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Summer Work/Programs in Asia?

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Replies to: Summer Work/Programs in Asia?

  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,070 Senior Member
    edited January 8
    Traveling in SE Asia is dirt cheap. Lodging, food, flights (once there), trains, everything. Should she not find someone to pay for her to do something and just travel, it's not a big expense. I was recently there for two months NOT in hostels and spent very little $.

    I also met some English teachers, more in Vietnam. Most were on 6 month to 1 year contracts. They worked few hours a day, though, One did like 2-3 hours of private-ish lessons , another did a regular school day sort of gig. I think most places that pay for teachers want more than 2 months...and she'd be stuck in one city doing that anyway. Neat experience, and maybe could travel weekends, but still.

    I met a lot of backpackers as well, doing the circuit (that's a thing).

    New Zealand has a working holiday visa program for those under 30 - up to a year and they can work pretty much anyplace they can get a job. Often is picking kiwis or similar but can be more interesting work and better pay depending on skills. https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/united-states-of-america-working-holiday-visa
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,449 Senior Member
    Thailand is well geared up for tourism and has a lot of interesting destinations for a solo traveler. We went this summer with our teens and they loved it. Yes, it rained, but it wasn’t too bad and it never stopped us from seeing anything. I also think teaching English for a couple of months is the best short term option. Thailand is cheaper than China, which we didn’t find to be super cheap.

    In your daughter’s shoes, I would recommend Thailand over China and Indonesia. Personally, given the religious influence and the complete lack of charm in Jakarta, I wouldn’t consider that a good option for a solo female traveler. I LOVED China, but I’d be wary of being a single female traveling there. There’s something inherently friendly and welcoming about the Thais that, in my mind, makes it the best choice. Bangkok is truly a modern and cosmopolitan city. If she were there, she would have access to everything she needs.

    I have no direct knowledge of Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam. I do believe they are probably a little less developed than other SE Asian countries. Singapore might be a good idea if she wants somewhere more like home.
  • momrathmomrath Registered User Posts: 5,913 Senior Member
    Having lived in Jakarta for 15 years I wouldn’t recommend it either but Bali is a completely different situation. A culture rich in pageantry and arts, phenomenal natural beauty and an accessible community of young travelers.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,449 Senior Member
    Yes, Bali is incredible and I loved it. But I think there would be limited opportunities for work apart from tourism jobs.
  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 Registered User Posts: 3,513 Senior Member
    edited January 10
    Aren’t we talking about a 20 something year old about to head off and work full time and yet you are laying down requirements? I don’t get that. If she wants to travel alone, she should, without any restrictions set by you. You need to know when to let go, and at 21-22, the time is long past. Offer travel safety tips, ask her to check in regularly, and wish her well on her adventure.
  • melvin123melvin123 Registered User Posts: 1,365 Senior Member
    If it's mom's money, mom gets to add requirements. Even if it's kid's money, if my kid (even if she were 60!) was going to do something I perceived as dangerous, I'd have a heck of a long conversation with her about it. Hopefully our kids love us enough to listen, and even if they go ahead with their plans, they will have incorporated some safety protocols in response to our concerns.
  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 Registered User Posts: 3,513 Senior Member
    Traveling solo isn’t in and of itself dangerous. I don’t agree in controlling young adults with money. I think that’s wrong. Treat them like adults and have adult conversations about safety and let them spread their wings under your guidance.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,761 Senior Member
    @itsgettingreal17 I wasn't looking for parenting advice but thanks for your opinion anyways. Just for the record, my degree is in adolescent psychology/behavioral science and I'm a social worker who has worked with both kids and adults for a long time. I travelled solo on a one year backpack trip at 23 years old (1984) so I'm hardly naive about solo travel and the pros and cons. My D has traveled all over Europe including Italy, Hungary, Croatia and many other places.

