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    Ok thanks for your help.
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    I'm looking to go to University in Canada but the application isn't until January and I wouldn't start until this time next year. I'd like to work there for a year on a working holiay visa (IEC) as a UK citizen but I don't fulfil the 3 year residency requirement. I was born in Bangkok and lived there till I was 18 then I lived in the EU for about a year, three months in England. I have a job here but not a permanent address. Could I make some sort of a plea to the Canadian Embassy? Like my Dad worked abroad so I wasn't with him by choice. My friend got one of these to Australia and he's in the same boat as me.
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    Going to book my (£214) flight (from Glasgow) to Toronto in the next couple of days.

    Are you guys heading to Toronto or Vancouver? I've chosen Toronto mainly because the flights are cheaper and I can get a long coach from Toronto to Vancouver for about $150 (which still works out cheaper than a flight to Vancouver). Also, are you guys taking a backpack or a suitcase? Chosen a hostel? I'm trying to decide between Global Backpackers and Canadiana, both seeming pretty good.

    Any fear kicking in yet for anybody?

    EDIT: Just realised I wrote a similar message to this 10 days ago. Man, the summer is really frying my brain.
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    (Original post by BillyM)
    Going to book my (£214) flight (from Glasgow) to Toronto in the next couple of days.

    Are you guys heading to Toronto or Vancouver? I've chosen Toronto mainly because the flights are cheaper and I can get a long coach from Toronto to Vancouver for about $150 (which still works out cheaper than a flight to Vancouver). Also, are you guys taking a backpack or a suitcase? Chosen a hostel? I'm trying to decide between Global Backpackers and Canadiana, both seeming pretty good.

    Any fear kicking in yet for anybody?

    EDIT: Just realised I wrote a similar message to this 10 days ago. Man, the summer is really frying my brain.
    From what I've heard, Global backpackers is a bit of a dump!
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    (Original post by BillyM)
    Going to book my (£214) flight (from Glasgow) to Toronto in the next couple of days.

    Are you guys heading to Toronto or Vancouver? I've chosen Toronto mainly because the flights are cheaper and I can get a long coach from Toronto to Vancouver for about $150 (which still works out cheaper than a flight to Vancouver). Also, are you guys taking a backpack or a suitcase? Chosen a hostel? I'm trying to decide between Global Backpackers and Canadiana, both seeming pretty good.

    Any fear kicking in yet for anybody?

    EDIT: Just realised I wrote a similar message to this 10 days ago. Man, the summer is really frying my brain.
    When are you going? I'm flying to from Glasgow to Toronto a week on Tuesday! Getting a wee bit nervous, but mainly just excitement. Canadiana Inn was fully booked for some of the days I wanted, so probably best for everyone to plan their hostel choices as far in advance as possible. BUNAC uses the Global Backpackers for group flights but, as Chris mentioned, the reviews are bad!

    As for the coach thing, you do realise it's a really long way between Toronto and Vancouver. I think paying for a flight would be money well spent tbh.
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    How's everyone doing?

    I've been in Toronto for 3 weeks now, and it's a pretty awesome place. Yesterday was Labor Day which is the end of summer here and it's suddenly got a lot colder!

    Word of advice - definitely take your laptop- everyone at the hostels have them, and the SWAP computers are really old (Windows 95 old).

    Canadiana Inn was really nice, had a homely feel to it and I would have been happy staying there for quite a while. Seems lots of other people would too because it sells out every night, so I've had to move to the HI Toronto, which is fine. Haven't spoke to anyone who has actually stayed at Global Village, but walked past it and it doesn't look great. Spoke to some locals who were aware of Global Village, apparently it's well known for being "sketchy". Canadians seem to be fond of that word. Someone recommended Planet Traveler as being a good hostel, it's eco-friendly.

    Finding a job is proving tougher than expected. I'm a stand by person handing out metro newspapers right now, which isn't quite the job I dreamed of having, so the job hunt goes on...
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    (Original post by fiona344)
    How's everyone doing?

