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Work (paid or voluntary)

What you do, and the balance of paid and voluntary work, will depend on your personal finances, the type of work you hope to do and where – in some places work-permits and/or job opportunities are hard to get. You can start by looking at as some specialist books such as Summer Jobs Worldwide or Green Volunteers and their associated websites.

Within the UK, the leading volunteer agency is Community Service Volunteers (www.csv.org.uk). Young people work as full-time volunteers, living away from home with free accommodation, spending money, food allowance and travelling expenses.

Increasingly students are taking work that will be good experience to help with the tricky business of finding a job after they graduate. Many organisations offer internships – some are unpaid, some pay expenses only, rarely do they pay more than the minimum wage. Some companies, eg top law firms, offer programmes where you work for them in the vacations, usually for a decent wage, and can find out if that’s what you really want to do; it’s not altruism, of course, but allows the companies to cherry pick and recruit the best people.

If you want to work abroad, there are many organisations that will arrange placements – for a few months in the summer or a whole year (before or after university). They offer very different types of work – EFL teaching to coral conservation. On some you are paid, on most you pay to go; some in remote areas of the developing world, some on the ski slopes of Canada. There may be age limits (upper or lower). See Taking a gap year for information about organisations and how to judge them.

Also, you can get information about work in international aid and development, at home or overseas, from the World Service Enquiry (www.wse.org.uk).

Featured Universities

Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University

Location: Canterbury

Students: 19105

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Liverpool University

Location: Liverpool

Students: 21875

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