Want to see a bit more of the world, earn some money and build skills along the way? There are lots of creative ways you can incorporate work and play during vacation periods.

Put your language skills to good use 

A popular option for many students is to make use of their multilingualism! Teaching English (or another language) abroad is a good way to see another part of the world and the good news is that there is always a lot of demand. Often a TEFL or CELTA qualification will be required. You can find out more about TEFL on our Teaching web pages.

Summer camps

If you like engaging with children, why not consider working at a summer camp? When schools is out, summer camps fill up and there are lots of opportunities offering a chance to build your teamwork skills. Energy and enthusiasm are both vital as happy, positive staff create a welcoming, fun and educational experience for children. For a list of camps, see our webpage on summer work.


If working on a more one to one basis with children appeals, au-pairing might be ideal for you. It’s one of the traditional routes for travelling while working and can offer a lot of flexibility. Usually, you will be provided with full accommodation at no cost and a small allowance for living and entertainment.  Often parents really appreciate multilingual au-pairs as it allows their children to be exposed to new languages or practice ones they might be learning.  Check the British Au Pairs Agencies Association for more details.

Working Holidays

The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand all allow young people (dependent on nationality) to earn money while travelling; normally in fairly low paying jobs such as bar work, administration or agriculture.  Details vary by country; for some, you have to get sponsorship from an organisation which will cost a fee, but they will then organise your visa and help you find work. Literally, thousands of such organisations exist.   Be warned, however, that if you do work one summer you may be unable to take a gap year there later.

Get physical

If you love the great outdoors and want to get under the skin of a rural community, WWOOFing might be for you. Sounds odd? WWOOFing – or the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms – is a site where farmers or small-holders advertise for short time worker positions. Usually, this is done on a voluntary basis in exchange for full accommodation and food but this varies from role to role. You’ll need to register on the WOOF website (a fee is required) and you will then be able to access all roles and contact the farms directly to negotiate dates and duration of your stay.

Volunteer Abroad

If your motivation to work abroad is focused on personal skills development and understanding the local community, why not volunteer abroad? While there are a lot of organisations who irresponsibly charge volunteers large amounts for projects with little impact, there are just as many offering meaningful opportunities where you can really contribute. You’ll need to think carefully about the skills you can bring to a project but we’ve got lots of advice to help you find and select the best opportunities to apply to on our dedicated volunteering webpages. If you’d like more support, you can make an appointment with the Volunteer Centre Manager to talk through your ideas.

If you’d like to think through any of the ideas above, you can always make an appointment directly with a Careers Consultant here in LSE Careers…we’re open all summer!