As you imagine life in Canada you get overwhelmed by the slopes in the winter, surfing in the summer and exploring the wilderness just tops it; without even getting started on super friendly people and the crazy nightlife. Canada is a great country in that it always keeps you excited about the next new thing you are going to experience during your time here. Besides it stable economy, cosmopolitan population and divine climate, Canadian authorities are always open to accommodating new citizens and offering them the best part of their pride and joy. If your aim is to experience a superb work and travel experience Canada is your epic destination; travelling on a work and travel experience is something every vivid youngster shall experience once in a lifetime, it’s a great way to:
- Experience life in a new country;
- Face the perks of another cultural dimension;
- Advance the skills of the designated language (in this case it’s either English or French)
- Make friends and future business connections.
In order to maintain yourself and fund the portion of fun you will be working some random job that pays OK. You probably won’t be able to save much or become rich in any instance but at least you will get to enjoy whatever Canada has to offer within the reach. You’ll be able to pay for your room, have decent meals and travel around the country to get to know what it is all about.
In the beginning you might find it a bit difficult to comply with the work culture and the daily rituals in Canada, but it’s no hassle really, Canadians are pretty easy going and supportive. After you’ve got all the formalities taken care of, signed the lease, opened a bank account, got all the legal documents of residence in order you might as well start enjoying your new life in Canada.
It is recommendable, however to arrange your work & travel experience via a program which will enable you to easily land on a job and accommodate in the new surroundings within just a few days; if you decide to do all this by yourself it might take more time and definitely more effort.
Who is eligible to be part a Work & Travel program in Canada?
Travelling and working abroad is becoming more and more popular each year with thousands of youngsters engaging in such an insightful experience throughout the world. Regarding the great number of expats travelling to Canada, it seems like the country has something to offer, something the international youth is craving for.
Whether it is working on a ski-resort, or bartending in some beach bar, landing on an internship that might change the course of your career or simply enjoying quality time with a Canadian family is just for starters, as Canada has much more to offer once you’ve arrived.
International Experience Canada grant long-term visa’s and work permits for people of certain ages and nationalities that wish to come to Canada to work and travel, enabling them to reside and work in the country.
Such an arrangements applies to people aged 18-35* and are citizens of the countries that have a bilateral mobility agreement with Canada, allowing their youth to go back and forth and enjoy each country’s history and culture.
International Experience Canada come in form of a residence and work permit for internationals allowing them to stay and work in Canada for two years, yet this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the certain individuals.
The nationals eligible on such a reciprocal arrangement are meticulously presented in the following page: http://www.international.gc.ca/experience/intro_incoming-intro_entrant.aspx?lang=eng
When should I apply for the visa?
If you are applying for the International Experience Canada (previously referred to as Working Holiday Visa) you have to know that it takes around 8-12 week for the application to be proceeded. Once the visa is granted, you can enter and reside in Canada for two years.
Can I travel anywhere in Canada?
Once you are granted the visa, you can travel anywhere in Canada.
Can I visit the US while in Canada?
The visa applies only to Canada, therefore in order to cross borders with the US you have to get a visa for US.
Work & Travel Programs
Choosing to go with a work and travel program will most definitely alleviate your principal experience within the country; you will have assistance in almost every step of the way while settling down in your new routine.
First of all, the program regardless of which you choose (most of them offer similar services) will help you on the visa issuing procedures and answer any questions you have regarding formalities before entering the country. They will provide you with a list of job opportunities where you will decide what best suits your skills and preferences, therefore the job will probably be waiting for you before you even arrive in Canada. Also, they might arrange a couple of places you can live in according to some routine standards and share them with you so you be the one to decide. They also have forum pages where you can share your concerns with other people who are about to try such an experience or already have had their share in a work and travel trip to Canada.
Also, programs with lead you step-by-step on getting a bank account, tax file No., public transportation, phone number, cultural expectations, workplace behavior and so much more which is very useful to be coming from first-hand experienced Canadians in the first few days of chaos after you’ve arrived. Most of the people stay in some affordable hostel until they find the most suitable long term accommodation, and the hostel is previously book by the responsible personnel in the program.
