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TAKING A GAP YEAR

Issue #1 - October/November/December 2017

Welcome to Taking a Gap Year, a quarterly mini mag from PAYAway. No matter if you are 18 or 80, every three months we will present some ideas for your year out - regardless of how long that may be.

Adverts

English Language Assistant in Chile

Become an International Assistant in Chile

Apply now to take advantage of this perfect opportunity to make a real and lasting impact in the lives of Chilean public school students and in their school communities. Placements are available country-wide and volunteer benefits include a stipend, host family stay, health insurance, and a fee free visa!

Help Exchanges

Free Volunteer Work Exchanges

Arrange your stay with farms, homes, eco- villages, backpacker hostels, surf lodges, ranches, and schools. Expose yourself to other cultures, experience another lifestyle, share and learn new skills, all in exchange for a few hours of honest help.

Teach in a Public School in Colombia

Teach in a Public School in Colombia

Teach children, teenagers or adults at government schools throughout Colombia. The Program includes two week orientation in Bogota with free accommodation, a monthly stipend of 1.5 Million Colombian Pesos and Colombian national health insurance. No program fee.

Get Abroad Now

50 Ways to Leave Your Country

Just hop on a bus, Gus, and make a new plan, Anne, because we have found a half century of jobs available now that mean you don't have to save up and wait to head off on your adventure abroad.

Teach and Travel in Austria with a Non-Profit!

Advert

Teach English to Austrian schoolchildren as part of a nonprofit initiative while working towards the Trinity CertTESOL and Cambridge CELT-P qualifications!

Blogger's Guides

The Blogger's Guide to Medellin

Those Medellin kids spoiled many a villan's plans in Scooby Doo, so we feel they deserve some recognition in return. We thought of doing a guide to the city but after careful reflection decided, nah! Let someone else do it. What’s the point of all these travel bloggers roaming the world otherwise?

Mobirise

No Frills, Just Fun Accommodation in Singapore

Chic, contemporary and vibrant guest rooms await you at hangout@mt.emily. Enjoy the simple pleasures like hair and body shampoo, hairdryer, in-room electronic safe and complimentary bottle(s) of water for each registered guest!

Mobirise

Welcome to Bodega Hostels in Thailand

Join us in Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai for great vibes, drink specials, a nice bed and a butt load of fun.

Mobirise

The Best Tours of Ireland

Our team of 100% Irish Tour Guides are passionate about their home country and they will provide you with stories to last a life time.

Mobirise

Palmers Lodge, Award Winning Boutique Hostels in London

Award winning boutique hostels, ensuite rooms and dorms with great service in unique buildings with bags of character. Bar, restaurant and parking onsite

Our 15 Favourite Upcoming Help Exchanges

Working for your keep is a great way to stay on the road and an increasing number of platforms exist to bring together hosts and helpers for, at most, a small fee. Here we list the best projects we have found available in the next few months. 

5 4 3 2 Guan

5 Free Things to do in... Florence

Florence has been on the beaten track since men wore breeches and stockings. Those travellers however had recourse to the bank of Lord and Lady mum and dad. You probably don't, so here's some free things to do in an expensive place.

Take a free tour

Most of the major tourist sights in Florence are within easy walking distance of each other, but to learn as you wander it might be worth tagging along with a tour. It's free, but tips are appreciated.

Pop inside a cathedral

While the Duomo, the city's beautiful cathedral and the symbol of the city, is free to enter it may be worth paying to climb the winding staircases inside to see some of the best views of Florence. Not only can you see the Tuscan countryside in the distance and the impressive palaces and churches of Florence in the foreground, but it also shows you just how large the Duomo is

Walk up a hill

If you weren't keen to pay to climb the Duomo, a great view of the city can be had from the Piazzale Michelangelo. The view captures the heart of Florence from Forte Belvedere to Santa Croce, across the lungarni and the bridges crossing the Arno, including the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, the Bargello and the octagonal bell tower of the Badia Fiorentina. Beyond the city are the hills of Settignano and Fiesole. 

Rub a boar's nose

On your way to the Ponte Vecchio, you will encounter to your right, a market, the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, which hosts a peculiar boar made of bronze. Legend has it that your wish will be granted if you rub its polished snout while placing a coin in its mouth which must slide and fall into the underlying grating.

Cross a river

The only Florentine bridge to survive World War 2, the Ponte Vecchio - literally "old bridge" - offers romantic views. Originally lined with butchers shops these days it is mostly jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.

4 House Sits

Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets
Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer to join here). Sits currently available include:*

We live in the Rainforest one hour from Kuching. Our place is a jungle stay named Nanga Shanti. It's closed from October to April. The minimum stay is 2 months and longer stay will have our preference.

We love our house, our cats and hens and think you will too.
We also need a sitter in January for about 8 days. Car available.

