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Work While You Study: Tips for International Students

Apr 21, 2017

Hi International Students!

My name is Charmaine Chinyemba and I'm a 4th year international student in the business program. I am originally from Zimbabwe and I am an International Student Assistant (ISA). I have worked on campus and off campus since my 2nd year of university and I will be sharing my experience on how to balance working and being in school at the same time. I will also talk about the pros and cons of working on campus vs. off campus.

Balancing Work and Schoolwork

One thing to always keep in mind as you work is that school should be your number one priority. Do not overwork yourself to the point where you are too tired to do schoolwork and achieve those high grades that you want. As an international student, you are only allowed to work up to 20 hours a week off campus so make sure you do not exceed this limit. There are opportunities to work both on campus and off campus and you can choose which you would like according to the type of work you would like to do.

Pros and Cons of On-Campus Employment

The benefits of working on campus include the fact that it reduces travel time and if you will be living on campus then you will not need to leave campus. This is good especially in winter when it is cold and buses are not as reliable. Working on campus is also beneficial because it allows you to be more integrated with King’s community. You will get to know more people within King’s and you can build meaningful relationships. As well, if you opt for on campus employment you can work in different departments where you can gain experience and a variety of skills. The best thing about working on campus is that your schedule is made to fit your class schedule because the King’s community understands that school is the priority.

The disadvantages of working on campus include having less hours of work (which means less money) because more people need to be accommodated. Moreover, if you work only on campus, there is a high chance that your experience of living in Edmonton will only be at King’s and your work experience will also only be from King’s.

Interested in working part-time at King's? Make sure you submit your On-Campus Employment Application by the April 30 recommended deadline (August 15 is the final deadline).

Pros & Cons of Working Off Campus

The advantages of working outside of the university include the opportunity to make connections with people outside of King’s and the chance to experience different types of work environments. You can also get better hours if you work off campus and you will have work experience from various places.

The disadvantages of being employed outside of school are that there can be a tendency to drift away from the King’s community as you will be spending a lot of time off campus. You will need to be intentional about stay connected to fellow King’s students by being involved with the Commuters program and Residence community. The other disadvantage of working off campus is the need to commute. If you do not have a car, you will have to rely on bus services and the commute may be long.

Have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both working on campus and working off campus and decide which one would work best for you!

All the best,

Charmaine Chinyemba
Guest Blogger, International Student Assistant and 4th Year BCom Student

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