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He Said, She Said

Postcards from #Canada150

The first couple of weeks of my working holiday were really difficult since it was my first time living abroad and I was incredibly homesick. It was also my first time living in a hostel, which did not help the homesickness at all since I did not have a place to be alone. One good thing that came out of living in a hostel was having the opportunity to speak to other working holiday makers and hearing about their successes and failures.

After two months of unemployment, BridgeClimb (aka Sydney Harbour Bridge) welcomed me with open arms and I could not describe how happy I was to land such an amazing role at a world-renowned attraction. My second half of the year was just as good since I ended up working with Melbourne Zoo. Having studied and worked in tourism, I was thrilled to work with great attractions.

I’ve made many wonderful life-long friends in Australia who I’m hoping to meet again in our travels. The country itself is so beautiful with amazing wildlife, landscape, flora and fauna. I’ve learned so much in one year, from driving on the left side of the road to Australian slangs. I miss getting compliments for my Canadian accent, following the curiosity to why I ended up in Australia.

There is just so much to explore, I know I’ll be back to visit in the future!

Tips and tricks:

  • Make sure you have a good amount of spending money before you embark on a working holiday.
  • Drive carefully during the nights to keep wildlife safe; wallabies don’t look both ways before they hop across your path!
  • Don’t forget you’re on a working holiday, so remember to explore as much as you can.
  • Don’t worry about travelling independently. Solo travel is the best way to do it!
  • Things tend to fall into place so do not worry too much. In other words, go with the flow.
  • Lastly, don’t give up.

Contributor: Judy Lin
Occupation: Tourism Industry Professional
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Working Holiday in Australia: 2016

He Said, She Said

Postcards from #Canada150

Working Holiday in Canada is my greatest determination in my lifetime.

Before my working holiday in late 2014, I almost had no knowledge about Canada (even though I have relatives in Toronto). In August 2014, I was lucky enough to get a job in Panorama Ski Resort, BC. This was my chance to gain independence, learn and live in other country. I worked in Panorama for two seasons in winter and summer, and then I travelled around Canada during shoulder season, including visiting my relatives in Toronto.

I learned about the history, culture and geography of Canada. I even got hooked on NHL and continue to follow the game (Montreal Habs is my team).

My time in Canada helped me grow in maturity and opened my heart and mind. At that time, I made lots of local Canadian friends and immersed myself in the local culture. Even though I am not good at skiing and snowboarding, I still had lots of fun cross country skiing and snowshoeing! I fell in love with Montreal, Quebec City; Niagara Falls, Ottawa; Banff, Lake Louise; and the Mountains across BC and Alberta.

Being an Anglican Christian, I attended a local church and even got baptized by two Canadian Pastors in Lake Windermere, BC in August 2015!

My goal in doing a working holiday was to help boost my career in tourism and hospitality, IT and the game industry. I actually got my current job straight away three weeks after moving back to Sydney.

I will return to Canada again for the 150th Anniversary celebration for a 2.5 weeks’ vacation, and I am looking forward to it!

Contributor: Kenny Chan
Occupation: Catering Assistant, Compass Group
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Working Holiday in Canada: 2014

This is one in a series of stories shared by International Experience Canada participants from the 1970s to present to celebrate Canada 150.
Start your life-changing International Experience Canada (IEC) adventure today!

IEC began in 1951 as a reconciliatory cultural exchange between Canada and Germany following World War II.  Today, IEC supports Canada’s interests by administering Youth Mobility Agreements (including Working Holiday) with 33 countries and territories. The agreement between Canada and Australia started in 1975 and is currently reciprocal in the number of inbound and outbound participants.


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Canada Down Under is an on-line portfolio of Canadian-Australian stories produced by the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney and other contributors.

Canada Down Under est un portefeuille en ligne d'histoires canado-australiennes produites par le Consulat général du Canada à Sydney et d'autres contributeurs.

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