    I've been in Toronto for 3 weeks now, and it's a pretty awesome place. Yesterday was Labor Day which is the end of summer here and it's suddenly got a lot colder!

    Word of advice - definitely take your laptop- everyone at the hostels have them, and the SWAP computers are really old (Windows 95 old).

    Canadiana Inn was really nice, had a homely feel to it and I would have been happy staying there for quite a while. Seems lots of other people would too because it sells out every night, so I've had to move to the HI Toronto, which is fine. Haven't spoke to anyone who has actually stayed at Global Village, but walked past it and it doesn't look great. Spoke to some locals who were aware of Global Village, apparently it's well known for being "sketchy". Canadians seem to be fond of that word. Someone recommended Planet Traveler as being a good hostel, it's eco-friendly.

    Finding a job is proving tougher than expected. I'm a stand by person handing out metro newspapers right now, which isn't quite the job I dreamed of having, so the job hunt goes on...
    Cheers for that. What's your plan of action to find a job? I'm heading over in about 3 weeks and beginning to get nervous about finding work. Will book for Canadiana I guess and bring a crappy laptop with me. Any suggestions for places to look for work before I get there? I've been skimming through craigslist but haven't applied for anything because I haven't got a phone there yet.

    Also, which bank did you go with + what did you have to sort out as soon as you get there, for taxes and stuff?

    Cheers
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    (Original post by BillyM)
    Cheers for that. What's your plan of action to find a job? I'm heading over in about 3 weeks and beginning to get nervous about finding work. Will book for Canadiana I guess and bring a crappy laptop with me. Any suggestions for places to look for work before I get there? I've been skimming through craigslist but haven't applied for anything because I haven't got a phone there yet.

    Also, which bank did you go with + what did you have to sort out as soon as you get there, for taxes and stuff?

    Cheers
    TBH I probably could put more effort into finding a job. I'm wanting something in finance (which I have my degree in), but being a fresh grad I don't have the 3-5 years experience most places want. Just been looking at the big banks/ insurance company websites and emailing contacts through contacts back home. Got an interview lined up for tomorrow, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that. Haven't been to agencies yet, which is probably the obvious place to go. Not having a phone no is annoying, and the reason I didn't look seriously from the UK. I haven't looked for jobs on craigslist directly (though I'm sure some/most/all of the jobs I applied to through SWAP are from there). The idea of posting jobs on a site like that seems sketchy to me, but I guess most are legit and you just need to use common sense.

    I got another job today! Just weekends, and only till November, but I think it'll be much more enjoyable than handing out metros. The metro job I saw advertised on the SWAP job board, emailed them and next day they called inviting me to an "interview" where I signed paperwork and started my first shift 1 Hour later.

    Are you going with BUNAC or independently btw?

    For banking, I went with TD because they offer 6 months free banking for SWAPPERS. I'm sure the other banks have free accounts too, so I might look into it more once the free banking is nearly up. Service is probably much the same at all the banks - certain number of free transactions, free cash withdrawals from your own bank but hefty charges if you use others, account fee waived if balance kept over a certain amount, etc. Really, just choose a bank that has a branch near where you're going to live and/or work. That's probably more relevant if you're intending to go to a ski resort than staying in a big city. There's TD, BMO and CIBC everywhere in downtown Toronto. I haven't seen quite so many RBC's or Scotiabanks, and only a couple of HSBC's.

    I haven't had to deal with taxes yet (other than paying the 13% HST on pretty much most things). If you stay in one place for 29 consecutive nights you don't need to pay the HST. Same with taking food out rather than sitting in to eat (I think).

    Apply for a social security card as soon as you arrive. You need it before you can get paid, and it takes a couple of weeks to receive it. SWAP process them and apparently fast track it through the system, so if you've registered with BUNAC then do it there, else go to City Hall (?) and it takes as long as it takes.
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    (Original post by fiona344)
    TBH I probably could put more effort into finding a job. I'm wanting something in finance (which I have my degree in), but being a fresh grad I don't have the 3-5 years experience most places want. Just been looking at the big banks/ insurance company websites and emailing contacts through contacts back home. Got an interview lined up for tomorrow, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that. Haven't been to agencies yet, which is probably the obvious place to go. Not having a phone no is annoying, and the reason I didn't look seriously from the UK. I haven't looked for jobs on craigslist directly (though I'm sure some/most/all of the jobs I applied to through SWAP are from there). The idea of posting jobs on a site like that seems sketchy to me, but I guess most are legit and you just need to use common sense.

