BUNAC work and travel progamme.

I really want to try out work experience abroad, I stumbled across this website http://www.bunac.org/uk/workaustralia/applying.aspx purely by accident and I’ve searched for work experience abroad websites before so this was like a little gift just as I was whining about it.

I showed it to my mother who because, you know, she’s my mum. The first thing she said is that it looked dodgy because theres a “Work Progamme Fee” of £345 and through any ordinary application of a visa you wouldn’t have to shell out that amount of cash just for a progamme. Being more technically minded than her I googled “BUNAC reviews” to read other peoples experiences needless to say everything looked genuine.

So is the fee of £345 a honest thing that the organisation need to do? What would they need it for, for example?

It all honestly looks ideal because they sort out the work experience visa for you.

Also I have another question about Canada but I’ll leave that towards the end of my guest subscription because I don’t want to clog up the forum with my questions. :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance.

They are legit. I used them when I moved from Canada to London. The fee covers the costs charged by the embassies/govt and then general administration. BUNAC stands for British Universities North American Club and originated in England to support students and young peoples travels in North America. Eventually they branched out and now promote and facilitate travel to other countries as well. You’ll find most of the staff are ex-BUNAC-ers.

You could do the paperwork yourself and save some money but for someone like me, who didn’t have much travel experience at the time, it made good sense. Also, they have offices all over and provide support and arrange get togethers to meet other travelers. I even lived in (and assistant managed) the BUNAC hostel in London for my first 6 months. Good fun!

I used to work at a summer camp in US (itself run by a large & reputable nonprofit organization) that employed a large number of international staff and always used BUNAC. They are definitely a reputable organization and are used, as far as I know, by the majority of US summer camps. None of my British/Australian friends had any complaints about the organization.

As far as the fee, I’m sure it covers program coordinators and others who are available to assist you while you are overseas and before your trip, as well as basic administrative costs that are involved in running the program. For example, there are Resource Centers in both Sydney & Melbourne.

Oh cool, thank you Mr Jim and Hello Again, this is definitely something I am going to look into so your help was needed!
Actually Mr Jim, one day I hope to switch it around and move from England to Canada.

BUNAC is totally legit. I used them to go from the US to Ireland and the UK. For those programs, there was a hefty fee, but it meant you didn’t need to deal with any government visa offices (worth it on it’s own, IMO). You also got all sorts of nice extras - in most countries they have at least one resource office for the work program, where you can get answers to lots of questions, use computers and job boards, they’ve got housing listings, etc. They also send out pre-departure stuff (guidebooks, “here’s what to do when you’re going through passport control”, etc). Plus it provides a great way to meet other people.

Definitely worth it, IMO.

Mr Jim - which hostel? I spent my first two weeks in London in the one off Tottenham Court Road. It was cheap for the location, but I can’t imagine living there for six months.

Just chiming in to say that I also did BUNAC (I’m an American, lived and worked in Scotland), and so did a college friend of mine (at a different time and place than me–he went to London the year prior). It was an amazing experience, and I whole-heartedly recommend them as a way to get legal short-term work abroad.

Thanks :slight_smile:

I’m obviously too late but next year I’ll be sorting out going to Australia for a year through this.

I’ve been reading about their volunteer progammes and there are conservation projects in Costa Rica and Peru, are these places quite dangerous? With the Peru progammes you live with a local family, but nowhere on the website does it mention safety.

Also when applying for the volunteer progammes you have to provide a CV, well I’ve been just a full time student so will that effect whether I am (or anyone who has just been a student) accepted?

People who hire from BUNAC are aware that everyone is student with little or no work experience. If you’ve ever done any voluntary work, exta cirricular activities at school or college include that, so that they have some sort of idea of what you might be interested in.

Just another one chiming in to say BUNAC is legit. No, I have not used it, but good friends when I was a student did and were happy with it. I hope you have a great experience wherever you end up going. :slight_smile:

And welcome to the SDMB.

I cannot imagine that it will. C.V. doesn’t need to be a great long list of career jobs, but obviously there are some things you will have learned from your university experience and summer jobs etc - languages learned, practical skills gained, etc.

Well, as Tapioca Dextrin said, really. :slight_smile:

Ok. Thanks :smiley:

I’m actually not in university yet, with BUNAC I’m gonna have to do things *one * thing at a time, it’s just everything looks good when you really want an escape route.

My impression of Costa Rica is that its a fairly safe and stable place in Central America – I know eco-tousim is a pretty big thing there, and I have a few friends who have been (and they’re not the type who vacation “on the edge” so to speak).

According to the US State Department Consular Information Sheet:
Costa Rica is a middle-income, developing country with a strong democratic tradition. Tourist facilities are extensive and generally adequate. The capital is San Jose. English is a second language for many Costa Ricans.

(click link for further safety and health information)