SWAP Working Holidays
100% Rating
(8 Reviews)

SWAP Working Holidays

SWAP Working Holidays is a non-profit organization made up of passionate travelers who want to help you live, work, intern, volunteer, teach, and learn abroad!

We offer assistance with visa paperwork, preparing you for your trip before you go, we book your first few nights' accommodation and then our staff abroad help you navigate living in a new city/country. We help you find work, long term accommodation, introduce you to lots of new friends and make sure you have all the support you need for the whole time you're away.
Whether you want to work abroad or you would like a job/volunteer placement, we make sure you get the best out of your overseas experience. Join the 60, 000+ Canadians that have gone abroad with SWAP!

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Mel
Female
Winnipeg

Had the best time

10/10

SWAP Ireland was the 2nd and 3rd SWAP programs I did (I've done 4). I had done the UK one previously and so decided to give Ireland a try. I liked it so much that I ended up repeating it, though several years later.

When I first arrived in Ireland, I was so much more prepared than I'd been for the UK one. I went to the orientation, which is always helpful, and met an American there that I quickly befriended and we ended up becoming roommates.

I knew I wanted to work in an office since the pay was better, so I signed up with several temp agencies and got a placement right away with a good company. I ended up working for that company in various departments on and off for most of the time I was in Ireland. I also knew that I wanted to get a part time job somewhere fun to meet younger people to go out with, so I got a job at a cinema. I didn't need to worry, I ended up making great groups of friends at both jobs and always had something to do in the evenings and weekends.

I had such a great time the first time around that I decided to return 3 years later and do it all over again. Unfortunately I didn't stay as long the second time around as the recession had hit Ireland and it was much harder to find a job. I lucked out and ended up getting a temp job at a great company, where I met another great group of people. We had such a great time at work and outside of work.

I would recommend Ireland to anyone, the country itself is incredibly beautiful and there is so much to see and do. The people are friendly, love to laugh and love to have fun. I met some amazing people that I am still friends with today.

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Mel
Female
Winnipeg

Amazing experience

10/10

SWAP South Africa is the 4th SWAP program I've done, but the first volunteer one I did. I'd always wanted to do some kind of volunteer abroad trip but always ended up doing something else instead. When I saw they had a volunteer program to South Africa, I knew right away that I had to do it. I'd been dreaming of visiting South Africa since I'd done SWAP UK and had South African roommates. I'd seen their pictures of home and it just looked so beautiful I knew I wanted to visit it one day.

The volunteer program was great. We were picked up at the airport and had a 3 day orientation, explaining how the programs would work and showing us around Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria. It was a great introduction.

We lived at the orphanage while we volunteered, in our own little cottage. We were given weekly vouchers for the grocery store and did all our own shopping and cooking as a group, which was fun. Most of the other volunteers were from Europe or New Zealand (I was the only Canadian) and we all stayed for various lengths of time, some for only 2 weeks and some up to 3 months. I was there for 2 months, but enjoyed it so much I ended up extending my stay to 3 months. I also met some amazing people while volunteering. I had so much fun with the other volunteers and we all became quite close. The staff at the orphanage were also really great, I met some lovely people that I still keep in touch with.

And of course, the children. The main reason we were there. I loved my time with the children, from the babies and toddlers in the nursery to the teenagers in the cottages. It was a bit overwhelming when we first arrived, but we quickly settled into a routine and as we got to know the children and they got to know us, we really bonded. I cried so much when it came time to say goodbye, I wanted to take them all home with me.

I also took the opportunity while I was in South Africa to do a bit of traveling and visited Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and the Okavango Delta in Botswana among other places and did several safaris.

If you're interested in doing a volunteer trip, I would recommend this one. It was a great opportunity to help out, while also getting to see a new part of the world and immersing myself in a different culture. It was an incredible experience and one that I would repeat in a heartbeat.

