Work and Travel in Algeria
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN ALGERIA FOR TRAVELLERS
Algeria is the second largest country in Africa and one of the largest overall countries in the world. It borders both the Mediterranean and the vast Sahara Desert.
It’s also one of the most closed off countries in the region. Its only open border is currently with Tunisia. So a lot of backpackers don’t even consider work and travel in Algeria as an option.
In this travel guide to Algeria, we show you everything you need to know about this North African country.
1. Teach English in Algeria
Most volunteering opportunities in Algeria tend to revolve around English teaching. Unemployment is high in the country and conventional work is difficult to find
There are many schools in the country where you can teach English. If you already speak French and/or Arabic, you’re even more likely to find a position.
But native English speakers still stand a good chance of finding positions. The lack of backpackers mean that competition isn’t as tough as it is in other North African countries.
2. Work in the Desert with Local People in Algeria
Away from the major cities on the coast, the Sahara Desert region is little more than some towns and scattered villages. Life is hard and travellers are few.
But local people are opening up to foreign backpackers. They want to exchange cultures and learn about the outside world they will never finish.
A number of organizations have been setup for travellers to stay with these people and help them out with things like construction and maintaining farms, with the view of a cultural exchange.
No qualifications necessary!
3. Care for Children in Algeria
A lot of the work in Algeria also involves children. Algeria has high levels of poverty because of the lack of work and many children find themselves orphaned and homeless. Organisations, including UNICEF, have stepped in to help children.
You could help them as you travel in Algeria by playing with them, educating them, and even just handing out emergency food packages.
It helps if you have prior experience, but it’s certainly not necessary with a lot of the NGOs.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR ALGERIA
Travel in Algeria isn’t easy as you will need a visa to enter the country. Only seven countries in the world, mainly in Africa, are eligible to enter without a visa for 90 days (and for some strange reason Malaysia). So if you’re not North African or Malaysian, you need to go through the visa process.
The visa process isn’t difficult it’s just bureaucratic. If you’re searching for volunteer opportunities in Algeria you should already have a position confirmed prior to arriving, as they will have to provide information to the Algerian Ministry of Labor.
They will be responsible for supplying an Algerian letter of invitation, which you will require before being able to apply for your visa.
It’s also recommended that you apply for your visa in your home country, rather than a nearby country. You will be able to receive specialized help in your language and it increases your chances of successfully getting your visa.
Take note that the visa process can take weeks, so don’t apply at short notice, particularly for volunteer visas.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN ALGERIA
The spring season in the country brings pleasurable temperatures on the coast and tolerable temperatures inside the Sahara Desert.
You have two options at this time of year, therefore. Feel free to stay on the coast and help out with English teaching, archaeological conservation at the Roman sites in the area, or head into the Sahara for a homestay.
Nothing is off-limits during spring, which makes it an ideal time to work in Algeria.
During the summer it’s strongly recommended that you avoid the interior of the country. During this time of year temperatures are so hot as to be hazardous to health.
The coast is an ideal time to be here. Many NGOs take on foreign volunteers at this time of year on a temporary basis. So if you want to help out local communities and combat poverty in the country, this is the time to travel in Algeria.
Do be aware that it’s also a good time to start applying for work in schools. Most schools will start to hire foreigners to teach English in Algeria in preparation for the autumn term.
You may even be able to head to the beach resorts around places like Oran to find some temporary work. It’s when Algeria receives the bulk of its tourists and native English speakers are always welcome in the tourism industry.
Autumn is similar to spring in climate across the country. We recommend that you refer to the ‘Spring’ section for more information on applying for work in Algeria at this time of year.
The majority of volunteer opportunities in Algeria do revolve around spending time teaching English, however.
It never gets too cold in Algeria, so it’s another good time of year to partake in homestays in the Sahara Desert.
It’s also a special time of year to work on farms throughout the country. They’re a hive of activity at this time of year due to the date harvest.
Farmers are often in need of extra help from foreigners. It’s an excellent time to integrate yourself within the local culture too.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN ALGERIA
Algeria is a devout Islamic nation that’s afflicted with mass unemployment. Unfortunately, it has been this way for many years. It means that if you’re taking on paid menial work you may receive hostility from the locals who feel like you’re stealing their jobs. Not that it’s easy to find this work anyway.
But if you stick to specialist areas, such as English teaching, or you’re participating in an innocent homestay, you’re not going to experience any hostility or problems.
Just be wary about respecting local Islamic customs. Outside of the major cities this goes doubly so for women. Local Algerians aren’t afraid to voice their displeasure if they believe you’re disrespecting Islam, regardless of how unwitting you have been.
Are you ready to work and travel in Algeria?
- Edited on Aug 1 2018 by Roman