On-campus jobs provide a great opportunity for international students in Canada to earn money with scheduling flexibility while gaining local work experience.
As per study permit rules, international students can work up to 20 hours per week during semesters and full-time during breaks across roles like:
- Research Assistants
- Lab Instructors
- IT Helpdesk
- Events Support Staff
- Library Helpers
- Retail Store Staff
Key benefits apart from earnings include chance to build connections, improve English fluency, understand workplace culture while reducing logistics hassles given on-premise location.
This article outlines details regarding applying to and succeeding in on-campus jobs for international students studying in Canada.
Can international students work on-campus in Canada?
Yes, international students can work on-campus in Canada under certain conditions:
- Your study permit:
- You must have a study permit with the specific condition printed on it that allows you to work on-campus. This will be indicated by either “May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, but per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w), and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria” or “May work 20 hours per week off campus or full time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.”
- Full-time student: You must be enrolled as a full-time student at a designated educational institution (public or private post-secondary school, CEGEP in Quebec, etc.).
- Work location: On-campus work refers to employment facilities within the boundaries of the specific campus where you are registered as a full-time student.
Additional things to keep in mind:
- You cannot start working before your study program begins.
- There are no hour limitations for on-campus work if you meet the eligibility criteria.
- Some private institutions may not have this authorization for all programs of study offered.
How much can an international student earn in Canada?
The amount an international student can earn in Canada can vary greatly depending on several factors, including:
- Type of job: On-campus jobs typically pay minimum wage or slightly above, while off-campus jobs can offer higher pay depending on the skill and experience required.
- Province or territory: Minimum wage varies across Canada, ranging from $13.60 to $16.77 per hour as of January 2024.
- Industry: Some industries, such as technology and finance, offer higher salaries than others.
- Student’s skills and experience: Students with relevant skills and experience can command higher pay than those without.
Here are some general estimates of how much international students can earn in Canada:
- Part-time: During academic sessions, international students can work up to 20 hours per week. At the minimum wage of $13.60 per hour, this would amount to approximately $272 per week or $14,144 per year. However, many on-campus jobs pay slightly above minimum wage, and students with skills and experience can earn more.
- Full-time: During scheduled breaks, such as summer holidays, international students can work full-time. This could mean earning anywhere from $32,000 to $80,000 per year, depending on the type of job and the student’s qualifications.
Here are some additional factors to consider:
- Taxes: International students are required to pay income tax on their earnings in Canada.
- Cost of living: The cost of living in Canada varies depending on the city or town. Students will need to factor in their living expenses when determining how much they need to earn.
- Financial aid: Some international students may be eligible for financial aid from their home country or from the Canadian government. This can help to offset the cost of living and education.
Types of On-Campus Jobs for International Students in Canada
Common categories of on-campus jobs for international students in Canada include:
Technical Support Jobs
Campus IT helpdesk, lab instructor and equipment room attendant roles well suited for those proficient in troubleshooting, enjoy solving technical issues.
Research Assistant Jobs
Opportunities to assist university professors and faculty with studies, field work and admin support. Learn while earning.
Cafe baristas, bookstore sales associates needed round the year. Build customer service skills.
Help desks, stack management roles that bibliophiles might enjoy with quiet work spaces.
Data entry, department office assistants, event coordinators develop organization skills via clerical work.
Teaching Assistant Jobs
Advanced students can apply for TA openings across faculties to gain experience explaining concepts to juniors.
These jobs average 15 to 20 hours per week with hourly pay rates ranging CAD 15 to CAD 22 based on university and nature of role.
Key Benefits of On-Campus Jobs for International Students in Canada
Key advantages that make on-campus jobs worthwhile for international students in Canada include:
1. Networking Opportunity
Interacting with professors, senior students, diverse staff allows building connections that can morph into future references, research or work options post-graduation.
2. Local Work Culture Understanding
On-campus roles provide low risk environment to experience Canadian workplace etiquette, communication norms which aids off-campus jobs preparation.
3. Resume Building
Campus job experiences indicate proven skills to future employers. Technical and assistant roles also provide formal recommendation letters.
4. Language Skills Improvement
The English conversations, meetings and training involved in campus roles accelerates the fluency, confidence of international students greatly aiding future prospects.
5. Referrals for Co-op Programs
On-campus supervisors can provide strong references and necessary criteria fulfillment needed for highly competitive and well paid co-op programs eligibility.
