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What is SWAP?


Question: What is SWAP?
Answer: Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP) is a Canadian government-affiliated outfit helping US students between 18-30 to travel and work in Canada for up to six months. SWAP works with agencies like Travel Cuts -- the student travel agency will assist you with the process of getting student work in Canada through SWAP. Program registration fee is $250 and any travel costs are not included; student jobs are not guaranteed but with the plentiful resources SWAP offers, you'll be able to land work in no time.

Am I eligible for SWAP?

In order to work in Canada through SWAP, you must be a US citizen between 18-30 and be enrolled in an accredited high school or university. If you are on a study abroad or semester abroad trip away from campus, you may still apply with SWAP.

What kind of job can I get through SWAP?

You name it and you can almost do it.* SWAP's material reads, "Most of the jobs advertised at the hosting centres are in the retail, clerical and hospitality/tourism industries because these are the industries that often hire seasonal staff."

Some SWAP job availability is government regulated. Fields in which you can work through SWAP in Canada:

  • Accounting
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Business Admin, Management
  • Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Cooking
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Forestry
  • Graphic Design
  • Hospitality (Hotel/Restaurant)
  • Liberal Arts
  • Marketing, Advertising and PR
  • Museum Studies
  • National Parks
  • Ranches
  • Resorts
  • Ski Resorts
  • State Parks
  • Technology
  • Tourism
Fields in which you cannot work in Canada through SWAP:
  • Childcare
  • Health Services
  • Teaching
Some info courtesy BUNAC.

Through SWAP, you can work anywhere (as in geographic location) in Canada where you find a job!

Do I need a work visa?

You'll receive a Canadian work visa through TravelCuts or BUNAC.

How long can I work and travel in Canada through SWAP?

You may work and travel in Canada for up to six months through SWAP. You must arrive in Canada by December 31 of the year in which you applied; the six-month period begins when you arrive.

How much does SWAP cost?

SWAP's program cost is $250. Currently, insurance is not mandatory -- if that changes, you will also have to pay for insurance (cost varies).

How will SWAP support me when I get to Canada?

SWAP does not give you a job or a place to live, but you'll be helped with both. SWAP Canada Hosting Centers, located in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, provide you with:
  • Job and accommodation advice
  • Online computer facilities
  • Phones
  • Mail drop and forwarding
  • Arrival orientation (info is delivered on Canadian bank accounts, taxes, applying for a SIN, or social insurance number (a Canadian worker's ID number)
  • 24 hours emergency SWAP assistance
  • Phonecard (includes voicemail and fax facilities)
SWAP also sets up social activities like team sports, pub nights and excursions.

How do I apply?

Click here to apply to work in Canada with SWAP -- you'll be walked through the application process and get links to neccesary forms.

"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries."
--Aldous Huxley
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