"The best part of my working holiday has been travelling and meeting so many new people along the way. The most valuable thing I've learned about living overseas is the memories that I'll keep forever. The stories that I'll be able to tell people when I'm older is priceless. The hosting centre in Sydney is full of enthusiastic staff that are willing to help you out big time! Whether it's about travelling, jobs, saving money, finding accommodation... they are there for you!! It's very reassuring that the staff love their jobs, and are more than happy to help you."
"It is without a doubt the most rewarding experience that I have ever had. It has changed me in so many ways; I know more of who I am and what I want from life now more than ever. Anyone can visit a country, but it's a whole different story to live in it and have it become a part of you... It's my home, it's where I belong, and SWAP made it all happen."
"I've learned is that it is more fulfilling to stay in a single foreign place for a very long time rather than hopping from one touristic attraction to another. By having lived in the same neighbourhood, I was able to get to know it much more deeply than any other place I visited throughout my trip. I interacted with the same people, learned about their lifestyles, formed friendships with them and eventually felt as though I almost belonged there."
"The way I see it is I've found work where I don't even speak native tongue and I am having the time of my life! Something that seemed so daunting will now look good on a resume and I will return to Canada with new skills and insight."
"It can be very intimidating taking it into your own hands to plan a trip to an unfamiliar country. SWAP is the perfect opportunity for both security and independence. SWAP got me excited, everything fell into place, and the worries faded away." (pictured on right)
"I can't imagine my life if I had decided to stay home. I seem to be travelling every other weekend and have seen some of the world's most incredible sights."
"The most valuable thing I have learned about living/working abroad is that it pays off to be open-minded. Open to new jobs, new people, new places and new experiences. Open yourself up and it will be the most rewarding time of your life!"
"SWAP's abroad partner was fabulous! I could write an entire book about how wonderful and helpful these people were. They did everything within their power to make the transition from moving to a new place easier."
"When I'm at home in Canada, I feel like my life is about responsibilities and a set life path. When I was [living] abroad and travelling, everything felt endless. I got to meet interesting people from all walks of life. I can now say I have friends from New Zealand, France, Serbia, Amsterdam, and Germany..."
"The best part about my working holiday has been my location. I live in Dublin, the RyanAir hub for Europe. It has enabled me to travel on my off days to France, Germany, Spain, the UK and next month, Italy. My location allows me to experience the most amazing parts of Europe, quickly, efficiently and at a low cost." (pictured on right)
"The best part of my working holiday was June 12, 2015, the day I married the love of my life, my best friend.... My mother and three siblings were even able to come over from Canada for the wedding to share our special day. The entire day was fabulous!"
"I worked as an Assistant Manager / Surf Instructor at surf school in Hawaii. I had the time of my life meeting new people, experiencing the Hawaiian culture, and exploring the islands. I applied to the job by sending out an email to the manager and ended up getting a response the next day that he would hire me if I was able to have my visa and accommodation arranged - thank you SWAP :)"
"I've had 3 jobs here in London, all of which in my field. The first was a 3-month contract as a digital designer for a finance company, the second was a 2-month contract as a web designer for a relocation and events company and my current contract has been going on as digital designer for a recruitment company. I got my first job 2 weeks into my stay and each subsequent one 1-2 weeks after I began my search."
"I did a lot of really amazing stuff on my trip. Skydiving, bungee jumping, swimming with dolphins, and plenty of other adventure activities I wouldn't be able to do back home. But the best things were all the people I met. I have friends all over the world now, and a better understanding of my place in it. I'm more aware of how cultural differences cause people to behave in different ways and I'm better at overcoming those differences. I also learned a lot about myself that I wouldn't have at home, and my future goals are much clearer to me know. I'm going home much more focused, motivated, and happy. I will definitely be taking another working holiday in the future."
"Just go for it. You are young now, this is your time. I had so many things that were holding me back from making the move but now I couldn't be happier with my decision to go abroad. Never again in your life will you have the opportunity to drop everything and just follow your heart." (pictured on far right)
"A friend who had come to New York from Toronto referred me [to SWAP]. We were discussing our plans and life goals and she loved her experience and thought I would too. It's by far the best decision I've made!
[The best part of my US internship has been] the constant flow of new experiences; new apartment, new friends, new job, new everything! It's always nice having friends and family visit and see your new life, it feels like you've achieved something and that you're chasing your dreams." (pictured on left)
"I'd say take the leap. Actually, the fact that you're a little worried about leaving home for one year makes me certain that SWAP is the right choice for you. You'll be away, but you'll have a rock. The SWAP team is there to hold your hand through your experience." (pictured in the middle)
"A friend of a friend recommended SWAP. I chose SWAP because I didn't know where to start with the whole process, including the paperwork and I hardly knew anything about the UK. It was reassuring to know that I would get assistance through the whole process and being able to talk to past Swappers from the SWAP Facebook group made me feel more comfortable." (pictured on far left)
"Since Australia was such a far destination, a typical two week vacation would be too short to explore that massive country. I figured a working holiday would be my best bet."
"What wouldn't I have done if I not for my SWAP experience? I would definitely say the work experience I developed. Since I worked on the event team in Australia, it created the chance to work on the event team here in Canada. Actually, as I write this, I just came back yesterday from working a Toronto event."
"If you don't challenge the norm and broaden your experiences, chances are you won't further yourself nearly as much both personally and professionally. Just GO for it! Make it a priority in your life. SWAP is a wonderful program that will support you through your journey, wherever it is in the world your heart takes you."