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, Hari Ghai at hari@applyboard.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

Work/life balanceWhether 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.

If you want to study in Canada, register to see which universities are good fits for you and to apply online!