Frequently Asked Questions

Please read ALL information before applying.

SWY Global Assembly 2020 POSTPONED

After much consideration, SWYAA Canada has decided to postpone this years Global Assembly to 2021. The global pandemic we are experiencing currently has made it difficult to plan for the future, as many of us are currently living on a day-to-day basis and prioritizing our health and communities. Due to the unpredictability of the situation, the alumni association has decided it is best to cumulate our efforts towards next year. SWYAA Canada urges everyone to practice social distancing, and follow the instructions outlined by the World Health Organization.

A big hand to everyone working in the healthcare sector! You are true heroes!


What is the programme for the GA?

Regular Schedule: Toronto, Ontario August 16-20, 2020

Day Sunday August 16 Monday August 17 Tuesday August 18 Wednesday August 19 Thursday August 20
Morning Arrive in Toronto

Transit (included) to Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown

3:00 pm Check in

Breakfast at Hotel

Royal Ontario Museum

Breakfast at Hotel

Toronto Island

Breakfast at Hotel

Institutional Visits

Breakfast at Hotel

11:00 am Check out

Transit to airport

Transit to Montreal for optional tour

Afternoon Niagara Falls Wine Tour Cultural experience

Picnic lunch on the Island


Free time

Evening Opening Ceremonies + Dinner Harbour Cruise

Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Game

Free time

Closing Ceremonies at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre


During the programme we would like you to socialize a lot, meet old friends, get acquainted with new ones and dive into the SWY spirit again! We want you to have a lot of fun during free time and get you to explore Toronto and Canada. Everything you see on the programme is included in the participation fee: meals, sightseeing tours, social and official events, institutional visits and the Farewell celebration on the last day.

All events of the programme are obligatory for participation. The schedule is subject to change by the organizing committee without prior notice.

In what language will the GA be?

The official language of the GA will be English, like on the ship.

Who can participate?

All SWYers who participated in the Ship for World Youth program, as well as Admin, Advisors, and IYEO members, are welcome to come! All participants should be over 18 years old. 

Can I bring a friend?

Yes, although we will be limiting the number of non-SWYers to 10, and that person must be at least 18 year of age. When your friend applies, have them check the box "non-swyer" and name the PY they are coming with.

How many spots are there?

There is a limit of 96 places for the GA, and up to 50 spots for the Optional Tour.

When should I arrive? Can I come earlier?

You should plan to arrive Sunday, August 16th. Hotel check in starts at 3:00pm so schedule your flights accordingly. If you would like to come earlier or visit other parts of Canada before the GA, please send us an email and we will put you in touch with Ex-PYs in those areas. Note that you are fully responsible for organizing your own travel and accommodation.


When is check-in/check-out?

Check in is possible from 3:00pm on Sunday, August 16th.

Check out will be 11:00am the morning of Thursday, August 20th. If you are staying for the optional tour, the bus for Montreal will leave Thursday morning. 


Are all meals included?

Breakfast and lunch and dinner will be included. Kindly note that dinner is not provided on Sunday August 16th. On Thursday August 20th, breakfast (but not lunch and dinner) will be provided for GA participants.  Please note you are responsible for your own alcoholic beverages.  You will have an opportunity to dine out in one of Toronto’s many restaurants on occasion.


What is the dress code?

Before the Global Assembly you will get a PDF guide with all the information on events, and what you need to wear for each.


Will someone be there to greet me at the airport?

There will be Canadian PY volunteers who will greet you at the airport and assist you in taking the train to the hotel. Transfers to and from the airport will be covered in the fees if arriving at Pearson International airport. 

What is Race Roster?

Race Roster has nothing to do with "race" or ethnicity! Race Roster is an online event registration platform originally designed for footraces, and they are one of our partners for the GA!

How do I pay?

After completing the application form, you will be taken to a secure payment page where you will enter your credit card information to confirm payment. Note that your application is NOT considered complete until the payment has been made and approved.


The fee is 1000 CDN or 925 CDN if you register before February 20th.

What is your cancellation policy? 

Cancellation before March 15th = 100% refund except 100$ admin fee 

Cancellation after March 15th and before April 10th = 50% refund

Cancellation after April 10th = NO refund

Until when can I apply?

The deadline to apply is April 1st, 2020.


Where will we be staying?

You will be staying in the Holiday Inn Express right in downtown Toronto. Breakfast will be provided every morning. There is an on-site fitness center, in-room AC, wi-fi and more.

Note that the base fee is for a double room. If you wish to save money, you can stay up to 4 people in the same room and pay less per person. Please note that in this case, you will be sharing a bed with one other person! If you wish to stay with a specific person, please indicate that person’s name in your application.

Extra nights may be purchased for $240 CDN a night per double room pending availability


Do I need a visa to enter Canada?

To find out if you need a visa to visit Canada, you can try this online form:

For the question, What are you doing in Canada, select: "Visiting Canada, family or friends"

If you need a visitor visa, you can then follow the steps to apply for the visa online.

For a list of countries from which travellers require visas, please check here:

Travellers from the following countries are exempt from visas, but still require you to purchase an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) to enter Canada. 

