In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the exciting opportunities and challenges that await Australians in Canada.
Oh, the land of maple syrup, beautiful national parks, and friendly faces! Canada has long been a popular destination for Australian travellers. Whether you’re hoping to work during your stay or just want to explore the vastness of this North American country, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the exciting opportunities and challenges that await Australians in Canada.
1. Understanding the working holiday visa
Before you start packing, you must understand the visa requirements for Australians hoping to work in Canada. Fortunately, Canada and Australia share a mutual working holiday agreement, making it relatively easy for young Aussies to work and travel throughout Canada.
Age limit: The visa is available for Australians aged 18-35.
Duration: The visa allows you to work and travel in Canada for up to 24 months.
Application: Apply through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Ensure you have a valid passport, and proof of funds (at least CAD$2,500), and meet other criteria specified on the IEC website.
2. Finding a job in Canada
Ski resort jobs in Canada
As winter approaches, ski resorts across Canada are on the hunt for seasonal staff. Australians have a reputation for being hard workers, so you’re in luck! Ski Resort Jobs Canada offers opportunities ranging from ski instructors to bartenders. The most famous resorts include Whistler in British Columbia and Banff in Alberta. Not only do you get to work in a winter wonderland, but you also have the added benefit of discounted or even free ski passes!
If skiing isn’t your thing, major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal have a plethora of job openings in sectors like hospitality, retail, and more. Networking is key. Attend local job fairs, reach out to Australian expat communities, or simply drop your resume at places of interest.
Farm work and harvesting
For those looking to experience the Canadian countryside, seasonal farm jobs can be a fantastic choice. Whether it’s apple picking in Quebec or working on a dairy farm in Ontario, these jobs often come with accommodation and meals, offering a truly immersive experience.
3. Exploring Canada’s vastness
Between work shifts, there’s so much of Canada to see. From the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains to the rugged coastlines of Nova Scotia, adventure beckons.
Road tripping: Rent a car or camper van and drive across provinces. The Trans-Canada Highway stretches over 7,800 kilometres, offering one of the world’s longest road trip adventures.
Cultural experiences: Visit Quebec for a taste of French Canadian culture or immerse yourself in the indigenous experiences offered throughout the country.
Natural wonders: The Northern Lights in Yukon, the Niagara Falls in Ontario, and the endless hiking trails across the country are just a few examples.
4. Adjusting to Canadian life
Australians and Canadians share a lot in common, but there are a few cultural nuances to be aware of:
Weather: Prepare for the cold! Canadian winters can be harsh, especially if you’re from warmer Australian regions. Invest in good quality winter wear.
Tipping: Tipping is customary in Canada, especially in restaurants, bars, and taxis. A tip of 15-20% is standard.
Language: While English is spoken widely, French is the primary language in Quebec. Knowing a few basic phrases can go a long way.
5. Staying connected
While experiencing the wonders of Canada, it’s essential to stay connected with loved ones back home.
Time zones: Canada has six time zones, so it’s crucial to be mindful when calling home.
Connectivity: Most urban areas offer excellent mobile coverage and Wi-Fi access. For remote regions, consider getting a local SIM card or a portable Wi-Fi device.
Local communities: Engaging with local Australian expat groups can provide a sense of community and offer valuable advice on settling in.
6. Planning your return
As your Canadian adventure nears its end, it’s crucial to prepare for your return to Australia.
Tax returns: Ensure you file any necessary tax returns in Canada. You might be eligible for a tax refund.
Exit requirements: Double-check your visa stipulations regarding your departure and any exit requirements.
Stay or extend: Fallen in love with Canada and want to stay longer? Research potential visa extensions or permanent residency options.
7. Embracing Canadian festivals
Canada, with its diverse cultural landscape, hosts a myriad of festivals that offer a taste of local and international traditions. For Australians looking to immerse themselves in local festivities, there’s no shortage of options:
Winterlude: Held in Ottawa during February, this winter festival showcases incredible ice sculptures, and ice-skating events, and offers a delightful winter experience.
Calgary Stampede: Dubbed “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, this rodeo event held in July is a deep dive into Canada’s cowboy culture, complete with parades, concerts, and thrilling rodeo competitions.
8. Culinary adventures in Canada
One of the best ways to understand a country’s culture is through its cuisine. Canada’s culinary landscape is as vast and varied as its geography. While Poutine might be the most famous dish, there’s so much more to relish:
Nanaimo bars: A delightful treat named after the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, it consists of a wafer crumb-based layer topped with custard-flavored butter icing and covered with melted chocolate.
Butter tarts: A classic Canadian dessert, these are small pastries filled with a mix of butter, sugar, syrup, and egg, often with raisins or nuts added.
Venture into local markets, dine at family-run establishments, and don’t shy away from trying something new. Each province has its own culinary specialties, waiting to tantalize your taste buds.
Embracing the “Work, Travel, Repeat” mantra in Canada offers Australians a unique opportunity to gain international work experience while indulging in the vast natural and cultural experiences of this magnificent country. From the slopes of ski resort jobs in Canada to the bustling cities and serene countryside, Canada holds a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.
So, pack your bags, say “G’day” to the Great White North, and embark on an adventure of a lifetime!