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Take care of abandoned cats and dogs who are waiting to be re-homed or enjoying living our their days in comfort. As well as the usual tasks such as cleaning, feeding and walking, you’ll also get a chance to help with plenty of ‘playtime’ and cuddles.  Explore the fascinating city of Barcelona in your free time – from visiting the beach to checking out the sights, there is almost too much to keep you busy!

 

Help clean up our oceans and learn to dive – or improve your current skills – on a beautiful beach in Barcelona. Spend your days foraging for plastic waste and old fishing nets, analyse your ‘catch’, and then wave goodbye as it makes it’s way off for recycling. You’ll have plenty of free time to explore this epic city of course, and you won’t be disappointed!

Get hands-on with hundreds of monkeys and baboons in the world’s largest primate rehabilitation centre – prepare for plenty of monkey hugs! Become a surrogate parent to these mistreated and orphaned animals, helping them on their journey to a new life back in the wild.
Minimum duration 10 days.

Get off the beaten track to live on a beautiful Costa Rican beach, protecting the turtles that nest and hatch on the golden sands. Live like a local as you make a genuine contribution to marine conservation.

Join an international team of volunteers who are working together to care for rescued elephants in an inspirational sanctuary. Together you will be helping these elephants to have a life as close to the wild as possible, a far cry from their previous lives working on the streets or in tourist camps. Highlights include bathing and walking the elephants, allowing you to really get to know these gentle giants.

Volunteer at Eastern Europe’s largest bear sanctuary, helping to care for the world’s most beloved animal. Watch the bears enjoying their newfound freedom as you look after their basic needs in this beautiful woodland haven. Romania is described by many of our volunteers as “Europe’s hidden gem”, and with its vast number of outdoor, historical, cultural and city pursuits, you won’t want to leave!

Bears, birds, orangutans, monkeys, gibbons, deer, otters – and much more! – are being cared for by volunteers like you at this inspiring sanctuary on the outskirts of Thailand’s largest national park. Help to look after over 700 neglected animals, rescued from the cruel tourist trade, and brought to this sanctuary to recover. If that isn’t enough of a draw, there is even an on-site elephant sanctuary that you may be able to help at too.

Become part of an elephant research team, monitoring these gentle giants in their daily lives together. The project is located in a beautiful park, where you will be working closely with rescued elephants as they recover from previous trauma and stress. In your free time, explore the stunning Garden Route and immerse yourself fully in this wonderful corner of Africa.

See all aspects of Ghanaian life by reporting on day-to-day life and taking part in a varied journalism internship in Accra. Work for a newspaper, radio or TV station and get hands-on experience in the media industry.

Work closely with wolves in a beautiful sanctuary in one of Portugal’s National Parks. These shy creatures are no longer able to live in the wild after having been kept in zoos, traded illegally or hunted by humans. Help to provide care and a life as close to the wild as possible to the largest members of the much-loved dog family.

Education opens doors, making it one of the most important gifts you can receive. Take part in our women’s empowerment program in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and teach local Laos women English.

Take the first steps to becoming a game ranger on this amazing 8 week course, working towards the highly regarded FGASA Field Guide qualification. Live the life of a trainee game ranger on a lush game reserve, learning all about and participating in animal care, reserve management, game drives and more. If that’s not enough, your classroom is a Big 5 game reserve, with amazing animals at every turn.

Live with elephants in a beautiful lakeside rescue centre, surrounded by sprawling jungle and jagged mountains. Work with elephants that have been rescued from the demanding logging industry, and witness baby elephants being cared for in the on-site elephant nursery. The elephant population in Laos, once known as the “Land of a Million Elephants”, is plummeting, and you can be part of the solution to this tragic problem.

Volunteer with over 200 exotic Amazonian animals in a beautiful rainforest sanctuary. From monkeys to forest cats, from caimans to birds, from tortoises to rodents, this wildlife haven is home to amazing animals aplenty. Contribute to their rehabilitation and care during the week, and explore this stunning corner of Ecuador on your weekends.

