Stepwest Stories – Valeria’s Working Holiday in Canada

March 3, 2016
Posted in Stepwest Stories, Working Holiday


We’re excited to introduce another one of our Stepwest Stars in our Stepwest Stories! Stepwest Stories is an on-going feature series where we highlight our program participant’s experiences in Canada. It’s a great way to share their Canada Working Holiday experiences with others thinking about doing the same.

Valeria and her Working Holiday Experience in Vancouver

We are excited to introduce our new favourite ‘tica’ Valeria, who came to Canada from Costa Rica on a working holiday. She decided Stepwest’s Working Holiday City Job program was right for her because she wanted the security of a guaranteed job upon arrival. Valeria graduated from Universidad Latina in Costa Rica. After gaining a few years of work experience back home, she decided the time was right to take a gap year.

Securing a working holiday permit under the International Experience Canada program can be challenging for some countries. You must enter the pool for your country of citizenship and wait to hopefully receive an invitation. Valeria was one of the lucky ones to be invited to apply! She came to Canada and rocked it professionally while working as a chef. Now, she has made Canada her new home!

“Canada was always on my list of places to visit! When I realized that as a Costa Rican I could apply for a Canada Working Holiday visa, I was sure I wanted to make the step! I chose Vancouver mainly because of its mild weather. I had no idea how amazing the city is at the same time! Today I would not change it!”

Getting Ready for her Gap Year Working Holiday in Canada

Valeria traveled to Canada with one of her friends and both planned their trip with us. We made sure they were ready for their arrival in Canada and conducted our pre-departure orientation with them over a video call. They had everything they needed to activate their working holiday permits: insurance, proof of funds, police certificates, POE letters, etc. They hopped on their flight leaving Costa Rica and landed in Vancouver.

They came to join our Welcome Orientation at our downtown Vancouver office. It’s always so nice to get to know our participants in-person after working with them for months ahead of time. After getting her SIN number, opening her bank account, phone plan and more in the orientation, Valeria met our placement team. Here, we prepared her with everything she needed to know about her upcoming interview. During our working holiday consultation with Valeria when she first joined our program, we learned about her professional goals and job interests. This helped our placement team line up Valeria’s interviews for the week she arrived. After undergoing our Interview Preparation Workshop, we knew she would rock it – and she did!

Valeria’s education and professional background was in gastronomy and culinary arts. When she arrived in Canada, we guaranteed her position at one of the best restaurants in the city. Although Valeria had to leave her family and friends behind to experience Canada, she mentioned the transition to her new life in Canada was made easier with the help of our team. Her positive attitude and desire to make the most of her Working Holiday in Canada helped her have an amazing experience in Vancouver. We helped her get a job doing what she loves!

We asked Valeria if she thought this opportunity was worth it for her. She answered without a doubt:

“Of course, my working holiday in Canada took me out of my comfort zone, not only professionally but also personally. I didn’t know I would be able to do so many things on my own, starting form zero, where you need to work out your opportunities. Working hard in Canada gives you the best results and the experience is helping me have an international curriculum that will help me in the future!”

What did Valeria do after her working holiday?

Following her working holiday, Valeria continued her experience in Canada through the Young Professional IEC work permit. The Young Professional permit requires you to have a job offer under certain requirements (NOC O, A or B). Valeria was a dedicated professional and very talented chef specializing in pastries. After gaining culinary work experience in Canada with the first job that we assisted her with, she was ready to apply for positions in her specialization.

She secured a job in one of the best pastry shops in the city. Since she joined their team, the pastry business has grown to two different locations. While the business was growing, so was her professional career. After seeing her work, her employer was thrilled to support her in her application for the Young Professional work permit under International Experience Canada. This allowed her to gain another amazing year of work experience in Canada!

We are really proud to see how Valeria has made the most of her opportunities while in Canada. Her life has positively changed since she arrived in Vancouver. She tells us:

“I would recommend Stepwest 100%. I arrived and after a week in Canada I was already working in the position that I was in until the very end of my working holiday!

Nothing to say but how good Stepwest treated me. [They were] really organized and always making sure I was doing everything right! Totally worth it to count on Stepwest.

Thanks for sharing Valeria! We’re so excited you are still loving life in Canada!

Sounds like a plan? Let’s get started!

With our Working Holiday Programswe guarantee you a job. This means you have one less thing to worry about upon arrival to give you great peace of mind. Plus, by participating in our Working Holiday City Job Program, you will get other great perks included in your experience too. These include your first night’s accommodation in Vancouver, in-person orientations to help you get settled quicker, and the full support of the Stepwest team during your whole stay. On our program, you will feel more secure and welcome in a new city.

Find out more about our Working Holiday Programs and check out the testimonials from our past participants!

We want to connect with you before you pay for anything. Our goal is to make sure we can help you with a work experience that will match your expectations. We are very proud of our Google reviews!

Our Working Holiday City Job guarantees:

  • Assistance with your work permit application, documents, biometrics & more.
  • Guaranteed job in Vancouver or your money back!
  • Resume revision and preparation for your interviews with Canadian employers.
  • Pre-departure orientation to get ready for your arrival in Canada and receive your IEC work permit.
  • Welcome to Canada Orientation once you arrive in Vancouver: open your free bank account, get your SIN Number, and more.
  • Support from our Canada team throughout your work experience.
  • Plus many other benefits to help you settle into your Canadian work adventure!
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