The summer holidays are approaching fast, and many British youngsters are looking forward to working abroad for a few months. Whether you’re planning on teaching English as a foreign language, working on a yacht or spending some time showing novice surfers the ropes, these top tips will help you to make the most out of your summer work placement.
Practice a Foreign Language
It’s a good idea to practice the language of the country you’ll be working in, even if you’re going to be mainly staying amongst English speakers on a resort.
Learning the language will help you immerse yourself in the culture and will make it easier to make friends with the locals. Sites like Duolingo and Livemocha are free and fun to use and will help you to brush up on your language skills.
Read up on Employment Rules
It’s a good idea to do a quick search to find out some basic information about employment law in the country you’re visiting. In the European Union there may be laws in place to protect workers. For example your working hours shouldn’t exceed an average of 48 hours a week over a 17 week period, workers must be given one whole day off per week, and you’ll be entitled to a 20 minute break every six hours.
Fill in your Application Form Carefully
First impressions count, and an application riddled with spelling errors will put employers off, even if the job you’re applying for has nothing to do with writing.
Be sure to check over the application form a few times before you submit it, making sure no boxes have been left empty and that you’ve given them a full record of your employment and educational history.
Budget, budget, budget!
Once you’ve paid for your essentials like your European health insurance, you’ll need to put together a budget for the time you’re going to be abroad. If you’re being paid in Euros, don’t fall into the trap of trying to work out how much food and drink would cost if it were in pounds or you could end up spending too much.
Don’t feel like you’re being short-changed, either. The Euro is weaker than the pound, and while you could make more money staying home for the summer, remember that you’re abroad for the experience, not for the work.
Although it’s a fun summer job, it could help you pick up more employment back in the UK. Keep notes on the start and end dates so you can add these to you’re a CV, ask if your employer would be happy to give you a reference (or have you back next year!) and if you’re a student, you should ask for a P38(S) tax form so that you don’t have to pay as much tax on your earnings.