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Gap year jobs to apply for before you travel

If you want to pay for your gap year travel by working while abroad there are plenty of opportunities in TEFL, sports camps and summer camps, but you'll need to apply in advance.
Teaching English as a foreign language opens the door to working in a great number of countries.

Be a gap year TEFL teacher

Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) opens the door to working in practically any country, and it's a popular choice for gap years. People want to learn English for business and conversation. If you've studied business or economics, you'll have an advantage in teaching business English, but it's not required. Conversational English is more basic. If your students already have a reasonable grasp of the language and just want to improve their accents and vocabulary, you could end up getting paid to chat about the weather.

Online TEFL courses start from around £100; classroom-based courses can be considerably more expensive. See the TARGETpostgrad guide to training and qualifications for alternative careers in education for more information about TEFL. Make sure you do your research carefully and choose a course that meets your needs, as well as those of any organisation that you may wish to work with.

Many gap year organisations specialise in placing TEFL teachers. Most require some kind of qualification before you leave, but they will often train you. Salaries for qualified TEFL teachers vary greatly. In developed countries where there's a great demand for business English, you'll be very well paid; in poorer countries the wages are lower. Some contracts are short enough to allow you to teach in more than one country during your gap year.

Be a camp counsellor during your gap year

Summer camps in the US are always on the lookout for enthusiastic counsellors. Sports coaches are in high demand, but they also need staff to supervise water activities, teach arts and crafts and train budding athletes, actors and musicians. If you don’t want to spend all day with the kids then you could get involved behind the scenes by taking a role that involves preparing food, cleaning, maintenance or laundry.

Camp America and BUNAC offer well established summer camp schemes. You are required to pay a fee to take part and this covers flights, insurance, administration costs, and organising your visa. You receive pocket money while you are working, which most people save up for travel following the end of camp. BUNAC can also help you arrange professional internships in the US and elsewhere.