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    I began this year wanting to study performing arts at a university or drama school, it's something that I have always been working towards for the past few years. So, I auditioned and was not successful, which means I have a year to my self to do whatever I want to do. I have begun to doubt my ambitions of becoming an actor or performer, and am beginning to become rather turned off by the idea. I have told my parent's, and they have given me two options:
    A: College course / Education.
    B: Full-time work and pay them money.
    To be perfectly honest, I don't want to stay in education much longer, I'm sick of it. Also, I don't want to be stuck dependent on my parents.

    So for the past week I have been doing my research, and came across one of the stickies of this area of the forums. It was about working holiday visas to Australia, which interested me. Basically, you apply for and purchase a working holiday visa which allows you to stay and work in Australia for 1 year and up to 6 months with each employer. This led to me research about back packing and other people's great experiences with back packing.

    I work part-time at a supermarket and already have £1500 saved up. I have worked out I will need approximately another £3800. This will cover a one-way flight, insurance, the visa and the recommended financial support (5000 AUS Dollars which is equal to around £3300). The 5000 AUS Dollars can be used as living expenses, and I believe this money will more than cover me for over a month, giving me time to find employment. (Note I hope to stay in a hostel). I have heard that if you try hard enough, employment isn't too difficult to come across.

    I have worked out that I will need to achieve an additional 5 hours overtime per week at my current place of employment to achieve my financial goals, and this won't be hard to get as they ALWAYS ask me to do over time. (Over time is on top of my 8 hours a week contract).

    So, today I told my parents my plans. They were completely against me, and my brother even mocked me (he's at uni). My mum said she didn't want me going to a foreign country on my own and about how dangerous it was ect ect. My brother thinks it's a waste of money, and didn't listen to me when I told him I could earn money whilst over there. My dad just goes along with my mum. EVERYBODY is against my plan. I hope to head out dec/jan/feb (depending on financial circumstances).

    What are people's thoughts on my gap year plans? My parent's are already trying to put me off travelling, threatening to make me pay large amounts of rent ect. I am an 18 year old just trying to seek independence, whilst seeing new things, living a little and figuring out what I really want to do.

    Thoughts? Comments? Advice?
    Thanks.
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    Australia isnt really a 'foreign' country. We do speak English here and drive on the correct side of the road.

    Seriously - I think doing a Gap Year in Australia sounds a very good idea for someone who isnt entirely sure what they want to do next. Getting away from home for a while and doing something very different is often a good way to do some sensible. clear headed thinking.

    I expect your parents are just concerned that you are going to 'muck about' for a year and then still have no idea what you want to do next. Show them some of the Gap Year sites that have organised Australian Gap Year schemes - you dont have to do these btw, but it might reassure your parents that there is actually a point to doing this, and other people have done it without the rest of their lives being a complete failure.

    Yes, it would be nice if they were a bit more supportive but perhaps if you start seriously planning it and showing them what you intend to do for your year away, they might actually come round to the idea. One other idea is to apply for Uni for 2014 entry before you go (ie. you'll know your A level grades by then so could get an immediate Unconditional offer) - even if you didnt actually take up the place, it would reassure your parents that you were planning on coming back to 'do something sensible'.
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    Ignore your bro, he's probably jealous as your dream/plan is really not anything conventionally mockable...unlike buying a Robin Reliant or taking up Morris Dancing (not that i have anything against either). Indeed, travel is something 99% of the population are -at worst- neutral about, but generally view as a good thing.

    Money seems like no problem if your maths is right.

    Parents worry. It's what they do

    1) Aus is as far as you could whilst keeping everything the same, well, 30 years behind us and with nicer beaches...you get the idea. Safe and 'civilised'.
    2) Any job there will pay you 2x/3x more than here, given you point in life and opportunities here. Asia would be on your doorstep.
    3) You're in a rut. To find a way out of it, you need new people, places, situations and opportunities around you. Not the same family & brother (still gotta love them though), friends, teachers, employers and acquaintances. Maybe you'll come back in 9 months having realised they were right. I doubt it though...travel does funny things to people...
    4) Point out how many Aussies live in London, and how many of us there are in Aus, especially the young crowd. You wouldn't be the first or the last to travel to the other end of the earth looking for something...

