A popular life choice for young people seeking some form of aesthetical refreshment following the completion of their degree- the fabled gap year has been a constant among the UK’s young for generations now. Capturing both the highly sought-after fulfillment of adventure and the monumental transition from adolescence into adulthood equally, many young people decide that a gap year is pertinent to growing up and experiencing life.
However, more and more people (graduates in particular) now seem to be taking the principle of the gap year on toward its next logical step, namely permanent or semi-permanent expatriation.
The graduate job market in the United Kingdom in 2013 leaves a whole lot to be desired, I’m sure we’re all under no illusions as to that statements sincerity. Could it then be feasible to suggest that by heading abroad, UK-educated grads have more of a chance at realistically entering and progressing within their respective field?
Some countries that currently rank highly for graduate opportunity include:
Perhaps the most infamous destination for Brits heading overseas, Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, the islands) is a popular choice with very good reason.
Acquiring yourself a 12-month working visa, providing you’re between the ages of 18 and 30, is a relatively unproblematic affair. This paperwork can be applied for online and will allow you enter into most kinds of employment, though it’s worth noting that you’ll be limited to 6 months per job at first.
When you arrive it’s likely that you’ll be required to declare your funds, a point which is assessed on an individual basis. To be safe, make sure you’re packing no less than £2,000.
Graduate roles are strikingly similar to those you’ll find here, though may be hard to attain at first given the 6 month rule.
As for the cost of living, you can expect to pay slightly more than you will in the UK for the likes of accommodation, food and social activity.
Little more than a distant pipedream for most, a move to the United States can be very tricky to execute.
Unlike Australasia, the US isn’t really in the habit of issuing working visas. As such, you’ll need to confirm yourself a solid job offer before flying out and even attempting to get through their notoriously vigilant immigration desk. Not that I’m trying to put you off the idea…
The US is a hub for most, if not all affluent, relevant and world-spanning industries, and the opportunity for graduates there is potentially immense- it’s just that you’ll have to put in most of the work prior to even booking your flights.
Cost of living generally depends on where you’re headed, but if you’ve managed to bag a job offer- you needn’t worry as the wage will likely reflect the demands of the location.
The USA’s quiet northern neighbour, ties between the United Kingdom and Canada are both historic and on-going.
Attaining a working visa shouldn’t be a major task, so long as you’re aged between 18-35, have a clear legal record and can demonstrate possession of at least £1,600 in cleared funds.
Largely avoiding the recoil of the recent global recession, Canada’s dollar is stronger than ever. Additionally, the availability of jobs in the country for both graduates and non-graduates paints one of the healthiest pictures anywhere in the world at the moment.
One problem you may have however is defeating allocation limits. Demand for Canadian working visas among UK residents is on the increase, so it’s best to plan far in advance to avoid disappointment/complication.
Much closer to home yet far from being the typical choice of Brits heading abroad; Germany is an increasingly popular destination for those playing with the prospect of permanent relocation.
Perhaps this is to do with a continued strength in the face of worldwide recession (unemployment in Germany is far less than in UK, standing at around 7% presently), or maybe it could be attributed to the open borders and lack of paperwork we Brits are welcomed with upon arrival- thanks to EU policy?
Ranking in above other EU nations such as Italy and Spain, where unemployment is at an alarmingly high rate; and Sweden, Denmark or Norway- where the cost of living is nothing short of ludicrous, Germany is both opportunity-filled and very reasonably priced (how does your own place in Berlin for £300 a month sound?).
Speaking the lingo is highly encouraged, though not always necessary, and the number of jobs available in your field will be dependent on the area you choose to live in (it’s a big place).
Have you taken a gap year out of employment or studying? Did you find the experience fulfilling? Did you decide to relocate permanently? Share your stories with us below!