Work & Travel For Canadians :: Choose From These 32 Countries

Which of these 32 countries around the world would you choose to work and travel in?

There's no two ways about it, for Canadians, the low dollar is a factor in our travel decisions. Canadian trips to the states have noticeably fallen from previous years. But not everyone is hurting from the low dollar, in fact many people are benefiting from it, and you can too!

Canadians who scooped up homes in the post-2008 USA housing bubble burst are now selling to cash in on the unusually uneven exchange rate. Didn't buy a home in the US after the 2008 financial crisis? Yeah, me either. I'm still trying to graduate. 

But there's another way us younger Canadians can cash in on our low loonie, which includes traveling abroad! How you ask? By working and traveling! Just think, any money you make in another currency and send on back to Canada, (our soon to be 3rd world country if our dollar doesn't pick up soon), will get one heck of an exchange rate boost!

500 Euros currently = $775 CAD. And you know where the dollar is predicted to go in the next 12 months? Further down, because apparently it still hasn't hit rock bottom yet. 

Got some student debt? Would you like 35%+ off that? Of course you do! Go work abroad, and the horrendous/fabulous exchange rate will take care of the rest. 

Now, generally working abroad isn't so simple to do. You normally need to secure a job before you leave home. Do you know a company in China willing to bring you over? Yeah, me neither. 

One of the benefits of being young is the opportunity to obtain a working holiday visa, which 9 times out of 10, does not require you to find an employer before you leave home.

Why the low Canadian dollar makes NOW the perfect time to work & travel abroad guilt-free

What is a working holiday visa?

It's a visa that enables you to work in another country, to supplement the cost of your travels. With most countries, you do not need to secure a job with a company before leaving home, and have free choice to work as any other citizen of your chosen foreign country. More on choosing your country in a moment!

(Pssst - The visa is interchangeably called a working holiday visa, or a work and travel visa, depending on who you talk to, and what country you're in). 

How old do I have to be?

Generally between the ages of 18-35, though it varies now and again from country to country.

Do I need to know the language of the country I visit?

Yes, and no. Having knowledge of the language of the other country is not a requirement of a work and travel visa, plus for some countries on the list, English is the native language anyways. When you first arrive in your chosen country there's jobs you can get for English speakers (eg. English teacher/tutor, bartender in an English pub, picking fruit - therefore not needing to speak at all), and as you pick up the language over time you can choose to go into something a little more in your line of interest. Many countries also offer language classes to foreigners to help you pick it up.

Any other requirements?

No kids and criminal record? You should be good! 



Duration & Visa Categories

You'll notice I make mention in a few places below about being able to stay in a country longer than the typical 1 year. With a working holiday visa there are 3-4 categories you may apply under. Some countries allow you to apply for a 2nd year, you just need to apply under a different category. Category examples include: 1. Canadians looking to explore a countries tourism and culture, while working to fund travel (most common, and easiest category to apply under), 2.  Canadians looking to do an internship in another country, 3. Canadians looking to work for a specific company, who have been given a contract of employment.

So say you apply under category 1 the first year (easiest), find an internship opportunity while abroad, you can apply for a 2nd year under category 2. Make sense?

Which countries can I get a working holiday visa in?

Okay, let's get to the fun part! Which country will you choose? Take your pick from the 32 listed below! 

Australia

Australia is one of the most common and popular places for Canadians to enjoy their work and travel. Australia is similarly an English speaking country (with the added plus of a charming accent), and also part of the Commonwealth. As such Australia and Canada have similar cultures and values. The seasons in Australia are the opposite of ours, and kangaroos are plentiful! 

  • Duration: 1 - 2 years
  • Cost: $440 AUD (currently $435 CAD)
  • When to apply: 1st year working holiday visa - while outside Australia. 2nd year working holiday visa - while in Australia
  • Language: English
  • Official Website
 

Belgium

Belgium is one of the smaller European countries, tucked away in between France, the Netherlands, and Germany in western Europe. In the north the primary language is Dutch and and in the south it is French, however Belgians often speak a number of languages, and according to the consulate website, English is spoken just as commonly as French and Dutch. Belgium is known for it's delicious beer and chocolate, so foodies, this is the place for you! Belgium is also the birthplace and host to the infamous Tomorrowland music festival. 'Nuff said.

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $300.00 CAD
  • When to apply: Before leaving Canada
  • Languages: French & Dutch
  • Official website
 

Chile

Chile is that long skinny country on the western coast of South America. Chile is one of the safest, and most stable countries in South America, and offers stunning nature, along with some powder-paradise ski slopes. The official language in Chile is Spanish, so say it with me now "Dos cervezas por favor." (Two beers please).

