UK to Australia or America

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific UK to Australia or America

1. Posted by livzippo (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Hi, I am a 20 year old female from the UK graduating in June 2019. I want to do some solo travelling before starting a career in London. I really would like to go to Australia and work on a working holiday visa in a city (Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney) and then do some travelling. However, I don't have the first idea how to do this! I can apply for a visa online I know this. Can anyone share knowledge or experiences with working abroad for a few months in Aus or the US my main concerns are:
-Where do you live? Hostels? Is this affordable? Do you have to share rooms with strangers for months?
-How do you go about finding a job? I saw that you have to do an online course about alcohol laws before working in a bar. Is it easy to find work?
-How do people make friends?
-Any tips or advise I might not have considered?

Thanks!

2. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 941 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

If you are from the UK, it would be difficult to work in the USA. There are strict requirements for people who come here to work. A working holiday to Australia might be a lot easier to organize,

Where you live will depend on how much money you have. Obviously, the better your job, the better your accommodations. Plan on hostels and perhaps finding a roommate when you arrive. If you manage something more grand, that's fine, but hostels are fun and a great place to meet people.

You won't have any trouble making friends. You will find them where you work and where you relax. Don't worry about that, just be open to new experiences and if opportunities to do volunteer work come up, take them. It's a great way to make friends.

3. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 661 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Have you checked the Aussie embassy web-site?
They usually have details about what visa you can get and what it will allow you to do.
I think they only allow agricultural work (quite a wide definition though) unless you have a special skill they need but I haven't actually checked as I'm too old for their age limit.

As for the USA, you're more likely to get a work visa there if it's for a company you already work for in the UK. Having worked in the city of London, I have many friends that have done an 'on secondment' tour abroad (Auz, USA, Canada, Dubai, HK, Singapore etc etc).
It's extremely difficult to get one as an independent traveller.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Dec-2018, at 15:37 by Andrew Mack ]

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5324 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Working in the USA is basically a non-starter. They don't want you, and there's effectively no visas available that allow it. (That's generalized; there might be a specific program for UK citizens that I don't know about, so if you really have your heart set on the US, don't completely give up on that yet, but do some research of your own first.)

Australia on the other hand (and also consider New Zealand, for which all of the following also applies) is supremely well set up to deal with a constant stream of (mostly) European backpackers, coming over for 1-2 years. As you already know, getting a WHV online is a breeze (just in case: only apply through the official website of the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs - everyone else is a third party making you pay extra for no benefit), but there's also a lot of accommodation, work, help and other infrastructure available that's specifically geared toward backpackers.

-Where do you live? Hostels? Is this affordable? Do you have to share rooms with strangers for months?

It depends a bit on the type of work you've found, and your own personality, but there's basically two patterns:
- If you find a reasonably certain job for a couple of months, you move into "share accommodation", which tends to be a regular house/appartment with 3-6 bedrooms (generally with a one year lease), each one rented out by backpackers for a couple of months at a time, with the lease either held by someone local, or by some backpackers who commit to staying there longer term. This works out a lot cheaper than staying in a hostel, and there's loads available - also quite a lot of locals just starting out, who just need someone to rent a room for a few months so they can use their part of the rent to offset the extra costs from buying furniture e.a. The big benefit here is having your own room.
- If you're drifting from short term job to short term job, or want to have the option to pack up tomorrow to head somewhere else entirely, you can move out of the central (expensive) hostels, and move into one of the cheaper "long term" hostels, where they offer decent weekly or monthly rates. The big 'benefit' here is that it's the way of least resistance, and you remain fully immersed in the (by then) familiar backpacker environment.

-How do you go about finding a job? I saw that you have to do an online course about alcohol laws before working in a bar. Is it easy to find work?

This is all very relative depending on your skill set and what you're looking for. Most people heading to Australia want to get a second year WHV, which means they're mostly focused on getting in three months or "specified work" in regional Australia (fruit picking e.a.), which is a requirement for that second year WHV. Loads of that type of work available for backpackers - you just need to be in the right area of the country before peak season for the local crops.
For more regular office work, you're competing with locals, but there's still plenty of breaks given to backpackers - frequently by Australians who did a gap year in the EU themselves. It's particular easy to find work if you have an in demand skill (IT, nursing, construction). But mostly backpackers in the cities tend to get the crappier types of work (call centers), or indeed do bar work and such.
Overall, how "easy" it is to find work differs a lot based on luck and mindset. Some people look for months, some people walk into every store in a shopping street and start the next day. Definitely don't count on being one of the latter, and make certain you have enough money saved up to last for a few months before you get paid for the first time. In general, think of working in Australia as a way to stretch your travel money to be able to travel around longer - not as a way to actually save up. (That's what you do at home before setting out.)

-How do people make friends?

That depends on your personality, and what you consider "friends". But there's loads of fellow solo backpackers staying in whichever hostel you'll end up at, and those who've just arrived are as much looking to connect with you as you are looking to connect with them. So just be "available" - cook a meal in the kitchen and compliment people on their cooking skills, browse your lonely planet and have a cup of tea on the couch in the lounge area (and avoid only looking at your smartphone/laptop!), and you'll be getting to talking with others in no time. The usual conversation starts "where are you from, where have you been, where are you going next?", but it's easy enough to get less superficial than that if you get a good feel for the other person.
Don't expect to make lifelong friendships (though that happens too), but finding some people to hang out with is definitely something you should be able to manage in a couple of days. This, btw, is easier outside of the big cities / starting hostels, as those tend to be large and crowded and anonymous. In smaller hostels, it's easier to recognize people you interacted with before. Also, once you're travelling on the road, you'll swiftly recognize people who're following the same route as you are, and you'll be bumping into them repeatedly.

-Any tips or advise I might not have considered?

The purpose of a WHV is the travelling part. Don't stick to just one or two big cities working the entire time. You'll regret it massively later if that's the only thing you'll have seen of Australia. (I know you already wrote that you intend to travel, but it's a very easy trap to fall into to keep working for too long.) Go and take advantage of the freedom of being allowed to stay in the country for a full year, and really go and explore. Go and work for a month in a medium sized city (or tiny town) you'd never heard of before - experience the "real" Australia! It'll be way cheaper (seriously, don't underestimate how expensive Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane are), and probably give you way more unique / memorable experiences.

Have a very basic itinerary sketched out beforehand. Feel free to deviate from that in a thousand ways, and go where the wind or circumstances blow you - but if you ever feel like you just need to get away from where you are at that point, or just want to see the next thing without having to spend time researching, then you'll have a next destination already lined up.

I hope this helps! Don't sweat the details too much. In many ways, spending a year on a WHV is just a way bigger experience than you can ever fully plan or prepare for, and that's a large part of the appeal - you'll learn to plan and manage on the road, and will grow more confident by doing so, which should be useful to you for the rest of your life.

Enjoy! :)

5. Posted by UliS (Travel Guru 119 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

The Australian working holiday Visa is now for up to 3 years possible of you Work for 6 month on a farm.
I was 2 month ago in Bristol staying in a hostel mostly used by WHV travelers, Joe's Place Backpackers, Upper Roma street, several similar places in the same street.
Unless as above mentioned you have special skills you will not get the best jobs. I meet some making good money Like A$55 per hour, and others being quite frustrated. In the same street where also job agencies ...