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Mel
Female
Winnipeg

Completely changed my life

10/10

SWAP UK was the first ever SWAP program I did (I've done 4). I was only 19 when I moved to London and what an adventure it was. I needed a break from school and I'd always wanted to travel so it seemed like an amazing way to earn some money and see some of the world.

I'd never travelled alone before and certainly not overseas so having the support of the staff to help guide me was invaluable. The orientation session was so helpful with tips on how to open a bank account, buying a phone, how to find accommodation and a job. The office was equipped with everything you needed for job hunting and the staff were so helpful. The first two night's accommodation were included in the fee and I ended up meeting people there that I am still friends with today.

I ended up only staying in London for 5 months, before deciding to head home and go to university, but that 5 months changed my life and ignited a lifelong passion for traveling. I've now been to over 40 countries and counting.

To anyone thinking of doing a SWAP program, I say go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, you won't regret it!

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Gina
Female
25 years old
Havelock, New Brunswick

Spend a year abroad - it will change your life

10/10

I had no idea what I wanted to do after I graduated university, but I had absolutely no interest in slumming it around home with a boring 9 to 5 job. I wanted to experience life, I wanted to see the world and, most importantly, I wanted to see what I was capable of.

I decided to join the Student Work Abroad Program; I moved to Ireland, lived with an incredibly kind and loving family, and spent a year turning this once-foreign place into my homeland. I met unbelievably interesting people, explored magnificent places and learned so many things about the world - nothing you gain from any job or classroom will ever teach you what these experiences have taught me.

I stepped far outside of my comfort zone, uncovered a world of opportunity and started believing in myself in a way I never thought possible. I became invincible living my dreams every single day, and became more in tuned with who I am and what I truly want from life.

It is without a doubt the most rewarding experience that I have ever had and I could not recommend SWAP more. Traveling means more than moving within a space - it means to move within yourself - and while anyone can go ahead and visit a country, it becomes a whole different story when you live there and have this place become a part of you.

SWAP has given me the one of the most rewarding experience of my life and, for that, I will forever be grateful.

Devon
Female
21 years old
Cowichan Bay, British Columbia

Getting Away

10/10

SWAP was one of the best decisions of my life. I had the chance to get away and had the support of the team to help me get there! I decided to travel to Australia for a year and it was honestly an easy process to go there.
"Down Under" was a beautiful place and full of so much adventure. I lived in Sydney for my first few months and got to work as a server. I met so many awesome people doing the same thing as me from all over the world. I met lots of people from the UK, America and Italy! In Sydney I found it was the hub of travelers and a great starting point for me in my experience.
I was able to get a job pretty quickly, found housing soon too and even met some lifelong friends from taking this leap.
After living in Sydney and spending Christmas and New Years there I traveled the East Coast and had over a month of on-the-road adventures. I got to go kayaking, beach bumming, scuba diving, sailing and hiking to some beautiful locations. It was probably the best month of my life because I got to experience so many amazing things and even tried Skydiving!!
After a month of travel I worked on a cattle station for my 88 days to get my second year visa and loved life in the outback!
I traveled around the outback and down to Melbourne too finishing off my trip there before headed home. The beauty of the red center is unlike anything else I've ever seen.
I would 10/10 recommend getting away for a year or just getting away too! I am a better person because of this decision I made and I am thankful SWAP made it so easy and straight forward for me!

Program Listings

Ireland

SWAP Working Holidays
If you've always dreamed of living and working in Ireland, our famous SWAP Ireland program is the perfect helping hand to get...

United Kingdom

SWAP Working Holidays
If you've always dreamed of living and working in the UK, our famous SWAP UK program is the perfect helping hand to get you s...

Australia

SWAP Working Holidays
If you've always dreamed of living and working Down Under, our famous SWAP Australia program is the perfect helping hand to g...

Australia

SWAP Working Holidays
Go all in on Australia with the ultimate Down Under package: our famous SWAP Australia program that’s got you covered for eve...

South Africa

SWAP Working Holidays
This is your chance to make a real and impactful difference in South Africa as a volunteer. Soweto is a sprawling community t...