Work and Travel in Austria
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN AUSTRIA FOR TRAVELLERS
Austria is known for its beautiful cities, stunning landscapes, and Mozart. But if you want to do more than your conventional tourist, think about work and travel in Austria.
Not only will you have the chance to dig deeper under the surface of the country, work in Austria will allow you to extend your trip for longer and gain some worthwhile experience.
It’s not always easy to know where to turn for volunteer opportunities in Austria. However, our travel guide to Austria provides you with everything you need to plan your next trip (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/austria).
1. Learn about Self-Sufficiency in Austria
Outside of the cities, such as in Konigsdorf, the self-sufficiency movement has gained steam. From large country mansions to little farmsteads, Austrians are learning how to fend for themselves.
Search for self-sufficiency projects in Austria. Anyone with DIY skills will be in high demand, as well as anyone who knows about gardening. But many projects will also offer you on the job training.
2. Teach English in Austria
Many people visit Vienna, Salzburg, and Graz and automatically believe that everyone speaks fluent English. It’s true that the major cities have a high number of English speakers. However, despite Austria’s strong sense of social duty, there’s a real shortage of qualified English teachers in the smaller towns and villages.
Do you have what it takes to teach English in Austria? Work in Austria doesn’t require you to know anything but basic German and you’ll be fully supported as you settle in.
3. Go to the Alps as a Ski Instructor
Austria’s ski resorts are legendary. Imagine how valuable a season working in one of those ski resorts could be for you. Not only will you gain the perks of free access to some of the best ski slopes in Europe, but you’ll also be able to teach people about the sport.
This is invaluable experience that will serve you well on any future job application. It’s one of the best options for work and travel in Austria.
Just bear in mind that competition is fierce and you’ll be expected to apply months in advance of the main ski season.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR AUSTRIA
Travel in Austria requires you to comply with the immigration requirements of the Schengen Zone (https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy_en). That means UK citizens, prior to Brexit, and citizens of other European Union (EU) countries are able to enter and work in Austria without any form of visa. You are able to stay for as long as you like.
From outside the Schengen Zone, things start to differ. For example, South Koreans, the Japanese, Australians, Kiwis, and North Americans are required to get a Schengen visa-on-arrival and can only stay for a maximum of 90 days in every 180 days (https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy/schengen_visa_en).
With Austria being in the heart of EU, visa runs are not a viable option. Furthermore, overstaying your visa means you can be banned from the whole of the EU for many years.
For South Africans, Russians, and Chinese citizens there’s no visa-free allowance. They have to apply for a formal Schengen visa prior to their arrival (https://www.southafrica.to/transport/visa-requirements/Schengen/Schengen-visa.php).
These visas don’t apply to paid work. If you manage to land a paid job during your stay you will be expected to apply for a work visa. Depending on where you’re from, these can be notoriously difficult to secure.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN AUSTRIA
Spring marks the end of the ski season and the melting of the heavy snows that cover Austria. Many outdoor projects are active at this time of year.
For example, you can join in with revitalisation projects that take place within the forests and woods of Austria. Many of these are also active around the Alps, towards the border with Slovenia.
This is also a good time of year to be volunteering on a farm. Many farmers in Austria require a lot of help during the planting season.
Summer in Austria brings glorious sunshine and a whole host of tourists. This is an excellent time to visit the cities of Austria. You can teach English to children as part of a summer camp. It’s also possible to find work in general summer camps, where you will be keeping the kids entertained.
Throughout the cities, hostels are crying out for volunteers to help them with the increased workload. The most popular location for this is Vienna, but you can also find a number of roles in Innsbruck, Graz, and Salzburg.
For the autumn season, you should refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for more information. Most of the specialist skills required are the same as the spring.
Farm work is a popular option for work in Austria because it’s the harvest season. Farmers also need help preparing their farms and their animals for the winter.
If you want to travel in Austria long-term, it’s also an ideal time to try to find teaching jobs with longer contracts in the rural areas.
Austria turns into a winter wonderland at the end of the year. It brings hundreds of thousands of people every year to the Alps.
Alpine ski resorts are difficult to secure jobs in, but if you can get one you’ll have a great piece of experience to add to your CV.
You can find roles in cleaning, customer service, and working directly on the slopes yourself. The best position for you depends on your previous experience.
Ski resorts tend to fill positions months in advance of the ski season itself. Try to apply during the summer and autumn to increase your chances of finding a volunteer opportunity in an Austrian ski resort.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN AUSTRIA
With recent political goings on, it’s easy to think that Austria is less welcoming than it once was. If you travel in Austria today you’ll notice that the media has exaggerated how the country reacts to foreigners.
You won’t have any issues fitting into Austrian society during your time here. Austrians are used to foreign visitors and you don’t need to worry about any hostility.
Just make sure you’re not breaking the rules of your visa when you take up volunteering opportunities in Austria.
Are you ready to take on work in Austria?
- Edited on Sep 20 2018 by Mariia