So like me and thousands of other young people looking for adventure in the Great, White North, you’ve arrived in Canada with your approved Working Holiday Visa in hand, excited and wanting to know how to settle in for a Canadian Winter. After two Winters here, I offer you the following tips that will helpfully make settling in for a Canadian Winter an easy and exciting journey!
Pro Tip #1: Start off in a hostel
Starting this epic adventure as a solo traveller or even in a group? The best place to make new friends and meet like minded ski bunnies and ski bums is in a hostel environment! Lucky for you, most Canadian ski towns have at least one HI hostel to keep you covered. It is likely that you will meet potential housemates for when you are ready to move up the mountain and into your ski in/ski out crib!
Pro Tip #2: Layer Up/Cover Up
If you hail from a country that doesn’t hit below freezing temperatures, you may be in for a shock if you are not prepared for a Winter in Canada! Invest in a pair of good winter boots, a reliable coat, a couple of toques and some ski/snowboarding gear that is going to keep you toasty on the slopes. While these items may be expensive initially, its better than the other option; being sent home with hypothermia or frostbite!
Pro Tip #3: Hit up job fairs for Ski Resort Jobs
Haven’t organized a job with a ski resort before arriving in Canada and don’t know where to start? Never fear! Most, if not all ski resorts hold job fairs that you can attend and see what jobs on the mountain are on offer as well as attending drop-in interviews. If your plan is to work a season at a ski resort, this is your best option as employment with ski resorts often come with a free or subsidized season pass.
If you can’t make a job fair, all is not lost. Ski Resorts tend to start to advertising employment for the upcoming season several months in advance. You will find positions in hospitality, tourism, snow sports and retail, just to name a few. Be aware, that jobs in hospitality often require alcohol service or food safety certification. This certification can often differ between Canadian provinces so keep this in mind when obtaining your certificate. These can often be completed online for a small fee and over a few hours.
Pro Tip #4: Consider buying a car
Canada is a huge country, with a bunch of potential for road trips with friends! If you are here for the long haul and want to make the most of your time in this amazing country; consider buying a van or splitting the cost between a group of mates. The world is your oyster friend, and having a vehicle allows for spontaneous trips to different ski resorts or a road trip through the Rocky Mountains – a must see during a Canadian Winter!
Now go forth, shred that champagne powder, make those life long friends and most importantly, experience all that this crazy, beautiful country; Canada has to offer!