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How to work while studying in Canada

How to work while studying in Canada

 

Canada is a country full of world class academic institutions, but it also has tremendous economic potential. As such, working while attending university is feasible and ultimately beneficial. However, it can be difficult to understand how to work while studying in Canada from a visa perspective, and also from a work/school/life balance perspective.

 

Visa Requirements

You might be wondering, does my study visa prevent me from working while studying in Canada? The answer is: mostly no. You don’t need a work permit to work on or off campus if you are enrolled full-time at a recognized institution. However, if you have a mandatory work placement or co-op through the program, you will indeed need a work permit.

 

You can consult our Visa consultant on more details on how to get either a study permit or a work permit.

 

Another restriction is, if you get your study permit after June 1st, it will indicate whether or not you’re eligible to work off campus. If you’re eligible, you’re limited to working 20 hours a week while your program is in session, or full-time during the breaks in the academic year.

For more information on applying for a study permit, please consult this website. Additionally, we strongly recommend consulting our Visa consultant at info@overseasgateway.com.

 

Managing life/work while studying in Canada

Now, if you’re eligible to work in Canada while studying, then you need to know how to work while studying in Canada on top of maintaining your grades.

Here are a few tips on how to balance it all.

 

Use a calendar tool

Whether it’s Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar, use something where you keep track of all your time. This might be the simplest and most important thing to help you work while studying in Canada. As uncool as it may seem, we also recommend including all your personal appointments in the calendar. This ensures you never double book yourself. While some people may prefer a paper agenda, we suggest the electronic version for a few reasons:

  • If you lose a hard copy, it’s the end of the world.
  • E-version can be synced across numerous devices (phone, tablet, computer, etc.).
  • You receive alerts across all those devices.

 

Take a job with defined hours

As nice as it is to have flexible work hours, they often make it more of a challenge to commit to certain plans. With set hours, you know what you’ll be working on and when, and therefore minimize surprises. Sometimes flexibility can be your worst nightmare. In addition, try to secure a job that doesn’t require you to “bring your work home with you.” This ensures your time is fully segmented which allows your mind to focus on the task at hand rather than trying to juggle work and school within the same time frame.

 

Plan for leisure

Sometimes when you are juggling work and school, leisure and fun are an aftereffect. The problem with that is leisure is required for good mental health. Therefore, even if it will take up some time, it will result in better work products and a healthier mind. As such, make sure you schedule in your leisure time otherwise your calendar will likely keep getting booked up.

 

Plan for study

Similarly, use your calendar tool to ensure you schedule in some study time because otherwise, that leisure time might also begin to interrupt your study time. Remember: the calendar is your buddy.

 

Monitor your stress levels

It’s possible due to work and school you get too stressed out. Monitor that and push back on your work hours if you have to. Keep in mind you are there to study first, and work second. Unless there is a financial imperative, make sure your studies come first, and offload some hours if you can.

 

Plan for your career

This is easier said than done, but don’t get a job simply for the sake of getting a job. Try to get a job that will not only give you money today, but will help give you money in the future by developing a strong resume now. This isn’t always possible but sometimes it’s worth taking a financial hit to get a better job. Again, unless there is a financial imperative, this is probably the most important consideration with regards to work while studying in Canada.

Student Visa Canada: How to write a study plan for Canada

When applying for a student visa in Canada, you’re required to submit a study plan. A study plan gives Visa Officers an explanation as to why you want to study in Canada and how it fits with your future objectives. With this being said, you want to ensure you make it good!

It’s important to be very clear and concise, but to also be specific. It isn’t necessary to explain your entire life history. Rather, focus on how pursuing education in Canada will help your current academic studies and career experiences.

Before we get into the types of questions you must answer when writing your study plan, here are a few quick tips.

 

#1: Do not exceed one (1) page.

#2: Your study plan should be factual.

#3: Be direct. Do not write paragraphs on why you dream of studying in Canada. Instead, write about how studying in Canada will advance your career in a way your country of residence won’t.

#4: Have someone with strong English written skills edit your study plan.

 

Study plan questions

 

1. Why do you wish to study in Canada in the program for which you have been accepted?

This is your opportunity to describe the reasons behind why you want to study in Canada. Is it because of its quality education system? The multicultural society? Why is Canada your preferred destination for international studies.

 

2. What is your overall educational goal?

Go into greater depth and describe what your goal is. Is it to continue your education directly after secondary school? Perhaps it’s to expand your knowledge by achieving a master’s or postgraduate degree. You may support your answer by discussing the field of study you’re interested in and how this particular route will further your career goals.

You may even consider doing research into the type of industry you want to work in and what the general requirements are. This helps you better understand if your educational plans align with your overall career goals.

