Internships in Canada for International Students

Internships in Canada for International Students

If you are studying in Canada, at some point you would have thought about doing an internship. Enrolling for an internship is a crucial step  in finding a full-time job in Canada, especially if you are an international student. Based on the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database 2020, Canada has one of the largest economies in the world. With a GDP of $1.84 trillion as of 2020, Canada is a country with a stable financial system and a great place to start your career. Finding internships in Canada while you are pursuing your studies enables you to take that first step towards building your career.

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Canada also has well-developed industries in several sectors including environment, engineering, science and technology. Regardless of your area of study, you are bound to find an internship of your liking. The best way to get a head start on your career is looking at the available internships in Canada and finding one that best suits your profile. This article gives you a complete overview of what it means to do an internship and how you can find internships in Canada.

Internships in Canada

Why should you pursue Internships in Canada ?

  • Paid internships can help you fund your schooling as a student in Canada - Having extra money comes in handy for your day-to-day expenses. Getting a paid internship or student job can make life considerably easier for you, especially as an international student. With a paid internship, you may be able to earn enough to cover your food and living expenses.
  • Interning in Canada can expose you to the work culture and industry norms - Doing an internship in Canada will help you gain valuable work experience that will smooth your transition to the Canadian job market. Internships will also help you develop skillsets that are currently in-demand.
  • Internships can be stepping stones to finding long-term career in the country - If you are an international student who plans to stay back after graduation and work in Canada, there is no better way to kick start your career than doing an internship in the industry of your choice. It would be even better if you find an internship at the organisation you wish to work for in the long-term.
  • Engaging in an internship in Canada will bridge the gap between university education and industry demands - Internships allow young graduates to apply their theoretical knowledge in practical work spaces. An internship experience in Canada will add a lot of value to your CV as well.
  • Online recruitment portals like Indeed, Craigslist and Monster are great ways to begin your internship search as most organisations post their workforce requirements on such websites. You can also approach company websites directly and look at career pages for internship openings. If you are looking for odd jobs, you can simply walk around the closest town and look for openings and hiring boards as well.

Where can you find internships ?

  • On campus work- As a full-time international student with a valid study permit and a SIN or Social Insurance Number, you can take up on-campus work. On-campus work can include working for your university, a student organisation or a private contractor functioning within the university. For instance, you can find work at the university library, cafeteria, student housing services or university recreation centre for students. Canadian immigration laws do not restrict the number of hours that you can work on campus as an international student. You can go through the university website and student job boards to find on campus work.
  • Work as co-op student - You can choose to be a co-op student if you have a valid student permit and are enrolled in a study program that necessitates the need to engage in work as part of the course curriculum. You may require to apply for a paid Post-Graduate Work Permit with the Canadian immigration office if your degree program does not require you to have work experience during the course of study.
  • Work off-campus - If you wish to work off-campus, you must first ensure that you are allowed to work off the campus without a work permit. You must be legally permitted to do so. If not, the authorities can remove you from the country for not abiding with the law of the land. Even if you are authorised to work off-campus, there is a limit to the number of hours that you can work for. The maximum hours per week you can work for is 20 but you can work full-time during semester breaks at university when you do not have classes.
  • University networking events - These organised events for summer internships are a great way to meet prospective employers and understand their requirements. You will have a list of the organisations that will turn up for the event, and to find an internship, you will need to do a thorough research of these companies before the networking event. Be prepared to make a good impression of the hiring staff by engaging in fruitful conversation and portraying your interest, skills and experience with confidence.

How can you apply for internships ?

  • CV in English with updated details of your education, work experience and extracurricular activities including relevant personal projects and valid online certifications
  • Portfolio of your work. This can be in the form of an online webpage or a personal account on a job networking site like Linkedin that lists your projects and accomplishments so far.
  • Language skills certification if English/French is not your native language. It would be a smart idea to attach a copy of your English language proficiency score like TOEFL/IELTS to prove your language skills.
  • Copy of your passport will be necessary as an international student as it will work as your proof of identity. You may also be required to provide prospective employers with evidence of your student registration documents with the university.

Tips to finding Internships in Canada

  • Always make sure that you are abiding by the immigration laws of Canada.
  • Immerse yourself into the Canadian culture and learn as much as possible.
  • Always submit your internship applications before their stipulated deadlines.
  • Do a lot of networking- both on-campus and off-campus for useful contacts.
  • The recruiting period for internships is annually between January and June.
  • A vast majority of internships begin around September and October every year.
  • Remember that your first priority as a university student is always studying.
  • Browse the web for online posting of internships in Canada.

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