To Bunac or not to Bunac

Old Aug 23rd 2007, 7:55 am
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Question To Bunac or not to Bunac

hi all

i know the subject title sounds strange but id appreciate some comments on this. Im going off for a week in toronto to check out the city and what life is like there. I have read from other posts that finding the right job there can be very difficult, and i know this depends on what field you are working in. How long does it usually take to find a job there, i mean if i was to go there initially for a month would that be enough to find a job to do with my field of work or not?? Im also stuck in between 2 decisions. Firstly 3 months ago i got accepted at high profile company within the UK so its a good job, but if i was to take the 1 year BUNAC visa i would lose this. However its always been my dream to find work in canada and live there. Since its nearly impossible to find work in canada by applying from the UK i would not want to miss the oppurtunity that the BUNAC visa can offer me. I have read alot about Canada and standard of living...etc... So if i ever had the oppurtunity to live and work there permanently i would. Ive done a risk assesment and if after one year of taking up the BUNAC visa and things dont work out then i wont have what i have now. Though i do think that the BUNAC visa will be a stepping stone to where i want to be later in life. A difficult decision. Sorry if this message is long but would appreciate soem comments.

regards
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Old Aug 23rd 2007, 8:53 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

Originally Posted by DragonBritt
hi all

i know the subject title sounds strange but id appreciate some comments on this. Im going off for a week in toronto to check out the city and what life is like there. I have read from other posts that finding the right job there can be very difficult, and i know this depends on what field you are working in. How long does it usually take to find a job there, i mean if i was to go there initially for a month would that be enough to find a job to do with my field of work or not?? Im also stuck in between 2 decisions. Firstly 3 months ago i got accepted at high profile company within the UK so its a good job, but if i was to take the 1 year BUNAC visa i would lose this. However its always been my dream to find work in canada and live there. Since its nearly impossible to find work in canada by applying from the UK i would not want to miss the oppurtunity that the BUNAC visa can offer me. I have read alot about Canada and standard of living...etc... So if i ever had the oppurtunity to live and work there permanently i would. Ive done a risk assesment and if after one year of taking up the BUNAC visa and things dont work out then i wont have what i have now. Though i do think that the BUNAC visa will be a stepping stone to where i want to be later in life. A difficult decision. Sorry if this message is long but would appreciate soem comments.

regards
How old are you? and what is this good job in?
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Old Aug 23rd 2007, 8:56 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

Wow - that's quite a post.

How long does it take to find a job? Depends on the market and whether vacencies come up at the right time. I'm in consultancy so they can hire who they want and then find them the work. But it will be different if you are in a field where they need an exact number of people to fill certain roles.

Unless you are on a student BUNAC visa, then you have until you are 35 to apply for the non-student BUNAC visas, so long as the program continues.

In general the more work experience you have the better, and a good company on your CV doesn't go far wrong either.

We came on student BUNAC visas straight after our MScs. We spoke to some companies before we left when they were doing the Milk Round, and they to contact them if / when we came back. Have you spoken to the company that offered you job and asked about the possibility of deffering it so you can do a gap year / year out?

As it happens, we found jobs, love living here, and have got in through PNP. But then we weren't risking too much by coming out for the years trial. It was tough when we first arrived. Mr Live to Ski didn't find a job straight away, I was missing my friends and it was autumn so between the skiing and sailing season. If you have any doubt that you are missing out on something in the UK then this sort of experience will be even tougher.

I suppose it really depends on your prioirities and attitude to life. My conservative baby boomer parents always go with the safe option of having a steady job with a pension, good career prospects etc. Whereas I feel life is more about living, although still rather conservative - I'll never be the next Swampy!

Do you want to live your dream now, or would you prefer to wait a bit first? Unless there is something you haven't told us in your post, then there is the possibility of coming out later. But only you can really decide.
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Old Aug 23rd 2007, 9:05 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

Originally Posted by DragonBritt
i mean if i was to go there initially for a month would that be enough to find a job to do with my field of work or not??
Forum members' experience has varied. Some folks have been able to find work quite quickly, but for many it has taken more than a month. And I'm talking about well qualified and experienced people too.

The speed with which you find a job depends on many factors, including your assertiveness in job hunting, the field in which you work, and what the demand in that field is like at present. I also believe there is a certain amount of luck involved. If you don't happen to find a job soon, you need tremendous persistence to keep on making phone calls and pounding the pavement till you do find a job.

I believe it would be prudent to assume that it would take you three months to find a job. I would say that, from what I've seen on this forum, that is a reasonable assumption. Yes, some people have found jobs within a couple of weeks of landing, others have taken a year to find jobs, and still others have never found jobs.

Also keep in mind that it depends what type of job we're talking about. I followed your User Name to find your old posts and see if they would tell me the field in which you worked. I saw that you were a GIS guru.

