Student Work Abroad Program

Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP)


Each year, thousands of students work in foreign countries through the Student Work Abroad Program. Established in 1975 with a small exchange in New Zealand, SWAP is now Canada’s largest international exchange program.

SWAP provides students with the means to combine periods of employment with time for exploring their host countries. By living and working in another country, a SWAP participant has a greater opportunity to learn about the people, lifestyles, and cultures of the host country.

SWAP offers programs in eleven countries including:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Austria
  • New Zealand
  • Britain
  • South Africa
  • France
  • South Pacific
  • Germany
  • United States
  • Ireland

SWAP participants pay a registration fee, and receive all necessary working papers, accommodation upon arrival, and other services. Most importantly, participants receive support from SWAP staff in Canada and abroad. Acting as a “safety net,” staff inform participants of the local job and accommodation market, and help participants with the transition to life in a foreign country.

Detailed information about SWAP can be found in the SWAP brochure, produced annually, available from your students’ union/association/society office.