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $135 USD (currently $186.00 CAD)
  • When to apply: Can apply online, or at a consulate
  • Language: Spanish
  • Official website
 

Costa Rica

This beautiful, tropical paradise is situated between Panama and Nicaragua, and sits along the Caribbean Sea. Costa Rica is known for its stunning beaches, and volcanos. Previously a Spanish colony, Spanish is the language spoken here. Fun fact, Costa Rica is one of 21 countries in the world without a military, though there is a police force. It is also home to the United Nation's University for Peace.

  • Duration: 1 year with a potential for longer, when applying under a different visa category
  • Cost: $112 USD (currently $154 CAD)
  • When to apply: Before leaving Canada
  • Language: Spanish
  • Official website
 

Croatia

Croatia sits across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, and borders Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, in southern Europe. This coastal country is known for its crystal clear waters, warm weather, great food, and friendly people. Sounds like a good enough place to live for a year to me! While Croatia is part of the European Union, the countries does not use the Euro. 

  • Duration: 1 - 2 years, there must be a break between the 1st and 2nd year where you leave Croatia
  • Cost: $95 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Croatian
  • Official website


Czech Republic

If you're looking for a central location in Europe, the Czech Republic is it. Rent in Prague (the capital city) is cheaper than in your average European city, and the country is well known to be safe, with a low crime rate. Czech is the official language, the country is part of the European Union, but has it's own currency. 

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $137 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Czech
  • Official website
 

Denmark

Denmark is located in northern Europe, bordering Germany, and boasts a whole lot of cost line on the North Sea. It's also a hop and a skip across to Sweden. Be prepared to be the shortest in your new group of friends, the people in Denmark are known for being tall ... as well as blonde and good looking. The working holiday visa in Denmark is a little different than others in that you may work for a maximum of 6 months in your 12 month visit, and you can also study in Denmark, again, for up to 6 months. 

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $290 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Danish
  • Official website
 

Estonia

Estonia, one of those European countries you've heard little about, right? This little European country is situated beside Russia, across the Baltic Sea from Finland, and beside Latvia. Estonians are a technology-savvy bunch, they invented Skype, and they conduct voting online. If you love to walk by castles daily, Estonia is the place for you, with many Medieval structures still standing. 

  • Duration: 1 - 2 years, must apply for 2nd year under a different visa section
  • Cost: Not found
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Estonian
  • Official website
 

France

France, one of the larger European countries, situated between Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Brussels. When searching for a video of France, I came up mostly with Tour de France bike videos, and skiing videos in the French Alps. So to give you an idea, those are two prominent travel attractions the French are known for. There's also a beautiful wine region, and historic, charming streets at every turn.

  • Duration: 1 - 3 years (1-2 years as a working holiday, a 3rd year may be completed if a year is spent studying)
  • Cost: Free!
  • When to apply: While in Canada for 1st year, can then extend visa while in France
  • Language: French
  • Official website
 

Germany

Germany is known for the beer drinking festival Oktoberfest, red roofed houses, spectacular engineering, and being the only country in the world with a speed limit-less highway. Germans will humbly tell you "oh, my English is not very good" but really you can hold a conversation with most Germans in English just fine. Germany will blow you away with the efficiency of just about every process in the country. Fun fact: All education (including University) is free in Germany, not just to Germans, but to anyone who can speak the language.

  • Duration: 1 - 2 years (must apply under a different visa category for the 2nd year)
  • Cost: $95 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada, must return to Canada to apply for a 2nd year of the visa
  • Language: German
  • Official website


Greece

I remember in school our teacher told us about the Greek landscape, and  how it would make you think someone dropped a handful of rocks in the sea. Greece is made up of a number of rocky islands, and has an abundance of coastline at every tun. Greeks are known for their olive oil, large family gatherings and being the birthplace of the Olympics. A year spent in Greece would allow for you to experience breath-taking nature, rich culture, and wild parties.

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: 100 EUR (currently $154 CAD)
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Greek
  • Official website
 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a very unique place. It's technically a city, but you can get a work and travel visa for it as if it were it's own country in itself. Hong Kong is an autonomous territory in China, but is very unique from China. Really, Hong Kong is a very modern city in Asia, with lots of skyscrapers, and a large population of expats. When you're looking to get out of the crowded city, there's beaches to be visited close by. Both English and Cantonese are the official languages spoken. Those up to the age of 30, not 35, may apply for this visa.

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: Not found
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: English and Cantonese
  • Official website
 

Ireland

Now I know this might be a little unexpected when introducing a country, but you will be amazed by just how darn green their grass is! The grass is quite literally greener in Ireland, given the fact it's a rather rainy place, so the grass is well watered. Aside from Instagram-worthy grass colour, Ireland boasts rolling hills, quaint villages, and weathered stone fences running through fields (most often not in a straight line).

