Working my way through Europe

Old Sep 11th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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Working my way through Europe

Hello all,

I'm an American woman artist/writer interested in working my way through Southern Europe as a bartender, gradually wending my way towards Eastern Europe and Romania. Has anyone ever done this, and are there particularly good areas to go in February and March where English-speaking bar help is needed?
Thanks in advance for your time.
Cheers,
Leah
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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As far as I know, you can't work in the European countries without a work permit or visa. Me neice worked in London a few years ago and she had a 6 mos. work visa..arranged through her college..when the visa ran out she had to come home. My nephew traveled around the world twice and did work part of the time but it was illegal. His first traveling companion was a girl from Australia that was in the US for some time..so he met her here and then they decided to take off. SHE was the one that could get the work permit. She got a job in a pub in London and he also worked there but under the table. Personally, I could never do something like that because I would be terrified of being caught..I'be always had "goodie two shoes" tendencies my whole life...but I'm sure my newphew isn't the ONLY person who has ever done that. So, I guess it's what ever you are comfortable with. I think you also would have to figure out what you'll do if you DON'T find employment.
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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To add to crefloors' cold water:

1. There is no shortage in Europe of English speakers wanting to do casual work in warmer climes: there are 60-odd million Britons and Irishpeople, as well as Lord knows how many Antipodeans, Saffers and Canadians with British or Irish passports as well as their own. All have the automatic right to work anywhere in the EU there's a job available - a right available to non-EEA citizens in the southern EU countries only if their employer will swear the relevant skills can't be found in the EEA. And for bartending, that takes some VERY brazen bribery.

It doesn't help you that taking a year or so off just before or after university to bum around somewhere abroad is increasingly the norm among the British. So there's a queue a mile long of legals throughout Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.

2. Without an EU citizenship, you need a separate work permit from each country you plan to visit, and although they all have similar rules for stopping you working, they each have different criteria and procedures for letting you work. Making it virtually impossible to work your way across Europe.

You need a radically different strategy. Find an Irish or Italian grandparent, or get Canadian citizenship and then find a British grandparent. Save up enough to fund yourself. Get a job in Britain (the European country where it's by a very long way easiest for a non-European to get a job legally), and use the savings from this to travel. Target just one Club Med country and network your way to a legal job in it. Get some US arts foundation to sponsor a travelling exhibition of your work. Get your Congressman to lobby your government to offer the same opportunities for temporary working that Commonwealth countries do, so that European countries will offer young Americans the same reciprocal facilities Aussies, Kiwis etc enjoy here.

But you're looking at the really tough strategy. And you're very unlikely to succeed.
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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I can;t imagine any place where english-speaking bar help would be employable except england or ireland - except during the summer in resorts. Obviously there are no summer resorts in europe in Feb or March.

The warmest area would probably be Crete - but I don;t think they even have much of an influx then - in the winter europeans seeking warmth usually go to FL, the Carib or the Seychelles.
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 11:45 AM
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Working one's way across Europe is not a viable strategy for non-EU nationals. If you don't have enough money to survive without working, don't come. You need a separate work permit in every country you visit, and it can take a year to get a permit.

Nobody needs English-speaking bar help. Bar help is a relatively unskilled occupation, and those who find such work are fluent in the local language, not English (and being fluent in English rarely makes any difference—and being fluent only in English is worthless).
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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i don't really disagree with most of the advice here, however, thousands of people have done this...to the point where it is cliche. Any place on the tourist track will require english speaking bartenders but yes, not knowing the local language will be a big hinderance (if, indeed, you don't). I agree that summer is the best time for this...reasons obvious.

some people are gifted at having things like this fall into place..not by accident but by an ability to quickly and easily make connections and make things happen. i think some people can pull this sort of thing off while it would be a complete disaster for others.

i think you should explore some other forums where the participants are a little younger and more adventurous. generally, the people here do not do the things that you are proposing and cannot imagine working without a work permit.

there are a lot of pitfalls so you should contact people who have actually done it. If you want to get talked out of it, then stay here.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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dear ms. kohlenberg,

seriously:
walkingaround is right.

less seriously:
lady, if you are the one
"Leah Kohlenberg (, who) is a freelance journalist, trainer and frequent flyer based in Seattle, Washington"
why donīt you give us europeans tips and hints how to work onesīs way through good olīus of a, letīs say by gradually wending oneīs way from new york to san francisco (always wanted to do that) and then to seattle by barkeeping? are there particular good areas in seattle, where rumanian speaking bar help is needed?

oh, and for the way back, i.e. seattle - san francisco - new york, are there still trains you can ride for free as a hobo? are there still americans travelling this way?

well, those people, who know that the prize of their inflight is the equivalent to a rumanianīs family yearly income, asking for freeriding, but pardon me, there are ladies present, so my best wishes for you and your further travels.



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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Do you want to work legally or are you willing to work "under the table"?

The answer to your post depends totally upon the answer to this one.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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Is this considered "piling on"?
If someone were to work in the USA from coast to coast, what would a potential employer ask you to do? Fill out an application, maybe, and if employed, definitely a W-4 with your Social Security number on it for taxes.
In Europe, therefore, you'd need a tax number for each country you worked in. And to get one, you'd have to apply to the government in each country (ideally in their language and on their form, not yours). Right?
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 10:11 AM
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I think this was this posters one and only post here and she hasn't come back with a response, so if not trolling, she may have checked back and didn't like the answers. I think we're just talking to ourselves again..well, nothing wrong with that now is there.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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well, I don't agree with some of walkinarounds' points. I don't know that thousands have people have done this -- worked through Europe as an English-speaking bartender. Also, places might like an English-speaking bartender, but not solely English-speaking, but fluent at least in the native language. There would be some minor exceptions, of course -- like a hotel or place that catered mainly to English speakers.

I also don't think bartending is the rock bottom jobs that all these adventurous kids are doing. Bartending is considered a higher class job where I've lived than say, a clean-up person or somewhat who waits on tables. They won't usually hire bartenders really casually who don't have good skills and experience because it's a more desirable job than sweeping the floor or washing dishes (which may be the kind of job thousands of kids have done). It also doesn't have as high turnover.

I do not know exactly the bartending hiring market in southern Europe, though, I'll admit, but I wonder if walkinaround does.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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thanks fer all the responses, particularly from walkinaround.

I wasn't thinking about working as a bartender in Romania, obviously, but in resorts, possibly, where English-language speakers flock. You've also answered my unstated questions about EU vs. non EU status.

Thanks again. Happy travels.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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Hmmm...well, I guess that shows you what I know...LOL
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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Leah, you might also check over on The Thorn Tree at www.lonelyplanet.com and their western europe branch. it is similar style to this travel board but with more younger, shoestring budget travelers. you may find some with exactly the experience you are asking about.

long story short though, you need working papers to work legally, and even resorts most likely would require a bi-lingual speaker.
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