Work and Travel in Palau
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN PALAU FOR TRAVELLERS
Palau is in the Western Pacific Ocean. It's far from easy to travel in Palau because it's so difficult to get there in the first place. But if you're willing to take on the challenge you'll find lots of volunteer opportunities in Palau.
So if you're ready to move, our travel guide to Palau will equip you with all the information you need.
1. Work with Sharks in Palau
Palau has the accolade of being the first country in the world to establish a dedicated shark sanctuary.
The fact is that Palau has one of the most well-protected environments on the planet. Volunteers come from all over the world to work in Palau in these protected areas. You can't find any other project in the world that will allow you to get as close to sharks as this. If you want to do something truly unique, this is the type of work in Palau for you.
2. Become a Teacher in Palau
Like most smaller islands in the Pacific Ocean, resources are few and governments don't have the funds to invest in things like education. It's led to falling standards and a lack of resources to give young people the education they deserve.
That's why educational projects have always been popular in Palau.
Ideally, you'll possess some prior teaching experience, but it isn't necessary. Many Westerners find private projects that involve working with children in Palau.
There's no better way to give back and to provide skills that last for life.
3. Work in Construction in Palau
Construction work is another popular option in Palau. The infrastructure of the island is sadly lacking, as you will soon discover when you work and travel in Palau.
Construction projects most often focus on the rural areas. You'll get the chance to leave the small urbanised area that most tourists visit. It's a chance to see parts of the island few tourists get to enjoy.
All you need is a strong work ethic and a willingness to help.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR PALAU
If you want to work and travel in Palau you can rest assured that the country operates a relaxed visa policy.
US citizens are able to enter without a visa for a whole year. The same goes for the European countries that make up the Schengen Zone. They can enjoy a 90-day stay without applying for a visa.
Russian citizens don't need a visa for stays of 30 days or less.
All other countries are able to get a visa-on-arrival. In theory, you need to show proof that you have at least $200 USD for every week of your stay. In practice, Westerners will not be asked for proof of finances.
The visa-on-arrival lasts for 30 days, but it can be extended twice for a fee.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN PALAU
The spring season is the beginning of the rainy season. However, the rain isn't particularly intense, so most volunteering opportunities in Palau are still available in spring.
It's an excellent time of year to pick up educational projects in preparation for the rainy season. Many of these projects demand a long-term commitment, so it's wise to secure a position now.
We also recommend projects that help disadvantaged communities. Some volunteers decide to work with charities for the homeless.
The summer is the worst time of year to visit the country because this is when rainfall is at its most intense. It's difficult to work outdoors at this time of year.
That's why you should refer back to the 'Spring' section and focus on projects concentrated on education and supporting disadvantaged communities.
The autumn is the shoulder season, from October onwards. Visitors to Palau often decide to volunteer with conservation organisations.
Working in the shark sanctuary is one option, but you can find many smaller organisations that specialise in cleaning up the beaches and managing the coral reefs around the island.
There are also conservation projects dedicated to the study and protection of the flora and fauna of the island. It's another chance to see parts of the island that other travellers never will.
The winter season is when the majority of foreigners travel in Palau. If you do want to work in Palau, you'll enjoy a fantastic climate and an island that's bustling.
The best option for volunteering projects is to opt for the tourism industry. Many hotels and guesthouses only open for the main tourist season.
What you need depends on where you apply. If you choose a chain hotel or resort, you'll need to make sure that you have prior experience and a professional application.
If you're looking for a more authentic experience, though, you might want to look at a privately-owned guesthouse. You'll usually be asked to clean or welcome guests at reception.
These jobs are relatively easy and allow you to cover both accommodation and food costs.
Another reason why winter is the ideal time to work and travel in Palau is due to the possibilities in construction. See what you can find across the country. These projects are many and varied.
Some construction projects even offer a small salary.
The conservation projects mentioned in the 'Autumn' section are also available in winter.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN PALAU
Work in this country allows you to work in a tropical paradise in the middle of nowhere. It does have a large tourism industry, but it hasn't impacted the attitudes towards foreigners who come to the country.
That traditional island warmth still remains towards visitors.
The only aspect you need to be aware of is if you have the chance to take on paid work. In a lot of cases, you may be taking work away from a qualified local.
The ordinary people of Palau are not rich and there are significant levels of poverty. Be mindful about your work choices when you land on the island.
Are you ready to take on work in paradise?
- Edited on May 19 2021 by Lily