School and Work… Don’t Necessarily Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage…

So, I’m back! First of all, 10 Awesome Points if you get my reference in the title. (Don’t ask me what they can be used for) Anyway, I’m done school for the year, but I’m sticking around to give you my perspective from the point of a student on a gap year (or in my case, semester). Following exams, packing up my room and then finally moving back home I am now on ‘holiday time’. If you aren’t then hopefully you will be soon!

The first step in my gap semester is probably the most obvious: getting a job. This being the case I thought I would look up some information on student employment in Canada, especially for the sake of those still in school looking for a part-time job.

Because of increasing tuition and living costs for post-secondary students, a large number of students aged 20-24 (63% of them, in fact) have turned to working on top of their studies to help pay for their education as of Fall of 2009. About 90% of these students work to pay for  rent, food and other necessities while the rest rely on employment to pay for school and education related debt.

Since the late ’70’s, there has been an increase from 25% to 50% of full-time students working. In this case they usually work 15 hours a week versus a part-time student who might work around 30 hours a week.

Will working effect your GPA?

About 60% of students working found that their job and their hours had a negative impact on their academics. 1 in 4 of this 60% found that this was quite significant when it came to their overall grade. While it has been found that working while pursuing a post-secondary education will have a negative impact on studies, work in moderation (less than 20 hours a week) will hopefully have a less detrimental effect on your grades.

Studying in Canada as an International Student? You have rights to work!

Before 2006 international students were not permitted to work off-campus. With the insane rates that most schools require international students to pay this was a major problem for those looking to fund their education by working at the same time. Currently this has been amended to allow international students to work up to 20 hours off-campus, allowing them to combat the increase in tuition rates.

Summer Jobs- A Plausible Solution

Even if not to pay for their tuition, many students use their summer break as a time to bring in some extra money. With the second semester ending in late April through May, post-secondary students have at least 4 months to work a full time job if only to gain experience for resumes. If this amount of income is enough to pay for the majority of your expenses then it may be the best route to take. This way you don’t have to worry about your GPA at the same time. Plus, you’ll getting better pickings at the jobs before high school lets out.

Anyway, for the time I’ve essentially acquired the role of chauffeur in my family. Seems like I’ve been driving non-stop this week. I don’t really mind since I haven’t had the opportunity to do much driving until recently, but I’d really like to start my search for a job. First stop: Urban Outfitters. Wish me luck!

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