You will have access to their premises during the whole time you stay in Canada and you will have the right to complain if something doesn’t go as promised; if you are not satisfied with the accommodation, your job, you salary or you are experiencing some type of harassment, you can always reach for the authorized people within the program to ask for advice.
As such organizations usually host social events such as parties, joined trips or theme gatherings it is a great way to meet new people and make friends while you are in a completely foreign terrain.
How do I find a job?
It depends whether you choose to go “solo” and do everything on your own, or contract a program that will get most of the things done for you, as aforementioned.
In order to start applying for a job, you must have a local address, phone number, bank account and other identifying entities which makes it difficult to do it from your hometown. On the other hand, you can check out the job market and the vacancies way before arriving in Canada so you have an idea of what is expecting you and what are the requirements you have to meet in order to land on a job. Also, when applying for a job, you will commonly be required to meet your employer face to face, therefore you will have to be in Canada.
If you decide to go with the program, as soon as you arrive a list of potential job alternative will be handed to you and you can start joining interviews the next day. The authorized personal will also help you modify your CV to the accepted standards so your chances get better and better, in case you have less experience in the area or your English is simply not advanced.
If you are going to Canada career driven looking to find an internship that will advance you on your already chosen career, that is possible as well yet a bit more difficult and challenging. However, meeting the right people at the right time, or through guidance and valuable recommendations you will be able to find the job position you are hunting for and greatly benefit from it in the future.
Of course, the first job shall not be the last job if you are up to for an adventure… once you are settled with the accommodation and the finances, you can always jump to another, more exciting job opportunity making the best out of such an experience.
What sort of jobs can I do?
Common job types that expats usually do during their work and travel experience include hospitality, tourism or entertainment venues where you usually stay on a temporary contract and get paid per day or per week. However job opportunities are not limited to this extent, you can gain work experience in any field desired be it economy, science or education as long as you’ve got the skills and the will.
For some of the jobs you will have to undergo a thorough medical examination additional to the visa to be allowed to work, otherwise you won’t be allowed to work there. Jobs as the following:
- Taking care of children
- Volunteering in health services
- Teaching in primary or secondary education institute
will require flawless medical examination results.
Of course if you apply for work in a professional field such as medicine, engineering or construction you will have to legitimize your degree and prove you are qualified for the position through universal Canadian standards and procedures.
Au Pair & Nanny
One of the abundant and pretty suitable jobs for the occasion would be au paring or taking care of children; all it takes is a bit of experience and patience in order to deal with the imaginary world of the little ones. One of the greatest benefits is that you get to stay in with a Canadian family and experience a genuine Canadian cultural experience while at it. You get to travel with them and joint them in their vacations, be it seaside or the mountains, engage in different activities in your spear time and meet loads of new people. Hanging around kids is challenging yet very insightful and entertaining at the same time. The typical salary is not much yet can help you get on; it goes around 200-400 CAD per week.
- Eligible for Canadian working visa
- Current police and medical check
- Childcare experience
- Be available for minimum of 1 year
As previously discussed if you are chasing after a successful career and you are in Canada on “business” your persistency will be rewarded with a promising internship in some homologues company to the ones you are targeting in your country. If you are a hard worker and do have a vision, you will enjoy the experience you gain in such a position and as well use it as a reference for further employment in the future. In order to apply for an internship in Canada you have to meet the following qualifications and accept the challenges that come with such a position.
- Have at least upper intermediate (7/10) English level
- Be available for and pass a telephone/Skype interview
- Be a university/college student (post-secondary education)
- Have travel insurance
- Be flexible, professional, communicative, able to take initiative
If you are in Canada for fun and enjoyment and you want to have your spare time only for yourself, hook up with some random job, like pubs and bars and other entertaining services that are always available to internationals, don’t require that much thinking and allow you to travel and get to see more of Canada, instead of being bound to one city for longer.