The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Epic Gap Year in Canada

Want to see the world? Experience something new? Boost your career? The benefits of taking a gap year are endless. But why spend your gap year in Canada? Home to world-renowned nature and wildlife, epic winter sports, buzzing multicultural cities and super-friendly locals, Canada has everything. Plus, you don’t need to rinse your savings. Turn your gap year into a working holiday and earn money from the get-go, all while adding international work experience to your resume.

So, if you are inspired to spend a year (or less, or more!) exploring Canada, we’re here to help! Read on to learn the ins and outs of planning and taking a gap year in Canada.

Get out of your comfort zone, experience new things and meet people from all over the world.

Why Take a Gap Year in Canada

No matter what your goals are, a gap year in Canada ticks all the boxes. For starters, there are travel adventures for every season.

Want to learn to ski or snowboard? Work a ski season in Whistler and get unparalleled access to some of the best skiing in the world. As for summer, you can live on the doorstep of the Rockies, spend your summer surfing in Tofino, or live and work in some of the best cities in the world (official title). Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary consistently top the charts as the most livable cities in the world for safety, infrastructure, culture and environment.

Worried about meeting new people during your gap year? There’s a reason Canada is popular with solo travellers. Canadians live up to their reputation as some of the friendliest people in the world. Plus, Canada is a multicultural nation, so you are guaranteed to meet people from all over the world, learn about different cultures and gain a global perspective.

On our gap year Canada Working Holiday Programs, we will guarantee you a gap year job wherever you decide to go.

Spend your gap year abroad ticking off Canada's most spectacular landscapes!

How to Take A Gap Year in Canada

Travelling for a full year, what’s not to love? But can you afford it? The best way to take a gap year in Canada is through the Working Holiday Visa. Our Canada Working Holiday Program page covers this in detail, however, to summarize, the Government of Canada has an agreement with 34 countries allowing international youth (like you) to live and work in Canada for up to 24 months (depending on your nationality). This is run through International Experience Canada (IEC).

Vancouver: one of the only places in the world you can ski after work. Does life get any better?

Canada Gap Year Programs

The options for Canadian gap year programs are as varied as Canada itself. On our Canada Working Holiday Programs, we will help curate the best possible experience to achieve your goals. From securing your Working Holiday Visa to guaranteeing your working holiday job, we’ve got you covered. All you need to do is decide what you want to do…

Doing a ski season as part of your gap year is a rite of passage. And luckily for you, Canada has some of the best ski resorts in the world.

Do a Ski Gap Year in Canada

Whistler is the most popular ski season destination for gap year travellers, and for good reason. Work a ski season in Whistler and get unparalleled access to some of the best ski terrain in North America, experience epic nightlife and make friends from around the world. While accommodation can be hard to find, on our Canada Ski Resort Job Program, we’ll guarantee you a ski season job with staff accommodation, setting you up for an awesome winter season.

Wondering where to do a ski season? How to get a ski season job? Or what it’s like to work at a ski resort? Check out our latest 2022/2023 guide on working a ski season in Canada.

Learn how to surf, volunteer with an environmental organization, search for the northern lights and travel across Canada's vast landscapes – while earning cash in between.

Summer Gap Year Programs

Summer in Canada? It’s the best. See epic wildlife – from bears to moose, humpbacks and orcas – and spectacular scenery. You can learn to surf in Tofino, live in a national park (we’re looking at you, Banff), dip into emerald lakes, explore the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls…. the list goes on. Not forgetting major cosmopolitan cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. The world is your oyster! Experience it all on Canada Summer Working Holiday Program.

Want to gain international work experience during your gap year? Toronto is teeming with internship opportunities!

Canada Gap Year Internship Opportunities

If you are a registered student back home looking to gain specific work experience toward your future career path, we can arrange internships in most industries. That way, you can earn University credits while travelling and experiencing Canada!

Whether you want to gain engineering work experience at a North American firm, work on climate change solutions while interning for an NGO or land a paid hospitality internship working at a world-class resort, we’ve got you covered. We work with great host employers across Canada and will position you in a field, and with an organization, that matches your goals.

To do an internship in Canada, you will need a different visa specific to your employer (we cover this in detail in this guide to applying for an internship visa in Canada). But don’t worry about that, we’ve got you covered. Check out our internship programs in Canada for more details.

Prepare for the time of your life!

Planning Your Gap Year in Canada

Planning an epic gap year abroad may be a little overwhelming: you might not be sure what you want to do, where you want to go, what travel insurance to get, or the steps to take to get there. That’s where we come in.

On our Working Holiday Programs, your personal trip coordinator will guide you through your visa application, help with pre-trip planning and secure your job before you leave – or your money back! We’ll also help you get set up in Canada and will be there to guide you throughout your gap year, right up until you return home.

Still have questions? Before you sign up for any of our programs, you can arrange a free consultation with our travel experts to discuss your goals, interests and expectations. That way we can ensure we can create your dream gap year in Canada.


Want to learn more about our gap year programs in Canada? Get in touch and one of our experts will be in touch to answer all your questions so that you can plan an epic gap year in Canada.

Photo Credits Janelle Timms