    I shouldn't have said "requirement" or maybe you shouldn't have taken it to heart and used it as a way to declare better parenting skills. A better wording would have been "I've asked her not to travel solo and told her how very unhappy I would be if she decided to do it anyways". She is independent but we are not talking Florida or Hawaii, we are talking Asia. I don't think its too much to ask that she either have a travel partner or go on a sponsored trip of some sort. In reality, it will be much more fun for her than a solo trip. So knock yourself out and let your kids do whatever they want once they hit that magic age of ?? what is it, 21 or 22?

    And so back to the original thread...

    @Lindagaf I do believe that Thailand is her first choice, and thanks for the info on Bali as well. She is fine with working in the tourism industry, the work portion of the trip is simply to provide her the funds necessary to stay an extended time. Although I pay for college and other essentials, all travel and "fun" is on her, as is this trip.

    @momrath, thanks also for the Bali info.

    Right now D is in New Orleans where she met two friends that she studied abroad with in Budapest, one flying from Utah and the other from Minnesota. I'm sure her mind is elsewhere but once she gets back she'll be once again foraging through information about Asia. She has already booked her spring break to Iceland...this girl doesn't sit still for too long lol.
  • momrathmomrath Registered User Posts: 5,913 Senior Member
    edited January 10
    @NEPatsGirl Tourism and hospitality IS a huge industry in Bali (even more so in Thailand), but in general hospitality positions are not open to foreigners, except those with skill and experience. E.g., managers, accountants, chefs, trainers.

    Bali, especially the Ubud area, has become a center for international NGOs working in a variety of fields -- environment, education, poverty allevieation, public health, animal welfare. The chance of being hired formally or informally by a small NGO for a month or so is greater than finding a job with a big company that would require a visa.

    And targeting a laid-back small town community like Ubud, (or Siem Reap, Chiang Mai, Hue, or Luang Prabang) is a better starting place than a big city because it would be easier to find budget priced accommodation that is also clean & safe and to meet up with like minded travelers.

    My advice to your daughter would be
    Look at destinations, not countries. Then within destinations, think about whether she wants to start with major cities or beach/countryside areas. Urban accommodations will either be more costly or less desirable, depending on the situation. It's a trade-off.

    Decide if she wants to explore off the beaten track places that are more adventurous and exotic, but also have less developed infrastructures. Or places with developed tourism that offer accessible services and have a critical mass of young travelers. Again, it's a trade-off.

    The major factor in choosing destinations is whether she'll be traveling solo, with a few companions or with an organized group. With some common sense most of SE Asia is safe for solo female travelers. There are a few exceptions, but in general violent crime is rare. Young travelers tend to gravitate to certain hubs where they meet-up with other solos for onward journeys.

    I believe that finding paid work in Southeast Asia for a month or so is unlikely. Work permits/visas are strictly controlled in all Asian countries (as they are in most of the world) and getting a short-term visa is rare without a personal connection. Getting paid informally (wink, wink) or getting paid "in kind" (accommodation, meals) is common.

    Volunteering within a structured program is a good alternative. Accommodation cost is usually paid by the volunteer but it's affordable and organized by the group. Many NGOs hire volunteers on a case-by-case short-term basis. Some provide housing. The best way to find them is to contact directly a few in the areas that she's interested in.

    There are many, many travel organizations that cater to college students and recent grads. Once she's picked her place(s) she'll be able to find lots of options at varying cost levels.


  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,938 Senior Member
    China is unbelievably HOT in the summer. I spent 2 weeks there in June, and swore I wouldn't do it again. I went again and it was April. Gorgeous.

    Most internships or short term jobs are voluntourism, and you end up paying for most of it. It might restrict where and when she can travel more than just not working and shortening her trip. I know a lot of people who have volunteered in orphanages, and they enjoy that and it gives them a focus to the trip.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,938 Senior Member
    She could also find a couple of friends to travel part of the time with her. If friends only have 2 weeks, she could set up the trip in 2-3 segments.
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