Work and Travel in Uzbekistan

work and travel in uzbekistan
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VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN UZBEKISTAN FOR TRAVELLERS

Central Asia is one of the few areas of the world with few independent travellers. Travel in Uzbekistan is truly about entering a world unknown to Western eyes. And you can do just that by looking into volunteering opportunities in Uzbekistan.

You’re guaranteed to experience something you’ve never experienced before. If you want to work and travel in Uzbekistan, you’re in the right place.

Here’s the ultimate travel guide for Uzbekistan.

1. Play and Teach Children in the Fergana Valley

Rural Uzbekistan is incredibly isolated and is like looking back into a long lost world. It’s no easy feat to survive as a Westerner here. But if you want to volunteer in small villages in this part of the world you can.

You’ll have the chance to help organise the children and keep them occupied with games and educational activities as part of a homestay.

They’ll learn some of your language and you’ll learn some of theirs as you become acquainted with the real Uzbekistan.

2. Construct Guesthouses in Bukhara

Bukhara’s claim to fame is its prominent position along the ancient Silk Road. This city is quickly starting to attract more people who want to travel in Uzbekistan.

The local community needs help with construction, whether it’s guesthouses or hotels. People with experience in construction, or those who just want to work and travel in Uzbekistan, are needed to help make these projects a reality.

If you have a strong work ethic and you’re willing to work hard, this sort of work in Uzbekistan could be for you.

3. Teach English in Tashkent

People are shocked when they travel in Uzbekistan because when they reach the capital they find a thriving metropolis. It’s true that Uzbekistan has developed quickly since the end of the Soviet Union. And its young people are starting to learn English.

If you possess a TEFL qualification, or the equivalent of, you could teach English in Tashkent to both young children and adults.

You don’t need to know the language to get started and many of these positions pay a reasonable local salary and could enable you to travel in Uzbekistan for longer.

VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR UZBEKISTAN

Uzbekistan has seen the potential in its tourism industry and has opened up the country. Only a few former Soviet countries and places like Turkey are able to enter without the need for a visa at all. The notable exceptions are citizens of South Korea and Japan. However, for many other countries they can go through the simplified visa process.

The simplified visa process simply means that you don’t need to worry about letters of invitation or a tourist visa. Just fill in the visa form online, download it, and submit it to the nearest Uzbek embassy. Processing times usually take as little as two working days. This type of tourist visa only lasts for 30 days, though.

Be aware that this applies to practically all Western countries, including all of North America, the EU and the UK, as well as New Zealand and Australia.

All African nations must apply for a formal visa, including citizens of South Africa. This requires a tourist voucher and a letter of invitation.

There are plans to create an eVisa system within the next five years, but thus far those plans have been delayed.

SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN UZBEKISTAN

SPRING WORK

The spring season in Uzbekistan is warm and dry without being unseasonably hot. If you go to the mountains you’ll still find snow, so it’s best to keep to the lowlands at this time of year.

It’s also an ideal time to take on outdoor projects, such as those in construction. This is when most of these projects are in full swing as the summer season can get unbearable across the country.

SUMMER JOBS

It’s difficult to find many outdoor jobs outside of the major cities in Uzbekistan during the summer. The closer you get to the desert the hotter it gets and the less likely you are to find any volunteering opportunities in Uzbekistan.

However, this is also the height of the limited tourist season and it’s a great time to start teaching English. Many government departments hire at this time of year and private individuals that want to learn English are putting up positions for the summer months.
It’s difficult to find many outdoor jobs outside of the major cities in Uzbekistan during the summer. The closer you get to the desert the hotter it gets and the less likely you are to find any volunteering opportunities in Uzbekistan.

However, this is also the height of the limited tourist season and it’s a great time to start teaching English. Many government departments hire at this time of year and private individuals that want to learn English are putting up positions for the summer months.

AUTUMN

Autumn is very much a repeat of the spring season. It lasts until the middle of November and you’ll find it relatively easy to get construction work or work in guesthouses.

A lot of local communities also need extra help at this time of year because winters in Uzbekistan are harsh. Go to the rural areas and see if you can find work on a farm as part of a homestay project.

WINTER

Winter is the worst time to attempt to work and travel in Uzbekistan. Temperatures are extremely cold and there’s no real winter tourism industry to get involved with. Plus it’s rare for even guided tours to operate throughout the winter months, until the end of March.

The vast majority of volunteer projects are shut down for the winter, so it’s a good time to either travel in Uzbekistan or to visit a different country.

ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN UZBEKISTAN

Understand that Uzbekistan has operated under a relative dictatorship for most of its independent history. Contact with the Western world has been extremely limited, so expect little in the way of English here. You’ll also stand out in a crowd and you should be prepared to be approached by the curious locals.

This is doubly so if you’re travelling throughout the countryside. Travel in Uzbekistan, outside of guided tours, is still quite rare, so if you’re doing things the local way you should be prepared to be social.

But there are no specific problems likely to be encountered by foreigners who work and travel in Uzbekistan. You’re sure to have some great stories to tell after you make it through the challenges presented here.

Are you interested in work and travel in Uzbekistan?

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Recent Contributors

  • Edited on May 23 2018 by Roman

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