Stepabroad

Stepabroad

About

Stepabroad gives Canadians, typically between the ages of 18 and 30, the chance to experience work and travel in five destinations around the globe. As one of Canada’s fastest-growing travel agencies based in downtown Vancouver, Stepabroad coordinates every aspect of the work and travel process.

We offer international internships and working holidays for young Canadians, providing the chance to gain the unparalleled growth and development that comes from travel – something that also stands out to potential employers upon your return.

Our agency is here to guide and support our working travellers and interns from the moment they decide to leave, throughout their stay, until they return home. We are here to provide a safe, enriching and beneficial experience – one that will remain with them for a lifetime.

Website
stepabroad.com
Headquarters

525 Seymour Street
Vancouver BC V6B3H7
Canada

Reviews

Default avatar
Ian
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Imagine finishing work and heading straight to the beach to catch some waves or into the mountains for a sunset hike. For most of us that seems like a far fetched reality too good to be true.

A couple months ago I felt the exact same way, but a Working Holiday in Australia with StepAbroad has allowed this distant dream to become my new reality for my time working abroad in Australia.

For the past few months I've been participating in StepAbroad's Working Holiday in Brisbane, Australia, and loving every moment of it. Life down under is definitely a little different than back home in Canada, however after experiencing what the locals call "winter" here in Queensland, I've got to say I'm all for it. Being able to go surfing comfortably in the midst of winter is definitely an idea I could get used to. No matter how many times I see people bundling up in jackets, scarves and beanies in 16 degree weather, it will always get a smile out of me.

Stepabroad has made the crazy process of moving across the world to work in a new country extremely straightforward and easy to understand. They helped me in obtaining my working holiday visa, setting up my bank account and tax file number, getting my phone set up, and finding accommodation. This initial process of moving and adjusting took me a couple weeks to get used to, but once I'd settled into my accommodation and found a job I liked it was everything I could've expected from it. I ended up working a job at a local digital marketing agency that I absolutely loved and met some incredible people that I still keep in touch with frequently.

Just about every weekend I was making trips out of the city to go for a hike or off to the beach, and at the end of the summer I spent two weeks road-tripping up to coast from Brisbane to Cairns. Australia has so much to offer and making money while travelling allowed me to experience so much more of it than I would've been able to without doing so. Even with working there's still so much more to see and can't wait to get back some day.

Moving abroad alone was a huge step for me, but left me with some of the best memories of my life and has made a huge impact on my life overall. It's taught me important skills that I had never had to learn living with family and friends. By forcing me out of my comfort zone just about every day I was constantly trying new things and picking up valuable lessons.

Overall if you're debating going on a working holiday, I would 100% vouch for taking the leap as it was an incredible experience and changed my life for the good.

What would you improve about this program?
The program support is based out of Sydney, providing phone support for any participants other Australian cities. I had a great experience with my representative, Kim, and she provided me with a ton of help in getting settled into my new life for the summer (or winter). I never felt a need to have in person support, however some travelers who are less comfortable on their own may like having this option.

This program could potentially be improved by having representatives in some of the other large cities around Australia for in person support.
female on the beach
Geneviève
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went on a working abroad holiday with Stepabroad to Chile. Initially I was supposed to stay a full 4 months on the island of Chiloé. While the experience on the island was incredible, I was itching for a change.

Stepabroad put everything in motion for me to be able to head on out to Santiago (with a quick little break in Argentina and Uruguay which was delightful) and get a change of pace. I only had to voice out my impression and they took care of everything. Working in Santiago was better than I could've imagined. The city is vibrant, there is always something to do and I was surrounded by plenty of other travelers.

I really felt like Stepabroad cared about me and how I felt while I was halfway across the world. No question was left unanswered and I really did feel like I could voice my thoughts. They took out a huge stress for me and it really helped me enjoy my time in Santiago to the fullest. I worked in a lovely hostel in the center of Santiago. I had two days off per week and I spent that time exploring the city. Working at a hostel also meant free tours to a couple of cool places that I would've never had an opportunity to visit had it not been for this program.

Plus, I get another neat experience on my résumé!

What would you improve about this program?
Add more countries!
Default avatar
Kailey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I decided to take a break from my studies back home, I figured I needed a fresh start, gain new experiences, and meet different people. I’ve wanted to come to Australia for a very long time, since I can remember really. I figured that in order to actually fulfill this crazy dream of mine, I would need a company to help me!

As soon as I discovered Step Abroad- it was exactly what I was looking for! Problem solved - get a visa, buy a ticket and let the staff take care of the rest. I wanted to feel safe and look back upon my time in Australia as a great adventure, not a series of difficult, stressful and frightening situations. Thanks to Step Abroad I knew that someone had my back and that I could rely on their help whenever I needed it. This was the perfect option, considering I came here from far away, and had no friends or family in Australia I could turn to for help.

Once I packed my bags and landed in Australia, I was a little worried for how all of this is going to turn out. But they took care of EVERYTHING. I had transport from the airport, a reservation at the hostel and once I arrived in my room, I already made a few acquaintances and got my new Aussie phone number and details of my bank account.

