USA vs The UK (Where should I go on my working holiday?)
When we Aussies and Kiwis think about working abroad, chances are, the U.S.A. and the UK come to mind as top potential destinations. It’s no secret that, right now, both countries are dealing with unique shifts, both culturally and politically – but those changes are no reason to postpone your overseas adventures! Here are five important factors to consider when choosing your Gap Year destination!
1. Does world history speak to you?
Without a doubt, both destinations have a unique history, and both have had a profound effect on the world at large. But, if the opportunity to really experience a slice of history is something you are chasing, the UK definitely has the edge here. From a visit to the Queen’s digs, to a pint in the very seat where Charles Dickens once enjoyed a few pints of his own, the UK offer’s some pretty amazing opportunities to follow in the footsteps of famous figures, and see the sites of some pretty famous historical events. Interested in the unexplainable? Stonehenge is a must see for you! Love literary history? Stop in for lunch and pint at The Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (one of London’s oldest and most historic pubs). Can’t get enough Harry Potter? Platform 9 3/4’s is waiting (we know this isn’t exactly historic, but we had to slip it in)!
2. What kind of experiences are you seeking?
Looking to jump into winter and work on the slopes? The U.S. still has the edge here – as far as your working experience goes! With that said, the Swiss Alps are only a short flight away from the UK… Bottom line, you’ll want to get clear on the kind of experiences mean the most to you. If you love to ski or snowboard, rock a U.S. trip! BUT, if you are interested in variety, the UK has what you need. Living/working in a city or town/village in the UK (versus a mountain resort in the U.S.A.) gives you greater access to greater variety – from broadway shows, to major music festivals, to nightclubs, to affordable weekend getaways to other European countries. And, you can take ski trips in the winter too!
3. Is the ability to travel to additional countries high up on your list?
One of the big draws to the UK is it’s proximity to the rest of Europe. With cheap as travel options like EasyJet and Ryan Air, you can find flights to Spain, France, and Portugal for next to nothing (we’re serious)! There’s definitely a lot you can see within the borders of the U.S. – but it’s a big country, and getting from place to place isn’t cheap – not to mention that some of their most exciting cities/attractions are days apart if you drive, and will cost hundreds if you fly. Looking specifically at cost and accessibility of further travel potential, the UK comes out ahead once again!
4. Earning Potential!
Here’s an important one you won’t want to overlook! Moving abroad isn’t cheap, and the reality is that, in most cases, you won’t be taking on a job that pays six figures a year. So let’s crunch the numbers… The current federal minimum wage in the U.S. for 20-25 year olds is $7.25 an hour, or approximately $9.39/hour in Aussie dollars. The national minimum wage for 20-25 year olds in the UK is £7.05 an hour, or approximately $11.38/hour AUD plus tips. Another win for the jolly ol’ England.
5. TRUMP vs BREXIT
It’s no secret that both the U.S.A. and the UK are in periods of transition at the moment. With the Trump presidency in the U.S. creating lots of internal and international conflict – and Brexit in the UK putting the British relationship with the rest of the EU at odds – it’s hard to know how much affect this will have on your travel & working holiday plans. Let’s be pragmatic about it, then, yeah? Despite the political uncertainty in the US, the dollar continues to hold strong. In the UK, the British Pound is on a downward trend. What does that mean for us Aussies and Kiwis? Our money will go further in the UK. Fact.
Regardless of where you decide to jet off to, the time to do it is now! You’re not getting any younger, so seize the day, book your trip, pack your bags, and get on with it! And if the UK does emerge as your destination of choice, be sure to hit us up! Our UK Pub Job Program will ensure you get your visa with ease, and will hook you up with a job and a place to live, confirmed before you leave home. The world may indeed be an uncertain place, but that doesn’t mean your UK working holiday arrangements have to be!