3 jobs that you can do abroad in your gap year

Finished Matric? Considering taking a gap year? You might be uncertain about what you can do and where you can go. If you’re feeling this way, don’t be worried because it’s not unusual. To help you out, I’m featuring 3 jobs that you can do abroad in your gap year (which should assist you in making the right choice).

1. Au Pair in Europe or in the United States: So, what’s an Au Pair? Well, an Au Pair is an assistant from a foreign country working for and living as part of a host family. You take part in the day-to-day routine of your host family and looking after their children, whilst experiencing life in the country and participating in family activities. Most Au Pairs become almost family members and share a cultural exchange experience that often leads to lasting memories and an unforgettable journey.

Au Pair

If you’re between 18 and 26 years old you can become an Au Pair in the USA or Germany and if you’re between 18 and 30 years old you can become one in the Netherlands. Requirements vary for each of these countries, but you need to at least have matric, a valid South African passport and 200 hours of childcare experience to apply. Having a valid driver’s license is a bonus and will assist you in placement. For more information, check out the STA Travel website.

2. Teach English Abroad: You can do this in various countries all around the world and in most cases, you don’t need an education degree to do so. Many South Africans are already teaching English in Japan, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil and other countries, so why can’t you?

If you’d like to give this a shot you have to be over 18 and all you need to do is complete a TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) course. If you do have an education degree and a TEFL qualification you will be able to apply for a working visa in more countries. If you have teaching experience it will be useful when you’re applying, but it’s not essential. The most important attribute is that you’re keen and have a good understanding of the English language and if English is not your first language you need to demonstrate it.

Teach English Abroad

You also don’t need to speak or understand the local language of the country you are teaching in, but some employers offer free tutoring for the local language if you are interested in learning it. You can obtain an TEFL qualification by either attending a 20 hour practical course or you could an online course spanning 120 to 140 hours. For more information about the courses, check out the TEFL South African website.

3. Work on a kibbutz in Israel: The Hebrew word “kibbutz” means “Rural Communal Settlement”. No skills or work experience is required to work on one and you need to have a valid South African passport and be between the age of 18 and 35 years.  You also need a HIV-Free certificate and a medical certificate to qualify to work on a kibbutz. Working on a kibbutz in Israel is a great way to meet volunteers from all over the world and  a cheap way to spend time in the country.

Work on Kibbutz

If you are considering this option take note that you will  be working as a volunteer in exchange for accommodation and meals, a small weekly/monthly wage, the use of the communal facilities and occasional field trips to various destinations in Israel (hosted by the Kibbutz). You can volunteer for a minimum of 2 months or for a maximum of 9 months.  For more information, check out the OVC website.

Do you know of other jobs that you can do during your gap year? Leave a comment and let us know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here. If you’ve found this information useful, feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

You are also more than welcome to check out the International Jobs category on Job Mail. Remember to update your CV before you start applying for positions.

Watch this space for regular updates for job seekers on the Job Mail blog.

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43 Responses

  1. timmy says:

    I’m willing to work as social media but I don’t have any cent so with your help I can get this opportunity

  2. TlOlanE says:

    Am currently working and I would love to further my studies @ any college offering Airconditioning and Refrigeration, can you help me find the best college…Thank yOu

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Tlolane – You should look at reputable Technical colleges in South Africa, we are not a recruitment agent / career adviser service, we’re a job portal

  3. Nthabeleng Sello says:

    Am 27 years old lady with Matric and Diploma in Management Assistant not working, still looking for a job. If you have anything to help please phone 084 830 7014/078 329 3492

  4. Mvuyo Baloyi says:

    Hi I studied H.R and I am lookong for a job or internship/learnership can you help THANK YOU!

  5. Christopher says:

    Hi I hv completed my studies in Human Resources in 2012 and I’m finding it difficult 2 get a job with your help would like help me find work anywere around South Africa thank you

  6. Gift says:

    Hi I’m very much in need for a job bt I can’t seem to find one so is there a way tht u can help? Pleaze

  7. Nontobeko says:

    I’m 23year,I’v finish ma metric 2010 n I go to collage to fether my studies doing marketing management I’v pass n5 now I drop out because of financial problems please help me with a job I’m willing to what ever you want me to do.

  8. Vusumuzi says:

    This job sounds very exciting, but I’m looking for a job that is permanent abroad.

