Summer in Canada for international students 

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An open planner, showing entries for class times, work shifts, and some activities like shopping and visiting the museum.
When writing down all the things we want to do in a week, we often forget how good it feels to just stay at home. yeliao521 via Pixabay, manipulated by Lee Lim

Summers can be a time for rest and growth

by pall agarwal, contributor

Summer is the season of hope and enthusiasm, as people get out of their houses after the snow, enjoying the option for more to do outdoors in the sun. University students have the best time during summer as they enjoy outdoor sports, smaller course loads, etc. International students also enjoy greater benefits during the spring and summer semesters compared to the fall and winter semesters.  

As per IRCC rules, international undergraduate students have the option of signing up for fewer classes or can choose to take a break, during these four months. This helps the students get some respite after the heavy workload of the fall and winter semesters. Many students also choose to sign up for some summer classes in order to stay ahead in their degree and not break the momentum of their studies.  

Other than the course load benefit, international students can also work full time over the summer. This is a substantial advantage for students, as they can take on one or more part-time jobs and work more than the usual 20 hours, which used to be the upper limit for international students but has now been waived by IRCC until December 31, 2023. This gives the students a chance to learn time management, work hard, and manage their life beyond the classroom. Some students usually take one or two classes and work a couple of part time jobs, if required, to save up for the coming semesters. Since the course load is lighter than the usual semester and goes faster, they are more easily able to balance school and work.  

Since summer is also a great time to be outdoors, students who have been working save up and tend to travel out of province, forming groups to travel and share expenses. This gives them a glimpse of what the country can offer, as well as an opportunity to explore themselves amidst the chaos of work and study. International students often face intense stress due to studies and work as most have to sustain themselves financially while maintaining their grades. Spring/summer is a great time for these students to take a break and recharge so that they can spring back with greater energy and motivation.  

There are often outdoor sports like soccer, canoeing, kayaking, and more that students tend to enjoy. This really helps them relax and enjoy the sun for these few months. Some students join bowling leagues and soccer leagues in the city to challenge themselves outside their comfort zones. This gives the students a chance to build a network in the city and make life-long friendships. There are fairs and markets put up in the city where students can volunteer and gain some experience that helps build soft skills. Since international students have no prior Canadian experience, volunteering is one of the best ways to gain some experience and impact the community.  

In the summers, international students get a chance to go out there and explore what they truly want in life. It gives them the time and space to pursue opportunities that would not be available to them otherwise. One needs to watch for these opportunities and have the courage to take the leap of faith. Summer is a good time to grow as a person and give oneself the professional development towards success in Canada and life.  

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