The first few days I spent exploring Sydney, and they made sure to check in and make sure I was doing okay. Step Abroad helped me more than I initially thought would be possible. My experience has been amazing! I honestly can not say enough why it is worth reaching out to them. Let Step Abroad take you under their wings and I promise it will be an unforgettable experience! :)

female on the beach
Geneviève
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Not to brag (which usually means that someone is about to brag) but I’ve travelled and worked abroad quite a lot. However, this was my first time having help in the matter. I’ve been through mountains of web searches and paper work and countless confusing exchanges with varying degrees of success.
This time, Stebabroad took care of everything for me, and I mean everything. It was an extremely stress-free experience. They found a job for me, they helped me book flights, find accommodation and sent me a literal novel of tidbits on Chile so that I’d know everything there was to know before I even stepped foot in the country. They even got me a pick-up from the airport!
All throughout the trip, my coordinator was only an e-mail, or a Skype call away to help me out with any worries or questions. It’s really comforting when you’re halfway across the world, to know that you have someone back home whose got your back. I never felt left to my own devices.
Working in another country let’s you experience it in a way most people would never dream of but getting there isn’t always easy. Stepabroad took care of the nitty and gritty so that I could enjoy all the good parts. And there are so many good parts. I’m talking all the food, the views, the people, the trips, the experiences and so much more. I’m not usually one to ask for help, but sometimes, it’s worth it.

What would you improve about this program?
The more experience they gain the more everything will run smoothly. It's hard to expect how each individual will react in each specific situations, but the more hosts they get and the more they get to know the hosts the better the program will be.
Read my full story

Programs

Displaying 10 - 10 of 10

Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Geneviève Latour

Gen is currently living a pretty nomadic lifestyle and working her way across the globe, getting lost in every single country and worrying her mom sick.

Scenery

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I had been in Asia for more than a year at that point, and Chile seemed like a good change of pace – a way to get me back into culture shock. As a bonus, StepAbroad is a Canadian company, and it's always good to encourage our own. A Working Holiday also shows up pretty well on a résumé, won't lie!

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

StepAbroad did most of the planning. They found a program that worked with the time I had available. They sent me a novel's worth of information on the country so that I'd know what to expect; they booked my in-country flight and got me airport pickups and the likes. The only thing I had to do really, was book my flight to Chile, and even then, if I had asked, they would've probably done it for me.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

You can prepare as much as you want and the company can have prepped you to no end, but there will still be surprises, and that's okay. South American culture is very different, and we're just along for the ride.

I think the biggest thing people should know is that as amazing as it is to be in another country and fully experience it, there will still be bad days and mishaps. But at the end of the trip, it will all be more than worth it!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

In the Working Holiday Program in Chile, there are many different jobs. For me, I worked a couple of hours a day, usually early morning or late evening at the front desk of a hostel. I checked people in and checked people out. Whenever I had free time, I walked around my city or hopped on a bus to somewhere new.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I go into trips pretty mindlessly, so I didn't really have any fears. However, the language barrier had never bothered me in Asia but in Chile it was extremely difficult for me to understand pretty much anything.

The fear of sounding stupid is there for anyone learning a language (I should know; I teach English) but you have to keep in mind that most people are just happy that you're trying to power your way through an encounter even if it's with very mediocre Spanish.

What would you tell people who are thinking about going on a travel program?

Just go for it. Find a way to make get on that plane and live out that crazy experience. I'm not saying every step will be a piece of cake but when it's all done, it will have been worth it. Bonus, you'll have great stories to tell people that will make you seem way cooler than you've ever actually been!

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Alison Westfall

Job Title
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Group of persons at the Eiffel Tower

Alison grew up on the doorstep of the Canadian Rockies and spent much of her early career studying, travelling, and working in Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. She now works as part of an energetic and dynamic team at Stepabroad, bringing the opportunity to see the world while working and travelling to fellow young Canadians!

What is your favorite travel memory?

Although it's hard to pick just one, my favorite experience abroad was completing a yearlong student exchange in Paris. Living in a foreign country was an incredible way to experience a culture, and it helped me realize immense personal growth.

I made over 100 friends from around the globe, many of whom I am still in touch with today. While in Paris, we would frequently meet up for picnics under the Eiffel Tower. It was one of those moments when you can hardly believe that what you are experiencing is real. It’s a memory I will cherish for a lifetime.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Working at Stepabroad has been an incredibly rewarding opportunity, and I am very grateful to be able to be a part of such an amazing team. Working with the company made me realize that anything is possible, and there are no limits to the kinds of opportunities we can provide Canadian youth. It's just a matter of spreading the word about the opportunities available to them, which is what I'm here to do!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Hearing how much participants enjoyed living in a new place and experiencing life as a local is always exciting to me. Whether it's exploring a local market or discovering a local pastime, learning about new ideas and ways of doing things, it is always eye-opening for a young person.

Experiences like these widened my perspective and helped me appreciate other cultures as well as my own, so it is exciting to hear participants undergo similar experiences. When participants come back expressing greater personal and professional confidence, I feel proud to have been a part of that!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Tough choice – Japan is high on my bucket list and would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the culture, sights, and food in depth as a local as opposed to a tourist. But New Zealand is one of my favorite places on Earth because of its out-of-this-world beauty, laid-back vibes, and friendly culture so I would never pass an opportunity to live in the land Down Under!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

What makes us unique is that our programs are designed specifically for Canadians by Canadians, so there is no chance of getting lost in a large global company.

Our programs are also very affordable compared to other experience providers because we believe that you shouldn't have to take out a loan to see the world. We strive to make travel accessible to anyone, at any time.

It has been very rewarding seeing our program participants embark on the journey of a lifetime. It continues to make me more and more excited about the work we do here at Stepabroad. Our team consistently places our participants’ needs first, no matter which stage in the program they are on.

It's this level of dedication that makes me very proud to work here. When we hear the excitement from a newly registered participant, I feel like I get more excited than they are because I know how much fun they are about to have!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Critical to our success as a work abroad experience provider is putting our program participant's needs first and ensuring they feel confident they can rely on our team to support them every step of the way. It can be nerve-racking to take the leap and move to another country, so it is wonderful to hear from participants how we relieved their concerns and stress from planning a trip abroad.

That, and the fact that we are a friendly, non-judgmental group of travelers ourselves, who are eager and excited to answer any hesitations or questions so our participants can get on the work experience of a lifetime!

More Interviews