Views #606 | Intermediate 5

Working in the U.K.

Tom talks about how students can do a working holiday in the U.K.

Joel: Hey, Tom, I have a student that just got a working holiday visa for the U.K., and she asked me what she will be able to do whe she's out there, but I don't even know what a working holiday visa is, and I haven't been to the U.K., so I don't know what to tell her.

Tom: Yeah, the working holiday visa is a pretty new thing. I think it lasts six months, and you can work for three months. It's pretty popular among students. Is her English OK?

Joel: Yeah, her English is pretty good.

Tom: Then she shouldn't have a problem getting work in, well, I used to work in a bar when I was at university and that's pretty good work. It's in the evening and the pay is usually pretty basic.

Joel: But you make tips, though, right.

Tom: English people don't tip.

Joel: Oh, really.

Tom: You just have to put the hours in. You might get bought a couple of drinks, but you'll drink them up after the shift.

Joel: It'd definitley make you English better too. You're talking to people all the time.

Tom: The best way to improve. You're expected to talk to the customers all night. But if you didn't like the bar, it's a bit noisy and it can be quite smokey, she could work in a restaurant, out front, taking people's orders. That's another way to use her English and to get to meet some different people and that will tip.

Joel: OK, you tip at restaurants, but not at bars.

Tom: That's right. Yeah.

Joel: I see.

Tom: And if she was struggling a bit she could work in the back of a restaurant.

Joel: Washing dishes or something like that. Yeah.

Tom: That's not much fun.

Joel: Yeah, I used to wash dishes, that was my first job ever and I remember my legs being so sore from standing up all day. It was a terrible job.

Tom: I wouldn't recommend that one.

Joel: So the working holiday though, you said it's three months but the visa is for 6 months, so you work for the second 3 months and then maybe you'd study for the first 3 months?

Tom: No, it's not for studying. It's a holiday. You travel. You go from place to place and you pick up jobs on the way.

Joel: OK, so, but still you, the second half is when you would work?

Tom: You can mix it up. You can work for a maximum of three months, but no more.

Joel: Oh, that's interesting.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

working holiday visa

I have a student that just got a working holiday visa for the UK.

A 'working holiday visa' would give someone the option of working in another country for a short period of time, like over winter vacation or during the summer. Notice the following:

  1. She wants to do something different this summer, so she is trying to get a working holiday visa.
  2. He got a working holiday visa the summer after his first year of college.

pretty popular

The working holiday visa is pretty popular among students.

Something that is 'pretty popular' is less than 'very popular' but more than just 'popular.' It can be replaced with 'quite popular.' When something is 'popular' it means that many people do it or are interested in it. Notice the following:

  1. Her books are pretty popular with teenagers.
  2. Yoga is pretty popular with men and women in this area.

shouldn't have a problem

Her English is pretty good, so she shouldn't have a problem getting work.

If you think that something 'shouldn't be a problem,' it means that you think there won't be any problems or issues. In the example, Tom is saying that it won't be difficult for her to find work. Notice the following:

  1. He shouldn't have a problem finding a teaching job if he is already certified.
  2. You shouldn't have a problem finding my house.


I remember my legs being so sore from standing up all day.

When your body is 'sore', it means that it hurts or aches. Notice the following:

  1. Your back is always sore after you work in the garden.
  2. My legs are really sore from skiing yesterday.

pick up

You go from place to place and you pick up jobs on the way.

Here, 'pick up' is an informal way to say 'get' or 'acquire.' Notice the following:

  1. I just sort of picked up these words while I was traveling.
  2. Mostly I just pick up books when I'm traveling by exchanging with the people I meet.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Quiz

holiday • popular • shouldn't
sore • pick up
  1. If you arrive early, you have a problem finding parking.
  2. What are the qualifications for a working visa?
  3. I don't know how I have so much stuff. It's all the little things I here and there.
  4. His legs are really from our mountain hike yesterday.
  5. This particular computer is pretty with people your age who are in school.


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