Top 5 tips for international students looking for a paid internship in Canada

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There are thousands of international students who arrive in Canada every year in order to get a degree in their field of study. Many of these require you to take part in a co-op program so that you can have practical experience.

If you are an international student in Canada, you might wonder whether or not you can even work. Many international students in Canada choose to stay and work in the country after graduating from school because they want to help themselves enhance their future skills and Canada grow as a country. These students want to contribute to this growth by providing their services to help the economy. Others do it purely for the love of working and helping others.

Here are a few tips on how you can land a paid internship:


As many international students in Canada have noticed, you need to take special measures to secure employment upon graduation from college. In order to successfully work in this country, you must have either a Social Insurance Number (SIN) or a work permit. Many international students studying in Canada get Study Permits that allow them to work at on campus for their chosen university or even work off campus by attending student placements. There are also a number of government sponsored programs that allow international students to legally work here.


The company you intern at can pay you an hourly wage or a monthly stipend. This entirely depends on the company, but you can negotiate the terms with your reporting manager or to the HR. Most of the companies pay the minimum wage of $14 an hour but sometimes, it can go up to $25 an hour. This depends on the role you are being offered and higher the responsibilities, more there is a chance that your hourly wage will be higher. If the company pays you a stipend, the monthly cost would be in the range of $500 to $1500.

Due Date

Always keep an eye on the due dates while applying for an internship. This is also be considered while applying for a full time job. You must always apply for the position you are looking for at least a week before the due date so that the company officials can have a good look at your profile rather that waiting at the end moment if you apply just before the due date. If you apply after the due date, your profile will not be considered since late applications are always considered as unprofessional.

Know the company

It’s always a good idea to know about the company you are applying for. Find out who’s in charge and what they’re doing. In order to get a sense of the corporate culture and how they became the organization they are today, it is also useful to read through any “About Us” or “History” pages an organization may have on its website. And it’s important to demonstrate that you’re up to date on the latest initiatives of the company, so read online through news articles to find out even more about the company, its course, and what its strengths are.


Before you apply for an internship, you need to be sure that you are qualified and skilled at the requirements that the company is looking for. Never mention things on your resume that you are not qualified at since it would be unprofessional if you land the internship and have no clue as to how to perform the task with the skill you mentioned on your resume. Different positions have different requirements, so be sure to apply for the role that best suits your skills and interest. If you don’t find the ideal internship that you are looking for, you need to be patient and wait for the opportunity to arrive. Afterall, patience is virtue.

students working

Most students who take on an internship or a student work placement program are looking for jobs while they complete their education. Many companies are looking for students with experience and are willing to hire these individuals when they need some assistance with their jobs. Companies will not normally make a person into a full-time employee right away, but these are some of the best opportunities that a student may be able to get their foot in the door.

The work experience that you gain while receiving this training will allow you to prove to potential employers that you are able to handle the responsibilities of your position. to learn all of the basics that will help you later on.

Remember that securing an internship is similar to securing a job – you can surely apply to the businesses you want the most, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be hired. An intern will need to go through all the stages of a normal interview, so you will first have to be selected by the company to arrange an interview to secure your internship in Canada, and secondly, be selected by the company to join their team to do your internship. There are also various international business portals where you can connect with employers who are looking to hire students.

Internships and student work programs can be paid as well as unpaid where some companies offer stipend while others offer you an hourly wage. As an international student, your health insurance will be covered by your learning institution if your workplace doesn’t provide you with one.

If you looking for steps on how to find an internship, you can go through our article here.

There are also various grants and scholarships that are being offered to international students.

Here’s a few:

  • International Master’s (IMSA) and International Doctoral Student Awards (IDSA)International graduate students, with a valid Canadian study permit, registered full time in a MA, MASC, MES, MFA, MMATH (except coursework programs) or MSC (except coursework programs) degree program will receive an IMSA for 2 years (up to term 6.0). The value of the IMSA is $2,465/term which is approximate to one-half of the difference in tuition between full-time domestic PhD and international PhD students. All eligible students who were admitted directly from a bachelor’s degree to a doctoral program will receive an IDSA valued at $4,930 from terms 4.0 to 12.0 for IDSA.


