After doing two separate working holidays in Canada, I want to share some advice and steps you can take for a seamless transition into a working holiday in Canada. First of all, check out my guide for Australians moving to Canada on a working holiday for a checklist of everything you need to do before departing. In addition, this is my advice for a working holiday in Canada.
Pre-plan for your working holiday in Canada
Try to secure a job and accommodation before you arrive in Canada. This will save you spending your first day’s in Canada job and house hunting, and leave you open to adventuring instead.
You can pre-arrange a job in Canada by getting online and researching employers, reaching out via email, applying for jobs online and arranging interviews via Skype. There is nothing stopping you from securing a job and accommodation in Canada before you even take off.
By doing this, you will have peace of mind because you know you have a job to go to and will start earning money shortly after you arrive.
When looking for a working holiday job in Canada, be open with your options. Finding a job in your industry may not be as easy overseas so be flexible, take any job to start with and find a better suited one after you settle in.
Get a job that provides accommodation
Many employers in the Canadian Rockies provide housing to staff, so to make that transition so much easier, target these employers. Almost every employer in Lake Louise and many in Banff provide housing. Rent is deducted from your wage and is very affordable. Other working holiday destinations that provide housing include Big White and Kicking Horse Mountain. There are many more locations that provide housing for staff on a working holiday in Canada, so do your research.
Research your destination
Find out more about Canada and the destination you will be working at. Know what to expect in terms of climate, cost of living and cultural differences. Search for Facebook groups of other working holiday travellers at your destination so you can ask questions and make connections.
Be organised with your documents and belongings
For me, being organised makes all the difference between a stressful and stressless overseas move. A great place to start is this working holiday checklist for Australians moving to Canada. This checklist covers everything you need to do before moving to Canada, and after arriving. Doing all these things ahead of time will help you feel prepared for your working holiday in Canada.
When the time comes to set off on your adventure, keep all your important documents and bags organised so you can easily find what you are looking for.
Put yourself out there
You may be shy, but sometimes you just have to put yourself out there to make friends. Don’t be afraid to invite yourself along or ask people to hang out. The sooner you start making friends, the sooner you will feel at home. In many working holiday destinations, there are many other solo travellers in the same situation and will be looking for friends just like you. See my tips for making friends as a solo traveller.
Prepare for change
You can’t expect things to stay the same when you move overseas, so keep an open mind and be prepared for change and differences in the way things are done. Learn to embrace change and you will have an amazing experience.
Enjoy every moment
Remeber, even though you are on a working holiday, you didn’t come to Canada just to work. Get out and explore. embrace the experience, meet new people and enjoy every moment. A working holiday in Canada is a life-changing experience and you should make the most of every minute.
Now I wanted to share my working holiday Canada story with you.
My Working Holiday Canada Experience
Moving overseas alone at the age of 18 is a MASSIVE thing to do. Strangely enough, making the move to Canada didn’t scare me, it excited me.
I arrived in Canada at the start of summer 2011, flying into my Vancouver. My first week was spent in a hostel on Granville street, exploring endlessly by day and making friends by night. I immediately fell in love with Vancouver and solo travel. After a week in Vancouver, I got on a bus to Lake Louise which I planned to call home for the next 6 months (2 years as it turned out). I had a job and accommodation lined up, which meant I could arrive, head straight to my new house, get set up then start working just a few days later.
My first job was at a café Called The Avalanche Café in Lake Louise. I went straight there to meet someone who would give me the keys to my new house and an introduction to the area. The person I met, Lauren, became one of my best friends. Lauren invited me to drinks on the river that day and our friendship grew from there.
After dropping my stuff off at home I went down to the river and met my new group of friends, and had my first Ceaser, a drink that Canadians absolutely LOVE (I don’t understand why).
For me, the transition really was that easy. I stepped straight into a job, new house and friendship circle like that. I understand that this transition may not be as easy for everyone, so that is why I have shared the tips above, to help you have a smooth transition into a working holiday in Canada.