    I got another job today! Just weekends, and only till November, but I think it'll be much more enjoyable than handing out metros. The metro job I saw advertised on the SWAP job board, emailed them and next day they called inviting me to an "interview" where I signed paperwork and started my first shift 1 Hour later.

    Are you going with BUNAC or independently btw?

    For banking, I went with TD because they offer 6 months free banking for SWAPPERS. I'm sure the other banks have free accounts too, so I might look into it more once the free banking is nearly up. Service is probably much the same at all the banks - certain number of free transactions, free cash withdrawals from your own bank but hefty charges if you use others, account fee waived if balance kept over a certain amount, etc. Really, just choose a bank that has a branch near where you're going to live and/or work. That's probably more relevant if you're intending to go to a ski resort than staying in a big city. There's TD, BMO and CIBC everywhere in downtown Toronto. I haven't seen quite so many RBC's or Scotiabanks, and only a couple of HSBC's.

    I haven't had to deal with taxes yet (other than paying the 13% HST on pretty much most things). If you stay in one place for 29 consecutive nights you don't need to pay the HST. Same with taking food out rather than sitting in to eat (I think).

    Apply for a social security card as soon as you arrive. You need it before you can get paid, and it takes a couple of weeks to receive it. SWAP process them and apparently fast track it through the system, so if you've registered with BUNAC then do it there, else go to City Hall (?) and it takes as long as it takes.
    I'm going independently so no SWAP board for me Oh well. I'm impressed that you're looking for work related to your degree. I'm not really expecting anything degree related, because as you said, they all want experience which I simply don't have.

    3 weeeeeeeeks
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    BillyM - when are you flying? I am also going Glasgow to Toronto on the 25th sept..starting to get nervous now! My situation is a bit different - my mum's Canadian, so I have a dual citizenship...I'm heading over independently, hoping to find work, etc! All a bit nerveracking, but exciting! WHere are you staying when you arrive?
    J xx
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    (Original post by Jonidip)
    BillyM - when are you flying? I am also going Glasgow to Toronto on the 25th sept..starting to get nervous now! My situation is a bit different - my mum's Canadian, so I have a dual citizenship...I'm heading over independently, hoping to find work, etc! All a bit nerveracking, but exciting! WHere are you staying when you arrive?
    J xx
    Hey, I booked for 3rd Oct from Manchester in the end. It's about a £50 difference and my dad insisted to leave from the home town rather than save some money. I'm going to book for the Canadiana Inn hostel I think, for a week at least. What's your plan? Where are you stayin?
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    (Original post by BillyM)
    Hey, I booked for 3rd Oct from Manchester in the end. It's about a £50 difference and my dad insisted to leave from the home town rather than save some money. I'm going to book for the Canadiana Inn hostel I think, for a week at least. What's your plan? Where are you stayin?
    Ah, fair enough! I'm staying with Canadian friends when I arrive, until I find somewhere to stay. No real plan at the moment, just going to look for a job and hope it all works out! A bit nervous about not having the "support network" of SWAP or whatever, so would be cool to meet other newcomers. Sounds like Canadiana is the place to be in terms of meeting people though - everyone seems to have had great experiences there. I LOVED Toronto when I visited, but that was a holiday almost 10 years ago - crazy! Have you been before?
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    (Original post by fiona344)
    How's everyone doing?

    I've been in Toronto for 3 weeks now, and it's a pretty awesome place. Yesterday was Labor Day which is the end of summer here and it's suddenly got a lot colder!

    Word of advice - definitely take your laptop- everyone at the hostels have them, and the SWAP computers are really old (Windows 95 old).