    Sit down with them, find out what their concerns are, explain why it means a lot to you and answer their concerns. It sounds like the key one to win over is your mum. I assume once she's on-side, dad will tag along to avoid conflict and nobody will give a rat's arse what your bro thinks.

    My parents were initially unhappy about me travelling, then happy for me as i was having an awesome time...though i'm sure mum didn't have a single worry-free night's sleep in the 3 years i was away!

    Safe travels
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    (Original post by returnmigrant)
    Australia isnt really a 'foreign' country. We do speak English here and drive on the correct side of the road.

    Seriously - I think doing a Gap Year in Australia sounds a very good idea for someone who isnt entirely sure what they want to do next. Getting away from home for a while and doing something very different is often a good way to do some sensible. clear headed thinking.

    I expect your parents are just concerned that you are going to 'muck about' for a year and then still have no idea what you want to do next. Show them some of the Gap Year sites that have organised Australian Gap Year schemes - you dont have to do these btw, but it might reassure your parents that there is actually a point to doing this, and other people have done it without the rest of their lives being a complete failure.

    Yes, it would be nice if they were a bit more supportive but perhaps if you start seriously planning it and showing them what you intend to do for your year away, they might actually come round to the idea. One other idea is to apply for Uni for 2014 entry before you go (ie. you'll know your A level grades by then so could get an immediate Unconditional offer) - even if you didnt actually take up the place, it would reassure your parents that you were planning on coming back to 'do something sensible'.

    (Original post by brabzzz)
    Ignore your bro, he's probably jealous as your dream/plan is really not anything conventionally mockable...unlike buying a Robin Reliant or taking up Morris Dancing (not that i have anything against either). Indeed, travel is something 99% of the population are -at worst- neutral about, but generally view as a good thing.

    Money seems like no problem if your maths is right.

    Parents worry. It's what they do

    1) Aus is as far as you could whilst keeping everything the same, well, 30 years behind us and with nicer beaches...you get the idea. Safe and 'civilised'.
    2) Any job there will pay you 2x/3x more than here, given you point in life and opportunities here. Asia would be on your doorstep.
    3) You're in a rut. To find a way out of it, you need new people, places, situations and opportunities around you. Not the same family & brother (still gotta love them though), friends, teachers, employers and acquaintances. Maybe you'll come back in 9 months having realised they were right. I doubt it though...travel does funny things to people...
    4) Point out how many Aussies live in London, and how many of us there are in Aus, especially the young crowd. You wouldn't be the first or the last to travel to the other end of the earth looking for something...

    Sit down with them, find out what their concerns are, explain why it means a lot to you and answer their concerns. It sounds like the key one to win over is your mum. I assume once she's on-side, dad will tag along to avoid conflict and nobody will give a rat's arse what your bro thinks.

    My parents were initially unhappy about me travelling, then happy for me as i was having an awesome time...though i'm sure mum didn't have a single worry-free night's sleep in the 3 years i was away!

    Safe travels

    Thanks for replying.
    At least I know some people don't think I'm crazy!! I take it either of you have either lived or worked in Australia. Could you share some experiences, and would you recommend bringing anything. I heard most travelers get driving licenses and qualifications before they go, would these be useful?

    Today, my mum has given up try to persuade me not to go (I think it's because I asked her last night how much rents for her would be because I was going to plan it into my finances to make Australia possible - which stumped her efforts, haha!) Although she wants me to do a part-time college course or something so she can get child tax benefits or something like that - I don't know whether or not this is an honest way to get money from the government, but hey-ho¬!

    My chestlist of things to do now include:
    -Saving up all that dough!
    -Planning my year and what I'm going to do whilst not working.
    -Have a look at different hostels and job opportunities.

