The Working Holiday: Not Just for 20 Year Olds

February 3rd, 2010 in Featured by cee 0
Helpful stuff

Many of you are wondering how we’re pulling off this little adventure of ours…

Did we win the lottery?
… Haha! NO! We’re not THAT lucky!

Did we have high paying jobs with salaries in the 6-digits?

Did we save every last penny we’ve earned for the last 8 years?
… It’d be nice if we had, but life doesn’t usually work out that way.

To answer your question, we are participating in what’s called a working holiday.

What is a working holiday, you ask? It’s much like it sounds. You apply for a visa that allows you to work in a country for up to a certain amount of time, while you travel around.

There are various programs that can help you achieve this sort of thing. In our case, we are participating in the Work New Zealand program with Bunac / IEP. Basically, we sent in approximately $500 and a preliminary application form. Within days, they replied with all the necessary documents and requirements for us to fill. We applied in September, and our deadline to send them our official visa application, proof of flight itinerary and our $500 purchase of mandatory comprehensive travelers insurance was in November, since we told them our anticipated arrival in Auckland was the end of Janary. They were very helpful and informative throughout the process, answering all our silly questions patiently and in a timely manner.

They also put us in touch with TravelCuts, with whom we booked our flights at a supposed discount to Bunac participants. (In our case, we chose to go with 24 month open-ended tickets, in the event we wanted to tour this side of the globe a bit more before returning home. This gave us flexibility).

The insurance covers us in the event of a medical issue or emergency, theft, loss or damage of property, flight issues, etc.

They guided us through the visa application to New Zealand’s Immigration Department, and processed all our visa documents for us.

Upon acceptance, they sent us loads and loads of useful info, links, etc. to help us plan our time abroad and start job-hunting. They really make the whole process streamlined and easy to follow. No guesswork, and there’s always someone to answer all your questions.

Bunac works in conjunction with IEP, their NZ counterpart. Upon arriving in NZ, we had bus vouchers from the airport to the hostel downtown, where we also had vouchers for 2 nights accommodation. (Nice not having to worry about where to stay when you’re jet-lagged from a 20+ hour journey). At the hostel (Base – Auckland Central Backpackers), there was also a job center and travel center to aid us with job notice boards and travel options.

IEP gave us an orientation upon arrival, where their friendly staff gave us loads of info on finding work, fruit-picking seasons, places of interest, transportation options, buying a vehicle, tours available, etc. They also set you up with a tax ID application and show you how to find a cell phone and bank account. It was all really simple with their help. And they are there whenever we need them for help in booking travel options, finding work, getting a car, etc.

Besides the above, some of the other services they provide to participating members:

  • Online member’s lounge with job listings and happenings around NZ
  • Free broadband and internet access
  • Document storage
  • Mail storage and forwarding
  • Aid in attaining 3rd party vehicle insurance (if you decide to purchase a car in NZ).
  • Luggage storage (up to 5 days free, then $20/mo afterward)
  • Feedback and guidance in writing your CV
  • Sale of WWOOF, FHINZ and BBH memberships
  • Organized social activities in Auckland

Honestly, we wouldn’t be able to take this trip without the help of all these services.

We hope to find work along our journey (some paid / some in exchange for accommodation), to allow us to discover and explore this beautiful country. There are many opportunities available, such as: WWOOF, FHINZ, Working in a hostel in exchange for accommodation, hospitality industry jobs, fruit picking, vineyard work, administration, seasonal work at ski slopes, etc.

– (More about WWOOF / FHINZ in a later post).

Our first goal is to see and experience as much as we can of New Zealand and it’s friendly people and to learn & to try new things.

…The second is not to starve while doing so…

We’ll share our experiences on this blog as they happen.

So check back soon!