So you’ve made the decision to go to Canada/Australia/New Zealand/UK or another participating country for a year or two? Perhaps these 7 reasons to not miss out on a working holiday convinced you? Either way, I’m excited for you. Working abroad is a one of a kind experience not to be missed. Here are 8 tips to make your experience even better.
Try to go for the full amount of time
For most participating countries, it usually only possible to apply for a working holiday visa once. This is your only chance so go for the longest time possible on your visa. Fly out on a one-way ticket to leave your options open. Living in another country for the whole time allows you to get the full picture of life there including seasons, festivals and holidays.
Keep in mind that as a temporary worker you may not be the first choice candidate for your dream employer. Be prepared to try a different kind of job or occupation then you perhaps you initially anticipated to start making some money and have some local work experience. Remember that working a not-so-great job in another country is still better than doing it at home.
Don’t give up
If you’re finding it hard to find work in the first couple of weeks, try not to worry. Opportunities and leads will come as long as you are open-minded, put yourself out there and are willing to make some compromises. Moving to a new country is a big deal. The biggest change was leaving home, everything after that is a piece of cake in comparison. Try to embrace everything that happens from arrival onwards.
Make the effort to meet locals
While living and travelling abroad, it is pretty easy to fall into the trap of only socialising with other travellers and working holidayers. Join local clubs or attend a meetup group to network with locals. You’ll learn much more about your new home and the people in it.
Try something new
Explore and integrate by trying activities and foods native to your new home. Get out there and surround yourself with new experiences. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. If you’re in Canada, try snowshoeing, iceskating or canoeing – costs will be reasonably low compared to something like skiing.
Don’t skimp out on insurance
Seriously, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to go on a working holiday. You will not have the same rights to medical coverage as you do at home and it is important not to underestimate this. Remember, valid insurance is a condition of your working holiday visa or work permit.
Take as much money as you can
The above may sound obvious but you’d be surprised how often the question ‘how much is enough?’ is asked. It’s subjective, but simply put, more money = more fun. The less you can worry about finding a job, the better. The amount of money required by immigration should be considered the absolute bare minimum. If you’re hoping to live in a city, this amount will not last long.
The official purpose of a working holiday visa is to fund travel with temporary work. Of course, the nature of the open work permit means that you are able to make whatever you want of a working holiday, but don’t forget the travel side of things. Explore, discover and enjoy, even if you land a great career-related job and only have time on weekends.
Thinking about going to Canada and want some more hands-on advice on looking for work, applying, accommodation and more? Check out my ‘Ultimate Guide to a Working Holiday in Canada’ eBook