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Then check the International section for listings. You may have to start off part time though

  9. Thembelihle Pakati says:

    I finished my matric in 2007 but due to finantial problems I couldn’t go and study but now I am currently doing Office Administation at Majuba FET College. I have Level E and Level 3. I would appriciate an opportunity like this one.

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Then follow one of the links and find out more Thembelihle. Job Mail is a job portal, not a recruitment agency.

  10. Alisha says:

    What if you are 21 and don’t have a matric but I do have seta I was in roodepark I finished school but I did not go to college after that to go do my matric I don’t have the money for that

    • Henno Kruger says:

      You might be able to take advantage of one of these opportunities, check with the persons offering them

  11. Siyabonga says:

    M looking for a job in limpopo can U help

  12. katlego says:

    Hey Henno I’m 22 years old I finished my NQF Level 4 Office Administration 2013 but I’m strugling to get a job. Can u help

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Katlego – Unfortunately Job Mail is not a recruitment agency, Job Mail is a job portal. Keep your CV updated, check Job Mail regularly for positions and apply for them.

  13. TlOlanE says:

    Thank you for the info will try to do so…

  14. Adrian says:

    good day i would like to know if i do not have the finances to do the TEFL course is there a sponsership program that i can apply for? as i would really love to teach abroad.

    thank you.

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Adrian – You’ll need to check with the people offering the courses to get clarity on this.

  15. ntombikhona says:

    Hi i finished matric in 2011. At home they cnt afford to take me to university but i did pass my matric i got a university entry. My problem now is that i can’t even find a job so I can do it on my own…,

  16. Rebaone says:

    Hi Henno,is it possible for you to post links for local au pair jobs? If yes,may you please post them asap. Thanks.

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Reboane – You can check the Job Mail website, just do a search for “Au Pair”. You can do this on your PC or mobile phone.

  17. Sandile says:

    Hi Henno-I jus finished my diploma in architecture but this job Au Pair sounds very interesting as I’d like to work abroad but how do u go about applying for it..?

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Sandile – Follow the link we provided in the post. You need to contact an agency that handles Au Pair placements

  18. Thabiso says:

    Hi,,,,,I am 21 years old and I completed matric last year 2013…… I need help find a job for my gap yaer

  19. LIKOMO says:

    Hi, I would love to work abroad if I can know where to apply I have Pitmans Qualifications on my Office Administration Diploma

  20. Lungisani says:

    Hi! So me I finish matric in 2009, and it been a long time I’m using junkmail I apply jobs match with me and I don’t get feedback, why? Or maybe is only that I have matric only?

    • Henno Kruger says:

      It may be because you only have matric, but also need to follow up with recruiters once you have applied.

  21. Lungisani says:

    Hey! U know I want to apply Work on a kibbutz in Israel so Henno Kruger u want to say I’m wasting my time?

  22. silumko says:

    Hi,I’m a male at the age of 26yrs.I have a diploma in managementand I nearly finshed my B-tech degree.I’ve been seeking for a job for long now.I need help

  23. mpumelelo says:

    I finish my matric in 2008 go to fet lean generic manegement for 2yrs lean 1yr for hospitality and cataring but but I want what aver job u for me

  24. S'tho says:

    Hi, I’m 18 at th moment, just finished my matric and I’m waiting for my results. I’d really like to get a job like this, since I have no idea what to study. So , how do you apply for the au programme

  25. Prince says:

    Can’t you find something along the Dubai sector. I’ve heard that they pay for your travel costs and don’t really need experience

  26. Nonkie says:

    Hi I just finished my matric last year, was considering a Gap year and maybe finding a job to keep me busy

  27. Kholofelo Mmola says:

    Hi,I’m in matric this year and I’m not considering a gap year but I would like to get a job around November just after my final examinations, so that I can raise money to further my studies next year.

  28. Ciska Steenkamp says:

    Hi there Henno! I’ve always wanted to experience other cultures and have always longed to do Au Pair. Sadly I’ve been applying left right and center to gain my 200 hours child care experience, but my home town does not have that many opportunities and commute to the city is more than my current income can bare. Would looking after my younger sisters count towards the 200 hours, or at least count for anything, if I apply and do not have the hours on my CV? Looking forward to your reply!

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Ciska – Your best bet would be to find out from companies / agencies who are placing Au Pairs directly.

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