Use your holiday to explore the best of South East Asia on one of our tours of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. The experienced guides will lead you on an adventure, covering the must-see highlights, as well as the lesser-known hot-spots. From white-water rafting to sleeping under the stars in a tree top house, this tour is guaranteed to be the trip of a lifetime!

A shocking 33% of food that is produced worldwide each year goes to waste. This project aims to tackle food waste in its own small way by collecting unused food from supermarkets and restaurants – and redistributing it to some of the poorest people within Lisbon.

We have a particular affinity with these graceful and powerful great apes, and yet every day orangutans are threatened in their natural habitat by human interference. Help to make a positive difference to lives the of orangutans which have been taken from the wild at a young age for the illegal pet trade, or whose habitats have been destroyed by deforestation.

Head to LIONSROCK, South Africa’s largest big cat sanctuary, to volunteer with lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards and other magnificent animals. Wake to the roar of the lions each morning, and immerse yourself in the daily life nurturing these animals, from monitoring to feeding, from enrichments to education. Witness the amazing sight of these big cats forming prides, and living a life as close to the wilderness as possible.

Become a research diver on an exciting volunteer marine conservation project in Thailand. Get involved in daily dives to explore the health of the marine environment just off the stunning island of Koh Phangan. Suitable for new and experienced divers alike, this project allows participants to play in active role in tackling marine decline, all whilst enjoying the wonders of life under the sea.

Step off the trodden tourist trail and into the heart of stunning Sri Lanka, where elephants are still clinging on to life in the wild. Work closely with the local community to help promote the survival of the endangered Asian elephant, all whilst enjoying seeing these creatures roam in their natural habitat – a rare wonder.

Explore one of the most beautiful and untouched destinations on earth – New Zealand! Help local conservationists with their efforts to preserve some of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations. Chose from two gateway cities on the North Island and one on the South Island.

Actively help in the fight against plastics and rubbish clogging up our marine environment. On this project you will be doing daily dives to remove fishing gear, debris and plastics from the ocean around Lisbon. It is an amazing opportunity to make a difference and clean up our world.

Head into the heart of Borneo’s rainforest, helping to regenerate habitats and monitor local wildlife. From orangutans to pygmy elephants and from primates to crocodiles, you will be preserving these creatures and their habitat for generations to come. This is a once in a lifetime experience to live in a small remnant of paradise, immersing yourself in a way of life that has all but been forgotten.

If you are considering a career in medicine or nursing and want to gain some work experience to help boost your university or college application, this is the medical internship for you. Based in northern India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, you will shadow local doctors and nurses and learn lots about the Indian medical system.

Take part in a highly rated medical internship that gives you varied medical experience working on a mobile medical unit and within a children’s hospital. Work in a variety of medical settings and with a mixture of cases, shadowing doctors and nurses and actively contributing to the care of the patients.

South Africa is home to the amazing Marine Big 5 – sharks, whales, dolphin, penguins and seals – and their existence is under threat. Spend your days out on the water observing marine life, all whilst contributing to innovative shark conservation and eco-tourism measures. Help out at a penguin rescue centre and with beach clean ups to improve the damaged marine world. And if that’s not enough, why not tick something off the bucket list and go cage diving with sharks too?

Over 2 million people live in risk of poverty in Portugal, with almost 20% of those people living in houses that do not provide for their basic needs. Become a construction volunteer to help improve these homes, making them safe, sanitary and comfortable. Learn DIY and construction skills and work under the careful guidance of an expert.

Giant tortoises that date back to the dinosaurs, sea lions that sunbathe next to you on the beach, glittering blue waters with amazing marine life – the Galapagos is undeniably one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Join a conservation mission that is working hard to preserve the fauna and flora on the Galapagos Islands, promoting its survival for generations to come.

Experience the rare desert elephants in the wild, helping these endangered animals and rural communities to co-exist in harmony. Enjoy all that desert life brings, from cooking over camp fires to sleeping under the stars, and throw yourself into the volunteer role, which includes tracking elephants, doing building projects and helping the local community.

Want to see a nation with real passion for sports? Travel to Ghana! Football is the most popular sport and when the national team – Black Stars win – the country erupts in celebration. However, football is not the only sport that is loved there. Head to Ghana and coach anything from netball to martial arts and work with people with genuine talent.

