Great news for millennials who have always wanted to go to Australia: If you're under the age of 30 and have a few months free, we've got the inside scoop on how you can study, intern, volunteer, take a gap year, or work your way around Australia. The secret: Australia's Working Holiday Visa.
Officially known as the Work and Holiday (Temporary) visa (subclass 462), this magical document allows American citizens between the ages of 18 and "not yet 31" to stay in Australia for up to 12 months, study abroad for up to four months, pick up random jobs for up to six months per employer, and leave and re-enter the country as much as you want within that year. In other words, you could work and save up a bit for the first 3-6 months, travel around Australia for another 3-6 months, and even hop over to check out New Zealand in between gigs if you want to. Um, yes please!
And now for the fine print: you need to do your homework and apply for this visa while you're home, before you get to Australia. You'll also need a valid U.S. passport and about $325 USD for application fees, and you're not allowed to bring along any dependents for the ride.
Want to get started? Check out GoOverseas.com to browse through their extensive lists of programs, perfect for anyone who wants to teach, volunteer, study, take a gap year, or spruce up your resumé with an international internship. They've got a ton of options to choose from, from jobs in restaurants and hotels to PR internships—you can even become a scuba diving instructor, wildlife conservationist, or work outdoors on a farm, ranch, or winery. The best part: If you spend at least three months working in the agriculture industry (ie. picking berries or helping out in rural areas), you're eligible to apply for an additional 12 months and stay even longer.
This has always been a lifelong dream of mine, to head to the land down under and backpack my way around the continent visiting friends and working odd jobs if I ever needed more money to keep going. Most of my friends in their 30s talk about how "the clock is ticking..." as they worry about meeting men and starting families—I always respond with, "So is mine. I've only got two more years before it's too late to do the Working Holiday Visa in Australia." It seems I've got an entirely different ticking clock.
The good news is Americans over the age of 30 can still technically visit Australia for up to three months, so at least there's that if the long-term idea doesn't end up panning out. Still, fingers crossed!
Everybody knows Aussies speak English, but a totally different kind of English. Here's a cute video to help you remember how to speak Australian. Hint: the secret is to abbreviate everything.