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Want to Work Abroad?

May 11, 1997|LUCY IZON

If you've ever dreamed of spending part of a year working and living abroad but have been concerned about the red tape, the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) has a program that can help.

CIEE's Work Abroad program doesn't place you in a job, but it does look after the paperwork and provide the information for planning. After you arrive abroad, you'll get assistance from an affiliated organization that will provide an orientation program and job and housing advice.

In 1997 there will be work opportunities in Britain (for up to six months), France (up to three months), Ireland (up to four months), Canada (up to six months), Germany (from three to six months), New Zealand (between April 1 and Oct. 31), Costa Rica (between June 1 and Oct. 1) and Jamaica (between June 1 and Oct. 1).

The CIEE is negotiating a program for South Africa that should be implemented this year.

The standard fee for each program is $225. Participants also need to have a round-trip ticket and a minimum of $750 ($1,000 is recommended) to get by until their first paycheck.

New for 1997 is CIEE's first program for China. Participants in the program will depart in a group in the fall. There will be a seven- to 10-day orientation on the West Coast before departure and for two days in Beijing. Council Travel, the CIEE affiliate organization, has an office in Beijing that assists with orientation and further assistance participants need.

Participants teach in urban and rural areas across the country. You can expect to teach 10 to 20 hours per week plus spend time counseling students and working with English Clubs. That leaves time to study Chinese and travel on holidays.

You don't need to be a student to apply. The fee, $2,500, is much higher than the standard fee but can be reduced depending on your educational qualifications. Those with a master's degree are provided with round-trip air fare. Those with a bachelor's degree or teaching certificates also are offered discounts and compensation.

While you are teaching, you are paid about $215 per month and $250 for travel expenses.

For further information on CIEE Work Abroad programs, you can visit the CIEE Web site (, where you can request a brochure or application form, or call the council's information center at (888) 268-6245.

Many budget travelers visiting the Middle East have taken a break from constantly moving and spending money by volunteering to work for a few months on a kibbutz, a collective farm, in Israel. Often the members seek out foreign volunteers between 18 and 32 for help. Volunteers are accepted for a minimum of two months, and the need is greatest between September and May.

Volunteers usually are expected to work six days a week, eight hours a day. They generally get three days off a month and receive pocket money, meals and shared accommodations.

The type of work can range from picking oranges to working in a plastic factory. The quality of the volunteer accommodation and the amount of interaction you have with the community also can vary greatly depending on the kibbutz.

For further information, call the Kibbutz Program Centre, Volunteer Department in Israel; telephone 011-972-3-527-8874, fax 011-972-3-523-9966.

Izon is a Toronto-based freelance writer. She can be reached at

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