 

3. Why are you not pursuing a similar program in your country of residence/citizenship?

Canada is well-known for its quality education system which is recognized globally. This alone may be the reason as to why you chose to pursue a program in Canada over your country. It’s possible Canada has a certain institution with the exact course or program you want to study in. One that may not be available in your country. This is reason enough to want to pursue education elsewhere.

 

4. What research have you done into studies in your country of residence/citizenship?

Don’t limit your research. Take this opportunity to discuss the options your home country gives you in regards to schools and programs. There’s a chance your country will in fact have the same program you’re hoping to pursue in Canada. You’ll want to explain why you prefer the Canadian school or program over your own. You may even choose to discuss the differences in education overall between your home country and Canada.

 

5. How will this program enhance your employment opportunities in your country of residence/citizenship? What are the job outlooks for the program?

At this time, you can discuss the various job positions you have looked into in your country. It’s possible you found a desirable job in your country, but unfortunately lack the appropriate education needed to apply for it. In this case, you can discuss how continuing your education in Canada will help prepare you for this role in your home country.

 

6. What ties do you have to your country of residence/citizenship?

For this particular question, you must state whether or not you have family in your country. This may include children, parents, a spouse or a partner.

 

7. What is your parents or guardians immigration status in their current country of residence? What are the financial assets owned by your parents?

In your study plan, be sure to include your parents or guardians immigration status. In addition to this, you must include their bank balance certificate, bank statements, investments, property, and any other documents that represent the financial assets owned by your parents or guardians.

 

8. Do you have a travel history? Please mention about your previous travels. In the case that you do not have the same, please share your parents or siblings travel history.

If you have travelled in the past, ensure you list the places you have travelled to. In the case you haven’t, it’s important to list your parents or siblings travel history. Doing so increases your chances of approval.

 

9. Who is sponsoring your education and why are they sponsoring your education?

You must list who is sponsoring your education. It may be your family, host school or an organization. Most importantly, you must explain why it is they’re sponsoring your education.

 

10. Provide details of your education history – dates when the course started and ended, the name and address of the school.

In this section, you must provide details of all the schools you have attended to date. Details include the start and end dates, full institution name(s), and address(s). You must also state the programs completed if you’ve attended college or university.

Finally, share your work history in this section. This includes any jobs or volunteer positions you’ve held, and how they may help with your studies and overall goals.

 

To complete your study plan, summarize your educational goals and the reasons behind why you want to study in Canada. In addition, it’s common courtesy to thank the person you’re writing to.

 

For further guidance, please visit the Government of Canada site.

Why you should study at a Canadian high school

Within Canada, high school has become a place where students can reach their full potential and explore the kind of person they want to be. With an excellent quality of life, and an exceptional education system, for students looking for the best education they can possibly get, Canada is the ideal choice for secondary studies. Overall, here are six reasons why international students should consider choosing Canada to start or continue their high school education.

 

1. A modern classroom

ApplyBoard - A modern classroom

In a world that is constantly changing, those who fall behind are often left struggling to find work or keeping up with modern demands. Within Canada, the well-funded, public education system allows for a quality learning environment no matter what school a student is placed in. As a result, Canadian high schools take note of the changing needs of the outside world and fund initiatives that allow them to keep up with the game. For example, within Ontario, there are many schools that have the “Chromebook One to One” initiative in which incoming students are given a chromebook that they can keep for the rest of their high school careers. With an increased access to technology, students are regularly practicing the digital literacy skills essential for the workplace and their post-secondary studies. Canadian secondary education is one of the few education systems in the world that has the capacity and ability to implement solutions that keep learners focusing on relevant skills and ideas that will truly help them succeed.

 

2. Relevant and engaging coursework

ApplyBoard - Relevant and engaging coursework

One of the main issues within education is that students feel that they are not learning what they want to in high school. From course availability to the curriculum, there are many factors that can impact a student’s desire to study passionately during their secondary education. Within Canada, each province offers a relevant, engaging curriculum with a wide variety of choices for students to select across all disciplines. Not only are students studying for what will prepare them for post-secondary studies, they are also able to take unique courses that will give them the ability to succeed in whatever field they choose to. Each school and school board has a set of programs that are designed to meet varying student interests. While some schools may focus mainly on Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering classes, there are many Arts focused programs that include the opportunity for students to take dance, graphic design, or even theatre.

A central part of the Canadian curriculum is that students are challenged to address real world issues regardless of what pathway they are going into (college, university, apprenticeship or the workplace). Each course addresses and builds upon skills that allows them to critically think about current events, and form their own educated opinions. With every lesson carefully planned out, the content and ideas learned from Canadian courses prepares them significantly for their future career. For example, some schools may focus solely on Canadian and international issues and integrate this into every course. In biology, they may analyze the ethical issues related to stem cell research while in economics, they may view the same issue from a market-based perspective. By being able to think in different ways, students will become valuable employees as they can solve problems more effectively and creatively.