    Canadiana Inn was really nice, had a homely feel to it and I would have been happy staying there for quite a while. Seems lots of other people would too because it sells out every night, so I've had to move to the HI Toronto, which is fine. Haven't spoke to anyone who has actually stayed at Global Village, but walked past it and it doesn't look great. Spoke to some locals who were aware of Global Village, apparently it's well known for being "sketchy". Canadians seem to be fond of that word. Someone recommended Planet Traveler as being a good hostel, it's eco-friendly.

    Finding a job is proving tougher than expected. I'm a stand by person handing out metro newspapers right now, which isn't quite the job I dreamed of having, so the job hunt goes on...
    :facepalm: really? Is SWAP worth it because I'm seriously considering getting £80 back for BUNAC
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    (Original post by ChrisBan)
    :facepalm: really? Is SWAP worth it because I'm seriously considering getting £80 back for BUNAC
    Really. I was surprised too. I got a disk from one of my jobs that i need to read and i really hope its a cd rather than dvd since the facilities are so old and i have my disk driveless netbook. They do have wifi though. And air conditioning.

    I thought about cancelling too and it's a joke that you only get £80 back. I kept it since otherwise you've spent £170 on absolutely nothing (a reasoning that completely contradicts everything I learnt at uni...), I decided to keep it as a safety net. Its definitely not worth £250, but for £80 perhaps. Its really a judgement call whether to keep it or not.

    I thought it would be good for the social aspect, but there aren't actually many events and haven't met anyone through SWAP. I've met swappers, but at the hostels and everyone seems to have much the same opinion.
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    I'm heading off for Toronto tomorrow morning. Bit nervous now
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    (Original post by lazyswot)
    I'm heading off for Toronto tomorrow morning. Bit nervous now
    No need to be nervous, it's an amazing city. make sure to go to the orientation tomorrow, I'd say it's reassuring rather than useful, but they process your social insurance card.

    I took a side trip to ottaw for a job fair, it's a nice place, but small and quiet, compared to Toronto at least. Figured I'd go on to Montreal side it's only 2 hrs away and I'm not working until Saturday.

    Was planning to climb up Mount Royal and walk arround the old town tomorrow, but will be going to see a doctor at a walk in clinic instead. Stupid hostels with all their stairs...
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    I've been here a week now. Global Packpackers is alright really, it has a bar and an outside beer garden and stuff, but the showers and bunkbeds in the Canadiana are nicer. And at the canadiana they let you bring food and drink in, which makes up for the lack of bar. If it takes me much longer to find somewhere more permanent to live, I might move to the canadiana just for the extra bit of comfort you get, and so i can cook with some of my friends there.
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    (Original post by lazyswot)
    I've been here a week now. Global Packpackers is alright really, it has a bar and an outside beer garden and stuff, but the showers and bunkbeds in the Canadiana are nicer. And at the canadiana they let you bring food and drink in, which makes up for the lack of bar. If it takes me much longer to find somewhere more permanent to live, I might move to the canadiana just for the extra bit of comfort you get, and so i can cook with some of my friends there.
    Global Backpackers doesn't have a kitchen?
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    (Original post by lazyswot)
    I've been here a week now. Global Packpackers is alright really, it has a bar and an outside beer garden and stuff, but the showers and bunkbeds in the Canadiana are nicer. And at the canadiana they let you bring food and drink in, which makes up for the lack of bar. If it takes me much longer to find somewhere more permanent to live, I might move to the canadiana just for the extra bit of comfort you get, and so i can cook with some of my friends there.
    How has your first week been though?
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    (Original post by BillyM)
    Global Backpackers doesn't have a kitchen?
    It does, but it's tiny and the space to store your food is even tinier

    (Original post by ChrisBan)
    How has your first week been though?
    It's been good! I've met some nice people and had lots of fun. Real life is starting to creep in now though. I'm stressing about finding a job and somewhere to live, and I'm missing the comfort and familiarity of home. I can't imagine actually living here for a year, I have no idea if it'll end up feeling like home at the moment.
 
 
 
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