Once you decide that you absolutely need to move to Whistler right now, then the next step is deciding how to do it. Working for the mountain is always a good option as they provide cheap staff accommodation right on the mountain and a free season pass which saves you $1600 (£790).
One option is to arrive during the dead season to look for a job and accommodation, fighting against hundreds of people trying to do the same thing. It’s the cheapest and quickest way to start with, but just remember you could spend a fortune on hotels while looking for a place to live and it could take a while to find a job to make your money back.
What I did took a bit more time and a lot more money, but saved me all that hassle once I’d arrived. I went through a company called The Working Holiday Club, or the TWHC. It’s an Australian based company that helps young people from all around the world follow their dreams, whether it’s a year in London or a year in Whistler.
It costs a lot of money, £500 plus the cost of the Canadian visa, but that guarantees you a job with Whistler Blackcomb and a place in staff accommodation as soon as you arrive. The representative for your country is an email or phone call away if you have any questions about your application, no matter how small.
Click here for more information about TWHC. They offer similar deals for other parts of the world, but just remember, always look into all of your options before paying someone extortionate amounts of money to do it for you, you are more capable than you think!
The hardest part of the application is acquiring your Canadian visa. It’s called the International Experience Canada, or IEC, and it can be very difficult to get thanks to their new online system. When I first applied it was all done by post at any time of year and within a month you had your visa.
My second visa application was all done online and the visas were released over three rounds. The first round had 2,000 available and they were gone within the hour. The second and third rounds each had 1,500 available and were gone within minutes. If you were lucky enough to log in during the first or second round you had until the third round to complete the forms, and only those few precious minutes to log back in and send them off. God help you if your internet was slow.
Now it’s changed again, there are two rounds of 2,500 visas available. I’m not sure how well the system works now, but if you’re lucky enough to get one then don’t waste it, British citizens can now only apply for one year. Make the most of it!
Click here to go to the IEC website and find out more.