 

3. Cooperative education and internship programs

ApplyBoard - Cooperative education and internship programs

In addition to a challenging and engaging curriculum, students have the opportunity to supplement their studies with real world work experience. Although the structure of cooperative education varies from province to province, students are able to volunteer or work within the community for high school credit across Canada. In participating in the school’s cooperative education program, students are able to shadow future careers that they want to have, and test out whether they are confident in pursuing that occupation in the future. Internships are a great way to practice one’s skills in an applied setting where theory is not the main focus of learning. From research assistant to construction worker, there are thousands of opportunities for students to explore their future job!

 

4. Exceptional and highly qualified staff

ApplyBoard - Exceptional and highly qualified staff

As an overall profession, teachers are highly regulated by each province and are only able to teach within the areas they are qualified for through their post-secondary education. What this means is that in Canada, students will not be getting a English teacher teaching mathematics at the secondary level. A vast majority of the teachers that teach in Canada genuinely care about their students and will do everything they can to support their students’ learning. This may include spending that extra hour to get a student resources to succeed or giving up a lunch to help a student understand how to do a problem.

In addition to the amazing teachers available, schools have support staff that can help students beyond their academics. While many teachers available to talk about personal concerns, there are professionals that can get students the help they need and connect them with the community. From child and youth care workers to special education staff, Canadian schools are there to accommodate students the best way they can.

Furthermore, guidance counsellors are also available in every Canadian high school to help organize their students’ futures. Guidance counsellors are able to but are not limited to provide: course selection advice, career counselling, scholarship research, and much more! Need to organize your entire life out? Guidance counsellors are the most valuable resource for learning success in one’s secondary studies.

 

5. An optimized learning environment

ApplyBoard - An optimized learning environment

Unlike many schools internationally, Canadian high schools keep in mind that all students learn differently. As a result, Canadian high schools aim to address different types of learners in a wide variety of ways. Whether it is the structure of the school’s environment or the delivery of the curriculum by the teacher that is modified, the unique approaches to learning allow students to not only learn how they learn best, but practice learning through different methods.

As a general whole, Canadian high schools value questions and inquiries more than the answers they produce. Students are heavily encouraged to investigate what they are learning and question the validity of the information. Since ideas come from a wide variety of sources, learning is approached from many different angles. Students have the chance to put theory to practice, be creative in their ideas, and grow as people. To top it all off – Canadian high schools often have a physical environment that is safe, inclusive, and diverse – ensuring that the only thing that a student has to worry about is their studies.

 

6. Strong, internationally recognized credentials

ApplyBoard - Strong, internationally recognized credentials

A primary issue within international education is that not all secondary diplomas are equal. The value of one nation’s secondary studies is often looked down upon in comparison to another’s. As a result, many schools will require international students to do additional tests or qualifications within their admissions processes. However, in Canada, each diploma, especially the OSSD, is recognized by post-secondary institutions across the world. The education system of each province is praised for their rigorous, quality-based delivery and as a result, their credentials are equally respected.

In addition to their basic high school diplomas, many secondary schools offer localized certificates or international programs that can support a student’s post-secondary application. For example, the International Baccalaureate, is offered across many public and private schools across the nation. This diploma uses a standard system of marks that allow universities and colleges to convert grades into their local systems very easily. Students undergoing this program can also get transfer credits for their higher level subjects that they study.

If you are looking to study in Canada after high school as well, having a Canadian high school diploma will significantly increase your chances for admission in comparison to an international diploma. Since Canadian schools recognize and can easily evaluate the rigor of your education within its own system, this means that your grades will be evaluated at face value rather than being scaled and converted disproportionately.

If you are looking to to study in the USA, Canadian secondary credentials are valued just as much as their own diplomas. There are also many SAT and ACT testing centres that allow you to meet their standardized testing requirements essential for admission into US colleges. With a quality Canadian high school education, the sky is your limit!

10 best universities to study business in Canada

Canadian universities offer international students various options when it comes to studying abroad. Whether you are looking to study arts, science or business, Canada offers many programs accommodating the interests of many students.

Looking to explore business? We put together a list of top 10 Canadian universities based on competitive and unique programs.