  • Duration: 1 - 2 years (assuming the 2nd year is an internship, and you are a post-secondary student)
  • Cost: $150 CAD + postage
  • When to apply: Can apply from within Canada, in any other country (with an Irish embassy) or within Ireland itself (you just need to cross a border, and go back again to activate your visa)
  • Language: Irish & English
  • Official website


Italy

Italy has a great number of ancient sites to visit, museums, and statues all around. There are many vibrant, unique cities, and countryside locations. If you get the chance to spend a year there, head to some of the major tourist destinations in the off season (not summer) so you can see the city without all the craziness (because there are a LOT of tourists in Italy). Italians are very friendly people, they like to socialize with others in community piazzas (public squares), and if you get invited to any family gathering, expect for it to be massive. 

  • Duration: 1 year (but only allowed to work for 6 months during that time) 
  • Cost: $145.50 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Italian
  • Official website
 

Japan

The Japanese are an extremely disciplined bunch; the literacy rate in the country is almost perfect, and unemployment is quite low. They also have come up with a fair share of unusual inventions, and plenty of wild TV shows. In Japan the maximum age to qualify for a working holiday visa is 30, and Canadians are strictly forbidden from taking on jobs at places that "might affect public morals," eg. bars and nightclubs. 

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: Free
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Japanese
  • Official website
 

(South) Korea

No need to be fearful of visiting South Korea because of the leader in the north. South Korea is extremely modern, and safe. When visiting South Korea you'll be amazed at how far ahead their technology is from ours in Canada. Learning English is extremely important in South Korea, and South Koreans tend to like to associate with English speakers. There is also a large expat population in South Korea so you can spend some time with people who have a more familiar culture to yours. 

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: Not found
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Korean
  • Official website
 

Latvia

Latvia is located in North Eastern Europe, beside Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, and Russia. It's coastline borders on the Baltic Sea, with Norway close by. Latvia was part of the Soviet Union until it was dissolved in 1991. The country boasts Medieval structures still standing, and a number of beautiful palaces. 

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $245 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Latvian
  • Official website
 

Lithuania

Lithuania is the southernmost Baltic country, and just like it's neighbour Latvia, was also part of the former Soviet Union. Now, you can find remains of the Soviet Times, including an old nuclear missile base. 

  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • Cost: 60 EUR (currently $92 CAD), or free if you're a student
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Lithuanian
  • Official website
 

Mexico

If you want to escape the cold, Mexico is a good option for you. While Mexico does have some crime and drug issues, there are safe areas, and modern housing complexes with gates and security. Did you know Mexico City is one of the most populated cities in the world? It is 20 million people strong ... and just to think Canada has 35 million in the entire country. Mexico offers beautiful beaches, and an opportunity to learn/improve your Spanish!

  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • Cost: $52 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Spanish
  • Official website


Netherlands

This little country nestled between Belgium and Germany has a truly different lifestyle from us in Canada. People in the Netherlands tend to bicycle everywhere! In Amsterdam I saw a multi-level bicycle parking garage, and it was packed full! The Netherlands is also known to have relaxed laws regarding Cannabis. So if that's your thing, this is your place. Smoking not your thing? The Netherlands still has lots to offer in terms of natural beauty, a Venice-like town with little rivers for roads, and fields and fields of tulips!

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: €50 (currently $76 CAD)
  • When to apply: While in Canada or after arriving in the Netherlands
  • Language: Dutch
  • Official website
 

New Zealand

New Zealand is up there for one of the most popular working holidays destinations. The Lord of the Rings films were shot here, and if you've seen the movies, you'll know middle earth/New Zealand is a magical, breath taking place. To experience the natural beauty for yourself, choose New Zealand! In New Zealand you'll find a whole host of adventurous outdoor activities to take part in, and the locals have a similar (charming) accent to Australians. 

  • Duration: 1 year or 23 months (the choice is yours!)
  • Cost: Price depends on a variety of factors, eg. if you apply in person or online. If applying online, while in Canada the cost is $208 NZD (currently $189 CAD) 
  • When to apply: While in Canada, or after arriving in New Zealand
  • Language: English
  • Official website
 

Norway

Norway is one of the Nordic countries, way up north in Europe. It is a large country, for not a very large population ... (sound familiar, Canadians?) It has similar nature to Canada, and offers a great number of outdoor adventure sports. It's highly suggested to spend some time in awe of the Fjords (long narrow inlets of the sea between high cliffs), and either enjoy a quaint village life on the coast, similar to the Eastern Canadian provinces, or a modern, quickly growing city in the capital of Oslo.

 

Poland

Poland is perfect for history lovers to soak up some knowledge and culture. The Polish have amazing cuisine (I mean, they invented perogies, I rest my case). Poland is a very affordable country to live in, specifically the capital of Warsaw has much lower rent prices than many other European countries. Additionally, food, drinking, eating out, transportation are also below the average price for the rest of Europe. 

