Have you taken a working holiday?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by leafeon34, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. leafeon34
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    Where did you go and what did you think of it? I've been thinking of taking a working holiday in either the UK or Japan.
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    That is such a variable question.

    Three main approaches I see.

    1) The classic tour guide/holiday camp staff thing.
    2) For Japan it will most likely be teaching English. Do note Japan is kind of odd here where most other places will do a TEFL thing Japan does otherwise, and Japan rather than other parts of Asia can be quite hard on people (plenty of people sharing horror stories here if you want to go looking).
    3) You go somewhere with a trade, do said trade and then take some time for you afterwards. Said trade tends to be sales/finance type thing where you go arrange/demo your product and then have a few days kicking around in some far flung part of the world, construction/mining/ or similar trades or more academic (think visiting professor), medic sometimes gets combined with 1) (if you are a doctor willing to do for a ski resort you can do quite well).

    As far as construction goes 3) can be done short term but many such things are charity based, and your qualifications might not transfer that well depending upon what you are doing. I can go further there if you want but I will skip it for now.

    I have seen some people attempt to do working holiday visas in Australia, however most I have ever seen try tend to realise how little there is (most such people only get very low tier jobs, this possibly despite serious qualifications) and how expensive some Australian cities are. Enough to keep on being there but in the end "it's a long way to go just to speak English" is a phrase I heard more than once. On the other hand if you don't want to be in Sydney (or south east Australia in general) and can do a bit further afield then there are better options.

    UK wise there is fruit picking, though some of those companies are terribly uncool so be careful there. Similarly that is more of a summer/autumn thing and I have no idea how this UK-EU thing is going to play out here in the coming months. Holiday camps in the UK are strange places (they made sense in the 50s and before but then we invented cheap air travel to Spain and the south of France and such places have just about been breaking even/coasting since then), and there are few snow resorts, national parks or mountains that do anything like we see in the US or parts of Europe, however if you do have some decent mountaineering skills you can take people up and down mountains and across moors, or camping in the woods.
    You can probably find a job in a shop/supermarket/restaurant in the UK but they don't pay that well and renting a flat for yourself is very expensive, as is getting around the UK in general.
     
  3. leafeon34
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    leafeon34 Expecto Patronum!

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    I'm interested
    I'm more likely to pick the UK, but if I pick Japan I'll be very careful with where I live and work.
    Interpreting might work. My Cantonese is pretty good and with a bit of practice my Mandarin will be up to scratch.
    I've met plenty of people in Melbourne doing working holidays. I know all about this.
    Probably not for me but worth keeping in mind. Is the holiday camp thing the same thing you mentioned in your first approach?
    Good enough for me.
    A hostel is fine provided it's reasonably quiet and clean.

    So if I pick the UK what would I need to bring and educate myself on beforehand?

    To bring
    - Very warm clothes
    - A security pouch for storing valuables (very important in hostels)
    - Standard shit (phone, passport, toothbrush, etc.)

    To learn
    - Geography of the city I'm staying in
    - Local scams
    - Jobs likely to pay under the minimum wage
    - How the UK's public transport works
    - Where and how to obtain raw milk (say what you want about safety, if it's available I'm going to buy it)

    Do you think it's possible to live off sardines on toast with some vegetables for a year? It's cheap and quick and easy to prepare. Eating the same shit everyday isn't going to be the healthiest option but it should be good enough.

    Is working some shitty job that pays under the minimum wage then complaining to a worker's rights organisation after a few months to claim back-payments likely to work?
     
    Last edited by leafeon34, Jan 1, 2019
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Holiday camps.
    The two main ones are probably butlins and center parcs, but there are a fair few others. None are really known for employing seasonal workers from outside the UK but if you can speak the language well enough then you can get in. They are strange places though -- mention you go to holidays at one of them and you will probably be treated like a cult member (even if you will go to practically the same setup somewhere in the med).

    UK wise.
    Clothes. I guess if you are not used to the temperatures. I find them pretty mild and wear tshirts all year round but I am told I am a freak like that.

