Start planning your summer

Start planning your summerIf you’re at college or university, thinking ahead about how to spend your summer break will help you make the most of your holidays.

Whether you fancy picking grapes, working at a kids’ camp or teaching English, there are plenty of ways to boost your bank balance, get valuable work experience and have some fun. And the earlier you start looking, the more choices you’ll have.

Where to start

First stop is your college or university careers service. They should have details of lots of different schemes and opportunities from companies and organisations looking to attract students over the summer period, as well as advice on previous students’ experiences.

But there’s no shortage of stuff online too – here’s our pick of some of the options out there…

Summer camps and resort jobs

If you like the idea of helping others enjoy their holiday then check out BUNAC which runs working adventures in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the US or Camp America which has roles working with kids or looking after its camps.

Closer to home, PGL activity centres in the UK or Europe have seasonal roles ranging from catering to sports instruction or try Seasonworkers for summer jobs in holiday parks and campsites.

Volunteering and working holidays

There are loads of overseas volunteering options out there but be sure to check the small print to see what’s included as sometimes you can end up footing the bill for your placement, accommodation and travel costs.

If you like the idea of working the land, take a look at WWOOF which can connect you with opportunities worldwide. Volunteers get food and lodging and the chance to live and learn on organic farms in return for a few hours work each day.

It’s a similar deal being a festival steward  – positions are normally unpaid but you earn a free ticket in exchange for working a number of shifts. See How to volunteer at festivals for details of where to sign up.

Teaching English

A short TEFL course will qualify you to teach English as a foreign language and set you up for teaching jobs abroad, as well as jobs teaching foreign students in the UK.

The British Council also runs a variety of overseas schemes but many placements extend beyond the holidays. Sign up to their newsletter to keep up-to-date with opportunities.

Summer placements and internships

Lots of big companies run student placements and internship schemes over the summer holidays. Again, visit your college or university careers service to find out more or if there are companies that really appeal to you, then check their websites to see what’s on offer.

See where holiday work can take you…

Alpine bin man to outdoor instructor

A job emptying bins in a French holiday resort set Rob up for his future career. “I ended up gaining all the experience that I needed for later in my career development.”

Tour guide to marketing manager

A student job as a distillery tour guide paved Sarah’s path. “When I graduated, a position came up in marketing and that’s how I got the job, having worked as a tour guide before.”

Find out more

See Get volunteering for more ideas on where and how to volunteer.