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Gap Year Opportunities in Canada

By Ryan Merrifield

Posted: 12th September 2014 12:57

Canada is one of the world’s most popular gap year destinations.  Despite the North American country’s cooler climate, it offers a great range of unique activities in a breathtaking part of the world.  The Canadian Government encourage gap year travel by issuing the International Experience Canada (IEC) Visa, which allows applicants aged 18-30 from all around the world to live, work and study in Canada for up to year.  This, in addition to the wide use of commonly-spoken languages like English and French in the country makes Canada a great place to spend your gap year.

The IEC scheme means that many workplaces around the country have work and volunteering roles that are especially set up for international travellers, including many that provide accommodation, expenses or travel as part of your wages. 

For the more artistically inclined, the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival takes on around 1,200 volunteers in such diverse roles as photography, children’s entertainment and promotional sales – perfect for those with an interest in the performing arts and events.

Several schemes are also set up for those with an interest in conservation and agriculture, including Ontario Nature, who organise wildlife surveys, habitat maintenance and other green initiatives in the Toronto area.  WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) also conduct work programs on ranches, farms and other organic agricultural sites across Canada.

Work can be as simple as working in a bar or restaurant, but roles also exist in animal shelters, children’s summer camps, and even internships in professional industries in many degree-related subjects.  But a gap year can’t be judged on the work alone, and thankfully Canada offers plenty of opportunity for play.  Canadians are a very friendly people, and from snow-capped mountains to some of the greatest bustling multicultural metropolises in the world, you’ll find plenty to broaden your horizons on your Canadian Adventure.

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