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Youth Beat

Working While Traveling Abroad

November 01, 1987|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

If you wish to supplement your travel budget by taking casual jobs while traveling abroad, you can find information and advice in the 1987 edition of "Work Your Way Around the World" by Susan Griffith.

The 382-page book is packed with information about jobs young travelers can find in foreign countries. The book was researched for British travelers, but it includes some information about work permits for North Americans.

Although it doesn't always give the specific name of employers, it offers areas in which employment is usually available to young visitors, and the best times to find it.

For example, you learn when and where to pick grapes in France, shear sheep in Australia or teach skiing in the Alps.

Cutting Expenses

You'll learn how to cut your transportation expenses in North America by offering your driving services to car-delivery companies (the minimum age is usually 21), and you'll discover how to take advantage of the large demand for English teachers in Japan.

Not all jobs pay well. In some cases employment is offered in return for accommodations, meals and pocket money.

Perhaps the author's best advice is to be sure that before embarking on a traveling adventure you have the cash reserves to be able to do what you want and the choice of whether you want to do a particular type of work.

You'll learn firsthand of good and bad experiences that other travelers have encountered while working abroad.

For example, Mark, a young visitor to the Netherlands, tried what sounded like a simple job--peeling flower bulbs.

"The most mind-numbing boring job I have ever done. . . . I learned that bulb dust is a very powerful irritant, so after a couple of hours of itching like mad, I resigned on the spot, ran back to the campsite and dived into the shower," Mark said.

David, a young visitor to Iceland, found that his riding ability enabled him to have a much more rewarding experience.

"Icelandic ponies are still used during the September roundup of sheep. The sheep wander, sometimes cross massive glaciers, and the roundup often takes three or four days," David said.

"You take a spare pony and sleep in the caves at night. Eventually there will be a huge herd of 10,000 sheep, and the sight of them crossing the final ridge to the home valley is a sight never forgotten."

Other types of work covered in the book range from being a family helper or working at crewing on a yacht to being a film extra in Hong Kong.

A Few Warnings

The guide also includes some maps and advice on what to do in an emergency: "Be cautious about accepting help from fringe religious groups--it can be easier to accept shelter than to leave."

Those who intend to supplement their expenses while skiing in Europe can get more detailed advice in "Working in Ski Resorts--Europe," by Victoria Pybus and Charles James.

It's a 176-page guide to opportunities available at 40 winter resorts. The book is a 1985 publication, so expect prices and wages to be higher than reported.

Jobs range from chalet cleaners and snow shovelers to ski instructors. In the description of each resort area, you will also find information about budget accommodations and night life.

Keep in mind that this book was researched for British travelers who do not encounter as many restrictions as North Americans on working in European countries.

It includes a large section on how to find casual work on the spot and offers suggestions on what you could try to arrange independently, such as offering to look after children or giving English lessons.

"Work Your Way Around the World," $10.95, is distributed by F&W Publishing, Cincinnati, and is available through retail bookstores.

"Working in Ski Resorts--Europe" can be ordered for $11.95 (postpaid) from Henry Fletcher Services, 304 Taylor Road, West Hill, Ont., Canada M1C 2R6.

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