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New measure will allow international students to work full-time

Starting Nov. 15, international students will be able to work off-campus for more than 20 hours-per-week. Before, students were able to work full-time hours only during their summer break.

Canada has over 600,000 people on study permits at schools like Mohawk College.

Due to the high tuition fees (international students generally pay much more than domestic students) and the 20 hours-per-week limit, it is very common for international students to need financial help from their families.

“We already have to pay a lot with rent, cellphone and groceries, so it is basically impossible to have money for all of it and still have enough for tuition without your family in your country helping you,” international student Letícia Rangel Dourado said.

Rangel said being able to work more hours will benefit her and other international students.

“With the 20 hours limit I can barely pay my bills, and any unexpected thing ended up being an issue,” Rangel said. “My computer broke so I had to buy a new one, and even getting the cheapest one I found, I still had to ask my family to help me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t manage to pay my bills.”

The change could help other international students in similar situations, but a former student warns that working more than 20 hours might be too much to handle.

“I don’t think this is as good as it seems to be,” former international student Gustavo Hatsbach de Paula said. “It can help you with the money, but you have to think that first of all, your schedules are very irregular. Sometimes you’ll have one class in the morning and another in the middle of the afternoon, so it could be hard to find a way of filling this schedule without harming your class time.”

To de Paula, finding full time work is only the first issue.

Working full-time hours may make it harder for international students to spend as much time on their studies.

“If you are going to work full-time, you might not be able to prioritize college as much as you should, and since you are on a study permit, the priority should be your studies.,” he explained. “By working full time, you might not have as much time to do that. In order to keep good grades and work that many hours, you might have to give up on some hours of sleep, and might end up getting sick.”

The new measure will last until the end of 2023.

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