Calvin is a teacher originally from Canada, who recently returned home from a working holiday in Melbourne, Australia! If you’re thinking about living and teaching in AUS then this blog is perfect for you.

What made you make the move?

From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to teach overseas in Australia. After meeting Crystal from Anzuk’s Melbourne office at my university’s job fair and chatting over the phone with Gillian and Cooper from Anzuk’s Canadian office, I knew that Anzuk would be the agency of choice as I was dealing directly with the agency before arriving in Australia instead of a third party representative. Anzuk was able to refer me to the appropriate resources for taking care of everything from my working holiday visa, Australian banking and superannuation (public pension), housing and other essential services.

Why did you choose anzuk?

Anzuk consultants are always nice and professional in communicating with you over the phone. If you’re on the Ambassador program, you are guaranteed 5 days of work each week during the busy periods and during quieter periods, you will be prioritized for work and will almost always get at least one or two shifts a week. Worrying about getting work is almost always never an issue for most teachers. There are also social events for Anzuk International educators where you can meet fellow Canadians, as well as other international educators from as far afield as the UK that are run about once every other month, and your Anzuk team dealing with the particular area of Melbourne you are assigned to will also periodically run social events such as trivia night or morning teas during the school holidays.

What is the best part about living in Melbourne?

Melbourne is a great place to live and work, as you have vibrant cities such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide within a three hour flight from Melbourne. The state of Victoria offers a variety of outdoor experiences including bushwalking, the Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles and ski resorts within a 2 hour drive. If you’re staying the full year, the school holidays are a perfect time to venture out of Melbourne and explore other parts of Australia.

Tips for newbies that just moved to Melbourne…

For those who are concerned about getting around in a new city, I can reassure you that the transport network in Melbourne is well-developed, with its train system putting most of the bus networks and commuter rail networks in North America to shame. The metro operates as far afield as around 50 km from Southern Cross station (the main train station in Melbourne) with service frequencies being around 5 minutes or better near the city center, 10 minutes or better in the inner suburbs and at most 20 minutes in the stations further afield. Long distance trains to the rest of Victoria run several times a day, and if you’re interested in a railtour of the east coast, there are two daily trains from Southern Cross station to Sydney where you can connect onwards to other trains that will take you as far as Brisbane and the Gold Coast – that’s a 40 hour train trip in total which you can break down into segments and perfect for filling a typical 2 week school holiday period.

Extended visa advice…

If you’re interested in going to Australia for the long haul, I would recommend that you start early in looking for a means to staying longer. While the farm work is the most popular option if you’re travelling on a working holiday visa, you should know what you are getting into before taking a leave of absence from teaching to complete it. Alternative paths, such as getting sponsored by a school for a temporary work visa, or getting a permanent skilled visa (which can be expensive, but might be worth it as you don’t need a sponsor and only need nomination by a state or federal government) do exist and I would recommend researching these options shortly after you arrive if you know that you want more than one year.

Homecoming experience…

When your journey to Australia comes to a close and you return to Canada, the transition process is just as smooth your initial move to Australia. Cooper and Gillian checked in with me after moving back and were available if I needed any assistance or had any queries.

Calvin outside the Sydney Opera House