  • International Master’s Award of Excellence (IMAE)
  • Normally given to students in research-based programs (thesis or major research paper).
  • Will normally only be given to students entering the first term of their program (term 1.0).
  • Students must demonstrate academic excellence through criteria established by the Faculty.
  • Students must meet the academic progress requirements of their program and not have outstanding probationary admission requirements.
  • Students grandparented under the existing IMSA program cannot be nominated for an IMAE; however, a student previously awarded an IMSA for a previously completed master’s degree can be nominated for an IMAE.
  • Students will be automatically considered for this award based on their application for admission. Departments and/or Faculty will define their own internal process by which they select recipients based on the eligibility criteria and allocation.
  • Faculties may impose stricter eligibility criteria as appropriate.
  • Award valued at $2,500 per term for a maximum of five terms.


  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)OGS is a merit-based scholarship. Your application is assessed and ranked using criteria determined by the school you’re planning to attend.To be considered, you must also meet the following criteria:
    • You’ll be in graduate studies in the master’s or doctoral level
    • You’ll be enrolled in a full-time program for 2 or more terms (21 to 52 weeks in total) for the academic year you’re submitting your application.
    • You’ll be attending one of the following participating Ontario school:
          • Brock University
          • Carleton University
          • University of Guelph
          • Lakehead University
          • Laurentian University
          • McMaster University
          • Nipissing University
          • OCAD University
          • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
          • University of Ottawa
          • Queen’s University
          • Ryerson University
          • University of Toronto
          • Trent University
          • University of Waterloo
          • Western University
          • Wilfrid Laurier University
          • University of Windsor
          • York University
    • OGS awards are based on the number of terms of your consecutive studies within an academic year:
      • $10,000 for 2 consecutive study terms
      • $15,000 for 3 consecutive study terms


  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS)
  • Academic merit is the defining criterion for the selection of the OTS recipients.
  • Recipients must be new/incoming doctoral students who are applying for admission for upcoming Spring, Fall or Winter terms.
  • Recipients must be international students who hold a valid Canadian study permit and who do not qualify for an exemption to the higher international tuition and fees; should an OTS recipient obtain permanent residency status after the beginning of the first term of study, s/he will continue to be eligible for the OTS for the balance of his/her renewable OTS for a total of four years.
  • Recipients must be intending to pursue full-time graduate studies at the doctoral level in a degree-granting program.
  • Recipients must have achieved a first-class average (A-/80% Ontario equivalent) in each of the two years of full-time study prior to being awarded the OTS.
  • Recipients must not be currently studying at an Ontario postsecondary institution at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Each OTS is valued at $40,000 annually ($26,666 from the Ontario Government and $13,333 from the University/Faculty/department/supervisor) and is automatically renewable for an additional three years provided the recipient maintains good academic standing and continues to meet recipient eligibility requirements.


  • Trudeau Foundation Scholarships
  • You must be already accepted into or in year one, two, or three of a full-time doctoral program in the humanities or social sciences (broadly defined)
  • Your doctoral work must relate to at least one of the Foundation’s four central themes: Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada and the World, People and their Natural Environment
  • Canadian citizens are eligible whether they are at a Canadian or an international institution
  • Non-Canadians (permanent residents or foreign nationals) enrolled in a doctoral program at a Canadian institution are eligible
  • The annual value is up to $60,000 per Scholar (including an annual travel allowance of $20,000) for up to four years


  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • To be considered for a Vanier CGS, you must:
    • have completed no more than 20 months of full-time study in their doctoral program as of May 1, 2021;
    • have completed no more than 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program, by May 1st, 2021 if enrolled in a joint graduate research program, e.g., MD/PhD, MA/PhD, DVM/PhD. Applicants that fall into this category have access to the 32-month window whether or not they were previously enrolled in a Master’s program; or
    • have completed no more than 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by May 1, 2021 if accelerated directly from a Bachelor’s to a PhD (no time spent in a Master’s program); or
    • have completed no more than 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by May 1, 2021 if accelerated from a Master’s degree into a Doctoral program without obtaining the Master’s degree.
    • have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your institution, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent. Candidates are encouraged to contact the institution for its definition of a first-class average
    • Valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies



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