Optional Services

We offer things like tax returns, English study and medical insurance, so that you can arrive in Canada ready to hit the ground running.

Homestay Accomodation

Vancouver is one of the best cities to live in the world but the high quality of life comes with its price; it is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. Apartment rents are very high, especially close to the downtown core. For instance, a 1 bedroom with 600 square feet located in downtown Vancouver will go for $1,000 minimum per month! A great alternative is Homestay family accommodation. The concept is simple; you live in the home of a Canadian family who rents you one of their spare bedrooms.

Homestay gives you the freedom of not being tied down to a long contract and expensive rent. You will get a first hand experience of Canadian culture and customs from your host family while also maintaining the freedom to do your own thing.

Moving here can be a daunting experience, especially if you are coming alone. Therefore, being immersed in a proper Canadian family setting can definitely ease you into your new life. It will make it much easier to create connections, make friends and have the security of a family away from home.

All family homes are located in safe neighbourhoods, close to transportation, and each family is carefully screened regularly.

Homestay Arrangement Fee – $250 (One time fee)
Airport Pick-up – $100
Full Board – $1,100 per month – Includes a private bedroom and 3 meals per day.
Roomstay – $900 per month – Includes a private bedroom, no meals included but you can use the kitchen to cook your own snacks and meals.

Medical Insurance


Did you know that in Canada a transfer to the hospital with an ambulance will cost on average $600? This doesn’t even include any treatment and if you need surgery it can easily cost $10,000 or more. So why let something like unexpected medical expenses ruin your adventure? As you discover our beautiful country, meet new people, and learn new skills it is important to be protected.

Stepwest has partnered with Guard.Me, 5-time winner of Language Travel Magazine Award for Best Insurance Provider.

Health Insurance – $2.50 per day (Minimum 183 days)

The plan will cover you up to 2 million dollars during the terms of your plan in Canada, and also up to 30 days in the USA – perfect if you are planning a day trip to Seattle or a party weekend in Vegas! It will cover 100% of your hospital costs, dental costs, ambulance and more. Contact us for a summary of the policy.

Working Holiday

  • If you are from the European Union or United Kingdom, check our recommended insurance here. They offer a special IEC insurance available for 12 or 24 months duration. Winter sports coverage is available.
  • If you are from Australia, check our recommended insurance here. They offer a special IEC police for 12 months that can be extended to 24 months, so you can land in Canada with an insurance valid for the maximum duration of your work permit.

English Study 

This option is available to candidates participating in our Education, Internship and Working Holiday programs in Canada. You may add up to 6 months of in-class English Study to reach the minimum level required or to simply perfect your English.

As Vancouver is made up of so many nationalities it’s no wonder that it has one of the highest number of world-class ESL schools. These schools are all conveniently located in the downtown area of Vancouver – minutes away from world-class shopping, dining, some of the best outdoor activities in North America and only 2 blocks away from Stepwest Office. They offer a friendly environment and the campuses are equipped with modern style classrooms, library resources, student recreational areas including kitchen facilities and computer labs with free access to internet.

Intensive English Study – $250 per week (25 hrs per week, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm)

They also regularly organize extra activities outside of class which gives students the opportunity to discover some of Vancouver’s most beautiful places and make life-long friends.

Tax Return

When you work in Canada, you will pay income tax on your earnings – just like you do in your own country. Income tax in Canada is paid at between 15% and 29%. The good news is that you can get a refund of your income tax at the end of the tax year (Dec 31st). Even if you only worked part-time, you still may be due a significant refund – which might come in useful when booking flights home or planning that road trip you’ve been saving up for!

We have partnered with TaxBack.com, who offers a free refund estimation to all STEPWEST clients. For a free income tax return calculation, you can begin here.

The average refund for TaxBack.com clients is $904 – so this could be a good surprise for you at the end of your Canadian adventure. If you don’t qualify for a refund there is no fee from Taxback! To apply with Taxback and to start filing your income taxes, you can begin by filling out the form down below. You can do this in the Stepwest office just before you go home or while you are still here in Canada.