Sunset landscape, Canada

Scotia Personnel

About

One of Canada's top gap year organizations. With 31 years of experience, we partner with some of the world's best to offer amazing programs across Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania. Tutor, Teach, Camp Counselor, Au Pair, Culinary, Hospitality and Cultural Ambassador Programs.

Founded
1985

Reviews

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Olivia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This past year in the race of trying to find a summer job I stumbled upon Scotia Personnel on my university's job listing site. The job listed was an international Au-pair/ English Tutor and I knew that I wanted to go to Italy, but I didn’t know how I would make it happen. I applied anyway and I received a call. From there, everything was explained to me clearly and professionally. Scotia Personnel helped me realize that it was beyond possible for me to go! So, with all the program information in mind, I decided that I would go. When it was time for me to pick a family, they made sure that the families I chose from were safe and fit well for me. Through them, I found a wonderful family that I stayed with for 3 months in a small medieval town called Sarnano (near Ancona). It was amazing! We went to Rome, Tivoli, Florence, and Turin. By myself, I traveled to Milan, Bologna and even Ibiza in Spain! I learned so much Italian while I was in Italy, I went with a basic understanding of Italian and expanded my knowledge far beyond what I ever thought I would learn! Now I can read books and watch shows in Italian with little difficultly which feels amazing as I’ve been monolingual for most of my life. While I was away, Scotia Personnel checked up on me every so often to see if I was doing well and that I was happy. I’m so glad that I au-paired through them because they provided me another level of support that’s necessary when traveling abroad. Thank you so much Scotia Personnel!

What was your funniest moment?
The family and I went out for dinner at a very expensive restaurant and the waiters brought the wine out in an ice bucket and one of the kids, who's 10, started eating the ice right out of the bucket like a horse eats hay. The mom said "Mamma mia che schifo" and "che schifo" means " how disgusting. I laughed so hard. I still smile thinking about it now
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Brooke
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This past summer, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to teach abroad through Scotia Personnel in Santiago de Compostela, located in northeast Spain (the region of Galicia)! From the beginning, Scotia Personnel (specifically Marilyn and Richelle!) were extremely knowledgeable, supportive and personable. As a result, they connected me with a school placement that was the perfect fit for me, leading to the perfect summer experience. Prior to my arrival in Galicia, I traveled to Swizterland, France, and other regions of Spain, including Barcelona (part of Catalunya) and Madrid (part of Castile). After 10 days of aggressive travel, I arrived in Santiago de Compostela, a city rich with Celtic music, Neoclassic and Baroque architecture, the freshest seafood from nearby fishing villages of Galicia! Very quickly, Santiago became home and my colleagues and students became family. In addition to teaching two English classes to elementary aged students and an English Literature class to high school aged students, I also choreographed a play for 55 students. The school’s model was incredibly unique, for it integrated English instruction with Music and Theater classes. The school day ran between 9AM-4PM, and I spent my afternoons and early evenings running through the parks of Santiago and exploring the restaurants, shops, and fine arts culture. Additionally, the school provided wonderful experiences for traveling around the region of Galicia with students, including Cies Islands and Castro de Barona. I am eternally grateful to Scotia Personnel for connecting me with a summer program that was enriching and life changing!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Not a thing! As noted above, I had the most incredible experience and I hope to do it again next summer.
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Megan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This summer of 2019 I traveled abroad with Scotia Personnel. I stayed in Spain for one month and also Italy for one month. I had an excellent experience from start to finish. The associates at Scotia Personnel helped me through every step of the application process. I was paired with two wonderful and very accommodating families who went out of their way to make me feel like I was a member of the family! While working I was able to safely venture out into the city and explore with ease. Being completely immersed in the culture was such an incredible experience giving me memories to last a lifetime! I would recommend this program to anyone interested in travelling and networking! This is an opportunity you absolutely can't miss!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pack lightly! It is very easy to shop for necessities while you travel. Make sure you leave room in your luggage to bring back souvenir's!
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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I worked at a summer camp for kids as a camp coach, with the help from Scotia personal. It was an amazing summer!! The camp had international and local kids, some learnt English and did activities and some did activities all day. There was zip lining, rock climbing, raft building and more! We also had excursions every Wednesday and some Saturdays where I was paid to go look at castles and tour London with the kids; I even got paid to go to a theme park! I made a ton of friends - both Canadian and English- and experienced cultures from around the world through the kids I took care of. On my days off I travelled the uk with newly made friends, exploring places like the white cliffs of Dover, London, Canterbury, and beaches where I swam in the sea. I definitely plan on going back next summer!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Taking an airplane for the first time on my own was really scary but now I’m more confident and feel like I can go though an airport with no stress
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Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in Verona, Italy was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Working with Scotia Personnel to further this experience was an incredible journey. The staff at Scotia Personnel are very easy to talk too and incredibly friendly. At first, I thought travelling and Nannying would be a cool experience but I never thought in my wildest dreams that it would come true, would be as seamless and easy as it was and that I would get to live in Italy with such an amazing family that I now call my Italian family. Going to Italy to live for two months was very scary…I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t know anyone and I was away from home in a different country for two months. To say the least this trip was life changing.

I arrived at the airport in Verona and my family was waiting for me with flowers. They were so excited to meet me and I felt the same. The language barrier was hard at first because I wanted to say so much to them and they wanted to say so much to me… thank you google translate haha!! I remember the little girl when I first met her had the biggest smile on her face and she kept hugging me and holding my hand. I immediately made a sister. She grew up with two older brothers so she was pretty excited to have an older sister. We did everything together. She especially loved it when I styled her hair.

Every person in their family opened me into their family with open arms. I went to a family party with about sixty extended family members attending. I was nervous because their English wasn’t great and I had to socialize with all these new people for the afternoon. Everyone was so excited to meet the “Canadian” girl. I was welcomed in by so many and it made me feel like family. The family offered me many things such as the option to travel, go out and explore, meet new people, have evenings out, taste new foods and see a new part of the world. The family was so excited to show me around Italy. We went to Venice for the day and got to see the canals and do a gondola ride. We also got to see a city that is all built on water which was unique.

Feeling nervous and anxious is normal and it just means you’re going outside of your comfort zone. I truly believe to have the greatest experiences of your life – you need to be outside of your comfort zone. This trip made me go out of my comfort zone because everything was a new experience in a new culture, which is why I truly believe this was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I have some new family members and a forever connection to Verona, Italy.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Seeing how other families live. The things you eat, how you live your daily lives is very different. I found in Italy, the food is very different and they ate very late in the day.

Programs

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