City work in Sydney

Sydney: a world-renowned city known for its beauty, its beaches and its fast pace of life. Become part of a group setting up for life in Sydney, with full orientation, help with job and accommodation hunting and a great local insight to start your time in Oz with a bang.


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Hit the ground running Down Under

If you want to experience working abroad but don’t want to make the first step on your own then this placement is perfect for you. You will join an instant group of friends and be shown around the city, getting all the insider local knowledge that you’ll need. You will get help sorting out your tax file number, getting your Medicare cover, opening a bank account and getting an Australian SIM card and phone card. You will also do an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) course which is vital if you want to work in a bar or licensed restaurant or café. You’ll explore the local hotspots, get insider knowledge on the best of what Sydney has to offer and get help finding a job and an apartment.

It’s not all hard work. For the first two weeks you’ll be staying in a hostel in the centre of Sydney, and while looking for jobs you’ll enjoy many exciting activities. These include a three day beach escape with sand boarding, a dolphin watching cruise and koala spotting, coastal tours, city tours, a fantastic private cruise around the harbour, a cocktail course and much much more.

“I had a wonderful experience on the City Work in Sydney program. Oyster thoroughly prepared me for my trip beforehand in the UK , which made the entire experience hassle free and easy (as a first time traveller this was key)!! Couldn’t recommend Oyster enough for their constant support and guidance through my entire gap year, I can’t wait to go on more trips with them again in the future!” – Florence

See the Comprehensive Sydney Itinerary for more information.

Keen to get your travel plans sorted too? Have a look at our working and travelling Australia combo.

What will I be doing in Sydney?

The work available to you in Sydney is plentiful, with the majority of the jobs in retail, bars, restaurants, cafés or offices. The pay is pretty good, with wages around $15 per hour if you have no experience, and up to around $25 per hour for those with relevant skills.

Working in a city abroad definitely helps your CV and gives you excellent preparation for going away to university or starting a future job. And what better city to work in than Sydney? You will be working with Australians and most likely other backpackers too, so you’ll instantly be making friends in the workplace and developing an exciting social life. You can work for each employer for a maximum of 6 months. After that initial 6 months you will have the skills and know-how to find yourself another job if you want to. As part of the programme you will have a year long subscription to a first-rate online recruitment agency which should make finding subsequent jobs easier.

What about after Sydney?

You can stay in Sydney for up to one year on your working holiday visa. Most people who go to Oz on this visa will spend some time travelling the country. Once you have earned some money in Sydney, it is the perfect time to dust the backpack off and see what the rest of the country has to offer.

If you want to organise some travel before you get to Australia then have a look at the 5 week programme.

Accommodation and Food

You’ll spend your nights in Sydney in ‘WakeUp’ hostel in central Sydney. The hostel has great facilities, including a bar, TV lounge, clean and secure bedrooms and 24hr wifi. Expect to share an en-suite room with the rest of your group. During that time you will be helped to search for an apartment for the rest of your time in Sydney. However, you might like to continue staying in the hostel after you initial week is over. Shared apartments in Sydney are around A$230 per week.


  • Hit the ground running with a week of exploring, job hunting and trips
  • Get to know your group before you go- and have an instant social life on arrival
  • Help to make your CV more “Aussie”, a cocktail course, RSA course, year-long subscription to a leading recruitment agency and plenty of interview help

Whyshould I do this?

Australia is one of the most popular destinations in the world for gap year travel. Some of the greatest attractions to working there include the English language, the laid back atmosphere, the weather and the variety of work. Many gappers will factor in some time Down Under to earn some more money to further their travels.

This programme gives you the opportunity to embrace life in Oz, safe in the knowledge that you have support, a group of young likeminded people to be with and help with getting work. This means that whilst you are on the other side of the world, you are never far from a helping hand.

Getting there

Groups arrive every first Sunday of the month from August to April. You will fly into Sydney international airport and will get a shuttle bus to the hostel where you will meet the rest of your group.


Our representative

Our representative

Ellie was born and bred in Sydney. She is currently a student at Sydney University but as a rep it is her job to make sure that your stay in the city runs smoothly. She knows all the best things to do and places to go, so will do her best to ensure you have a great time.


What is provided

  • Sorting out your medicare, tax file numbers, bank account, mobile phones or SIM cards and phone cards
  • One-to-one informal phone interview and briefing in the UK
  • Advice on obtaining a visa
  • Advice on finding a competitive and suitable return flight to Sydney
  • Comprehensive support and advice whilst in-country
  • Airport transfer to your hostel
  • 7 nights accommodation in Sydney
  • Induction on arrival in Sydney
  • Guided city tour
  • Welcome dinner and drink
  • Private cruise around Sydney Harbour
  • 3 days and 2 nights just outside Sydney at a base camp with kilometers of glorious sand beaches and rainforests
  • Sand boarding, bush walk and dolphin cruise from the base camp
  • A trip along the ‘Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk’ from Bondi to Coogee
  • Night time tour of Sydney, with entrance into 4 bars with 4 drinks included
  • RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) course and a cocktail course
  • 12 months of help and support with your CV/ resume
  • 12 month subscription to leading job site
  • Tax refund advice
  • Free internet connection in Sydney
  • Travellers discount card

On your return:

  • References (on request)

What do I need

  • A passport valid for 6 months beyond the end of your return date
  • You must be eligible for a Working Holiday visa (aged between 18-30 and a permitted nationality for the visa. See here for visa eligibility criteria)
  • Insurance – we can recommend you a policy
  • An electronic copy of your CV
  • National Insurance Card or NHS card
  • Return flight to Sydney
  • Your travel costs to the airport
  • Cost of travel around the city
  • Money for food throughout the trip
  • Money for accommodation after your first 7 days
  • Spending money
  • Work clothes
  • A medical check- about £25