IEC VISA: part 3 – Bunac… is it worth it?

In part 3 of this blog series I will be giving my personal account of using Bunac’s services when it came to applying for my IEC/Working Holiday visa.

Missed the first 2 parts of the series and have no idea what I’m on about? you can catch up here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Starting the process of moving to another country is completely scary, it sounds like a complicated process that you can’t even dream of doing yourself. This is where Bunac comes in. Bunac is an organisation that aims to “assist with visas, jobs, internship placements, travel planning, work abroad travel insurance, accommodation, arrival support, 24/7 emergency assistance and more”. When it comes to IEC visas, Bunac have 2 (paid) programs available; the essentials program and the unltimate program.

The essentials program £389

As stated on their website, the essentials program provides you with the essential information needed to start the visa process, including webinars & a work in Canada handbook. In addition to this you also get access to their closed facebook group, 2 nights hostel accommodation upon your arrival, with access to their resource facilities in Canada & extra job support.

The Ultimate program £529

The ultimate program contains everything within the essentials program, and also includes access to job fairs in London to help you to secure a job before your flight out.

Sounds good right? well, if you want to work in a ski resort then the ultimate program is the one for you as this is the ONLY role they help you to secure. I was adamant that I didn’t want to work in a ski resort so I decided to buy the essentials program… which essentially ended up being nearly £400 down the drain.

To Bunac or not to Bunac

Maybe I had a bad experience, but all the promises that were outlined on the website fell short. I ended up not needing the 2 nights hostel accommodation as I was staying with family. However I didn’t receive any help looking for a Job whilst i was in Canada, I sent out an email detailing my arrival which was never replied to & I ended up feeling more alone than I already did. Also it is key to note that Bunac do not help you with the application process… you still have to do everything by yourself. In hindsight I ended up paying £389 to gain access to a facebook group and a copy of the Lonely Planet’s guide to Canada.

To conclude, I would’t recommend using Bunac seeing as you have to do everything yourself, but if you are keen on securing a job offer before you head out, don’t mind working in a ski resort and have £529 to spare then you should check out their Ultimate package.

Again, this post is based on my own personal experience with Bunac, so there may be more positive accounts out there, it’s always best to do your own research before making a concrete decision 🙂

Hope this helps!!

IEC Visa: Part 2 – How to apply

Hi guys, welcome back!

In part 2 of the IEC Visa content series, we will be covering the start of the application process. If you’ve missed part 1 or want to familiarise yourself with what an IEC visa is then you can find that here.

So you’ve decided that you’re interested in moving to Canada on a working holiday visa…once you’ve checked that you meet the necessary criteria (age requirements & country eligibility) you’re good to go ahead with the application process.

How to start the application process

Starting the application process is relatively easy, so easy you can do it yourself. I made the mistake in going through Bunac, A travel agency that specialises in working and volunteering abroad opportunities. Maybe I didn’t do my research properly or utilise Bunac to its full potential, but that’s one of the reasons as to why I started this content series…to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes that I did! (I’ll explain more about Bunac in part 3).

So anyway back to the application process. The first thing you need to do is create a profile on the canadian government website, that will be later submitted into a pool for random selection.

Upon creating your profile you will be asked a bunch of questions to check your eligibility, these questions will be pertaining to your:

  • country of citizenship
  • country of permanent residence
  • country of residence

Once these have been answered and you’ve been given the green light, you can then go on to complete your profile for submission. For this next section you will need your passport to hand and be prepared to fill in contact and identity info.

That’s it!! Now all you have to do is submit your profile to the relevant pool & wait to see if you are sent an invitation to apply.

That’s all for now folks.

In part 3 of this series we will be looking at the services that Bunac offer (in relation to the working holiday visa) & whether the services will be of any benefit to you.

Thanks for reading guys 🙂 as always if you have any specific questions you would like me to answer please drop me a message & I’ll try by best to answer them.

IEC Visa: Part 1 – What is an IEC VISA and how do I get one?

Hey guys, apologies for the length of time I have been away…there’s been a lot going on in my personal life but hopefully things will be smooth sailing from here onwards.

Before we get into this post I just want to take the time out to wish everyone well in these uncertain times, I pray that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

In my last post (which was a while back now) I promised a new content series surrounding everything regarding Canadian working holiday visa also known as an IEC visa. In this post I will outline exactly what an IEC visa is and how you go about obtaining one.

