Zoey Liu / Staff reporter
A good resume with a nice, brief summary of work experiences is an essential component to grade 12 students when they apply to post-secondary institutions. However, there is a group that do not have any “paid work experiences” listed in this section. It is not because that they do not want any paid work but because they are not allowed to do any paid jobs. The group that is facing this unfairness is international students. They should have the right of working part time just like other students.
According to Work off campus as an international student, written by government of Canada, Work on campus, written by government of Canada, Work while studying in Canada-On and Off campus work, written by EduCanada, and the confirmation from counsellor Victoria Butterfield, international high school students are not eligible to work either off campus or on campus.
It is obvious that they are treated differently in terms of working. The unfairness gives them a feeling of not being accepted by the community, and not belonging to their peers. They are obviously singled out.
Even though some of the international students moved to Canada when they were young. Some has been here since middle school and some even since grade four or five. Not being allowed to do paid work reminds them that there is a difference between “them and me”.
The worst part is that international high school students lose many good opportunities that they deserve. This physically affects international students, by not being able to gain opportunities, compared to just being treated differently. Paid work is not quite the same as volunteer work. There are things that could be helpful to students if they do a part-time job. For example, they can peep into the real world to get to know how the society functions daily and how an adult’s work looks like. International students lose this precious chance to experience and practice, to exercise and challenge themselves in their best time.
The impact? It leads them to have poor, plain resumes, and it eventually lowers the chance of getting accepted by post-secondary institutions.
Even though international students’ basic living need can be well-ensured, the high cost of living is still a problem to them. This always makes them think of ways to save money, or more often, apply for a paid job to get more allowance to spend. They are the people who have to pay rents for their housings, fees for education and summer school. “Not allowed to do paid work” shuts the door to them. One of their approaches to have financial support have now disappeared.
Our society should not close the door to the minority. This is a hidden unfairness that everyone should notice and pay attention to. We are one, and international high school students are included. The society should listen to their voices and please, little requests, to really do something to make their experiences of living in Canada better and more convenient, and to be inclusive to provide them various opportunities to grow.