 

#1 University of Toronto

Located in downtown Toronto, a diverse city, U of T has one of the best-recognized MBA programs in all of Canada. At the Rotman School of Management, students may pursue undergraduate and graduate programs, and joint degrees, achieving experience in various fields. Sourced from Canadian Architect

#2 University of British Columbia

UBC Sauder School of Business is recognized as a leader in academic business schools. It offers programs to over 4,000 local and international students. Located in Vancouver, Canada’s gateway to the Pacific Rim, UBC Sauder provides a global business perspective through relevant teaching. The school also offers a large amount of international study opportunities. Sourced from UBC Sauder School of Business

 

#3 University of Alberta

Founded in 1916, The Alberta School of Business is a leading institution of business education and research. Students can choose between six specializations and seven joint degrees. The school also encourages students to practice real-world experience through the MBA Capstone Course. Sourced from University of Alberta

#4 Western University

Western’s Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario, prepares students for success through their Case-Method of Learning. This method provides students with a large variety of real-life business scenarios to learn from. It also creates a powerful alumni network and excellent career opportunities. Ivey encourages students to participate in exchange programs through 40 different schools across Europe, Asia and South America. Sourced from University of Western Ontario Ivey

 

#5 McGill University

McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management is placed in Montreal’s vibrant downtown area, also considered the cultural capital of Canada. The school offers a flexible course variety, alongside a unique bilingual MBA degree. Sourced from The Bull & Bear McGill

#6 York University

The Schulich School of Business at York University, located just outside downtown Toronto, focuses on international business. Schulich is known for having exchange partners on every continent. It is one of the few MBA programs that allows students to switch between full-time and part-time studies to accommodate their lifestyle and needs. Sourced from Schulich School of Business

#7 Queens University

Located in Kingston, Ontario, Queen’s Smith School of Business is home to international students from over 100 different countries. The school offers BCom and MBA programs, as well as intimate class sizes to encourage team-based and experiential learning. Sourced from Smith School of Business Queen’s University

#8 McMaster University

The DeGroote School of Business, part of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, stimulates student learning through co-op work terms and internships. This program keeps in mind professional accreditation, and encourages students to apply for various certifications as part of their program. Sourced from Historical Hamilton

#9 Universite de Montreal

Situated just outside the city centre, Universite de Montreal’s HEC is a French-language school offering internationally renowned management education and research. Partnered with 133 institutions across 40 countries, HEC encourages students to participate in exchange programs. Sourced from Syrus Reputation

#10 University of Waterloo

Despite not having a business school or faculty, University of Waterloo offers business-related programs allowing students to pursue degrees with a business focus. It also offers a renowned co-op program – this helps students gain valuable work experience in various organizations, start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. Sourced from Council of Ontario Universities

Challenges international students face when studying abroad

Studying abroad is one of the most exciting parts of a student’s life, however students do face various challenges. Despite it being the perfect opportunity to travel, meet new friends, learn a new language, amongst many other things, for some, moving to another country isn’t an easy transition. These challenges shouldn’t hinder you from choosing to do your education abroad. They should encourage you, because they will only make you stronger!

We’ve put together the most common challenges students face to help prepare you for your time abroad.

 

Language Barriers

One of the most common challenges of studying abroad is the language barrier. Perhaps you spent the last five years studying the language, but once you arrive to the country, it seems completely foreign to you. Locals are using slang you’re unfamiliar with, and several words can be used to describe one thing. Sometimes this makes you feel like an outsider, but take this as a learning opportunity. Most locals appreciate you trying to communicate with them in their native language. The more you practice your words, the more comfortable you will get with the language. And hey, coming home bilingual isn’t a bad thing!

 

Currency Differences & Finances

Trying to understand a different currency is another common challenge students face. You want to ensure you are familiar with the conversion this way you don’t end up spending more money than you should. Many countries include taxes in their prices, however international students should be aware in North American countries, taxes are not included and so they must be calculated in addition to the price presented on the product.

Some international students may be lucky enough to have landed a scholarship, reducing the stress faced with budgeting. Other students will have to learn to properly manage their finances. Not having your family nearby to support you financially may cause you some stress, but again, take this as an opportunity to learn how to develop a budget and manage money.

 

Cultural Differences

Every country has different cultural standards. In addition to getting familiar with languages and currencies, you will have to adjust to the local culture. At home, you don’t realize the day to day things you do which may be unfamiliar to foreigners, the “unwritten rules.” Some examples may be handshakes and body posture. In one country, a firm handshake is normal, but in another country it may be offensive. As with anything else, observe the locals and immerse yourself in their culture. You will eventually adjust and act just like a local.

 

Homesickness

It’s easy to begin feeling homesick when everything around you is so unfamiliar. You will miss the things you find comfort in, such as the couch in your living room and your annoying yet loving sibling. Remember, homesickness is a natural feeling and is expected when moving miles away from home, whether it is your first time living on your own or not. Don’t let it stand in the way of making your time abroad an incredible experience! Your family and friends will still be there when you get back, in fact, you can connect with them through technology. Get out and explore your area, you will quickly move past the homesick feeling.

 

Not Wanting to Leave

After overcoming all of these challenges, you will realize how much you truly love the country you’re in. When it’s time to leave, you will miss the locals, the food, and many of the small things like the cafe down the street. You will miss the freedom, the adventures, the challenges…leaving will be a challenge on its own. But you will be excited to come home and talk about your incredible experience abroad.