    Finally, are there any 'must-see's' which I shouldn't miss out on. I heard it's a good idea to travel to different cities along the entire east coast. Thanks for replying :P
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    A couple of bits of advice :

    1. Dont arrive between the start of December and the end of January. Its too hot for a start, and also its the long 'summer holiday' season. This means lots of businesses go into slow-down, dont hire anyone and dont advertise jobs. Also, any job worth getting will have been grabbed by Uni students way back on Oct/Nov.

    2. Bring a full British driving licence (including the paper bit that you filed away somewhere) and a credit card. Also bring your mobile, and just get a new Australian SIM card when you get here.

    3. Get written references from current employers and your last school before you leave. Make lots of photocopies of the originals once you get to Australia. Many Australian employers will be 'cant be arsed' about contacting UK employers by email etc. If you've got references on you, that could be the clincher.

    4. You'll also need these references to get any rented accomodation. So make sure these work references also say that you are clean, sensible and honest, or words to that effect.

    5. Get an International Student Card if you can. Heaps of discounts - especially on travel.

    6. Take one decent set of clothes with you. Non-jean trousers and a new shirt (see 9 below).

    7. You DONT have to do one of those nancy 'Gap Year Schemes'. They are mostly about poorly paid fruit picking and bar work, and designed for those who havnt quite passed puberty yet and still want someone else to tell them what to do. If you google search something like 'student jobs Melbourne', you'll find all sorts of websites and contacts to follow up about real jobs that pay money.

    8. Most work will be the 'apply when you get here' sort. So make sure you also have a well written but simple CV on a memory stick that you can alter/print out as you go along.

    9. The best jobs arent advertised. You have retail/customer service experience. Walk into all the shops in the central city area (known always as 'the CBD') including the biggest Dept stores and Hotels/beach Resorts you can find and ask where the Manager/HR Dept is. Having dressed properly, got your hair cut and had a shower, you should impress. Quietly explain you are English, have a work visa, you have retail experience and here is your CV. Dont mention anything about how long you will stay.

    10. Once you've earned some money, book some travel. This country is ENORMOUS and there is heaps to see/do.

    Good Luck!
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    (Original post by returnmigrant)
    A couple of bits of advice :

    1. Dont arrive between the start of December and the end of January. Its too hot for a start, and also its the long 'summer holiday' season. This means lots of businesses go into slow-down, dont hire anyone and dont advertise jobs. Also, any job worth getting will have been grabbed by Uni students way back on Oct/Nov.

    2. Bring a full British driving licence (including the paper bit that you filed away somewhere) and a credit card. Also bring your mobile, and just get a new Australian SIM card when you get here.

    3. Get written references from current employers and your last school before you leave. Make lots of photocopies of the originals once you get to Australia. Many Australian employers will be 'cant be arsed' about contacting UK employers by email etc. If you've got references on you, that could be the clincher.

    4. You'll also need these references to get any rented accomodation. So make sure these work references also say that you are clean, sensible and honest, or words to that effect.

    5. Get an International Student Card if you can. Heaps of discounts - especially on travel.

    6. Take one decent set of clothes with you. Non-jean trousers and a new shirt (see 9 below).

    7. You DONT have to do one of those nancy 'Gap Year Schemes'. They are mostly about poorly paid fruit picking and bar work, and designed for those who havnt quite passed puberty yet and still want someone else to tell them what to do. If you google search something like 'student jobs Melbourne', you'll find all sorts of websites and contacts to follow up about real jobs that pay money.

    8. Most work will be the 'apply when you get here' sort. So make sure you also have a well written but simple CV on a memory stick that you can alter/print out as you go along.

    9. The best jobs arent advertised. You have retail/customer service experience. Walk into all the shops in the central city area (known always as 'the CBD') including the biggest Dept stores and Hotels/beach Resorts you can find and ask where the Manager/HR Dept is. Having dressed properly, got your hair cut and had a shower, you should impress. Quietly explain you are English, have a work visa, you have retail experience and here is your CV. Dont mention anything about how long you will stay.