Qualify as a CSIA Level 1 ski instructor in Whistler Blackcomb and join a world-renowned ski school, teaching children how to ski for the season. Your job and accommodation are organised for you for the whole season. This is the perfect opportunity to spend every day on some of the best slopes in the world.

Join our 4, 5 or 6 week Anwarter ski instructor course in Austria and have a guaranteed job for the rest of the season.

Our course is based in Kaprun, Zell am See, and you could then work anywhere in Austria as an instructor.

Take our CSIA Level 1 course in Whistler and then begin work as a qualified ski instructor teaching adults to ski for the rest of the season.
Guaranteed and central accommodation is provided for the season, along with full support throughout.

Spend a season working outside at Whistler Blackcomb as a Tube Park Attendant. You’ll spend your days working with guests, helping them to have fun and enjoy the tube park in safely.

Want to tour Japan without breaking the bank? Join our 13 day adventure, traveling from Tokyo, and learn what makes Japan so special! This backpacking Japan tour has been carefully created to ensure that your experience is authentic and different, while also making sure that you get to see the sites that make this iconic country so famous.

Volunteer with endangered white rhinos, recently reintroduced to Uganda after they were tragically poached to extinction in the 1980s. After 10 amazing days at the rhino sanctuary, head off on a 3 day safari at Murchison Falls National Park to search for elephants, lions and leopards, before taking a cruise up the Nile to the foot of the impressive waterfalls.

Head to vibrant India and volunteer with worthwhile street children charity that is dedicated to providing safe spaces for street children in Delhi. Make a valuable contribution by helping to arrange fun and educational activities for children, encouraging them to develop new skills and friends.

Borneo has gone down in legend as one of the best places in the world for wildlife lovers. One of its most beloved species, the Bornean sun bear, is under threat of extinction, but you can volunteer to help tackle this tragic predicament.

Head to dynamic Vietnam – a country rising in popularity with the traveling community. Take part in cultural and sightseeing activities, gain a TESOL qualification and teach in Vietnam for up to a year!

China – one of the largest countries in the world – is not only huge, but also diverse. Join our 25-day tour and travel an epic 3,392 miles, taking in the very best that China has to offer. Short on time? Opt for our shorter 16-day backpacking tour instead. This affordable and jam-packed tour of China will take you through spectacular countryside and into the busiest cities in the world.

Get stuck in working with a wide range of cheeky primates at an inspirational rescue centre on the fringes of the Amazon rain forest. From spider monkeys to squirrel monkeys, from woolly monkeys to capuchin monkeys, help to provide for these rescued animals, enabling them to live a life as close to the wild as possible.

Combining a stay in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Luang Prabang, with a unique volunteering experience, this project is perfect for any traveler interested in exploring Laos. Volunteer by teaching English to Buddhist monks and other lay students, learning first hand what life is like in this part of the world.

Experience the best of New Zealand’s North Island with a fantastic orientation including a trip to the beautiful Bay of Islands, Cape Reinga and a historic day of complete immersion into the rich Maori culture. Take full advantage of the support from our Auckland team who will be there to help set up bank accounts, tax file numbers and sim cards, and deliver detailed presentations on job finding. You will be entitled to 12 month assistance with paid work and lots of help in the most important part – travelling and having fun!

Australia’s famous beach culture, laid back attitude and of course surfing lifestyle is at your fingertips on this programme. Join other surf enthusiasts from beginners to pros and experience what it’s like to be a real Aussie!

Looking to see the best that India offers? Take part in a backpacking tour that will take you to the iconic highlights, as well as taking you to areas that are less explored. Choose to join either the 18-day tour of the north and west or opt for the shorter 13-day north India tour.

Experience the buzz of working in the heart of a busy snow school as a member of support staff for Whistler Kids. Depending on your experience, we have a variety of roles available. Choose from being a kitchen assistant, preparing meals for the students and instructors; work as a den master, or as an Outdoor Ranger supervising the outdoor play facilities.

