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Books Can Help Travelers Find Overseas Jobs : There are plenty of employment opportunities for visitors looking to reduce travel expenses.

February 16, 1992|LUCY IZON

Young travelers often have a vague idea that they might be able to work during foreign trips to offset their expenses, but don't know where to begin. Here are several publications that can help.

"Work Your Way Around the World," by Susan Griffith ($16.95), is published by a British company called Vacation Work. The 432-page 1991 edition covers information on paid, casual and volunteer employment in more than 40 countries. One of the aspects of the book that makes it particularly valuable is that it includes advice by travelers and comments on both their good and bad experiences.

"If you are to work abroad," advises one traveler, "it is preferable to be employed in a capacity which allows an insight into the people of the country you are visiting.

"To serve English tourists bottled beer in a Western-style bar is merely to experience the company of those travelers who cling to what they know, unprepared to risk the unfamiliarity of an alien culture. I believe that the best way of breaking cultural boundaries is to work outside the tourist areas, probably in agriculture."

Although the book is researched with British travelers in mind, there is still much information that will be of value to Americans. For example, you'll find information on how to volunteer to work on an archeological dig, and how travelers have arranged to supplement their incomes by teaching English or by joining a family as an au pair.

Comments on personal experiences offer helpful insights. One traveler who landed a job at a pineapple cannery in Brisbane, Australia, for $6.50 an hour found "working conditions were appalling: hot, smelly and above all, noisy which made conversation impossible. Without earplugs the thunder of machinery was physically painful."

Another traveler had a better experience in New Zealand. "I ended up working there picking fruit and vegetables, and running the stall, living with the family and getting $100 a week for six weeks plus a $200 bonus for staying over the Easter weekend. That replenished my funds, let me rest up from traveling and meant I could afford luxuries like a plane ride over Mt. Cook--wonderful!"

Two other annual publications by Vacation Work could be of particular help to those who have arranged working permits. Salaries are quoted in English currency.

"Overseas Summer Jobs (1992; $14.95) is a listing of employers who offer short-term jobs in 40 countries. Jobs range from hotel, recreation and farming work to office positions.

"Summer Jobs in Britain" (1992; $13.95) provides a list of who's offering positions in fruit picking, sports, offices, camps, archeology, riding, au pair and voluntary work in England, Scotland and Wales.

Vacation Work books are distributed in the United States by Peterson Guides. Other titles include "Jobs and Careers Abroad" ($14.95), "Teaching English Abroad" ($13.95) and "International Voluntary Work" ($13.95).

The Council on International Education Exchange has compiled the 1992-93 edition of "Work, Study, Travel Abroad--The Whole World Handbook" (St. Martin's Press). This 500-page edition will cover paid and volunteer possibilities, from picking grapes in France to helping to build a school in Ghana.

It also includes quotes by travelers on their experiences. Copies are available through retail bookstores or can be ordered directly from CIEE, Publications Department, 205 East 42nd St., New York 10017. Include $12.95 for the book, plus applicable state sales tax and postage ($1.50, or $3.50 for first-class).

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