The Gap Year Balance
Blog by Lauren Ponsi (picture credit: JESHOOTS.COM)
The working holiday visa comes with immense benefits compared to regular travel. You get 365 days of living AND working in Ireland all while having fun, making memories diving into Irish culture. In order to survive your working holiday, you have to find that that work-play balance that is ideal to you.
Most likely the first thing you’re going to do once you land in Ireland is start job hunting. Think about what your goals and budget are. For me, I registered with a few employment agencies, started off with temporary job assignments. This put me at working 35-40 hours a week Monday through Friday. This fit my goals and budget because I made enough money to pay rent, travel every so often as well as go experience the Dublin social life. I had weekends off to travel, go out for the occasional Tuesday night trad session and even enjoyed take away a few times a week. This is what worked for my lifestyle within reason, I was able to gain work experience whilst still having fun.
I was able to gain work experience whilst still having fun.
FYI: If you know you hate mornings and sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day will drive you crazy, then temp jobs won’t be your thing. Dublin is such a diverse city, there are all kinds of jobs you can apply for. You don’t want your gap year ruined because you’re at a job that is not on par with your expectations.
Ballin on a Budget
Along with your gap year expectations, comes the price tag. When you’re thinking about the lifestyle you enjoy and the goals you want to accomplish in the year think about how much things cost. Create a budget for yourself, what are the things that you can’t live without, how much do you need to save for travel and what are those extras you can forgo. Plan out the trips you want to take in advance, this way you can pay a little at a time or put extra cash away each paycheck. Also, Ireland likes to give everyone a little 3 day weekend every now and then called bank holidays. Utilize these to your advantage because it’s a free paid day off in most Monday to Friday jobs.
Budgets are a good habit to get into, and it helps you become aware of how you’re spending your money. If I want to do more traveling I will maybe limit my take away and cook more, or skip out on that Wednesday after work drinks event. And that is a great benefit to taking a gap year, you don’t necessarily have to be go-go-go all the time. It’s fine to take a weekend off to save a little extra for that beach trip next bank holiday weekend.
Work Hard Play Harder
So we all aren’t going on a gap year to strictly work, of course, we want to meet new people and jump right into the Irish culture. The Stint Gap Year Program is a great way to kick-start your year in Ireland. Before you even land in the country you’re already being linked with people on the same path with their Facebook community. Here you get the chance to make friends and find those who are similar interests as you. With Stint, you’re never alone and there will always be someone who would be interested in doing stuff with you.
Along with Stint, there are so many social applications such as MeetUp, GirlCrew and the Facebook Events section are a few of my favorites because it allows me to filter by interests. You can find weekly hiking groups or what events are going on that week in the community and even get involved with some locals.
A working holiday gives you the freedom and flexibility to grow into a new culture. You create an everyday life in a new country and can find yourself amongst the locals. Find the balance the perfect balance of travel, work, and friends to create the best year ever. Interested in hearing more about The Gap Year Program? Fill out a super-short form and we will give you all the infomation you need.