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $150 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Polish
  • Official website


Slovakia

Slovakia is another landlocked country, hanging out right beside the Czech Republic in the heart of Europe. This former communist country is now a properly democratic and capitalist. Slovakia is not one of the typical tourist countries in Europe, as such, it's a great place to escape the tourist crowds, and get an authentic experience. Similar to it's neighbour, the Czech Republic, Slovakia offers a cheaper cost of living than your average European country.

  • Duration: Not found
  • Cost: Not found
  • When to apply: Not found
  • Language: Slovak
  • Official website - unavailable
 

Slovenia

Separating Italy and Croatia sits Slovenia, with a small section of coast line on the Adriatic Sea. I don't know if you've heard, but Slovenia is getting more well known and popular as a tourist destination these days. Just like it's neighbours Italy and Croatia, both popular tourist destinations, Slovenia has a similar beautiful landscape to offer. Unfortunately, there is little information to be found online regarding how to apply, cost, and duration of this working holiday agreement, so it might take a little investigating on your part if you choose to go to Slovenia.

  • Duration: Not found
  • Cost: Not found
  • When to apply: Not found
  • Language: Slovenian
  • Official website - Link provided on Canadian website is broken
 

Spain

Ahhhh, Spain. Full of art, unique architecture, crystal blue waters, and plates upon plates of tapas. Spain's weather and nature is a little slice of heaven for Canadians, however there's a few things to get used to if moving to Spain. Life is a little slower in Spain, and people really enjoy the paradise in which they live. Spain was recently hit hard by the economic crisis, and many citizens are still without work. If thinking of spending the year in Spain, don't plan on being entirely dependent on income at a Spanish job because they may be a little hard to come by.

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $150 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Spanish
  • Official website


Sweden

Sweden, this place and it's people have my heart! If you were to go explore Sweden in the wilderness, you could quite honestly be mistaken for being back in Canada. The two countries have very similar climate, and nature. It's when you see the little red Swedish cottages you realize "This isn't Kansas/Canada anymore." Swedes, like those in Denmark tend to be tall and blonde, so be prepared to feel like a munchkin. Sweden has produced some ah-mazing companies over the years you already know and love, eg. Ikea, and H&M.

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: 1,000 SEK (currently $162 CAD)
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Swedish
  • Official website
 

Switzerland

You know your country is doing something right when it's made darn near impossible to get citizenship, because everyone wants it. Switzerland is an extremely well off country, and the quality of life is high, it's also very peaceful, and has claimed neutrality in all wars since 1815. Canadians have a unique opportunity to live in Switzerland for 1 year - 18 months through a working holiday visa. Unlike most countries, it is necessary to find a job position prior to applying for the visa, and you must meet certain education qualifications. See what I said about not being easy to get into? It will be well worth it if you can though.

  • Duration: 1 year - 18 months
  • Cost: Not found
  • When to apply: While in Canada, or abroad, but not in Switzerland
  • Language: German, French, Italian
  • Official website
 

Taiwan

This small island country, off the coast of China offers an ultra modern lifestyle in it's large cities. In Taiwan you can experience traditional Chinese culture, while not actually being in mainland China. Taiwan was previously part of China but has since separated. The people of Taiwan are very kind, and will go out of their way to assist those that ask for help. There are a total of 1,000 spaces per year for Canadians to enter Taiwan with a working holiday visa.

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $118 CAD
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Official website
 

Ukraine

This large European country, situated on the Black Sea is recently known for the instability of the country, and the riots that occurred in 2014 due to political issues. The area of Crimea in Ukraine is currently under a travel advisory issues by Canada. So if I were you, I would hold out on travel here until things settle down. 

  • Duration: Not found
  • Cost: Not found
  • When to apply: Not found
  • Language: Ukranian
  • Official website
 

United Kingdom

The UK, home of tea drinkers, the Queen (or more importantly, Kate Middleton), frequent rain, and a bunch of completely wild university students. In the UK there is a high degree of inclusion of sport in the culture, if that's your thing, as well as many famous landmarks, and beautiful old cities. It was also the destination of my university exchange, so I've got a soft spot for it to say the least. The UK includes England, Wales, Scotland, and the other Ireland, all in one nice country bundle, so there's lots to explore, with a working holiday visa valid for them all.

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Cost: £225 GBP (currently $445 CAD)
  • When to apply: While in Canada
  • Language: English (with a heavy accent, depending on where you go)
  • Official website

Whew, that was a LONG list! Now I'm SO interested to hear, if you were going to take your pick from the 32 listed above, which would you choose, and why?!

Of course, as always, you might know I LOVE interacting and hearing from my readers and other bloggers! Have a question, hoping for a specific blog post that hasn't been written yet, want to show me a funny round-the-world dance video compilation you loved? Perrrrfect! I invite you to send me an email anytime friend! apagebypaige@gmail.com. Seeya round the inbox!