How to Prepare for Working in Canada
1. Speak with people who’ve worked in Canada before. Upper-year international students, other Canadian students, Student Services staff, and faculty can help. Ask questions like:
- What is the work culture like and what are the common values held by employers and employees in New Brunswick?
- What are common workplace expectations?
What does professionalism look like here?
2. Get volunteer experience. This is just as valuable as paid experience. You can find opportunities for volunteering on-campus through clubs and societies, and in the city of Fredericton off campus.
3. Apply for jobs (on-campus and off-campus) using the job board on Learning in Action.
- STUworks International is a great opportunity for 1st and 2nd year international students to get their first Canadian job experience. This program offers flexibility around your class schedule, the ability to try unfamiliar things in a safe place, learn about Canadian work culture, as well as meeting new people and gaining skills for your resume.
- STU Internships Program is a way to gain work experience with off-campus employers, reflect on your learning, and make meaningful connections between what you are studying and what career you want to pursue.
4. Consider what you may need to start a job in Canada:
- First step: Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Your SIN is a unique number assigned to you by the Government of Canada. You should only provide your SIN where you know it is legally required, for example to your employer after receiving a job offer, financial institutions, or on your taxes. Keep this number safe and private.
- Working in Canada - The Government of Canada has information on working with your Study Permit, Post-graduation Work Permits, and your Social Insurance Number. Read the requirements of your study permit carefully to ensure you know where you can work and for how many hours a week.
- Criminal Record Check (CRC) - Some employers may require you to get a CRC, especially if you are working with children or vulnerable people. If you have lived in Canada for less than a year or have no established personal credit history, it is advised that you visit: City Hall, 397 Queen Street, Fredericton, to obtain your Criminal Record Check. You will need two pieces of government issued ID and one of these must have a photo and signature. Getting this is not mandatory for all jobs. Employers will let you know if you need this or not.
- Banking Information - This can include your account number, institution and branch number, or a void cheque. You can usually find this information through your online banking account. Only give this information to the employer once you’ve been hired.
- There are several banks in Canada to choose from, and many with student plans with low or no fees. It is your choice.
- Filing Income Tax – You will have to file a tax return if you work in Canada. Taxes should be filed every spring (April of every year). For support filing your taxes, you can contact the International Student Office to find out dates for their yearly tax clinic.
- Get a driver’s license - Although not every job requires you to drive, many jobs do, so it is helpful to take steps to get a Canadian driver’s license by the time you graduate.