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A Guide To
Taking a Gap Year Work Exchange

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Tutor English with Aupairia au pair program in Beijing

Interested in traveling to China with free flights? Want to study or practice your Mandarin and explore the world’s oldest civilization? Planning to enrich your English teaching skills? By having an au pair cultural exchange placement with Aupairia, you can live with a family in Beijing for flexible 3-6months with free round-way flights, food and accommodation to exchange your 30 hours per week...

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Au Pair in New Zealand

*APPLY BY MAY 30th TO SAVE $400* Being an au pair is spreading positivity, helping out in a home, and contributing to the healthy upbringing of children. You will live with a host family and help in the care of their children from 6 to 12 month in New Zealand. You'll have room, meals and a stipend of NZD $180 and $295 per week. After applying online with InterExchange, we'll present...

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Work and Travel Ireland

Are you a US student or recent graduate? Or are you an 18-35 year old Canadian? USIT has the perfect opportunity for you to live and work in Ireland for 4 months to 2 Years on a Working Holiday Visa. This is an opportunity to gain valuable international work and life experiences whilst receiving full pre-departure and on the ground support! With USIT's Work in Ireland Program you can take up...

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Work and Travel in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Working abroad in Argentina is your chance to immerse in a Spanish-speaking country and the thrilling Argentine culture while getting to know the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. Add international experience to your resume and explore the incredible diversity the landscape of Argentina has to offer! Program Overview: - Live in Buenos Aires for up to six months with an option to extend - Work...

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TIVNU Jewish Gap Year Program

Grow, learn, lead, and explore through a unique combination of hands-on learning and volunteering! Join Tivnu, a 9-month Jewish gap year program that takes you to Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. You will live with other program participants ages 17-20 from different parts of the globe, creating a strong community structured around a Jewish lifestyle and discovering the Cascadia (...

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Abraham Hostels & Tours is looking for Video Interns!

The Abraham Hostels and Tours is looking for Video intern to join the Marketing department. We're looking for a professional or amateur video photographers who can inspire people to join Abraham Hostels & Tours new video content. As a video intern you will carry out hostel or event assignments to help with online marketing and to keep the video library up to date. The best part of this job is t...

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India Business & Travel Programme

Our 10-day programme in India is designed with industry professionals to give you an in-depth insight into India's unique and dynamic business environment and how this impacts organizations operating in a rapidly emerging economy, primed for even further growth. The opportunity awaits you as your future employers seek to expand into new emerging markets, strengthen their communication strat...

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International Gap Year Experiences with Freepackers

At Freepackers, we help independent and group travelers find a placement abroad through our selection of 100+ gap year programs in 27 destinations across five continents! Dedicate your time to a placement for as long as one year, depending on the program and its level of flexibility. What are your goals or objectives while spending time in a foreign country? Do you wish to engage in communit...

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6 Month Scuba Diving and Marketing Internship

Paradise Interns runs FREE six-month scuba diving and digital marketing internships at Indonesia’s leading dive centres. Over the first month’s ‘marketing boot camp’ in Bali, interns are trained in branding, social media marketing, content marketing, graphic design and SEO. During the subsequent 5 months, candidates will have the opportunity to apply their new skills towards a professional port...

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EF Gap Semester: 12-Week Program in Multiple Destinations

Enjoy 12 weeks of exhilarating global experiences across cities and countries of your choice through the EF Gap Semester! Start the program in either September or January, and decide on a specific focus among language study, volunteering, and internship during two four-week skill-building modules. This program begins with a one-week orientation, which involves meeting your fellow EF “gappers...