    10. Once you've earned some money, book some travel. This country is ENORMOUS and there is heaps to see/do.

    Good Luck!
    Hi, thanks for the useful information.
    I have a couple more questions:

    1. Would it be entirely necessary to get a full driving license? If so what purposes would it serve.

    2. How many hours would I need to work a week in lets say retail, to cover my basic living expenses and travel. (Note, I will be staying in a hostel, and will be trying to keep food prices to a minimum. Also, I don't really drink alcohol, so no waste there. :P)
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    1. Australia is a massive country. Buses dont go everywhere. And you will totally limit what jobs you can apply for without the ability to drive to places off a bus route.

    2. Suggest you do some research of your own. Work out what a hostel will cost you. Then find out what shop assistants get paid from job sites. You do the Maths.
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    Oh, and I have just worked out costs if I traveled according to the months you recommended. I would have to do 21 hours overtime a week to achieve that date, which just isn't achievable.

    Also, I want to spend Christmas with my family before I set off, and don't really want to be wasting money on return flights home every now and then. :P

    Is it truly that difficult to find work in January? I thought most people will be going BACK to university.
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    The new Uni year doesnt start here until mid-Feb at the earliest.

    (What do you mean 'wasting money on return flights'? I'm suggesting you work your butt off until December 2013, spend Xmas with your family, work a few more weeks into the new year, then fly to Australia at the end of Feb 2014. Why is this a problem involving 'return flights'?)
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    (Original post by returnmigrant)
    The new Uni year doesnt start here until mid-Feb at the earliest.

    (What do you mean 'wasting money on return flights'? I'm suggesting you work your butt off until December 2013, spend Xmas with your family, work a few more weeks into the new year, then fly to Australia at the end of Feb 2014. Why is this a problem involving 'return flights'?)
    Ok, sounds like a plan :P
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    (Original post by Flying Pig)
    Oh, and I have just worked out costs if I traveled according to the months you recommended. I would have to do 21 hours overtime a week to achieve that date, which just isn't achievable.

    Also, I want to spend Christmas with my family before I set off, and don't really want to be wasting money on return flights home every now and then. :P

    Is it truly that difficult to find work in January? I thought most people will be going BACK to university.
    take into consideration buying Christmas presents
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    (Original post by sufferin succotash)
    take into consideration buying Christmas presents
    I'm going to try and budget £50 on Christmas presents. I'm aiming to get around £100 - £200 above my overall target anyway :P

    Oh, and I'm going to blog whilst I'm there as my main way to keep in touch with friends and family (as i'm sure it costs loads to use phones). :P
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    (Original post by Flying Pig)
    I'm going to try and budget £50 on Christmas presents. I'm aiming to get around £100 - £200 above my overall target anyway :P

    Oh, and I'm going to blog whilst I'm there as my main way to keep in touch with friends and family (as i'm sure it costs loads to use phones). :P
    That's cool, urm you could use like fb, or an instant messaging app on like your phone or itouch if you have one. What'sApp is good or Kik, Just use it when you come across wifi. That's easy with friend. If you can blog you can instant message.
    Of course not everyone is available. If you have an iphone, there's always skype/facetime as well.
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    Sounds like you have it all sorted. There are some good tips in this thread also. I am thinking of doing the same thing as you but I need to save up a lot of money.
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    I did a gap year in Australia, best decision of my life! Its relatively easy to get a job there (I spent most of my time in Sydney) plus the pay is great, I actually left Australia having saved more money than I came with.

    There's a bunch of people from all around the world taking a gap year, or learning English in oz, so its really easy to meet people. Within the first two weeks of me being there, I had already got myself a full time job and got a house share on the beach with some English and Swedish guys!

    gumtree.com is great for finding jobs, house/ flat shares and even just to meet people. It was a necessity for me when I was in oz.

    You will not get another opportunity like this, so take it. It will probably be the best decision of your life so far, I've never met someone who regretted it.
 
 
 
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