Work and Travel in Canada
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN CANADA FOR TRAVELLERS
Canada sits close to the top of the world and is the second largest nation in the world. With cosmopolitan cities, incredible nature, and friendly people, it’s no surprise that a lot of people want to travel in Canada. But this is a first world country and it’s expensive to stay here, which is why work and travel in Canada is a fantastic option for people who want to dig beneath the surface of this country.
The travel guides for Canada cover a great deal. But what they don’t cover is the array of volunteer opportunities in Canada. We’re going to cover some of the fantastic opportunities open to you in Canada.
1. Work on the Ski Slopes of the Canadian Rockies
One of the most popular volunteering opportunities in Canada is to head to the Rockies in Alberta and to work on the ski slopes there. A huge number of Australians on working holiday visas choose this as their destination through the cold, snowy months.
And even those who don’t work directly on the ski slopes will still find plenty of bar work in the area. Banff is one of the hubs of the skiing industry in Canada.
2. Teach Children How to Ride Horses
Horse riding is a summer camp activity with a big following. Consider going over to Ontario during the summer and teach children how to ride horses upon the vast green plains. Even if you don’t have any prior experience riding horses, summer camps are always looking for staff who can help out with safety and keeping the kids entertained.
You usually don’t need any prior experience or any qualifications to take on work at a summer camp.
3. Working in Hostels
Unlike the US, Canada does have a booming backpacking community. Hostels have sprung up across both the Eastern and Western provinces of the country. Offer your services volunteering in a hostel and get free accommodation. You may sometimes be paid a small amount or receive food.
The work is relatively easy, with the majority of roles being restricted to cleaning and reception work.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR CANADA
Canada is a first world country and has one of the strongest border control regimes in the world. Thankfully, for EU citizens, Americans, and Mexicans you only need an onward flight and you’ll be given a visa varying from three months to six months. The majority of Western countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea, will be allotted the full six months, however.
Take note that US citizens are no longer able to cross the border with just a birth certificate or a driving license. All US citizens must now have a valid passport.
For Russian, South African, and Chinese citizens they have to apply for a formal visa.
The working holiday visa of Canada is known as the International Experience Canada programme. Only a certain number are allocated every year, but they’re still not particularly difficult to receive.
The majority of countries eligible for this visa are EU countries, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as some of the first world Asian countries. The United States of America doesn’t have access to this programme. Generally, visas allow you to work and live in Canada for up to a year. Some countries, such as New Zealand, do have the option of staying past the one-year mark because of other working holiday agreements with those countries.
Bear in mind that you will need to apply well in advance for the working holiday visa and you’ll be expected to either have a position established or proof of a certain amount of money/income.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN CANADA
Spring time in Canada marks the end of the winter time and the opening up of many tourist routes again. For example, the cruise ports in Vancouver begin offering work at this time of year. You may even be able to start certain conservation programmes throughout the northern part of the country.
Summer time is about the time you want to start looking into volunteering within summer camps. These are positioned throughout the whole country and are available in both rural and urban locations. The bulk of these camps are located in the east of the country, especially on the coast and in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
However, you should make sure to apply for these positions well in advance. There are some short-term positions available, but it’s unwise to bank on these being available.
The autumn period will see more conservation programmes, but this is the time to start looking into bar and restaurant work. Tourist numbers are still high and competition for places is much lower. The major cities of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal offer the highest chances of you finding work.
Winter time is the time to start hitting the ski slopes. There are ski slopes all over the country, but we recommend looking into Alberta and the Canadian Rockies. Most of the skiing industry here is centred on the picturesque town of Banff, where the slopes are mere minutes away with good public transport connections.
You may also want to look into nearby Lake Louise and some of the other national parks in the area. There’s lots of seasonal winter work in the bars, restaurants, and hotels at this time of year.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN CANADA
Work and travel in Canada is a long standing tradition. Canada is also an extremely cosmopolitan country, with Toronto having the most diverse mix of expats in the world. Many young Canadians work and travel in other countries and so it’s no surprise for the locals to see young travellers doing the same.
Canada has an extremely advanced working holiday programme and many businesses across the country rely on these volunteers and paid workers to help with business for just a few months of the year.
You won’t have any issues living and working in Canada!
- Edited on Jan 15 2018 by Yara