Working Holiday Gap Year Programs

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Gap Year Working Holiday Programs

Working Holiday Gap Year Programs

Guide to working holidays abroad

Turning your gap year into a working holiday allows you to earn money and gain valuable experience while traveling around your new country. No matter the climate, landscape, or job type, there’s a working holiday opportunity for you out there!

Interested in doing a working holiday? We’ve got you covered! Keep reading to find out about different countries, industries, budgeting, and more other details which will help you plan and organize your working holiday adventure.

Popular working holiday gap year countries

Numerous countries have visas designated to promote working holidays. Depending on your country of citizenship, you could have many countries to choose from when selecting a working holiday.

Here are some popular destinations for taking a working holiday abroad:

New Zealand

Rife with active volcanoes, pristine beaches, and an active expat community, it’s no wonder that New Zealand is a popular destination for working holiday gappers. Working holiday visas are accessible and available to 18 to 30 (or 35) year olds depending on your nationality.


Home to Guinness, dramatic landscapes, and cobblestone streets, Ireland is another popular option for those who want to travel while gaining work experience abroad. The Working Holiday Authorization is open to applicants of many nationalities from the ages of 18 to 35. The US and Ireland have a Working Holiday Agreement which makes it even easier for US citizens to visit Ireland on a working holiday visa, and vice versa.


America is vast and offers a plethora of opportunities for workers and travelers. Prospective working holiday gappers will need to be from one of the six countries that have a working holiday agreement with the US: Ireland, Singapore, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada.


Thanks to its wide range of exciting outdoor activities and easy going lifestyle, Australia is perhaps the most popular destination when it comes to working holidays. The working holiday visa is open to many different nationalities who are 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries). This visa will allow you to work for up to one year in Australia legally, and you can apply for an extension if you meet the criteria. However, on this visa, you can't work in the same job for longer than six months.

The United Kingdom

From the busy streets of London to Celtic Scotland or Wales, the UK offers plenty for those who want to travel and work. For citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, and more (excluding the US), the UK has a working holiday visa available under their Youth Mobility Scheme program. US citizens will need to secure a work visa to work in the UK.


Canada's working holiday visa allows people from several nations to stay and work for up to 24 months under their International Experience Canada program. From Niagara Falls to the cities of Vancouver and Toronto, a working holiday visa in Canada will have working holiday gappers maxing out their travel itineraries.

Costa Rica

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, Costa Rica is a popular destination for teaching English, working in tourism, and living abroad as an expat. Costa Rica has a special working holiday visa for Canadian citizens between 18 - 35 years of age. Citizens of other nationalities will need to get a work permit before jetting off to the land of “Pura Vida”.

Types of working holiday gap year jobs

When choosing to take a working holiday, it’s important to consider where you want to move, what type of visa requirements there are for foreigners, and the kind of work you want to do during your gap year.

  • Agriculture: Farms around the world often need extra help to plant crops, pull weeds, assist in harvests, and perform produce quality selections. Such work is plentiful in both Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, if you do three months of agricultural work in Australia, you qualify to receive a full two-year work visa!
  • Hospitality/tourism: Hospitality is a large industry that consistently has job openings all over the globe. Working in hotels is a great way to meet other travelers while working abroad. Due to its rapid turnover rate, the restaurant industry is another that is always looking to hire.
  • Sports & fitness: Whether you want to be a ski, surf, or yoga instructor, travelers can opt for seasonal work throughout the year to facilitate their travels around the globe.
  • Summer camps: Summer camp counselors are in demand around the world. Working at a summer camp is an excellent opportunity for those who love working with children in a fun and active environment. These jobs usually include room and board, too, so you’ll be able to save whatever you earn.
  • Retail: Retail jobs may not be unique, but there are plenty of opportunities for working holiday gappers to work in various shops and stores abroad. If you have strong social skills and fluency in the local language, retail positions are a viable option for those looking to work and travel abroad.

Planning your working holiday gap year

While you may be excited to get your working holiday gap year started as soon as possible, there are many things you need to consider before boarding your flight.

Working holiday gap year visas

Countries like the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia have reciprocal agreements with a range of countries that grant visas to young adults who want to work abroad. This makes it easy for citizens of some nationalities, but it may be unavailable for others. Be sure to research the requirements for your age and specific nationality.


While gap years often carry connotations of spontaneity, it is important that you plan ahead and budget accordingly. Some countries may require that you have a minimum amount of funds in your bank account and/or a return flight to enter on a working holiday visa. Ensure that you have enough to get set-up your first month and keep an emergency safety net in the event of unexpected costs during your trip.

Scholarships & grants

It is possible to secure a scholarship or grant money for your gap year. These can help cover flights, start-up costs, or additional programs outside of work you choose to get involved with while on your working holiday.

Read more: Gap Year Scholarships & Grants to Apply For in 2023

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a working holiday?

    A working holiday is a trip that combines work and travel abroad, allowing you to earn money while overseas. Working holidays usually last a year and grant travellers more time to experience a country than a standard tourist visa would.

  • Am I eligible for a working holiday visa?

    Typically, you will need to be between the ages of 18 and 30 to qualify for a working holiday visa. Some countries will only allow people of particular nationalities to apply for a working holiday visa.

  • Can I work in Australia for 3 months?

    Yes, but you will need a visa. A working holiday visa in Australia is typically a multiple-entry visa that is valid for 12 months.

  • How can I go on a working holiday?

    After researching which countries will grant you a working holiday visa, you will need to gather your documents and submit them. This is usually done online or at the destination’s local consulate in your home country.

  • Which countries offer working holiday visas?

    Some passports provide more options for working holiday visas than others. The most popular countries that offer working holiday visas include Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

  • Can you only get a working holiday visa once?

    Generally, working holiday visas are only granted once. Sometimes they can be extended for a year in some countries and for certain citizenship. If your working holiday visa ends, you can typically find another visa to extend your stay, such as a student visa or temporary worker visa.

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