6. Lower Logistics Pressure
Easy to balance studies given no transportation time or costs to manage unlike off-campus roles. Scheduling also aligned to academic calendars.
7. Potential Full-time Conversion
Strong performers sometimes get full-time entry level staff recruitment opportunities post graduation from the on-campus employer departments.
Along with earning extra money, campus roles enable international students to invest in long term career capital while managing academics.
Finding On-Campus Jobs As An International Student in Canada
Tips to find vacant on-campus student job openings include:
1. Visit Campus Career Portals
Most university intranet portals showcase vacant on-campus roles across various departments, faculty research projects. Creating job alerts is recommended.
2. Attend Campus Job Fairs
In-person job fairs before start of Fall and Winter semesters provide chance to directly pitch your skills to potential supervisors. Prepare resumes.
3. Follow Campus Newsletters
Sign-up for official college email newsletters which frequently advertise newly opened TA and student job postings round the year based on project needs.
4. Visit Department Websites
Research the websites of faculties you are interested in for any listed vacancies like lab instructors or faculty research interns from professor project postings.
5. Talk to the International Student Center
Visit international student office periodically to check if they have received any job listings from university departments seeking to hire international students.
6. Ask Seniors
Current senior international students can provide tips on best paying campus jobs, peak hiring seasons and referral contacts of supervisors from their experiences.
Persistence and diligent follow-up positioning your aligned skills to vacant openings is key rather than sporadic applications.
Application Process Overview
Process to apply for open on-campus job positions for international students involves:
1. Check Work Permit Rules
- Confirm eligibility to work upto 20 hours weekly during semesters and full-time during breaks without needing separate permit.
2. Prepare a Tailored Resume
- Frame strong resume highlighting necessary technical skills, languages, relevant campus group projects showing alignment to job needs.
3. Attach Cover Letter
- Well written cover letter important to convey passion for job, fitment for role – supplementing resume.
4. Visit Hiring Manager
- Introduce yourself, skills and interest for advertised vacancy to create positive first impression during application submission.
5. Complete Interview
- Common interviews involve mix of behavioral, technical questions testing problem solving abilities for campus roles.
- Share examples of instances where you demonstrated successful customer service, technical troubleshooting, target delivery etc.
6. Join Required Training
- Upon job offer acceptance, complete stipulated hours of workplace etiquette training, safety guidelines learning organized by employer.
7. Get a Social Insurance Number
- After training, apply for Canadian SIN number for smooth monthly compensation and taxation purposes.
Following prescribed process to tailor details for eligibility and fitment builds trust and understanding with hiring teams resulting in impactful shortlisting and selection conversations.
Success Tips for Continuity
To sustain and excel in on-campus roles, international students IN Canada should:
1. Maintain Academic Performance
Balance job hours as per study permit guidelines without impacting grades through proactive planning, open communications.
2. Over Communicate Initially
Clarify every workplace expectation, process concern transparently to adapt faster given international context. Never assume familiarity.
3. Show Initiative
Observe team needs and offer help proactively leveraging free time between allocated tasks for appreciation.
4. Upgrade Industry Knowledge
Campus jobs provide launch-pad to learn office software, retail systems, lab equipment operations through hands-on exposure boosting technical resume.
5. Build References
Collegial behaviour and consistent assistance provided to professors and senior colleagues aids receiving strong recommendations for future co-op or work visa purposes.
6. Attend Social Events
Participating in department gatherings, informal team lunches accelerates cultural integration allowing you to emerge as a promising all-rounder candidate for full-time openings later.
Blending the roles seamlessly amid academic workload through workplace cultural assimilation is vital for international students to extract most learning and career advancement value from on-campus working tenures.
Key highlights about on-campus jobs for international students in Canada:
- Provide local work culture adaptation and language fluency.
- Technical and assistant roles boost core resume.
- Opportunity to build professional network and references.
- Work permit allows upto 20 hour flexibility across semesters.
- Assimilate workplace etiquettes faster in known environment.
Here are some helpful resources for further information:
- Canada.ca: Work on campus: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/work-on-campus.html
- Canada.ca: Work off campus as an international student: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/work-off-campus.html
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Help Centre: https://www.ircc.canada.ca/english/helpcentre/index-featured-can.asp