North America

Work Canada – Snow and Sun

You’ve got your whole life to work 9-5, so why not try something new? Working abroad is a great way to break your mundane routine and will let you explore a country on your own terms, away from the mainstream tourist attractions whilst earning money. But don’t take our word for it, we spoke to Billie Norman who travelled to Canada with BUNAC’s Work Canada program. Here’s how he made the most of his time in Canada…

From my first visit at the age of 7, I knew Canada was the place for me. By the time school had ended I was itching to get out of England and finally immerse myself in the Canadian experience and I couldn’t think of a better way to do this than to head out and do a snow season or two.

Anyone who’s interested in a working holiday in Canada knows how notoriously difficult the visa is to pin down, so having done some research it seemed the obvious choice for me was BUNAC. Luckily my research paid off as with their help and support the stars suddenly aligned, I had my visa and I was off!

It’s a pretty big deal packing your bags, heading to another country and leaving everything behind that you know; so landing the job before I even arrived was a massive help. Now all I had to do was get myself there and turn up…


So turn up I did and the first stop was the heart of the Canadian Rockies – Banff. It was time to live on my own, get used to -30°C temperatures and learn to love beer (hard life I know). Thanks to BUNAC’s recruitment team I secured a job as a lift operator for a ski resort in Banff, which involved waking up at 7am, setting up a chairlift, standing around, greeting guests, eating, sitting in the hut and an hour long ride break.


Hardcore snow selfie alert

There is no other job in the world that delivers a lunch break with better views. A Starbucks sandwich definitely doesn’t compare to riding sweet powder runs or hitting the park. I’d end a hard day’s work at 4pm with a celebratory beer with the rest of the lift crew, and then we’d head into town for an elk burger or partying at the local nightclub.

Time in Banff consisted of a lot of skiing, snowboarding, partying, making life-long friends and travelling. Banff is also pretty central and close to many other ski resorts, so I managed to visit Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Fernie.

Next winter rolled around pretty quick and, after applying for my second visa, before I knew it I was in Whistler. From super clear glacier green lakes to incredible powder tree runs on the mountain to hidden hot springs, Lifty life in Whistler was pretty similar to that in Banff. Summer though was a whole different story.

Biking in Whistler in the summer

Summer in Whistler is incredible; the activities you could do are endless. Frisbee, golf, downhill biking, glacier snowboarding/skiing, hiking, white water rafting, camping, bear watching and floating down the ‘river of golden dreams’ in your blow up Walmart boat just to name a few!


Beautiful Whistler

Canada really is a place like no other, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to get out there, earn my way and figure out where I want to live for the rest of my life.

Ready to start your Canadian adventure? BUNAC’s Work Canada programme can help you get everything ready before the (extremely limited) visas are released each year.