April 3, 2009

Campus Jobs for students in USA and Canada

For two reasons, it is not advisable for international students to rely solely on employment during their study period or schooling abroad as a primary funding source for their education.

These reasons include 1) they typically cannot use future employment income to meet the financial requirements of their visas and; 2) students' earnings are not enough to fund their education solely or primarily through the work they engage in.

On the other hand, there are definitive advantages to being able to work while studying internationally:
  • the income definitely helps supplement other sources of funds, and can provide living and travel expenses.
  • the experience the student will gain is invaluable, and helps to get the most out of the student's time abroad.
  • he/she will learn to use their English skills in a different setting.
  • they may find a job related to their future career, which will give them a significant advantage when applying for jobs after graduation because regardless of the type of work, employers want employees who have worked, not just studied.
Students can get jobs within the campus (on-campus) or outside the campus (off-campus) both in the United states and in Canada. Below are links to the relevant articles on these:

ON-CAMPUS JOBS IN THE USAOn-campus employment is the category most freely permitted by the USCIS regulations, and does not require USCIS approval. However, although F1 status includes an on-campus employment privilege, on-campus employment opportunities at most schools are limited.

Note however, that even if a student obtains an on-campus employment, he may not rely on it to provide financial resources for the year, and often these jobs are not related to their studies. Many schools require that students obtain permission from the International Student Office prior to accepting any on-campus employment, and may also not permit such employment in a student's first semester or year (follow the link above to read more).


Off-campus employment can be in several categories including severe economic hardship, optional practical training (OPT), curricular practical training (CPT), and recognized international institution employment categories (please follow the link above to read more).

On-campus work in Canada is very limited, difficult to obtain, typically not very lucrative, and not often related to studies. So opening up off-campus work for international students in Canada is a great leap forward, and will help to make Canada an even more attractive location for international students.


Off-Campus Work Permit Program allows certain foreign students to work off campus while completing their studies. To qualify, students must be a full-time student enrolled at a participating publicly funded post-secondary educational institution or in an approved program at an eligible privately funded institution (please follow link to read more).

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