Work in one of Whistler Blackcomb’s most prestigious hotels or spas for a whole winter season. The work is tough but the pay is good and the days off are awesome! If you have hotel or hospitality work experience, use your skills to work in Whistler. All of the jobs are in Whistler Village and everything is within walking distance of the ski lifts. On days off, getting up on the mountain is a must!

Bag yourself a qualification as a ski or snowboard instructor whilst on holiday in Whistler Blackcomb. Our 4 week course is designed to give you all the training you need to pass the CSIA or CASI Level 1 instructor exam. AST Level 1 is also included.

Express route to gaining both your Level 1 and Level 2 ski instructor qualifications in awesome Whistler Blackcomb.

Gain your CSIA or CASI Level 1 and 2 qualifications as a skier or snowboarder on our professional 11 week course in Whistler Blackcomb – North America’s number 1 ski resort. Avalanche Skills Training (Level 1 and 2) is also included so you get to experience the backcountry as well!

Are you currently studying medicine or nursing, or perhaps you are a qualified medic looking for worthwhile work experience abroad? Our medical internship in Delhi could be just what you are looking for.

You can choose to work in a range of departments within a busy hospital in southern Delhi. As a medical intern you can expect to shadow the local staff and learn lots about how the healthcare system works in a country very different to your own.

Located in São Paulo, this fantastic project is perfect for people who are passionate about sport. Volunteer at a youth centre dedicated to helping local children stay off the streets. It is no secret that Brazilians love sport and that is why there is no better destination to travel to to share your own skills and coach!

Nepal – home to the tallest mountain and the deepest valley – is a country that everyone needs to visit at least once. Volunteer for women’s empowerment in Pokhara and take part in educational and health care initiatives. Live with a host family and other volunteers and witness first-hand the friendliness of the Nepali people.

Pokhara in Nepal is a dream location for volunteers looking for a city bursting with culture and beauty. Live in Lakeside a popular area in Pokhara and the start point of many world-famous treks. Teach English in Nepal in local school, working with incredible teams and energetic children.

Our 16 day program in Nepal includes 10 days of trekking in the famous Annapurna Sanctuary, trekking to Annapurna Base Camp itself. Trek to altitudes reaching over 4000m on this ‘moderate’ grade trek. Also included is a thorough orientation and briefing in Kathmandu, as well as rest days before leaving Nepal.

With 14 days of actual trekking, and reaching altitudes of 5500m, our Everest Base Camp trek is our most challenging trek, yet one of our most popular. It’s easy to see why. Follow in the footsteps of the people who scale Everest as you make your way to Base Camp. From the famous flight into Lukla to views of Everest itself, this is certainly one to tick off the bucket list!

One of our shorter treks, this trek gives you a great opportunity to experience the Annapurna region, Nepalese hospitality and an insight into the mountain culture. You’ll trek for 7 days through varied landscapes whilst enjoying magnificent views of the Annapurna range. This trek reaches a maximum altitude of 3210m and is suitable for all reasonably fit walkers.

Head to Hua Hin or Chiang Mai in Thailand and gain an internationally accredited 120 hour TESOL/TEFL qualification which can be used to teach abroad. Want to live and teach in Thailand? Use your qualification to gain a job in a reputable school and experience life living the beautiful ‘Land of Smiles’.

Volunteer in Brazil with children alongside a dedicated team at a youth center. Located in São Paulo, the youth center is a fantastic place for the local children to develop their skills and to meet new friends. Explore exciting, vibrant Brazil, while taking part in a worthwhile volunteering project.

Sunny Sydney is the place to live and work for up to a year! Following a fantastic orientation week including a trip to the Blue Mountains and a 2 day surf camp weekend, get support in setting up your admin and find paid work with access to an exclusive online job database!

Live and volunteer in a gateway city to the stunning landscapes of Patagonia. Stay with host families while volunteering as a teacher or sports coach in a local school in Chile and learn Spanish. If you like adventure and the great outdoors, this teaching abroad project is perfect for you.

26 - 26 weeks

TEFL China

Spend 6 months in China – a vast and fascinating country. If you are over 18 and keen to gain a TEFL, earn money in China, learn Mandarin and experience cultural activities like Tai Chi and calligraphy – this is the program for you!

