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Planning your OE?  Welcome to International Working Holidays

Canada Farm Stay

Have you been wanting to explore Canada? Are you a keen horse rider? On this exciting volunteer program, we have a amazing range of mostly horse and cattle farms in Canada. where you can volunteer so that you get to experience Experience the 'real' Canada as you surround yourself with horses, cattle, tractors and fresh air!


At a glance:

Volunteering: Stay on a ranch or farm in rural Canada

Accommodation: Stay in a ranch house with the family 

Meals: x3 varied and delicious meals a day included


Minimum stay: 4 weeks


What animals will I look after? 

This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about horses, cattle and other animals, and also learn about the local community you are placed in, and about farming in general. Most horse ranches are western based so you'll get to be a cowboy for a few weeks!

About the Farmstay program

The Canada Farmstay program is for those budding adventurers who enjoy farm or country life, horses, cattle, tractors and fresh air! We will find you a ranch that suits your interests. 

Spend some time away from the big cities enjoying 4-12 weeks on a ranch with a Canadian family. You'll be helping them out around the farm just like a member of the family, and you'll receive all your meals and accommodation.  

All farms and ranches are screened in person so we can find one to suit your needs, and our partners in Canada will be there for you should you need them while you're with the farmstay!

What will I be doing at The Farmstay?

Joining this cultural exchange program allows you to get involved with real farming families in beautiful regions of Canada. You get to ride and train horses, drive the tractor and much more (depending on availability). You'll arrive as a stranger and leave as a local!

The activities you will carry out differ for each farm. But here is a general overview of the activities that you might be doing on your farm.
  • Horse back riding
  • Driving the tractor
  • Feeding the cattle
  • Herding sheep
  • Helping with chores around the house
  • Taking care of a calf
  • Going to town for shopping

Types of Farms
Most farms are horse farms but here is a list of types of farms available;

  • Horse farms
  • Guest ranch
  • Cattle ranch
  • Alpaca farm
  • Orchard/agricultural farm
  • Mixed farm

Things to note:

  • Farming life is not always easy and every family member (including you) will be expected to pitch in with all the chores. You will be matched to a suitable farm based on your goals and experience. 
  • We not only take the your requirements into consideration but also try to match your personality with the personality of the farm family. Usually we can get a good grasp of your personality by paying attention to how you write your letter of motivation, your pictures and work background. 
  • To ensure an even better match, we will arrange a Skype interview with our matching cowboy in Canada, and he will chat to you about possible ranch placements and figure out one to suit you best. 
  • Since you will be living with the family around the clock, we believe 24/7 it is important that you all get along. Our Canadian partners know the families well and have a good matching success record. They are also based in Canada to support you should you need anything. 
  • Placement Locations are in the rural areas of British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan.
  • The only thing we look for in a volunteer is a love for the outdoors and rugged lifestyle, love for animals and not being afraid of getting dirty! We also need you to be hard working and flexible.


  • You will receive accommodation on the farm and all of your meals for your entire stay. 


You can either go direct to your Farm Stay or via Vancouver for a night (say if your flights into Canada arrive late) before heading to your Farm Stay. Placements will be in British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan.

If Direct:

We will let you know the closest airport and help you book the correct flight accordingly. You may have to stay overnight in the city before taking the Greyhound bus to the farm the following day. If so, we will book the hostel and provide the schedule.

Via Vancouver:

You fly to Vancouver first (sightseeing etc) and then go to the farm either by Greyhound bus, Plane, or Organised student backpacker trips. Travel duration can be up to 20 hours, and all travel arrangements will be made by our partners for you. A nights accommodation in Vancouver is an optional add on, along with airport transfers. More nights can be added - just check with us for a price. 

What's Included?

  • Placement includes food and board on the ranch
  • A document with your farm profile will be sent to you prior to your arrival
  • You will be given access to a telephone and laundry facilities
  • Bedding and towels will be provided
  • Orientation (only for candidates that arriving in Vancouver)
  • Mail holding service
  • 24 hour emergency number
  • Ongoing service and troubleshooting
  • Help with any other working holiday or volunteer adventures you have planned before or after
  • You don’t need a visa, only a visitor permit and our travel department will help you with that. 

What's not included?

  • Your flights and insurance (but we can help you with that at no extra charge - we like to make sure you get insurance that covers you for the exact activities you'll be involved in)

“I really feel like part of the family, they take me on all of their family trips so I have seen lots of places. They also plan fun activities (like white water rafting, canoeing, day at the beach, shopping etc). I love the horses on the ranch. I really like working with them (that's is my favourite thing, working with the horses) . I have learned so much since I've been here, I was taught a entire different way of handling horses and I love it. We go on lots of rides so that is awesome!! I ride Tamara (that's one of their horses) and I love her! It is so great to work with her. Every day at the ranch is different I do lots of different things (like painting sheds, pulling weeds, feeding the animals, working on the fence etc.) but I work with the horses every day! It is a fantastic experience, and I am really happy about the ranch and the fantastic family you have found for me. Thank you for that!! Canada is a beautiful country, I love living here!” - Lisanne

“I had a really good time at the winery and I really enjoyed the conversations and the good wine I had with that family! =) I'm really grateful that you found me this place and that I matched with this family. I learned a lot and I had fun on the farm and also I learned a few things out about myself. The family was really helpful and I always felt comfortable around them.” - Nathalie


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