I went to University twice before discovering the Australian working holiday visa. I’m 28 now and was lucky to avoid the recent rises in University fees. After being here for 2 years I can safely say that I have learned far more from travelling than I did from my degree courses.
If I could do it all again I would skip going to university and getting myself into debt in England and utilise the Australian working holiday visa in my early twenties. I’m 28 now and was lucky to avoid the recent rises in University fees that are putting graduates into life long debt before they even have a there first job. If there was an alternative that needed to be championed it would be a 2 year excursion down under. The Life experience, work and income opportunities in Australia are incredible and give you an opportunity to return home with so much more than the student loans company is offering.
And here are 10 reasons why:
1) You will learn more about people, culture and how to prosper in a modern multicultural society. There is a stark contrast from rural Australian townships compared with the complex cities like Sydney and Melbourne and experiencing Aussie life in different forms gives you the skills to succeed anywhere on the planet.
2) You can earn up to 3 times as much for standard service level jobs as you can in England and there are plenty of them. There is also an air of respect that comes with these jobs that is not present in England. People are valued as the country is not saturated with large amounts of skilled workers competing for labour.
3) The economy is flourishing and the big cities (Melbourne, Sydney Perth, Brisbane) are crying out for smart young people to do a range of skilled office jobs in the cities that pay extremely well.
3) You can stay in Australia and work legally for up to 2 years while working for the same employer for a six month period on the working holiday visa.
4) You can claim a good percentage of your tax back and when your visa ends you can claim all of your national insurance back. In a two year period this could be as much as 10,000 Australian dollars.
5) You are fully covered by the UK’s reciprocal health care agreement and the Aussie NHS is called Medicare and it’s quick and painless
6) Buying a car is cheap and very easy in Australia and you don’t have to mess about with separate road tax, insurance, MOT etc You buy Rego for the car which comes with thirdparty insurance and that is all. Then you can go tour your old banger across Australia and see all the amazing areas.
7) There are lucrative possibilities for job sponsorship for a career role and if you stay with the same company for 2 years you can then apply for citizenship then permanent residency after 4 years.
8) Australia sits in 3 different tropical regions and each area is very different for the next. If you can travel around in your cheap car you will have great life experiences from visiting places like Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth which are all unique in there own ways.
9) Sydney and Melbourne are rated as having the worlds highest living standards and it is truly a positive experience living in these amazing cities. You will soon realise how normal (and boring) your home town is by spending a few months in either.
10) If you do decide you love it and want to stay for a full 2 years, you need to complete 88 days of regional work – this in itself becomes a huge adventure hooking up with other 2nd year visa warriors adventuring across the outback looking for a variety of regional work.
I had an amazing 2 years working all over Australia. These views are my own and come from a British comparable perspective.