Easier Path to a Working Holiday

Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

There's a way for students to cut through the red tape to arrange a legal working holiday in a foreign country.

For 17 years the Council on International Educational Exchange has helped students arrange visas for short-term work in a limited number of foreign countries. This year the CIEE will repeat programs in Great Britain, Ireland, France, West Germany, New Zealand and Costa Rica, and will introduce a new pilot program for Australia.

The work-abroad programs are open to full- and part-time students who are working toward a degree or diploma. You must be at least 18 years old to apply; there is no upper age limit.

Participants are charged an $82 registration fee. This is not an employment service. The CIEE will arrange for a working visa, and in some cases you will get a night or two of accommodations when you arrive. You'll also get advice and information on jobs and lodgings from a cooperating student travel service, plus a handbook containing general information on the country, tips on employment, a list of possible employers to contact and helpful hints on housing and travel.

The most popular program is for Britain. Last year 3,500 students participated. Students receive a blue card that allows them to work for up to six months; its validity begins the day you enter Britain.

You also receive accommodations for one night and information on jobs and lodgings from British Universities North America Club (BUNAC). Each afternoon BUNAC holds orientation meetings to welcome new participants.

sh Ireland Program

Participants in the Ireland program receive documentation that will allow them to work at any time of the year for up to four months. Assistance in Ireland is provided by the Union of Students in Ireland Travel (USIT).

To participate in the French program you must have a good working knowledge of French and at least two years of college French or the equivalent. Visas are granted that allow participants to work during the French academic school year for up to three months. This program is operated by the CIEE offices in New York and Paris.

You must have at least two years of college-level German or the equivalent to join the West German program. You will also have to prove you have adequate medical insurance for the duration of your stay. Visas allow participants to work between June 1 and Oct. 1. Assistance is provided by the Council Bonn office. Orientation meetings are held there every Wednesday.

Participants in the New Zealand program can work between April 1 and Oct. 31. The time clock on the six-month visas starts the day you receive the visa from the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, D.C. Arrangements can be made for an extension as a tourist. Assistance is provided by student travel services in Auckland.

sh Costa Rica Program

The Costa Rica program began in 1985. Assistance is provided by Organizacion Turistica Estudiantil Juvenil (OTEC). Permits allow participants to work between June 1 and Oct. 1.

The fee for the new Australia program is $100. This year the number of participants is limited to 100. You can depart at any time of the year. Visas are valid for six months, and you can apply for a six-month extension. For an extra $30 the CIEE can arrange for accommodations for your first two nights in the country.

For more information on CIEE student work-abroad programs, contact Council Travel Services, 1093 Broxton Ave., Suite 220, Los Angeles 90024, phone (213) 208-3551.

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