Have you ever dreamed of studying in Canada? Well, with research and preparation, you can not only study in Canada but also take advantage of various work-study programs.

Canada is diverse, attracting students from over 186 countries to its top universities. You will find numerous work-study programs in universities around Canada to help you earn an income, pay tuition fees and living costs, and develop valuable skills.

Are you looking for a way to study and work in Canada? Find the below five great work-study programs in Canada for international students.

What is a Work-Study program in Canada?

A work-study program in Canada allows international students to gain work experience and learn more about Canadian culture while pursuing their studies.

Whether you are studying for a diploma or degree, you can find the right program to suit your needs. Universities across Canada have programs in place, including on-campus programs, off-campus programs, internships, and other voluntary work programs that international students can engage in during their studies.

Who is eligible for Work-Study programs in Canada?

To be eligible for a work-study program in Canada, you need to be an international student studying full-time at a university or college in Canada. You will also need a valid study permit that has a condition indicating that you can work on or off campus.

Additionally, you will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) that allows you to work, receive payment, and get government benefits and services.

Lastly, some universities require a minimum grade point average to use in the selection process.

What are the benefits of Work-Study programs in Canada?

A work-study program will help you develop international skills and build your resume. It will also allow you to earn some income while completing your studies in Canada.

Furthermore, because employers are actively engaged in developing these programs, the likelihood of securing a job after completing your studies is increased.

With a quality working experience on your CV, you will be fully prepared for future roles in Canada and beyond.

Work-Study Programs in Canada

1. The University of Waterloo Work-Study Program

The University of Waterloo offers work-study opportunities to international students who meet the set eligibility criteria. International undergraduate students with financial needs can apply for the university’s international work-study program offering part-time on-campus work experience.

To qualify for the international work-study program, you must have a valid study permit and engage in a full-time undergraduate program. You also need stellar academic performance and possess a valid Social Insurance Number that allows you to receive payments in Canada. All work-study applications are submitted online with all the required documents, like a copy of your study permit.

International students can work up to 10 hours a week and earn up to $2,000 per term.

2. University of Toronto Work-Study Program

International undergraduate and graduate students can apply for the University of Toronto work-study program and work in various positions, including teaching assistants and other administrative jobs.

International students must meet the summer and winter/fall course load requirements to qualify for work-study. Additionally, you must have a Social Insurance Number to receive payments. To get started, log in to the university’s employment portal with your credentials to view the available job postings, their hours, and rates and apply for the jobs you are eligible for.

3. University of Alberta International Work-Study Program

The International Student Work Experience Program (ISWEP) at the University of Alberta is offered to international undergraduate students to enhance their skills and work experience over the summer as they earn money to support their studies.

This work-study program in Canada is available to full-time undergraduate international students who have paid differential fees. Check the Campus Bridge and apply for the ISWEP summer jobs from late March through April. If you are graduating in June, you are not eligible for ISWEP. Once the applications go through vetting for program eligibility, employers shortlist the candidates and make the subsequent hiring.

If you get hired, you will receive $7.00/ hour and can make up to $4,000/position. You must have a valid Social Insurance Number to receive payments.

4. Vancouver Island University Work-Study Program

International students at Vancouver Island University may be eligible to work on or off campus if enrolled in full-time academic, vocational, or professional trades programs. Other requirements include having a valid study permit to work in Canada, having a Social Insurance Number before commencing work, and doing a medical examination if engaged in occupations dealing with childcare, the food industry, or eldercare.

International students can work on campus if engaged in full-time studies in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language ( FSL). You may work as an international student activity assistant responsible for planning and organizing events at the Center for International Education. The limit is 10 hours per week during academic sessions.

The minimum rate is $15.65 per hour, plus all statutory entitlements.

5. University of Western Ontario Work-Study Program

The University of Western Ontario Work-Study Program offers international undergraduate students financial assistance through paid part-time employment on campus. The program allows them to gain work experience in a Canadian context and earn while studying and living in Canada.

To be eligible for the Canadian work-study program, you must be a full-time international undergraduate student with a valid study permit. Furthermore, you must be enrolled on the Western University main campus and completed at least two full semesters of study with a superb academic standing. Finally, you must prove that you have a financial need. The application takes place online, requiring you to submit documentation, including your current study permit and a bank statement showing your transactions and how you pay for your living expenses and tuition.

You can work up to 200 hours at $15.50 per hour plus 4% vacation pay. You must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work and receive payment for work in Canada.


Whether you are looking to work in Canada for the summer or to stay and study full-time, several programs offer you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and earn money while you learn. From on-campus opportunities to summer jobs, you will not run short of options to get a taste of Canada’s unique culture and world-class education system. We hope this article on work-study programs in Canada for international students was informative and helpful. Feel free to visit our Canada Scholarships Page for more information about the different universities and scholarship opportunities in Canada!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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