    Good security is important regardless, I am not sure how useful a pouch will be.

    I have not done hostels around the UK, and it is nowhere near as big here as it is in mainland Europe or Australia. Everybody mostly does hotels, bed and breakfasts... at all points. You can probably find something, and maybe the YMCA, but https://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/all-youth-hostels is the biggest group and they have next to nothing, https://www.hostelworld.com/accommodation/England is a most independent approach and still next to nothing. Kitting out a van (or buying one from someone else that did it) is an option and nobody really cares -- I know in Australia and parts of the US they are quite hot on such things, don't make waves here and nobody will mind, go stealthy and you can even do big cities fairly well (rock up in a camper van and the police might shuffle you along after a couple of days if someone complains).

    Geography. Will depend upon the size of the city and its location. Many places will have a "don't go here" type zone (usually in the outskirts, aka an estate, but you will tend to find out quickly enough and there will not be anything to do there at night) and standard rules apply if you are out at night.

    Under the minimum wage is not that common. They crack down quite hard on those. If you are here with papers then yeah. Though do be wary of zero hours contracts (some of the supermarkets will try for those), anything that asks you to pay to start working somewhere and there are some tourist job scams (if I said pyramid scheme but with recruitment then that). Only people doing less than minimum wage are some self employed, some types of builders* and families working a small restaurant. You get the occasional accident if you age into the next bracket and the accountant misses it but most places will trip over themselves to sort that.

    *typically Eastern European builders. They will have a couple of people on staff, knock out work quickly and do well enough (you won't necessarily get the attention to detail and you will probably have to clean up a bit yourself but it will do the job, maybe need a slight touch up and not last as long but long enough), and charge £100 or something for the three of them for a day or less with just one. Everybody knows what goes here and is happy enough with it, save perhaps some builders but most of those are happy enough too.

    UK's public transport is split between London (in which case look up Oyster card) and everywhere else. There is a reasonable train network, delays are common enough and it covers most places anybody would want to go and while not cheap does not cost the earth either, especially if you book ahead for long ones. Buses vary depending upon where you are but almost always take cash, give change and cover smaller villages and go between towns, there are some places without decent bus coverage (varies between none and a couple of times a week, as opposed to multiple times a day) and it often stops fairly early in the evening (6pm is common enough for out of town services). Footpaths are usually good, and between villages, and public footpaths across fields and such are also quite good.
    Some take internal flights, though locations within the UK served by them are not so many. Unless it is to the various islands or Ireland nobody really takes ferries anywhere, give or take occasional foot ferries which are something of a novelty in most places (as in stand on a platform and an old dude will hand crank their way along a chain). Taxis are usually quite expensive but if you are within a town or similar distance it is not so bad for a one off or after a night out, never taken a phone taxi application type thing here.

    Scams. Not many touristy ones (I assume you know not to do games on the street). Pickpockets, muggings and rental scams (mostly in London -- advertise one nice looking thing, say it is gone when you phone up and shuffle you along to a dingy flat) being the usual.

    Raw milk. Good luck with that one, best you will find in a supermarket is raw milk cheeses. That said I have been on farms and had things right from the cow*, and in blind tests I can tell the difference between skimmed, semi skimmed and full fat. Tastes no different to that which you get in the supermarket here, and said supermarkets will also have "premium" milks of various spins if you want that (nice to cook various milk puddings with, feels like a waste for cereal). Don't know what it is about some other countries where there is a difference (I was just in the US, a state with lots of cows even, and it was not great) but here there is none.
    *most farms here are heavily automated and will pump directly from cows into things to be pasteurised. As such there might be some farm shop somewhere, but not likely.
    There is not even a raw milk culture (pun, not pun, your choice) here, and most people will not even know what you are speaking about if you ask for it and those that do will probably very much shy away (pasteurisation is good stuff).

    If you can cook you can live cheaply here, indeed it is about the only way to do so (restaurants and preprepared/frozen meals are a quick way to go broke). I don't know that I would do sardines every day (while not as fun as tuna I don't think mercury is that good for you) but most places you will rent will give you something to play with. I like ovens but a frying pan, a saucepan, a wok and a two ring burner will see you able to make some spectacular meals.