Some people do manage to get "real" jobs while they're in Canada on BUNAC visas. We have at least a couple of forum members in that position right now. But many young people who come to Canada on BUNAC visas work at ski slopes and in hotels or restaurants. If you were willing to wait tables or something like that while you were job hunting, it would help to keep the wolf from the door while you searched for a GIS job.

Im also stuck in between 2 decisions. Firstly 3 months ago i got accepted at high profile company within the UK so its a good job, but if i was to take the 1 year BUNAC visa i would lose this. However its always been my dream to find work in canada and live there. Since its nearly impossible to find work in canada by applying from the UK i would not want to miss the oppurtunity that the BUNAC visa can offer me. I have read alot about Canada and standard of living...etc... So if i ever had the oppurtunity to live and work there permanently i would. Ive done a risk assesment and if after one year of taking up the BUNAC visa and things dont work out then i wont have what i have now. Though i do think that the BUNAC visa will be a stepping stone to where i want to be later in life. A difficult decision.
Yes, it is a difficult decision. There seem to be pros and cons, regardless of which course you take.

If you do decide to move to Canada on a one-year BUNAC visa, I strongly recommend that you start phoning potential Canadian employers while you're still in the UK. This would "soften them up," so to speak. Then, when you actually landed in Canada, you already would have established tentative "relationships" with potential employers in Canada.

Since the initial rounds of communication already would have taken place, you would be closer to the interview stage than would have been the case if you'd landed in Canada without any prior contact. I believe this strategy has the potential to speed up your job hunting process.

The convenient thing is that, since the UK's time zone is ahead of Canada's several time zones, you can phone when it's the evening in the UK but still during the working day in Canada.

Before they come here, many Britons do not understand how important phone contacts and face-to-face contacts are during the job hunting process in Canada. I urge you to read the BE Wiki on job hunting in Canada. When you’ve read it once, read it again. When you’ve read it again, read it again. Please pay attention to what that article states about the cultural norms around hiring workers in Canada.

I have met a couple of BE posters in “real life.” I followed their progress while they were waiting for authorization to Canada, I followed their progress online while they settled in Calgary, and then I met them in person. I was surprised to discover how surprised they were at the hiring culture here. These were intelligent, well organized people, to whom I had posted many, many messages about job hunting on the forum. When I discovered how taken aback they were, I asked them what more I could have said in my posts on the forum that would have got the message across to them more clearly. To a man, they said that there probably was nothing I could have said on the forum. They said that, until they’d experienced it for themselves, the message had not fully sunken in.

So, with that background in mind, I don’t know if my telling you about the job hunting process in Canada will do you any good. All I can ask you to do is to read that Wiki article really carefully, and to try your best to take on board everything it says.

Live to ski and TheEscapea are examples of people who came to Canada on BUNAC visas and who succeeded in upgrading to British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program. Theirs are not common triumphs, but they do prove that such victories do take place sometimes.

Live to ski has given you great advice, and hopefully mine will supplement it and provide another angle to look at.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old Aug 23rd 2007, 11:04 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

Wow thanx for the replies it was informative. Firstly the job i am doing is to map electricity distribution networks within the UK using GIS system. I am 25 years old so canadian companies might consider my age as someone with not enough experience??? I have been working in GIS since 2005. Before that it was more part time IT jobs. But i dont have anything like a Msc in GIS or anything, except for a diploma i got at university which was in computers. I am worried that if i wait i will lose the oppurtunity alltogether. Would BUNAC even consider me again if i told them that i cannot go this year?? I know sometimes in life we have to take risks to get to where we want in life. The company i work for cant really give me a gap year as there is too much work to do.
Judy even if i do phone canadian companies will they not say that i have to be in canada for them to consider anything or even talk to me on the phone?? Sometimes i say that i should just take the offer and go to canada and work real hard until i find what i am looking for, and then i think about the steady job which i am in now. im going to toronto this saturday so maybe ill find my answer there within that week...maybe not??? Did those who found the jobs they wanted following a bunac visa have experience spanning over a long period of time?? Or is it education that matters to companies more like Msc or Phd?? Too many questions i know...but i need to be sure i make the right decision.

@Live to ski and Judy thanx again for your replies very helpful.

Regards
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Old Aug 23rd 2007, 11:58 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

Unless a company is looking for an entry level GIS employee then I'm sorry to say that you don't look very strong. Even then, the company has to prove that there are no Canadians that can do the job, which will be pretty hard for them. Things such as years of work experience and qualifications are assessed as well when employers apply for work visas.

I was 25 when I came out to Canada on my BUNAC visa. On paper I look good for my age - BSc and MSc, a one year placement during my undergrad, and then 2 years working for one of the top engineering consultancies in the UK where I was recognised as one of their top 10 graduates across the whole company, and working in an specific area of engineering which is up-and-coming in Canada, before going back for the MSc, which was fully funded through scholarship and maintenance grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Even then I had to work really hard to get a job in Vancouver. We started job hunting three months before coming out, and had to be really resourceful in how we went about it.

