When can International Students Work Full-Time while Studying?

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You’re probably already looking forward to the school breaks as soon as school starts. It is best to know when they happen so you can plan ahead. You might decide to go for a short vacation, or catch up on school, but it’s especially important if you are looking to work full time. If you’re unfamiliar with what breaks there are, here’s a rundown of school breaks in Canada.

Summer Break

If you’re a university student, your summer break is actually much longer than a high school student’s. The spring semester typically ends in April, leaving May to August completely up to you. You can take more classes to get ahead in your studies, you can work a summer job, or you can go back home. Summer break is commonly a time for students to work because it’s not usual for students to take classes. Many employers are aware of this and offer short-term summer gigs, which is great for students who don’t want to work during the regular school year. 

Winter Break

Winter break is the same as Christmas break and if you’re lucky, yours could be four weeks long. If you’re not so lucky, it can only last for about two weeks. The reason all depends on when your exams are. If you don’t have exams, then you’ll be off school by the first week of December. If you do have exams, your last exam is the start of your break and that date will be different for everyone. Most schools will release the exam schedule by October, so if you’re looking to work full time, you can tell your employer when your last exam is and they can start scheduling you on more days and shifts.

Spring Break

Unfortunately, you will only experience spring break if you’re a high school student or younger. Because of post-secondary schools’ more condensed semesters, there’s less room for another seasonal break. Besides, spring break varies from school to school. Some schools only have spring break for a week long while others have it for two. 

Reading Break

Halfway through the winter semester, schools hold a week-long break called Reading Break. In Canada, it usually occurs on the week that Family Day introduces, so it happens in February. Despite its name, many of its students don’t bother reading or studying. Many of them go on vacation; Canadians especially fly to Mexico or sunnier parts of the United States just for some warmer weather. 

Reading break is unique because unlike the seasonal breaks, it actually exists as a week off in a semester rather than a period of time that separates the ending of one semester then the beginning of another. Due to its nature, some professors will assign homework or schedule an exam right after reading break. If that’s the case for you, you’ll probably be forced to study over the break. 

Unless you’re already working a part-time job, you likely won’t find a job that you can work full-time at for a week. Before Reading Week starts, you can always tell your employer that you’ll be in town and that you’re willing to pick up shifts from co-workers that decide to take their vacation during that week. 

Reading break also only happens in the winter semester because of Canada’s holidays in the fall semester. The breaks provided by Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day don’t leave much room for another entire week off, and the exam period even has to end at a certain time in consideration of Christmas. At a glance it seems unfair to have reading break in only one semester, but if you count the days, the two semesters are virtually equal.

Breaks in Canada vs Breaks in the Philippines

School breaks between these two countries serve different purposes. In Canada, they serve as a rest period for students. Canada values a work-life balance and that’s reflected in how many breaks are given and the length of those breaks. On the other hand, the Philippines only has two breaks which are Christmas break and semester break. They are also not equal to what Canada has. In the Philippines, Christmas is celebrated heavily so an entire break is dedicated to the holiday, while semester breaks only exist so that students can prepare for the upcoming semesters.

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One Comment

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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