According to the Canadian government, more than 500,000 international students study in Canada. Jobs can be a valuable component of their experience providing opportunities to practice English, increase skills, experience Canadian work culture and earn money to help with expenses.
When approached in a balanced way that ensures working hours do not negatively impact academic success, students and employers can benefit.
On October 7, Sean Fraser, immigration, refugees and citizenship minister, announced the 20-hour-per-week cap regulating international students’ off campus work hours will be lifted between November 15, 2022 and December 31, 2023.
Saurabh Malhotra, director international recruitment and market development, Fanshawe College said he has some mixed feelings about the announcement.
“For the right student, it offers tremendous opportunities,” Malhotra said. While he appreciates the intent behind this change, he adds, “As international recruitment and advising professionals, it’s our responsibility to ensure students fully understand both sides of this change.”
Vatsal Tripathi, a technical system analysis student at Fanshawe College from India, said he was happy and joyful when he heard the news. He said being able to work additional hours lightens the financial burden especially with the current inflation rate. He plans to increase his hours at Walmart.
“I am planning to work, but as my studies are more important, I will focus first on my studies and then the job,” he said. “I have classes from Monday to Friday … so I will choose weekends and do 12-hour shifts.”
Another student, Chinecherem Achibiri studies project management and came to Fanshawe from Nigeria.
He said he was indifferent about the announcement. While more hours mean more money, he is concerned about the pressure working more than 20 hours per week might cause. “Balancing more work hours with school might be a bit tough. But, I intend to create a system around it and never push myself too hard,” he said.
Within the announcement, Fraser said immigration is crucial to addressing labour shortages.
“By allowing international students to work more while they study, we can help ease pressing needs in many sectors across the country, while providing more opportunities for international students to gain valuable Canadian work experience and continue contributing to our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.”
Previously, Canada’s immigration minister shared a plan to expand the pathways to permanent residence for international students with significant work experience in sectors with persistent labour shortages. According to executive summary, the five-pillar approach will complement the existing provincial and territorial tools that allow them to independently select candidates to meet their specific regional needs, across all skill levels.
“As international recruitment and advising professionals, it’s our responsibility to ensure students fully understand both sides of this change”
Emily Low, a registered Canadian immigration consultant with Fanshawe College said this announcement could be a “great opportunity for students hoping to complete their work integrated learning full time while waiting for their co-op or intern work permits to be processed”.
Previously, students were limited to borrowing their 20 hours of off-campus work due to the conditions of their study permits.
For those students who decide to look for work, Fanshawe College’s career and employment services staff provide one-stop access to employment and job readiness services through respectful, flexible, confidential and personalised assistance.
With a commitment to the highest service standards, resources include workshops, conferences, career-focused mentorship, resume review and interview preparation, networking, career fairs and more than 66 co-op programs. In addition, Fanshawe Cares supports students through their arrival to Canada and helps them settle in and thrive with support and a sense of community.
About the author: This is a sponsored post by Janet Wakutz, who has recently joined the International Recruitment team at Fanshawe College in communications. She has more than 20 years of experience across many sectors in progressively senior communications roles.
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