November 14, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 43  

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Program for Int'l student jobs

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Not only do international students have to pay higher tuition, they also face the challenge of being unable to seek employment off-campus.

In Manitoba, a new joint federal-provincial program is underway which allows post-secondary international students to work off-campus under certain conditions.

"The pilot program should start in a few weeks," said Fred Drewe, director of the International Centre for Students at the University of Manitoba.

The program dictates that international students will be permitted to work off-campus if they have been in the province as a student for at least two terms, if they have performed well at their studies and if they apply for a work permit costing $150, Drewe explained.

Each school will need to hire a person to monitor the implementation of the program, meaning the program is sanctioned but not operated by government, he said, adding the pilot program will operate for a duration of two years at this level.

"Programs like this are already in place in Australia and other countries," Drewe added.

Katherine Aberle, a spokesperson for Simon Fraser University, noted international students in British Columbia have also been lobbying for the opportunity to find employment off campus. She added many students found it difficult to get jobs on campus as there are not enough positions to employ all those seeking jobs.

"We are aware this is a concern for international students," Aberle said. "I don't see why the university would not support it."

"International student advisors at different universities and colleges have been lobbying governments for many years [on this issue]," said Rachel Crowe, interim program co-ordinator for the Student Development Centre's international student services at Western.

"Right now international students can only work on the campus of their particular university or college; obviously the number of jobs is limited," Crowe said. "We have high hopes [the pilot program] will work out and we'll have it soon at Western."



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