Why young people love to take a working holiday in Australia?


According to the latest statistics released by Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection, there were a total of 175,740 first Working Holiday visa applications, 43,383 second Working Holiday visa applications, and 12,267 Work and Holiday visa applications lodged in the year of 2014–2015. By the end of June 2015, there were 136,892 Working Holiday visa holders and 7026 Work and Holiday visa holders in Australia, with 17 per cent increase in the number of Work and Holiday visa holders compared to 30 June 2014. (Statistics and The Working Holiday Maker bi-annual report available at: http://www.border.gov.au/ReportsandPublications/Documents/statistics/working-holiday-report-june15.pdf)

(Image source: the Department 2015 Working Holiday Marker visa program report)

What is on earth the working holiday?

You may have heard of Australian working holiday marker visa program, which allows young travellers to briefly undertake employment for funding their travel expense during their 12-months stay in Australia. The program is officially provided under reciprocal agreement to encourage cultural exchange and communication between Australia and 38 partner countries, with particular emphasis on young people aged between 18 and 35. (For more visa application details, click at https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Appl/Working-holiday)

With a working holiday visa in your hand, you are endowed with work rights to find jobs and earn extra money equally as Australian locals. For most young adults, such like students in their gap years, taking a working holiday enables them to explore new cultures and lifestyles in a new country without worrying about the costly travel expenses.

Why people have working holidays in Australia?

It allows you to stay longer and experience more.

Compared with ordinary tourist visa, a working holiday visa usually grants you a much longer stay in a country. Take Australia as an example, the standard tourist visa’s period of validity is 90 days while the duration of working holiday holder lasts up to 12 months. Work aside; working holiday can be a good choice for those people who hope to legally stay in a country for a quite long period without overstaying their visa and entry-exit limitation. If you are keen to explore, Australia is a place for you.

Carman, 19 years old, comes form Hong Kong and now works as a full-time cashier in a Japanese restaurant at Melbourne CBD. She has been in Melbourne for nearly 3 months, planning to work the first 6 months and then go to travel during her 1-year visa validation.

I first met Carmen at Hong Kong International Airport in February this year. She sat besides me in the departure lounge. At that time, I was flying to Melbourne for the commencement of my second semester and she was going to start her working holiday plan in Australia during her gap year.

“I don’t believe that one can understand a country’s culture within several weeks short tours. I have been to Australia with my parents when I was a little child. As a tourist, we almost know and learn a new place from an outsider’s perspective. However, I desire to experience local cultures and working environments in person and hope to gain a better cultural understanding of a country in an inside way, so I prefer to work and live as locals do when I go to Australia, ” she said.

“I want to stay longer and experience more. Maybe that’s why I choose to do a working holiday there.” she told me and could not hide his excitement.

The Australian government spokesman told China Youth Daily, as China has been newly included into eligible partner countries that “Working holiday program provides applicants a unique chance to experience Australian culture in their lifetime. It also brings opportunities for fostering close ties and culture communication between two countries and citizens.”

It helps you to embrace new lifestyles in most livable cities.

It is true that there is no other country has as many livable city titles as Australia. Melbourne has topped the world’s most livable city for the fifth year in a row, as well as Adelaide ranks the fifth on the 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit report. With low population density, high stability, excellent education and better live environment, these cities in Australia have a strong appeal for visitors and attract millions of people around the world to come every year.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said to ABC news that “Melbourne has the best of everything and this title proves it. Perfect scores in health care, education and infrastructure, culture, environment and sport are all proof there’s no place like Victoria.”

It reminds me of what Carman told me before, “Australia never disappoints you.”

“I didn’t realize how livable it is until I came and lived here. I usually start my days with a cup of white flat and go for a delicate brunch on lazy weekends. Unlike the fast-paced and high-pressure lifestyle in Hong Kong, the people here better know how to balance work and life, ” she said.

“Since I’ve stayed here for a quite long time, I have a chance to make some local friends and I usually join them for a day excursion or short tour on the outskirt of city. They help me to fit in a new culture and let me luckily embrace a new lifestyle.”

It offers you abundance of job opportunities and success.

With a working holiday visa, you can work as part time or as full time as you want, as well as many different jobs. You are given the possibility to try a variety of works, ranging from agriculture, mining, construction and service industry. You may even accept a job that you never consider before. After all, you cannot predict what might happen in your adventure of working holiday in Australia.

Perhaps Ashley has never expected to work as a fruit picker before she came to Australia.

Ashley is a Malaysian girl, who has come to Australia holding a working holiday visa for almost six months. She now works at an orchard in Red Hill, Victoria.

“I never thought that I would work in an orchard and become a fruit picker. Before I came to Melbourne, I have worked as a sushi chef in Sydney for three months. It’s the first time for me to make sushi and pick fruits, but I do enjoy trying different jobs and gaining new working skills,” She said.

It is revealed by the Department 2015 report that over 80 per cent of working holiday visa holders are employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, and following are construction and mining fields. A wide stretch of Australian land has offered different types of job opportunities for working holiday holders. On the working holiday visa, holders are endowed with equal rights to work for the same amount of money as local workers. The Australian minimum wage allows you to live and travel comfortably.

(Image source: the Department 2015 2015 Working Holiday Marker visa program report)

Undoubtedly, working holiday enables you to actively arrange your schedule in a more free and sustainable way. Work first or holiday first? It’s all up to you.

“Honestly, I love the idea of working holiday, which allows me to work as I go. I mean I don’t need to leave until I have saved enough money, because I can keep refilling my travel funds through short-term employment. I move to one city working and travelling, and then I move to another city continuing to work and travel. I’ve been to Sydney and Melbourne, and my next destination will be Brisbane. However, I am not sure what my next job will be in Brisbane.” she said.

There is a quote documented in H. Jackson Brown Jr.’s P. S. I Love You (Rutledge Hill Press, 1990), “ Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Instead of reading this blog and being on the fence about making a great leap, why not take a working holiday in Australia in the future?

(Image source:https://medium.com/p/254e251db816/edit)