First thing to note is that there are 3 types of IEC visas; Young professionals, International CO-OP (Internship) and working holiday – We will be focusing on the working holiday visa

What is a working holiday visa?

As mentioned above, a working holiday visa is one of three types of IEC (International experience canada) visas.

As this is seen to be a long term ‘holiday’ (2 years maximum) the idea is that you can work in order to fund your holiday, hence the name ‘working holiday visa.

This type of visa provides you with an open work permit which means that you can pretty much do any type of work with any type of employer. However if you want to work with kids, the elderly or any one who is recognised as a vulnerable person, then you will need to undergo a medical exam.

Who can apply for a working holiday visa?

Before even thinking to apply for a working holiday visa, there’s a few criteria that you need to make sure you meet:

  1. Age requirements: Applicants need to be between the ages of 18-30 (this is for the UK – varies country to country)
  2. Country eligibility: you need to check whether the country in which you have your citizenship with, has an agreement in place that allows you to apply for the visa (you can check the list here– at the bottom of the page)

I’m interested… how can I apply?

To apply for a working holiday visa you first need to become an candidate within a pool…

I will go on to explain more about this in the next segment – which should hopefully be out within the next week.

Thanks for reading guys 🙂 If you have any specific questions you would like me to answer please drop me a message & I’ll try my best to answer them

Moving back home & New blog content

Hey guys, so it’s been a hot minute since my last post!

Between moving back home and applying to jobs, I haven’t really found nor made the time to post on here.

So if you caught on to the first line, yes I’ve moved back home (to the UK). My time in Canada (just over 2 months) was very short-lived but I honestly enjoyed every single moment of it.

So just a little back story for those who missed my life update, I moved to Canada back in August on an IEC visa, also known as a working holiday visa, which I’ll explain more about later.

The main reason for me moving back home (aside from being extremely homesick) is due to the fact that I didn’t take into consideration just how long it would potentially take to find a job. I wasn’t that well informed before I made the move which is a bit of a bummer because if I was then I most probably would have still been out there living my best life.

Which got me thinking, surely I can’t be the only one who has had this experience. Following on from that train of thought, I’ve decided to write a few blog posts on the things I wish I had known before jumping ship, as the amount of information you have available to you can really make or break your experience.

With that being said, if anyone has any specific questions regarding IEC visas or would like me to cover anything in the upcoming blog posts then please leave a comment below or drop me an email via my contact page 💕

VEGANDALE FEST: TORONTO 2019

Back in February, I completely went off of meat, something I never thought would happen to me. Since then, I’ve been adjusting to a vegan diet. The first few months my diet was a mess, pretty much all I would eat is chips… yes chips, everytime I went out to eat my order consisted of …yes you guessed it, chips.

That was until I discovered vegan food festivals which pretty much changed my life. The first one I attended in London was called ‘Vegan nights’ which was completely mind blowing, I was introduced to so many different foods including deep fried cauliflower (don’t knock it until you try it)!

So, when I heard that Vegandale festival (a vegan north american annual food festival) was coming to Toronto, well you know that your girl had to cop a ticket and check it out.

Location, Location. Location

This years Vegandale festival took place in the grounds of fort york, leaving ample amount of space for a variety of food stands & a stage.

Whilst the food I tried was amazing, think; vegan spicy calabrese pizza, chocolate almond ice cream & mini pancakes, there wasn’t that much creativity in comparison to what I had seen at ‘Vegan nights’. However the atmosphere was one to be reckoned with, the weather (a comfortable 26 degrees) paired with the amazing DJ & entertainment (including a push-up competition) made Vegandale a festival to remember.

Veganism for the masses?

Vegandale is a food festival for everyone, ticket holders are allowed to bring their dogs (& pigs, yes someone actually brought a pig) Plus you don’t even have to be vegan to attend.

The price of food on-site was actually also quite reasonable, which in turn helps to bridge the gap between vegan food and affordability. A common myth I often hear is that it is way too expensive to be vegan; This I agree with to some extent but attending festivals such as vegandale have really turned this argument on it’s head.

Overall it was a fun event…different but interesting and insightful all the same.

To conclude, I’ll leave you with some of the pictures I took 🙂