Internship Programs in Canada
Guide to getting an internship in Canada
Whether you’re looking for a summer job in Canada or want to work for a semester or longer, there are available internship positions in nearly every field.
Read on to discover programs that can match you with your dream internship in Canada today!
Top industries in Canada
If you’re seeking relevant work experience in your field of choice, there’s a good chance you’ll find a great internship in Canada! That said, some internships in certain industries are more popular and easier to find than others.
Here are some of the top fields for interns in Canada:
- Hospitality/tourism: As a huge tourist destination, Canada is a great place for tourism interns. Interns could choose from opportunities in hotels, ski resorts, restaurants, and many more industries. You’ll work with tourists from all over the world and also have a great time networking with diverse professionals.
- Business/marketing: With a population of over 37 million people, Canada is a great place to get a feel for a diverse marketing platform. Interns can expect to work in marketing research, sales, or advertising.
- Information technology: The technology sector is becoming more and more important around the globe. In Canada, tech interns can expect to find many opportunities. There are internships available for database administrators as well as, ASP.Net, Java, software, and web application developers.
Best cities to intern in Canada
Canada is an enormous nation and as an intern there you'll have a different experience depending on which city and province you choose for your internship. Many Canadian internships are located in Toronto in Ontario, Vancouver in British Columbia, and Montreal in Quebec.
- Toronto which was voted one of the best places to live in the world, is an industrial city with internship opportunities in just about every industry. Some of the top fields to find placements include business, media, technology, and the performing arts.
- Vancouver, with its rainy weather and mountainous landscape, is very similar to the cities in the Pacific Northwest of the US both in lifestyle and industry. You can gain work experience as an intern in tourism and hospitality, entertainment, and tech.
- Montreal is ideal for French speakers who want to challenge themselves by doing an internship in a foreign language. Interns can find positions in film, engineering, and the tech industry.
Where to find internships in Canada
The best way to find internships in Canada is to apply through a program that will match you to a position. Internship program providers have links to top employers across Canada in a wide variety of fields. They set up interviews for you and also help you through the visa process.
The GO internships board is another great way to learn about new internship opportunities!
How to apply to internships in Canada
While requirements may differ depending on the industry or employer, these are generally the steps you’ll need to follow to land an internship in Canada.
- Check that you meet the eligibility requirements. There may be specific requirements for things like language level (English or French), academic major, or ability to secure a visa.
- Prepare your application materials. You may need to update your resume (CV), craft a strong cover letter, gather work for your portfolio, and/or write a personal statement to submit with your application.
- Submit any necessary documents. Your future employer or program provider may ask for copies of your academic transcripts from your home university and letters of recommendation.
- Prepare for the interview! Practice answering common questions and be ready to explain why you want to intern in Canada.
- Apply for a visa. The visa you’ll need may vary depending on your country of origin and the length of your internship. Your employer or program provider should be able to offer advice during this process.
Work culture, language, and etiquette tips in Canada
Navigating a new culture when interning abroad can be both exciting and daunting. Here are some insider tips to help you fit in during your internship in Canada.
- In business, Canadians can often start out as reserved, but will generally become more open and friendly as relationships grow.
- Experience and hard work are appreciated in Canadian business, so keep this in mind during your internship.
- Being on time is very important! Canadians do not like to be kept waiting by people they have previously arranged meetings with.
English is most commonly used in business, however, if you are working in Québec you will probably need to have a basic understanding of French. You may or may not be required to take language classes if you are using a placement program.
Culture & etiquette tips
- As a general rule, manners are respected and polite behavior should be used as often as possible.
- Handshakes are very commonly used; be sure to make eye contact while shaking someone else’s hand.
- In Quebec, people often greet friends or casual acquaintances with a kiss on both cheeks.
- Communication is generally indirect, but this can also vary by province.
Where can I find an internship in Canada?
Some popular cities for interning in Canada are Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Internship program providers can help place you in the perfect internship in your preferred city and field.
Is it expensive to live in Canada?
Due to the size of Canada, the cost of living varies by city and province. The national average for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center is $1,200 USD per month. In major cities like Vancouver and Toronto, the same apartment will cost around $1,800-$1,900 USD.
Do interns get paid in Canada?
It's possible to get a paid internship in Canada, although, many internships are not compensated. It's important to research the province you will be working in, as internship laws and regulations vary.
Can I intern in Canada without a visa?
No, all international students who aren’t already in Canada on a valid student visa will need a proper internship work visa. This applies to paid and unpaid internships.
Can I intern in Canada as an international student?
Yes, international students can intern in Canada. For both paid and unpaid internships, international students will need to apply for an internship work permit.
Can a US citizen intern in Canada?
Yes, US citizens can intern in Canada. US students or graduates will need to apply for an internship work permit regardless of whether the work is paid or unpaid.