Read about it here:


If you require an invitation letter, please contact us and we will send you one. Visa costs are paid by the participant. We recommend that you begin the visa process as early as possible, as we will not be able to refund GA fees due to a visa not arriving in time. However, if your visa is refused, we will be able to refund you up to June 30th, minus a 100$ administrative fee.


What about the optional tour?


The optional tour will take place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. While only 7 hours from Toronto by bus, and 3 hours from the nation’s capital, Ottawa, Montreal is culturally and linguistically quite different. The tour will include a visit to the main tourist sights including the iconic Mont-Royal park in the middle of the city, a taste of the burgeoning nightlife and cultural scenes, and more, all in the unique Francophone - Quebecois context. More details TBA.

Optional Tour: Montreal, Quebec August 20-23, 2020

Thursday August 20

  • Breakfast at Hotel in Toronto
  • Transit to Montreal
  • Arrive at Montreal Hotel
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Friday August 21

  • Breakfast
  • Montreal City Tour
    • BioDome
    • Old Montreal
  • Lunch
  • Free Time
  • Dinner
Saturday August 22

  • Breakfast
  • Cultural experience
  • Lunch
  • Post-program Activities
  • Dinner
  • Free time

Sunday August 23

  • Breakfast
  • Transit back to Toronto/Montreal airport

** itinerary subject to change at the discretion of SWYAA Canada

Aug 20th - 23rd 2020

Meals: If you are attending the optional tour, lunch and dinner will be provided on the 20th, breakfast, lunch and dinner on the 21st and 22nd, and breakfast on the 23rd. 

Hotel: TBC

Fees: 900$ CDN

Cancellation before March 15th = 100% refund except 100$ admin fee 

Cancellation after March 15th and before April 10th = 50% refund

Cancellation after April 10th = NO refund


What if, after the Optional Tour, I want to return home directly from the Montreal airport instead of going back to Toronto?

The bus leaving the Montreal hotel will stop at Trudeau International Airport before proceeding to Toronto. If you wish to leave directly from Montreal, you will have to buy tickets accordingly (from your home country to Toronto, then from Montreal back to you home country). 

The bus ride is 7 hours between Toronto and Montreal.

If you are departing Toronto on the 23rd, schedule a very late flight (post 9:00pm) to be sure you can catch your flight. We will be leaving early Sunday morning and arriving back to Toronto late afternoon. If you are not flying back on the 23rd you are responsible for finding your own accommodations. The bus will drop participants off at UNION Station. 


What about GA swag?

All GA participants will receive a t-shirt. Sizes will be collected during registration. 


General info about Toronto & Montreal

Time zone: GMT -05

Language: the official languages are French and English. In Toronto, everybody will speak English. In Montreal, most people will speak English, but some will only speak French. Outside of Montreal, most people speak French only, although there are some anglophone areas too. When you enter a restaurant, shop or business in Montreal, you will usually be addressed in French, but feel free to reply in English or ask for an English menu if you aren’t comfortable! Efforts to speak French are appreciated. Be aware that language can be a tricky political issue in Quebec generally. Ask a Canadian PY for more details.

Electricity: the standard voltage in Canada is 120 V. Power plugs are the same as in North and Central America, as well as Japan: Type A (two prong) and B (three prong) sockets. If you use a different voltage in your country, you may need an adaptor, although many laptop and phone chargers are made to work between 110-220V - check yours before coming.

Public Transport: Both Montreal and Toronto have well-established public transport systems. In Toronto, the TTC uses a mixture of subway trains, interurban trains, buses and streetcars. In Montreal, there are subway trains, interurban trains and buses. Subways in both cities do NOT run all night, although buses run at a reduced frequency on specific routes at nighttime. 

Taxis: You can hail a cab off the street in both Montreal and Toronto. Taxis are generally trustworthy in both cities and all use meters. The base rate in Toronto is 4.25, then 1.75 per km; in Montreal, 3.45 is the base rate, then 1.70 per km. It is customary to leave a small tip for your driver.

Security: Both Montreal and Toronto are major urban centers of Canada, and as such prudence and common sense should be exercised. That being said, both have reputations as being quite safe, walkable cities, day and night, especially in the main tourist areas and downtown. 

Tap water: Tap water is safe to drink in both Toronto and Montreal. 

Weather: in Toronto and Montreal, daily average temperatures range from a high of 25˚C (77˚F) to a low of 17˚C (63˚F), with an overall average of 21˚C (70˚F). That being said, it can get quite hot and feel even hotter due to the humidity. It may rain as well. We suggest some warmer clothes for the evenings. Don't forget to bring formal wear for the official opening and other official events!

Medical : You do not need any vaccinations to enter Canada. If you are taking prescription medication, we recommend that you bring enough to last your entire trip. Canada has a universal health care system, which is free for citizens, but medical care is very expensive for foreigners. Make sure to have travel insurance that covers the cost of medical care should you need it during the trip (we hope not!)


Please ensure you have read and understood all the information above before applying.

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