Internships are a great way for expats to learn about Canadian workplace culture, understand Canadian hiring processes, network with prospective employees, and receive professional training. They are also a great way to gain work experience in Canada while working in your field of study.
Most internships in Canada are aimed at recent graduates, newcomers to Canada, and young adults. Internships in Canada are both paid and unpaid.
As an intern in Canada, you will work within an organization to learn about the work that is done there. In some cases, an internship can lead to a full-time position in a company.
The hiring process for internships in Canada is similar to the hiring process for regular employment.
Check with professional associations for internship opportunities in your field of study or interest. You may also find internship opportunities at university or public job fairs, online through job search engines and job banks, or through networking and word of mouth.
Organizations offering internships in Canada include
- EA Ski & Snowboard (instructor internships in Alberta),
- Edu-Inter International French School (French for Tourism and Hospitality internships in Quebec City),
- i-to-i TEFL (English as a Foreign Language instructor internships in Toronto and Vancouver),
- Dream Careers (internship placements in various programs across Canada),
- BUNAC (internship placements for young Americans in various programs across Canada),
- AIDE Abroad (internships placements in various programs in Toronto and Vancouver),
- INTERNeX (internship placements in various programs in Toronto and Vancouver),
- University of Victoria’s English Language Center (combined English language classes and internship), and AmeriSpan (internships in business, tourism, and the arts in Montreal).
A list of available internships in Canada, including positions with some of Canada’s largest companies such as IBM, TD Canada Trust, Esso Imperial Oil, Freedom 55 Financial, MasterCard, Staples, Starbucks, RBC, and P&G, is also provided by TalentEgg.ca.
You can also find a directory of internships in Canada with http://www.CampusAccess.com
Federal Internship for Newcomers Program
The Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program provides expats with valuable temporary Canadian work experience and training opportunities with federal government departments and other public and private sector organizations.
Through the FIN Program, interns are hired as casual employees for 90 working days. Internships may be extended an additional 90 days.
Internships are offered in categories such as policy, administration, project management, computer science, communications, and science. Mentors advise interns for the duration of the program.
To qualify to the FIN Program you must be a Permanent Resident or a Canadian citizen, have been in Canada less than 10 years, and have the necessary English or French language skills. You must also have a post-secondary degree (except for administrative positions), and live/work in Ottawa, Toronto, or the Vancouver area.
Eligible applicants must be screened by one of Canada’s immigrant-serving organizations to determine employment readiness. Screenings include in person meetings, language assessment, and credential assessment. After you have been successfully assessed you can apply to the FIN Program online by submitting a paragraph indicating what the internship means to you (this is to assess your writing ability), a completed profile and questionnaire, and the name and contact information of the immigrant serving organization that screened you.
By Jess Gerrow, who traded city life in Canada for island life in the Mediterranean two years ago. She is a postgraduate marketing student, blogger, and freelance writer.