    Back on China. I don't know what interpreting is doing these days (China is going through a few changes) and was always somewhat tricky/curious in how it plays out.
     
  5. JoeBloggs777

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  6. leafeon34
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    I meant interpreting between Chinese and English in the UK. In Melbourne and Sydney your chances of getting a job jump up if you can speak Mandarin.
    I think I'll start in Belfast, go to Glasgow then finish in somewhere in England. If I go to the UK I'll definitely take a trip to Ireland and the cost of living in Belfast is relatively low. This is if I take this working holiday at all.
     
    Last edited by leafeon34, Jan 2, 2019
  7. FAST6191

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    Australia sees quite a bit of interaction with China though, in some ways far more than the UK does. The land grab there is not quite the same as the UK's one, nor are the emigration/immigration patterns.

    I will certainly not say you won't find something that is massively thankful for it (China does produce a lot of stuff, and there are a fair few students from there) but most linguistically inclined types I meet do far better with French, Spanish (mainly for Latin America), Dutch (or Afrikaans anyway), occasionally Arabic and then onto other things (Japanese, Russian...).
    I think it would probably be better phrased as in big city Australia if you rock up to just about any business that deals with the public or has interactions with Chinese peeps (and with them buying up lots there...) able to speak the various flavours of Chinese and it will count massively in your favour (be it the smallest estate agent through to mid tier insurance, to property management, to finance setups and on and on and on). UK wise unless the company has business with the PRC or ROC it will only count as much as anybody that claims to speak another language will get a perk (which is not a lot -- English being the main language of science, business and cross communication means the UK is probably the least multi lingual country in the developed world). Not to mention ties with Hong Kong probably being the easier avenue there.
     
  8. leafeon34
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    leafeon34 Expecto Patronum!

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    What about a phone repair store? I'm fairly confident with my hands and there are plenty of tutorial videos on YouTube.
     
  9. Youkai

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    I went to Japan last year working at a game quality testing company a school and helped some old man building a house
     
  10. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member

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    US in winter I'm told the same thing, t-shirts/short sleeves make life more comfortable.
     
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Most phone repair shops are independent operations, give or take a few bad chains based in supermarkets.

    Modern phones are also somewhat annoying to fix.

    When you say good with your hands do you already know how to solder and do basic electronics diagnosis? A lot of it is screwdrivers, glue strips and ribbon clips but it is also increasingly soldering and such to be competitive (getting people to spring for a motherboard replacement when someone else will take 20 minutes to solder a new connector or resistor on and fix the issue means there is a bit of a skills race). I can see people going in cold to it but it is not really something I would traditionally consider as a working holiday unless you have some kind of background for it.
     
  12. leafeon34
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    I have some basic soldering experience. I've done retro mods plenty of times, like 60hz SNES and Mega Drive mods. The trickiest mod I've done is installing a PS1 modchip.
     
  13. leafeon34
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    leafeon34 Expecto Patronum!

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    How about taking a short barista course then getting a job at a cafe? Working at a farm in the middle of nowhere for a few months is bearable, provided half-decent internet is available.
     
  14. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    I'm American, so what is this "working holiday" you speak of? Is it like taking a week off from work to go on vacation?
     
  15. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Assuming that wasn't sarcasm, or a jab at the abysmal takes on holiday that most USians seem to enjoy, then it is a phrase referring to a self funding, or self extending holiday.
    You get the right visa (or have the right passport) and you go somewhere with an aim to getting a job (more often menial, even if they have serious skills otherwise, but not always) to allow you to spend longer in the country than your savings would otherwise allow, hopefully seeing more of it (or over a longer period -- winter being rather different to summer and all that). It is very common for younger UK people to go to Australia with an aim to doing that, and quite a few Australians also do the reverse. US wise you tend to see it more for people running summer camps for kids but other things can be done.
     
  16. Jayro

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    Yeah, it wasn't sarcasm, I genuinely had no clue. Thanks for the enlightenment. :)
     
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