Housesitting

We are away for two weekends coming up and need someone to take care of our two very friendly jack russells.

We have a beautiful home on 20 acres in the Hudson Valley and two large, athletic dogs that need love and walks. There's tons of hiking, skiing and general gorgeous nature around us.

* at the time of writing

3 Gap Years Worth Splashing Out For

We are all about the cheap and the free here, but sometimes it is worth splashing the cash for skills that will repay themselves in the future, for an unforgetable life changing experience, or - you lucky sod - because someone else has offered to pay.

We're big fans of Safari Volunteers, an animal welfare project near Kanchanaburi, Thailand, having spent a few days there ourselves. Our own highlights include taking a lion for a walk, hand feeding a leopard and somehow ending up as the personal servant of a gibbon. Prices have risen since we were there in 2013 but are still very reasonable for this type of project. More information from www.safarivolunteer.com.

Safari Volunteers
Join the ranks of digital nomads and learn start up skills as you travel the world is the pitch from Start Me Up, who match talented students with the best short term startup internship opportunities around the globe.
Volunteering in the Maldives

The Maldives aren't the most budget friendly destination, so why not go the whole hog and sign up for a once in a lifetime experience, and help sea turtles go about their business at the same time? Prices begin at $1362 for two weeks (plus a $225 for admin and bank transfer fees). More information from Atoll Volunteers.

2 Inspiring Working Travellers

If they can do it, so can you

Christine Ka’aloa has lived in Hawaii, Los Angeles, St Louis and New York City, where she had a career as an actress and TV shooter/producer of reality shows for over seven years - a background that has clearly helped shape her excellent YouTube channel. In 2010, she took gap years to live and teach abroad in South Korea and travel. She has volunteered her time working at film and Asian Awareness festivals and has given a performance workshop in France. Christine helpfully bundles her teaching in Korea posts onto one page.

Christine Ka’aloa

Grrrl Traveler

Grrrl Traveler
Slow Vegan Travel

Franca and Dale have volunteered with two dog shelters in Thailand, looking after a combined total of 600 dogs. They have also house sat in Cannes, Munich and southern Spain.

Dale and Franca

Slow Vegan Travel

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Cheap Ways to Volunteer: Big Brother Mouse

With few books published in the Lao Language, many Lao villagers rarely saw a book. Big Brother Mouse, a Luang Prabang based, Lao-owned organisation, seeks to change this. If you're in Luang Prabang, drop by their shop in town to see what volunteer opportunities are available in their office, shop, or with their school on the outskirts of the city.

Free Money

Yes, really. Get some cash towards accommodation

Airbnb is the best way to rent unique, local accommodations on any travel budget. Sign up here and get money off your first trip.

Get a Job Abroad With JAB

The Jobs Abroad Bulletin is our bulletin board full of job vacancies posted by employers looking for staff. Over the years we have helped our readers to finance their travels by working as powerboat crew in Greece, bar staff in the Czech Republic, chefs in Austria, English teachers in Japan, au pairs in Dubai, holiday reps in Turkey, halet girls in Switzerland, tour leaders in Southeast Asia, snackbar attendants in Portugal, eco trail leaders in Costa Rica, hostel workers in Panama, ski instructors in Italy, and caretakers in Uganda. 

Summer Camps USA

The Last Post

Summer camp is a rite of passage for American children but has also been a gap year staple for generations. Every year camps scour the planet looking for the over 20,000 international staff they need to keep their short customers educated and entertained in the wilderness.

Camp Counsellors act as a cross between a teacher and a big brother or sister in camps that may be day or residential, run as a business, not for profit, by scout groups or religious orientated. They can be for children with special needs, the underprivileged or the wealthy, centred around sports, performing arts, languages, computing or losing weight. There's even a space camp. 

Camp workers should be aged 18 or 19 and a half (depending on placement organisation) to 35, speak English and be a non smoker without a criminal record. You should also be patient and fit enough to cope with American children for long bouts at a time, though students can avoid the nasty little things by doing the cooking, washing up or other background roles.

Getting a Job

Not all camps accept direct applications from abroad but, for some nationalities anyway, it is possible to go it alone, avoid middlemen fees, and make all the arrangements by yourself. Camps can be found via MySummerCamps.com or Camp Channel, while Coolworks is a good place to find vacancies.

Far easier though is going through a recognised placement agency. They will find you a job, arrange the visa, and provide orientation. Wages and costs vary so take your time to compare which one is best for you. In the UK the main agencies include BUNAC, Camp America, CCUSA, Americamp and InterExchange. More designated sponsor organisations can be found here

Keep an eye out for recruitment fair announcements on social media, or during freshers' week. Much of the recruitment process can be done in one day and even I got offered a job this way. 

For more information on working at a summer camp in the USA we have collected the expeiences of a few past camp counsellors in our The Working Traveller blog. 

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