Gap Year

Best Working Holidays for UK Citizens

Christine Ahanotu

Christine Ahanotu is a multi-cultural writer and travel blogger. She is passionate about ethical, inclusive travel and using every opportunity to...

The famous gap year. More and more young adults are choosing to take time to travel and work abroad before, during, or after their official schooling. Packing your bags and heading off to explore a completely different culture is exciting but can often be wrought with many unknowns. Where will you live? Can you work? What countries can you go to?

A working holiday is a great idea for any UK citizen interested in taking some time off to explore, work a little, and make lasting memories. Read on for our recommendations on the best working holidays for UK citizens.

What is a Working Holiday?

A working holiday is just what it sounds like. You travel and work abroad, discovering another country while ensuring you are legally allowed to earn a living while there. A working holiday is typically a longer holiday than a normal vacation, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a gap year. Many people take working holidays in order to fund their travels.

To do this you must obtain a working visa in your country of choice. Luckily for you, citizens of the UK have many options to choose from. Explore the list below to get started!

Types of Working Holidays

Volunteering Holidays

A volunteer holiday usually means there is no monetary compensation for the work. This is a good fit for anyone with a passionate sense of community and desire to aid humanity in some way. It’s also perfect for those who are not looking to fund their trip while they travel. Some examples include:

  • Teaching English as a second language
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Humanitarian work

Paid Working Holidays

Paid working holidays means you receive compensation, though the amount varies depending on the position. If you are trying to save money, then an internship, office work, or agricultural work may be a good fit. If you are simply looking to make some spending/living money you can choose from an array of other options. Some examples include:

  • Intern in a field of interest
  • Work in an office as a receptionist or mail clerk
  • Become a farm worker or work on a vineyard
  • Get hired as a barista or bartender

Academic Holidays

For those that are looking to get a leg up on the following year, an academic holiday is also an option. You can apply for programs all around the world, as this would technically be a student visa, rather than a working holiday visa.

Countries that Offer Working Holidays for UK Citizens


Australia is known for its unique mix of wide open spaces and highly urbanized cities which are all considered top-class. Whether you dream of working in a bar in Sydney or doing environmental work in the Outback, you will not lack for beautiful scenery and the friendliest of locals.

The UK and Australia offer each other a reciprocal agreement that allows Brits from the age of 18-30 to work for up to 12 months. There is a fee of AUD 485 to apply and you must show you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay.

Program Recommendation: UltimateOz Gap Year, Work in Australia

9.53 Rating
based on 47 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.5


Singapore, a small but powerful country in Southeast Asia has a lot to offer, including affordable, delicious cuisine and plenty of nightlife events and festivals. And due to its proximity to the equator, you can expect a wonderfully tropical climate.

British citizens ages 18 to 25 are allowed to stay for up to six months, though they must be current undergraduate or graduate students to apply.

Program Recommendation: Paid Graduate Internship in Singapore

10 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10


America’s northern cousin, Canada is a fun and friendly country with phenomenal scenery - from the laid-back coast of British Columbia to the hip nightlife of Toronto. Never lacking in scenery, its northern location means that every season is bursting with color and change. Canada allows UK citizens 18 to 30 to apply for a working holiday visa through the International Experience Canada program. The type of visa is an open work permit and can last up to two years. Other requirements include having $2500 in savings for initial costs, health insurance, a round trip ticket, and no dependents.

Program Recommendation: Working Holiday in Canada | The Ultimate Gap Year to Work & Travel Canada

9.75 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • Housing 9
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.8


A bit further afield is the land of the rising sun. Japan is a naturally beautiful country with ancient history and rituals that will be a lesson in culture for any Brit curious enough to venture. Whether it’s observing a tea ceremony or learning to make authentic sushi you will be exposed to a very different and fulfilling way of life.

UK citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply to work in Japan for up to a year through the Working Holiday Scheme, provided they have over £2,500 in a savings account, no dependants, and a roundtrip ticket. One of the most popular jobs is as an English teacher, however, there are many other options to consider as well.

Program Recommendation: Internship in Japan by Asia Internship Program

9.44 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • Growth 9.7
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 9.1

New Zealand

This island country in the southwest Pacific Ocean is an island steeped in tradition. Its polynesian roots in Maori culture fills the country with ancient traditions and delicious food. A very interesting option, New Zealand working holiday visas are available to UK citizens, usually aged 18 to 30, for up to 23 months. If you apply for a 23-month visa, you must provide a General Medical Certificate.

Program Recommendation: Working Holiday in New Zealand | The Ultimate Adventure in the Home of Adventure!

9.5 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • Housing 9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10


If Buddhist temples and subtropical climates are your thing, you might want to explore Taiwan. Located off the coast of China, Taiwan is a small city-state island with densely packed but immaculately clean cities and sprawling mountainous beauty. Opportunities to teach English are extremely popular, leaving plenty of time to explore the island.

They offer a working holiday for those between the ages of 18-30 for up to 12 months. You must apply for a Resident Card at the National Immigration Agency within 15 days of your arrival.

Program Recommendation: Gap Year Volunteering with TRU Experience Travel

10 Rating
based on 8 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 10
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9

Worried About Travel?

We understand that a working holiday away from home may not be possible for all this coming summer. If that is the case, a virtual internship with GVI might be a perfect option. They offer 8 different programs geared towards gaining experience in a “for-good industry”. Imagine spending your summer raising money for a non-profit or teaching English from afar. And at the end you will have a letter of recommendation and references from leading governmental organizations, NGOs, or social enterprises.

Explore Virtual Internships

Where Will You Go?

The working holiday of a lifetime is waiting for you. Maybe you would like to lend your people skills to teaching a language or building a house. Perhaps you want experience in your future field. Whatever your goal, you can discover the best working holidays for UK citizens and more by checking out programs and reading reviews here on Go Overseas.