Maybe give it a shot when you are in Toronto on holiday, just to see and prevent the "what ifs", but personally I wouldn't want to spend my holiday job hunting.

Also, as you haven't 'activated' you work permit yet, it might be worth phoning BUNAC and asking if you can withdraw without penalty to applying again in the future. I found them really helpful the couple of time I phoned with questions.

If I were you (although I am not!) I would phone BUNAC and check about pulling out. Take this great job opportunity in the UK to get some solid work experience. Do a part-time MSc at the same time (hard work but worth it - an old colleague did A GIS one through distance learning at Manchester Uni). Then in a few years, reassess everything, and if you still feel that you want to come to Canada, try again with the BUNAC route - you've got 10 years.

It's hard to say why we went back to do MScs - BUNAC was both in the back of our minds, as was having another qualification and we were both thirsty to learn the academic side of our careers.

Some would say that we've been "lucky", but then I think there is a strong element of making your own luck in life, so good luck making that luck for yourself.
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Old Aug 23rd 2007, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

Judy - how did you get to be so wise?

I think I will add it to my list of things to do in life: "be as wise as Judy"
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Old Aug 24th 2007, 5:54 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

yes i beleive the difficult part is proving that no canadians can do the job if i was to get a job there, but then again i dont have the kind of experiences you have. I suppose what i can do is to see what life is like there within that week though i think i would need more. What if i was to study in canada ie, get a degree and msc there?? but i bet that would be costly right??. I wonder if anyone has been to canada to study then get a job straight after studying, could that be an option?
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Old Aug 24th 2007, 6:30 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

It is certainly one idea to explore but international student fees are high.

Have a look at this thread http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...t=graduate+pnp

Also in general a MSc in Canada is 2 academic years whereas in the UK it is one full year - September to September. But on the plus you will the opportunity to make more friends / contacts in the local market, and I think I am right in saying that 2 years of studying in Canada gives you more points.

I do feel at a slight disadvantage compared to my co-workers who studied at UBC, because they have more contacts and many of the lecturers at UBC are part time and then also work in the real world.

But at the same time, I offer the UK experience which they don't which was a major point that we used for PNP.

Do remember though that CIC and PNP aren't static so may change, so don't count your chickens
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Old Aug 24th 2007, 6:55 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

yes you make a good point. I do think studying is another option and i do not mind studying there then to apply for jobs i believe i would have more of a chance that way. But then again there is always BUNAC. Could i study and work there at the same time is that allowed?
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Old Aug 24th 2007, 8:21 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

Whilst I was on BUNAC my company wanted me to attend an evening class - one night a week for 3 months. It strictly says on the BUNAC visa that you can't study, but when I enquired further, they mean that you can't take courses over 6 months, or degrees etc. BUNAC said that I could therefore take the evening class, but if I was wanting to do a course over 6 months then I would have to give up my work visa and get a student visa as you can't have both at the same time. http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGLIsh/study/study-who.asp

Have a look at this link about work permits for students. http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGLIsh/study/work.asp

I have read on other posts that people with children here on student visas aren't able to work part-time "Saturday jobs" but then I suppose you would be looking for something to support your educational experience or a work placement which they call "co-ops".
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Old Aug 24th 2007, 10:41 am
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Default Re: To Bunac or not to Bunac

There are student visas, and there are student visas.

There is a difference between what school-aged children of work permit holders are allowed to do and what university students are allowed to do.

Minor children of work permit holders are not allowed to work for money in Canada. In theory a 16-year-old or 17-year-old child of a work permit holder is allowed to apply for a work permit in his/her own right. But in reality, it is virtually impossible for such a kid to obtain a work permit. In order to get a work permit, the kid's prospective employer first would have to obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion from HRSDC. It would be a rare kid indeed who had such a unique combination of qualifications and experience that the employer could not recruit a Canadian resident for the position.

On the other hand, a student visa holder who is studying full-time at a post-secondary institution in Canada is allowed to work on campus.

It used to be that student visa holders studying at post-secondary institutions could only work on campus. However, CIC recently has relaxed the rules, and student visa holders studying at many post-secondary institutions now are allowed to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week. Here is a list of post-secondary institutions whose foreign students are allowed to work off campus.

Foreign students also may work if their employment is a requirement of a co-op or internship program, as live to ski indicated. However, in that case, a student has to apply for a temporary work permit on top of his/her study permit.

The second web page to which live to ski provided a link had further links to pages discussing the situations I've described. However, I thought there was merit in posting the information on the forum, because people do not always follow the links that are provided for them and because there are a lot of misunderstandings about these matters.
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