Are you excited by the potential of China and want to learn how to do business with the world’s fastest growing economy? Get fantastic work experience and learn Mandarin as an intern in Beijing or Shanghai.

26 - 26 weeks

Teach and Earn in China

Work for six months teaching English in China on a teaching program that includes a Beijing induction and a good salary. This is a great opportunity to teach English, learn Mandarin and travel to see China’s unforgettable sights.

Earn money working full-time in a hotel in the resort town of Banff. Expect an entry level position, such as housekeeping. There are certainly worse places to do this job, on a tough day at work, you can look out of the window and see the awesome Rocky Mountains. On your days off, you can be hitting the slopes!

Spend your summer living and working in the popular resort town of Banff in Alberta. You’ll be in the heart of all the action that Banff National Park has to offer. Make the most of your days off with all of the hiking, biking and water sports that are available. How are you going to afford this for a summer season? This is where the guaranteed job comes in!

Perfect your French language skills by spending a summer living and working in the resort of Mont Tremblant in Quebec. We will have a job lined up for you before you leave home, working in a restaurant in the resort. This is a great place to spend a summer, enjoying all that the region has to offer.

Improve your French, earn money and ski during your season-long stay in the French-speaking resort of Mont Tremblant. Depending on your French language level, you could be working in a wide range of jobs, from dishwasher to bar tender.

13 - 52 weeks

Farm work in Australia

Experience life as a jackeroo or jillaroo by completing an introductory farm work in Australia course in the vast and beautiful outback. Learn to ride dirt bikes and horses, muster and work with cattle, pick up fencing skills, use chainsaws and operate tractors. Oh, and did we mention you are guaranteed a paid job at the end of the programme?

Experience parts of Australia that many will never get to see by taking part in rural and urban community projects with other enthusiastic volunteers. Chose from one of 2 gateway cities or combine both Melbourne and Sydney. The choice is yours!

Volunteer with children bringing love, laughter and hope to young and disadvantaged lives. Our volunteers have described this project as inspiring and meaningful, as the work that is being done will genuinely help to change these children’s lives. Play with the kids, help them improve their English, bring them laughter and most importantly of all, be a friend to them.

1 - 1 weeks

Art course in Romania

Head to the beautiful medieval city of Brasov to improve your art on an intensive one-week course. Work in a bright and airy studio, receiving expert tuition from a talented and passionate international artist. Explore the cobbled streets of Brasov’s old town, and venture into the foothills of the Carpathians to create your next masterpiece.

Join our dental elective in northern India to boost your dental work experience. You’ll work with a professional dentist and assist in day-to-day tasks at check-up camps. Compare the dental care between your home country and India.

What is a career break?

People take career breaks in different ways; some taking a sabbatical from work for a designated amount of time, others leaving the workforce to travel the world indefinitely with no specified end date. These different options suit people’s different requirements, but the common factor is that everyone is interested in exploring the globe and in today’s interconnected world that is more possible than ever.

At Oyster we have a range of fantastic career break opportunities, whether you’re looking to escape for 2 weeks, 6 months, a year or more! Taking a career break offers you the opportunity to do something different and exciting, all whilst fulfilling dreams. Whether it is teaching English to children in developing countries, working to improve the welfare of animals across the globe or even getting paid work on the other side of the world, the key is to find what suits you best. We will help you every step of the way by providing the necessary information, feedback and insight into all the projects available.

Why take a career break?

The world is becoming a smaller place with cheaper air fares and the internet boom, meaning that we can find out more easily what we are missing out on! Many people who have been working for several years find that they too are keen to make the most of these opportunities, rather than to just leave it all to the gap year students. Travelling on a career break means that you can fulfil dreams, meet likeminded people and really do something very different. Doing something productive is key, as employers are keen to see personal development. Do consider volunteering and paid work overseas to really stretch yourself.

Taking a career break not only helps personal and professional development, it also means that you can do something that is important to you. Many people even take a career break to facilitate a career change.

You can link your skills and expertise with our projects, or you can try something entirely new. Just pick up the phone and have a chat, and we can help to point you in the right direction if you need.

For more information about travelling during your career, check out our guide to mature travel.

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