Three years ago, I came to the University of Toronto as an eager, wide-eyed international student from London, England. At the time, my main interest was, like the timeless Eddie Murphy says, to “party all the time,” and study afterwards if I could pencil it into my extremely “productive” schedule. Though my priorities have significantly changed (for the better, might I add), one thing that I did not think through was the process of getting a job, especially being an international student in the country on a study permit.
According to Canadian international student visas, you may not work in Canada unless it is for the University in which you are studying. Not to be gloomy, but if you break this rule, you risk losing your study permit (which means your spot at UofT), and even deportation from the country. Yes, it is possible to apply for an off-campus work permit as an international student; however, coming into your first year of university, adjusting to higher level course work and living on your own, let alone in a new city and country, this might be a low priority on your list.
So, how do you find a job on campus, even just to earn a wee bit of pocket money? Like previous blogs have mentioned, you can visit the UofT career center website for just this purpose at http://www.careers.utoronto.ca/. Once you have registered/logged in using your UTOR ID, you can filter your job search by just looking for on-campus jobs. The site is clear, easy to use, and most of all, very helpful.
Although the prospect of working on campus might pale in comparison to working for an external company, UofT jobs have their benefits. They’re convenient, pay well (often significantly above minimum wage), and are a good way to network with other students who are in a similar position to you. On-campus occupations range from calling alumni at the fundraising call-center, to working in the ticket box-office at Hart House, even to manning the front desk at your very own Woodsworth College Residence. None of these positions may be relevant to your desired future profession, but any work experience will provide you with knowledge for later, more serious jobs, and will look nice on your resume.
For more information on employment for international students in Canada, visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work.asp. Happy job hunting! In the mean time: get psyched for UofT’s BEST frosh week! Whoop whoop!