Work and Travel in Slovakia
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN SLOVAKIA FOR TRAVELLERS
Slovakia – not to be confused with Slovenia – is tucked into Central Europe. Over the years, Slovakia has become something of a backpacking hotspot. The capital of Bratislava offers a renowned party scene. But few people who travel in Slovakia go any further than this.
Extend your stay and discover the real face of this country by looking at the volunteering opportunities in Slovakia. All you have to do is read our travel guide to Slovakia to find out more about what this country has to offer.
1. Track Lynx in Slovakia
The lynx is an endangered species in Europe. They’re under conservation orders in a number of countries, and in Slovakia it’s no different. If you want to work in Slovakia, you could find yourself in the Tantra Mountains.
Here you’ll be working with conservationists to track lynx and analyse them. You’ll also have the chance to enter the deep wilderness. This is the sort of trip that an ordinary tourist will never experience. Plus, you’ll get to learn new skills and explore parts of Slovakia that even the locals never visit.
2. Work on a Farm in Slovakia
It’s true that work and travel in Slovakia isn’t common. But one of the most common requests for volunteers come from small and medium-sized farms. During the harvest seasons, there’s always a demand from farmers for helpers to support them.
The work could include shadowing a farmer as they manage their crops, taking care of animals, and performing running repairs. It all depends on the type of farm you choose when you work in Slovakia.
In exchange, you’ll get to connect with the local culture and see what it’s like to live in a real Slovakian home.
3. Work in a Hostel in Slovakia
As mentioned before, Slovakia is a popular hotspot on the backpacking trail. During the main tourist season, you’ll find that many hostels need additional help to manage the influx of people.
Working in a hostel will give you the chance to live and work in a major city like Bratislava. The work is relatively easy. It tends to involve cleaning, making the beds, or working on reception.
You’ll get to connect with a mixture of locals and fellow travellers, as well as learning vital skills that can serve you well in the future.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR SLOVAKIA
Slovakia is in the heart of Europe and is a part of both the Schengen Zone and the European Union (EU). You’ll need to make sure that you conform to the necessary visa requirements to travel in Slovakia first. Fellow European Union (EU) citizens are part of the free movement zone and can stay and work in Slovakia for as long as they want without a visa.
North Americans, Australians, Kiwis, the Japanese, and South Koreans are able to get a Schengen Visa on arrival. This entitles them to 90 days in the whole zone. They must then leave for a further 90 days before they’re able to re-enter.
The Chinese, Russians, and South Africans must apply for a Schengen Visa prior to leaving. If accepted, they can stay in the EU under the same 90-day conditions as the above.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN SLOVAKIA
The spring season is an ideal time to work and travel in Slovakia. It’s perfect for working on a farm because this is the main growing season and farmers need all the help they can get to make sure everything is ready after the cold winter.
The work is hard, but for a few months you’ll see the farm come to life and engage in a cultural exchange at the same time.
Another option involves joining conservation projects in the rural areas of Slovakia. Many of them are suspended during the winter and reopen in full in spring. Sign up and track lynx and offer endangered animals across the fields and mountains of Slovakia.
The summer season is the main tourist season in the country. If you intend on working in a hostel, this is the time to do it. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in Slovakia. Most of these focus on the capital of Bratislava, but you can find other options farther afield.
If you want to work with children, you’ll also find options. English immersion camps are common throughout the summer. English fluency is relatively high in Slovakia and parents are eager to expose their children to native English speakers.
Other camps are also available. For example, you may decide to join a summer camp specialising in football.
The autumn offers many of the same volunteering opportunities in Slovakia as the spring. Refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for more information on the top choices for work and travel in autumn.
Skiing is a popular sport during the Slovakian winter. In the absence of other opportunities, these volunteering projects will take you into the mountains of this landlocked country.
It’s not uncommon to find foreigners working in chalets or operating as ski instructors in resorts like Jasna and Donovaly.
However, make sure you apply well in advance as resorts prefer to have their teams in place well in advance.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN SLOVAKIA
Slovakia is in the heart of Europe and is known for its warm, friendly people. This is a peaceful land that has been welcoming visitors from surrounding countries for decades. It’s not a closed country. Cosmopolitan Bratislava is by far the easiest place for volunteers to work in.
It’s true that most foreigners don’t visit the other parts of Slovakia. But this doesn’t make it difficult to work and travel in Slovakia as a whole. You’ll find that in the small towns and villages that people aren’t used to foreigners so they’re far more eager to get to know you.
Slovakia, like most of Central Europe, is a great option if you’ve never volunteered before and want to get used to working in a foreign country.
Do you want to work and travel in Slovakia?