Travel and work experience programme between Australian and Canada expanded

by Ray Clancy on September 10, 2018

in Australia

Ministers in Australia have announced an agreement to expand the age range for young people using the international experience Canada programme to visit the country.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Australia and Canada concerning youth mobility means that both Australian and Canadian and Australian young adults aged 18 to 35 will now be able to work and travel through the International Experience Canada (IEC) programme.

Australia and Canada

(By ruskpp/

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said that Australia is a major source of foreign participants in IEC and Australia is consistently the top destination for Canadian youth through the programme.

He believes that increasing the eligible age from 30 to 35 will provide for more opportunities for experienced professionals from both countries to gain valuable skills in a global work environment.

The IEC program facilitates the process for young people to gain valuable international work experience and travel abroad. There are 34 destinations available to young Canadians looking for international work experience with IEC’s partner countries and territories.

‘I am pleased that we have agreed to amend this MoU with Australia and further strengthen the great relationship between our two countries,’ said Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

‘International travel and work allows our youth to immerse themselves in a different culture and develop life skills, all while improving their employability back home. This expanded age range will give more young adults from Canada and Australia the opportunity to broaden their perspective of the world and gain professional work experience while travelling,’ he added.

IEC originated in 1965 as a cultural exchange between Canada and Germany. In 1967, following the success of the initiative, Canada proceeded to create an international travel and exchange program. More than 50 years later, Canada continues its commitment to fostering cultural exchanges between young people.

More than 200,000 Canadians have taken advantage of the work and travel experiences offered through the International Experience Canada programme, and many return to Canada with life changing experiences valuable to both their personal and professional lives.

There are three categories of participation under the programme. The Working Holiday participants receive open work permits that allow them to work anywhere in the host country, to support their travels.

International Co-op participants receive employer specific work permits that allow students to gain targeted experience in their field of study and young professionals participants receive an employer specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.

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