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Advice on Student Travel-I want to take a year off college.

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Advice on Student Travel-I want to take a year off college.

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1. Posted by rearview (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'm 17 years old and a I'm a senior in high school. I live in Florida, the farthest I've ever travelled is Spain. With my parents. And the most exotic thing we did was eat at the Spanish equivalent of Subway. It was to say the least, plain. I had a much different idea of what we'd be doing. I'm very self-suffcient and adventurous, my mom likes to supress that quality. I feel like my youth is being wasted everyday I wake up. I just go through the regimen of school, study, gym, sleep. There's so much more. I have to get out, and not just 3 hours north to UF. I want to defer for a year and go to New South Wales. I want to get an apartment, get a job, and find myself. I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Right now, I just see myself graduating college, getting a MBA and being another face in the crowd. I don't want that. I want to drive through the outback with Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger blaring while I see things i've never laid eyes on. I want find a hot Australian girl and have the time of my life. I want culture. I've had enough of American life. I want something new. So, a few questions:

  • Has anyone done what I want to do?

  • What is the best way to do it?

  • Is finding work easy?

  • How much will this cost minus the $1,500 for air?
2. Posted by TylerJames (Respected Member 333 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

i did the same thing when i finished high school. i really had no clue on what i wanted to do with my life and going to college and then getting a job and working for the next 50 years. it was not the path i wanted t go down.
so i decided to go off to australia and travel and work for four months. the problem with that was four months just isent enough i extended my trip for another eight months then i flew instead of heading home i went to south east asia for a few months. i finaly ran out of money and had to come home. then i had to chose weither i should go back to school, but travelling for that year only made me want to see more. i got a job in colorado and alabama for three months each and after that i left again this time for south america where i am now.
all in all i think travelling is an extremly good idea it will open yu to new experences andthings you could never imagine.

i went through a work and travel company. ii hadto pay about 300usd for visa processing and they offered a office in sydney with free internet and a travel info desk. to be totaly honest t was a waste of money they diddent really help me with anything but a ride from the airport no help with jobs, finding apartments ect. if i were to do it again i would just get a visa on my own, but with americans you can only get a four month work visa and you have to be sponsored by a company , like work and travel co. so i suggest just get a travel visa and maybe if you have some cash saved up you can live and try and find some cash in hand work their are plenty of these sort of jobs in OZ. some hostels have work centers and they ask you weither you want cash jobs or taxed work so working is not really a problem in most cases.
the cost really dependes on what you do, tours, drinking, diving ect. but i think no more than 35 40usd a day including accomidation should be alright.

good luck

3. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

You need a plan. Not a detailed plan, just a simple plan. If I were you I'd finish your degree so that if you do like it here and want to stay you at least have some qualifications. Or, finish your studies here on a study abroad program or something like that. At least then you're away from whatever it is at home that's bugging you. finding work as a student is quite difficult as you have a lot of competition; and you won't earn that much money due to your age and inexperience.

4. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

And to finish off my post..........You sound quite determined and with the right attitude I believe you will always find a job. As previously mentioned though US citizens can only get special program working visas and you have to go through Work and Travel Company, AIFS, or Bunac to get them and pay for stuff you probably don't need. There are other more long term visas, but at this point you wouldn't qualify for those. The USA is in discussions with our govt for the 12-month working holiday visa, but it will take a while longer before it happens.

5. Posted by isnoo (Inactive 77 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Rearview,

Hmmm...... sounds like you are totally jacked off with school and home life at the moment.

It appears to be something that many people are doing these days - taking a year off in between High School and uni. It is certainly something I suggested to my children as I feel they needed a break to make up their minds exactly where they wanted to go in life.

Of course there is always that problem of at the end of the year you may not want to return to school/uni to finish your course. Have you any idea what you would do in that case - as a backup profession without the uni part?

Do you have the finances to back you up for this travel you are hoping to do?

Have a look at this type of site - maybe it could be a way you could acheive your dream to get out here for a while. You will have accom and food plus be learning something totally different.

Hope you find a way around your problem.

With regards


6. Posted by mista2kool (Budding Member 40 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I had the same idea when I was a senior in high school too just myabe not as extreme. I chose a university that offered exchanges to Australia and now I am in my 4th year of uni in Melbourne. I love that I did things this way because it doesnt delay my studies at all and I have still been able to get all over the country during the breaks. I have fallen into a casual job for 13 hours a week at a fruit market that pays me 10$/hour under the table that I use for groceries.
I have met a lot of people during my travels that are doing what you want to do so know so its definitely doable.
My blog might get you excited for some of the fun things you might get up to:
I have also become involved with an awesome Australian chick who really helps me appreciate the subtle differences in the cultures.

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 10, 2006 6:33 AM by mista2kool ]

7. Posted by Channon (Budding Member 7 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Firstly - WOW!! I love that everyone is so opinionated about this and it is interesting to hear so many different angles. I would like to propose a solution that could assist in providing you with a working holiday opportunity in Australia and an experience that can go towards academic or career credit - INTERNSHIPS!!!
Unlike the Work and Travel company experience that the first responder spoke about, internships need to be structured and outlined in a trainign agreement and/or plan and signed by you as the intern and the host employer.

Internships can be expensive (when arranged through an agent) but if it is paid then you can do the sums and see if what you will earn is enough to pay back what you spend up front and give you spending money to travel the land of Oz.

One factor to consider though is that internships are generally unpaid but if you look at hospitality internships in Australia then wages should definately be included. Try looking into the QLD Whitsunday region and at some of the island resorts up there, i know they are looking for workers all the time.

The visa used for internships depending on your level of experience is a 416 Special Program Visa or an Occupational Trainee Visa (OTV) both available to all nationalities - check it out, could be an option. Good Luck, i hope your dreams come true sweety :-)


8. Posted by mistermike (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Good for you, rearview! Get out and see the world.

Good advice so far, here's another wrinkle to add. Why not go west and work on the mines? Get yourself on a fly in/fly out shift of two weeks on and one week off. There's plenty of work, the money's fantastic and you can live in sunny Perth on your weeks off - or travel during that time.

You'll have to sort out a working visa - I can't help you there, but I know that minesites are importing workers (skilled and unskilled) from overseas. You sound like you want an adventure... this will do the trick.

9. Posted by clancy_of_ (Full Member 15 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey mate;
I'm a seventeen year old Australian travelling to europe/morocco/uk in February next year possibly indefinetly;
surfing working and enjoyin life..
im currently in High School and am just finishing my final exams and have just applied at the University of WA (western australia) for a double degree in Health Sciece/Commerce and like you am sick of the usual grind of school....
if your lookin for a good escape deffinatly hit up Western Australia...often overlooked by overseas travellers it's an awesome place to start your holiday adventures; MUCH! less crowded than the east coast you can really enjoy an outback experience by heading up to places like Coral Bay and Exmouth...
trust me if your looking for an adventure book yourself into one of the Backpackers in Fremantle; it is backpacker capital of Western Australia your bound to meet some people just like you trying to escape from whatever has been their life's annoyance...the guides here are awesome so if you've got the cash you can do a tour; but if you meet the right people (as im sure you will) you can do it cheaply and enjoyably;
It's and awesome base mate; one of the best places in the soon as your bored of perth you've got the Southwest to surf and chill and the Northwest to sunbake/fish/outback adventure and surf some more...
give it a go mate; if you need any advice im living in South West Australia Dunsburough...
Good Luck