Her video explaining how she did it has gone viral on TikTok, and Nadia gave Narcity the inside scoop on how she discovered a government program that allows young people from Canada to live and work in the U.K. for up to two years.
Nadia's London adventure started when she realized her corporate job wasn't fulfilling her long-term goals. Instead of accepting a promotion, she opted for a different path and requested a leave of absence.
"I went backpacking around the world for four and a half months. While I was backpacking, I feel like I just had this enlightenment that I just wanted to explore more out of life," she told Narcity.
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Determined to seize the chance to create a new life for herself, Nadia discovered the Youth Mobility Scheme visa that Canadians aged between 18 to 30 are eligible to apply for.
This program lets young people live and work in the U.K. for two years, and they don't need a job offer to apply.
"I'm turning 28 in a few months, so I knew that I was on this restriction," she said.
Here's what you need to know about the Youth Mobility Scheme visa:
- Eligibility: You must be within the eligible age range and have at least $4,300 (£2,530) in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the U.K.
- Duration: You can live and work in the U.K. for up to two years, but this can't be extended.
- Work Opportunities: You can take on various jobs and gain valuable work experience, but you can't work as a professional sportsperson.
- Application Process: The application window opens six months in advance, and you need a valid Canadian passport. The application fee is $435 (£259), and you will need to purchase a $790 (£470) "health care surcharge."
- Limited Availability: The number of visas is limited each year, so apply early to increase your chances.
"I didn't want to look back one day and miss out on the opportunity to do something really exciting that I know I may regret later on."
Nadia said that having lived in Ontario her whole life, she'd never considered leaving the country or even knew that such a program existed, which was a major reason why she made the video.
"I just feel like we don't really get a lot of information," she said. "I found like as I was travelling, as I said, the U.K. and Australia have these programs, and I feel like they're so much more exposed to travel than we are in Canada."
Nadia's video has been watched over 650K times in its first two days, with many people in the comments expressing their interest and curiosity in her journey.
Many wanted to know whether she found a job in the U.K. beforehand and if house hunting was hard.
"The housing market here is cr*zy. So I find the advice I've really been giving is there are a lot of Facebook groups that have rentals being posted," Nadia said.
She recommended an app called Spare Room, where you can find landlords and roommates.
For the job search, she recommended networking. "I was doing a lot of networking on LinkedIn before I got here," she said.
"I would just apply, and even if I got rejection emails, I would kind of take those emails and use those as an opportunity to network along the way."
Many countries, including Australia, also have similar programs for Canadians. Down Under's specific program allows you to live and work in Australia for up to 12 months (typically for a maximum of 6 months per employer) and study for up to four months.
If the U.K. is more your jam and you're up for giving London a shot, you can apply online on the U.K. government's website.
Just make sure you've got at least $6k to $7k in your bank account. Once you've submitted your application, sit tight and expect a decision in about three weeks. Fingers crossed!