Work and Travel in Gibraltar
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN GIBRALTAR FOR TRAVELLERS
Gibraltar, otherwise known as the Rock, is one of the territories of the UK. Positioned on the Pillars of Hercules, this tiny region has enchanted travellers for centuries. Yet few people decide to work and travel in Gibraltar. It’s an expensive place and you could have the adventure of a lifetime by choosing this as your destination this year.
Few backpackers tend to go this far south in Europe, so you’ll be doing something that few others do. It’s a good way to get into being a working traveller for the first time.
Read through our travel guide to Gibraltar (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/gibraltar) to find out about some of the options available to you here today.
1. Research Whales and Dolphins in Gibraltar
The Straits of Gibraltar are part of the migratory routes of both whales and dolphins. You can help scientists in their sea-based excursions by helping to observe and study them. Some of the creatures you’ll come into contact with include: killer whales, bottlenose dolphins, and sperm whales.
You will be taught in the methodologies of studying these creatures and you’ll be working both on land and on sea. Most of these programs are typically two weeks long, but they can be longer.
2. Work with the Elderly in Gibraltar
The elderly always need caring for in Gibraltar. The lack of available care staff means that resources are stretched here and volunteers are always welcome. As part of your work with the elderly, you’ll be keeping them company and ensuring that they’re in good health. The job is simple yet rewarding because most of your time will be spent building relationships.
You’ll either be working in some sort of community centre for the elderly or spending your time in a care home; although the former is more common.
3. Work in a Hostel in Gibraltar
Backpackers always want to travel in Gibraltar. So it should come as no surprise that hostels are here. There are plenty of hostels for you to work in Gibraltar. Like all hostel work, you won’t be expected to have any skills prior to working here.
The majority of volunteers will be cleaning, carrying out basic maintenance tasks, and possibly working at the reception desk. You’ll always get a free bed, which may even be in a private room. Sometimes food may be included too.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR GIBRALTAR
Gibraltar is not a country but one of the 14 British Overseas Territories (https://www.airsafety.aero/About-ASSI/Overseas-Territories.aspx). Brexit will likely change the way entry and exit works as it will have a separate policy to the mainland UK. However, as of this writing, you should be aware that entry to Gibraltar does not entitle you to entry to the mainland UK.
Despite not being part of the Schengen Zone, Gibraltar mainly follows its policies. Citizens of countries like Russia are able to enter Gibraltar if they have a valid Schengen visa (https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/visas-and-immigration).
For everyone else, it’s quite simple. North Americans, citizens of the European Union (EU), Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand are able to enter Gibraltar without a visa for 90 days.
Everyone else, which includes Chinese and South African citizens, must apply for a separate visa if they want to visit Gibraltar (http://www.visitgibraltar.gi/get-there-customs). This can be done at any UK embassy.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN GIBRALTAR
Whales can be seen in Gibraltar during the spring season. Any volunteers who want to work in Gibraltar in conservation should visit at this time of year. The weather is typically hot at this time of year, so if you’re trying to get away from the northern parts of Europe this is a good time to do it.
Take note that the whale watching season typically lasts from April to October, but this is a great time to get started as most people aren’t applying for these volunteering opportunities in Gibraltar during this part of the season.
The summer season can be unbearably hot, but if that doesn’t bother you then you can find work as you travel in Gibraltar in summer.
The most popular option is to work in hostels or in other aspects of the tourism industry. Many locals open up their homes as guesthouses and always need the extra help.
Camps for children who are out of school are another option. They aren’t available in abundance, but if you happen to have previous experience you might be able to find a position, whether it’s in the arts or in sports.
Refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for further information on the volunteering opportunities in Gibraltar in autumn as there are no specific skills needed during this season.
Winter is not the ideal time to be in Gibraltar. It can get cold in the city and most tourists don’t visit. Also, most projects are closed for the winter.
However, there are always openings for volunteers who want to work in Gibraltar with the elderly. You can easily find work in care homes and community centres.
Likewise, the same goes for working with young people. Working with young people as part of community centres can be rewarding and fun at the same time.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN GIBRALTAR
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory, therefore you will find many similarities between people from the UK and people from Gibraltar. Work and travel in Gibraltar is a good option is you’re new to the idea of working and travelling as there are little to no cultural or language barriers.
But you should be aware that certain issues involving Spain should be avoided. Otherwise friendly locals can turn hostile quickly if you decide to delve into the realm of politics.
Other than that, Gibraltar is an easy going location to work and travel in. You should have no problems whether you’re staying for a short time or a long time. Just be aware of the regulations regarding work.
Are you ready to work and travel on the edge of Europe?
- Edited on Dec 11 2018 by Marichka