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To ask if you have been a paid worker or volunteer in another country on your gap year?

(8 Posts)
hellokittymania Thu 30-Mar-17 04:26:42

And if so did you take the experience seriously or were you in holiday mode? I ask because I had an email from somebody asking if I had a job for him as he needed a holiday ??

I don't hire anybody who tells me they want to work or volunteer for my organization because they need a holiday .....

Is this the mentality of students on there a gap year who do overseas work?

GeekyWombat Thu 30-Mar-17 05:38:19

When I was 21 I did 6 months on an EU volunteership. It felt very similar to my first graduate job in that we worked very hard but then there was a culture of nights out / beer or dinner most evenings. That said (a) this was exacerbated by the fact there were around 10 of us on the volunteership and (b) it felt serious because our rent / bills for where we were living were paid for for the duration and we were 'paid' spending money (not much but it made it feel real).

Do you know the person who emailed you? Any chance it was a joke that didn't read well?

hellokittymania Thu 30-Mar-17 05:49:42

Yes I do know the person. I do a lot of work in developing countries that have warm climates, But it is not easy work by any means.

I know a lot of people who tell me what a great life I have and say I must be looking forward to going to these places.

mrbob Thu 30-Mar-17 06:03:25

I went to work in a school in Southern Africa for 6 months. It most definitely was not a holiday and I worked my arse off (and was under no misconception that it was going to be easy) I then went travelling afterwards for a holiday. I too would not employ someone that saw this as a holiday

nooka Thu 30-Mar-17 06:16:19

I went to China to teach English at a university. It was I think quite exploitative by the company that organised it, the university benefited from having poorly paid English speaking teachers, but it really wasn't too much fun for the volunteers. Not something I'd let my almost gap age teens do. An awful lot of organised volunteer work at this age is a waste of time (I went home and volunteered there instead, although I didn't really have that much to offer really).

Middleagedmumoftwo Thu 30-Mar-17 06:22:46

No, but spent quite a bit of time researching it with my son who is off on his travels soon. He was keen to do some genuine volunteering that would benefit the area he was traveling to, without it costing him a fortune...i.e. He was happy to pay for his travel/accommodation costs while working for free but having evenings and weekends to explore the location and learn about the culture. However, there seem to be a great deal of companies offering 'gap year volunteering' that are clearly making a huge profit and not really benefitting the communities. In the end he gave up on the idea and just going on a traveling holiday, it just became a minefield.

BarbarianMum Thu 30-Mar-17 06:27:29

Sometimes working abroad, even if the job is hard, can be seen as a holiday - I think the email may have been badly worded. My dad used to come over to the UK to help with the harvest when he was a young man. It was hard work and long days and poor pay but he got to practice his English and there were lots of other young people to go out with for evenings/weekends.

PhoenixJasmine Thu 30-Mar-17 06:30:13

Not during a 'gap year' but in my late 20s spent several years travelling, working and volunteering around the world.

I was both in holiday mode and taking it seriously at the same time, I would say. Because I thoroughly enjoyed the work that I did, I was committed and worked as hard as I do at home. But - well again because I enjoyed the work - and I was in a very different environment, generally better weather, foreign culture, simpler life - I also felt in holiday mode, much less stressful overall and a significant break away from the humdrum routine of life at home.

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