I'm thinking about going down to Australia next year through BUNAC. I am a US citizen so I have to go through a company. Has anyone done their program? Are they trustworthy? Do they give you everything they say they will?
Also to those that know more about the country, I'm trying to decide the area I want to spend the majority of my time working. The obvious three choices are around Sydney, down in Victoria, or up in Queensland by Brisbane. I'd like to work in a fun restaurant, preferably by a beach, yet not too terribly touristy (I realize the whole east coast is probably touristy but I think you'll know what I mean)
Thanks for any advice!
Check out Sams article on Working in Australia on this site. BUNAC are good, but you really don't need to do these programs in Australia. If you do want to get a starter-pack from one of the hostels. It will save you a lot of money. You can register at job agencies for free, you can pre-book accommodation at a hostel for free, you can open a bank account in 10 minutes, you can get a tax file number online in 10 minutes. You will meet people at hostels and at backpacker social functions. If you want to pay the money then do a program, but be prepared for the realisation that after a few days in Oz you could have figured it all out for yourself.
But don't I have to go through a program to obtain the visa since the United States isn't one of the countries that Australia will just give work visa's to?
Good point. Yes, you do; however, I understand that the USA is very close to signing the full Working Holiday Agreement with the USA in which case you can do it yourself. I would contact Interexchange in NY www.interexchange.org and ask them about the full 12-month visa. They'll likely try and sell you a package, but thats ok, that's their job.
I'll see what I can find out for you in Oz.
Im going on the BUNAC NZ progamme in 3 weeks or so, and so far it appears to be spot on. I like the idea of doing it on your own with a safety net, which when im 18 is reassuring for the parents as well as me! One thing that did catch me out was that they didnt cover me for insurance which I was raging at, but it was my own fault for not reading the small print. They can offer you insurance on top of the programme price but you will be able to get a similar policy for much cheaper which they allow, providing you sign an idemnity form. Robin