SWAP Working Holidays is a not-for-profit organization that has been working for over 40 years to promote cultural exchange opportunities to Canadians. We started in 1975 and have been going strong ever since. Back then (a time before internet, selfies, and #hashtags), we sent 7 brave Canadian youth to work and travel across the world to New Zealand. All they had to do was strap backpacks on and we helped them with everything else. We made sure their paperwork was sorted and they were taken care of when they arrived. After that successful trip and feeling proud to have been part of such a life-changing initiative, we realized there were other Canadians who wanted the same type of supported experience in other countries. The rest is history.
Since SWAP's beginning, we have always been fully owned by Canadian students. We are a program of the Canadian Federation of Students, a not-for-profit organization that devotes their time and energy to student issues and concerns. Students working for students, now there's an idea! Originally, SWAP Working Holidays was called "Student Work Abroad Program (S.W.A.P.)" because it was originally catered to full-time students and recent graduates. Over time, foreign governments changed their regulations to include most youth (up to age 35), which allowed us to expand these programs and opportunities to non-students as well - so it was only fitting that our name changed as well. Today, we here at SWAP provide a wide range of programs, for young Canadians who want our traditional working holiday programs, but also teach abroad positions, volunteer abroad adventures, and hard-to-acquire work in the US visas. We're proud that our new cultural learning programs are open to people of all ages! Encouraging Canadians to live, work, contribute, travel, and experience the world is our mission and we provide the options to help turn even your wildest travel aspirations into reality. One thing hasn't changed - having maintained our ties to the Canadian Federation of Students and our non-profit status, our priority is and always will be to keep our program costs as low as possible.
Even in an era where information is readily available online, we believe that one-on-one in-person connections are more important than ever. With ever-changing visa and immigration regulations, our knowledgeable and expert local staff (with offices around the world) are trained to provide ongoing support during your SWAP adventure, both during your pre-departure in Canada and your post-arrival abroad. We've got you covered every step of the way! All of our staff have spent significant time abroad and are passionate about the experiences we offer. Whether it's walking you through the paperwork line-by-line to get your application approved, or helping you once you get to your destination with our local offices / staff / resources / connections, we all understand how it feels to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we are thrilled to support you on your adventure.
At SWAP, we have been ambassadors of travel for over 40 years. We know the value of living and working abroad because we have done it ourselves. And if that's not enough, there's 70,000+ Canadians who have trusted SWAP and said "YES" to the extraordinary over the past few decades. We want you to join them in living, working, experiencing, and impacting the world, while gaining new skills, friends, and the stories of a lifetime.
Don't just take our word for it, read what our participants have been saying about SWAP and their experiences!
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