Work Abroad / New Zealand / Australia / UK / Ireland / USA through BUNAC

The idea of working abroad and traveling hit me hard several years after college when my job left me with too much time on my hands. I found a book called “Work Your Way Around the World,” and it made it  sound not just doable, but easy. That book started what would become several years of work and travel abroad starting with a program called BUNAC. BUNAC offers students and young people work visas of six months to a year in several countries. If you’re recently graduated, still a student or less than 35 years old you can get a working visa for Britain, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand (or the USA / Canada) with the help and sponsorship of BUNAC. For Britain and Ireland, you have to be a student or recent grad (within 6-12 months, respectively) and you can get a visa that allows you to have a paid internship (Britain) or work and travel (Ireland). For a working visa in Australia or New Zealand, the only requirement is that you be between the ages of 18 – 30 for Australia and 18-35 for New Zealand. While fees range from $430 – $799 for the service and visa, the benefits are worth every penny as they will get your paperwork in order, guide you through the process of obtaining the visa and provide you some assistance while you’re in country. I originally wanted to go to the UK but didn’t qualify due to the student restrictions, so I went to New Zealand instead. I now rank it as one of my favorite countries in the world. While the scenery is stunning, the people are what make the country truly special. Working in another country gives you a far deeper and more rewarding experience and closer connection to the culture than you could ever have as a tourist. While BUNAC doesn’t find you a job, they have job databases and accommodation support, as well as social events in each destination to help you get started. As for me, I found work shortly after arriving as a ski tech in a mountain resort, then later worked on a television show and movie. Your time working can be whatever you decide to make of it. Take a break and work in a resort for fun or add to your resume by working in your chosen career in another country. Either way, it shows future employers you have courage and determination. And maybe, if you time it right, you can work in all four BUNAC countries?

BUNAC’s Work America program allows full time UK and Irish university students to obtain the J-1 visa to work in America over the summer, and also a Summer Camp Exchange USA program, placing UK participants at a summer camp with a J-1 camp counsellor visa.

Comments, questions? – now it’s your turn 

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Showing 4 comments
  • Marigold

    I really want yo travel to Australia and working abroad seemed like a good option but Im 35 and can’t seem to find any sites that work with that age group. I would appreciate any advice. Thank you.

  • Ingrid

    Hi Marigold – since you’re 35 and no longer eligible for BUNAC or a similar program you may want to check into Australia’s Skilled Immigration scheme. If you have a qualifying skill that is in need in Australia you can obtain a visa that will allow you to travel there and look for work (this is for those under 50). To see if you qualify go to

    Good luck! Australia is an incredible country!

  • Kimball Edwin Durand

    To help one need of migrant workers finding work in Australia, that would be RPL. Get Qualified ( has expertise and professional staff to handle your inquiry. Trade recognition from them is recognized by many companies and universities as well and their short courses are relevant. I love their performance so let me tell the world about it. RPL is a walk in the park for these experts hired by Get Qualified.

    • Ingrid

      It would be great to hear about any personal experiences with this company – seems like it might be one to check out if you’re wanting to take courses on job search and certification of experience for working in Australia.

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