A Working Holiday Permit offers an amazing chance to spend an entire year discovering another culture. Canada has Working Holiday agreements with 34 fascinating countries, so you may be wondering where to start and where to go.
We have a suggestion.
Why not France?
Oui, oui, la France.
Sure, it may not feel as exotic as Japan or Chile but this is your chance to truly get to know the country beyond the typical one-week trip to Paris. Does a year or two of amazing food and long weekends in other European capitals sound tempting? Read on for four other great reasons to apply for a Working Holiday visa to France right now!
1. You won’t pay a cent for your work permit!
Who would turn down a free work permit? No one, that’s who.
Canadians are lucky, France doesn’t charge them any visa application fees. Most of the time, application and processing fees set you back at least CAD60 up to CAD500.
VSF Global, the exclusive service provider for the French government, does charge a CAD45 fee. Still a bargain compared to typical visa application fees.
2. You can stay in France for up to two years
Not only is your visa basically free but France also offers Canadians the chance to stay for up to two years. Only eight other destinations deliver 24-month Working Holiday permits to Canadians—a standard Working Holiday adventure is 12 months.
In France, you will be on a Working Holiday visa for the first 12 months, then you can switch (almost) seamlessly to an autorisation provisoire de séjour (APS) for the other 12 months.
3. You can finally practise your French (or learn Canada’s other official language!)
A Working Holiday in France is a chance to test your French language skills—you’ll be surprised to see how quickly you progress outside the classroom! And if you’re from a corner of Canada where French is merely an exotic language printed on the back of cereal boxes, this is your chance to add “advanced” or “bilingual” to the “foreign language” section of your resume.
Either way, you can come back to Canada as one of these citizens who speak both official languages.
4. You will enjoy pretty awesome food
French cuisine is world-famous and every region has its own specialty, from “boeuf bourguignon” to “moules-frites” through to “choucroute.” There’s something for everyone!
And no need to break the bank and book a table at a five-star restaurant to enjoy French gastronomy. Simple, ubiquitous and affordable treats are arguably even tastier. Start your food journey in a bakery with a buttery croissant or a fancy pastry such as a “Paris-Brest,” a “macaron” or a decadent “mille-feuille.” Stop by the “fromagerie” for shockingly cheap cheese and learn how to cook simple dishes like “croque-monsieur,” “quiche” or “poulet à la crème.”
5. You will explore a rich and diverse culture
French people are social by nature and love to share a good meal with friends and family. Various holidays and weekends are always an excuse to gather, drink, talk and have a good time. French like to hang out outside, alone with a book and a cup of coffee or with a group of friends in lively venues—making friends and joining a social circle shouldn’t be too difficult.
France also boasts a unique architectural and cultural heritage with tons of landmarks, events and traditions older than Canada itself. Exploring France is a chance to see where events printed in your history book actually happened, decades or centuries ago.
The French mindset is also fascinating—people are hedonistic but occasionally gloomy; they find happiness in enjoying food, conversations, and places but they are often sarcastic; they like to bend the rules but they aren’t afraid to take issues to the streets.
6. You will have Europe at your fingertips
With kilometres of coast, great beaches, world-famous mountains and everything in between, France is the perfect destination for travellers.
Been there, done that? France also shares borders with eight countries so spending a weekend in Spain or Switzerland is relatively cheap and easy. Take a train or book a low-cost flight to explore other countries—maybe you’ll get some inspiration for your next Working Holiday adventure!