• work-study

    what if we… applied to jobs we aren’t qualified for… haha jk… unless?

    Hi I just checked out Clnx as I was looking for a part-time and people told me it’s best if I can get one through UT’s work-study program. However all the positions I saw were meant for higher-years. Do you know any jobs that will take first-years? Or is work-study typically not a first-year thing?


    hey there,

    first years are definitely eligible for the work-study program! i know it can be a bit tougher to find jobs that feel like they’re geared towards u of t newcomers, but i’d encourage you to apply to anything you’re interested in, even if you don’t think you’re qualified. i’ve definitely seen a few openings that i think would make sense for a first-year to go for, like basic office jobs or assistant positions. you can also think about what strengths and interests you have, and filter the job postings accordingly— for example, i know a girl who got a work-study position doing some illustration and graphic design. for creative or skill-based jobs like those, i don’t think it would matter very much what year you’re in.

    if you don’t see anything that makes sense for you to apply for, i think some places are still adding work-study positions right now, so i’d recommend checking the site regularly up until the deadline to apply.

    if you need any help with your resume, cover letters, or interviewing skills, you should check out these career-advising appointments available to u of t students. they’re able to dole out some fantastic advice, most of which an average person wouldn’t know, and can even advise you on your job search in general.

    i do agree with whoever told you that the work-study program is a good idea. i’m a work-study student myself, and find that it affords me a ton of flexibility with my work hours that i probably wouldn’t have otherwise. plus, it’s super useful to work with a university faculty, college, or program, since it gives you a lil inside look at how things work at this school. i learned so much more about u of t from my work-study program than i did from literally anywhere else. aaaaand you get CCR recognition, which is always a win.

    anyway, sending you some physically-distanced encouragement with this weird, weird SNL gif i found. don’t let your first-year status hold you back in your job search!

    be Boundless,




  • admissions,  financial aid,  scholarships/bursaries,  work-study

    fresh blood, bois (thank god it’s good news this time)

    I have been accepted into all 3 campuses and my fam is beyond happy about it. But I just got an email today informing me that I failed to get the scholarship. I’m an international student and the tuition fee is way too much for my fam. I have calculated possible earnings from coop (management) but I’m not confident they will be of any help. Is there any information or organization/ someone I can contact abt scholarship or any means of financial aid?. I’m vibing with UofT already so I’m thinking of taking loans but is it worth it? considering that I can go to my country’s uni debt-free. Thank you.


    hey hey hey,

    enormous congrats on your acceptance! all three campuses, wowow. even in these whack times, that’s v exciting. i, personally, am on a HUGE ‘i miss u of t’ stint at the moment, so i’m even more excited for you than i’d normally be at this point in the semester.

    u of t is a fantastic school, and it’s offered me so many opportunities/friendships/learning experiences that i wouldn’t give up for anything. with that said, not everyone ultimately finds it “worth it,” so to speak. here’s a previous post i wrote upon the pros and cons of going to u of t, as i see them. give it a look if you’re interested. it might give you a little more information as you draw up your own pros and cons list, metaphorically or literally (but i always recommend literally, it’s how i made my own uni decision).

    i can’t give you a definitive answer as to whether or not going to u of t is worth it, because i don’t have all the details necessary to make that decision (and please don’t give them to me!! i could be an internet criminal for all you know). for example, i don’t really know what your values or goals are, or the caliber of the local school you’d be attending. those are definitely things you should be taking into consideration.

    here are some other questions to ask yourself: what do you want out of your undergraduate degree? are you in an acceptable financial position to take out loans? do you anticipate that your field of study will be lucrative enough to pay your loans back? will you have parental support? would you be able to cut costs by living off-campus and cooking for yourself? etc., etc.

    worried about funding? here are some things you can look into:

    • the award explorer database, which just launched quite recently, will allow you to filter through a ton of scholarships that the school offers in order to find the ones you’re eligible for. there are a good number of admissions scholarships you can probably apply for. many scholarships will also take financial aid into account (some of them only look at financial aid!!) so i’d give this a shot
    • the work-study program provides paid on-campus part time jobs that are generally quite flexible in terms of hours. as an international student, you’ll need to apply for a social insurance number in order to be eligible for work-study, but i know several international students who have successfully done this. i myself am a work-study student, and find the program to be pretty fantastic. our main campus newspaper, the varsity, has put out a few pro-con articles on work-study if you wanna check them out here. 
    • working in the summers or getting an off-campus part-time job during the semester can be a good way to make some tuition money. i have friends who work at bubble tea shops, coffee shops, and more. the downside to non-campus jobs is that your work schedule won’t always be as flexible as it would under the work-study program, but it’s definitely something to consider.
    • becoming a don is also an option in your upper years, if you have the leadership/crisis management skills and the patience to deal with rowdy first-years. each residence has their own hiring process and they don’t all offer the same benefits, but i’ve heard it can be a super solid way for people to offset university costs. for example, many residences with meal plans offer dons free access to those meal plans. other residences offer 100% free accommodations.
    • most colleges and divisions also offer some sort of bursary program to students with financial aid. you’d need to speak to your registrar’s office to find out more.
    • going to UTM or UTSC will typically be cheaper in terms of rent/groceries, and there’s probably less competition for scholarships. but you’d have to weigh the value of each campus in terms of your personal goals as well– i ultimately chose st. george because there were more opportunities downtown.

    if you do ultimately choose u of t, your registrar’s office will usually have a financial advisor who’s willing to work with you to create a student budget. they, as well as residence programs, can also provide money-saving advice. i myself was worried about finances when i chose u of t, but i’ve found that meal-prepping, thrift shopping, living with roommates, and using student discounts is really helpful. i also use an excel sheet to keep track of my spending– if you use a few simple formulas, it auto-updates just like magic! spreadsheets rock.

    all that being said, i do realize that international student tuition is really high, and the casual offsetting you can do by skimping on restaurant meals and takeout will only make a small dent in that debt.

    in terms of weighing the “should i stay or should i go” question: one lil piece of advice i’ve heard is that, when considering what country you do a postsecondary degree in, it’s helpful to have a sense of what region you’d like to work in afterwards. after you complete a university degree, your degree isn’t the only thing you should have in your pocket– often, you end up with a personal and professional network that may open up career opportunities, but that network will be most useful in the area where your university’s actually located.

    here’s a domestic example: if you were choosing whether to go to school at home in edmonton or out-of-province in toronto, but ultimately want to return to edmonton to work, then it might be more useful to grow that network at home. if, however, you saw your career flourishing best in toronto and would be happy working on the east coast, that’s extra points for a school like u of t.

    hope that makes sense. good luck making the decision! i’m sure whatever you choose, it’ll be good.

    be Boundless,


  • jobs,  work-study,  work-study


    what kinds of jobs on campus are there? does u of t hire students over the summer?


    hello hello,

    jobs! employment! what wild concepts. after i graduate, i fully intend to languish my days away in my parents’ nonexistent basement, eating only doritos and drinking only orange juice from concentrate. that’s it. that’s my vision for the future. obviously i’m in school for the pure joy of learning, not so that i can secure meaningful employment during my studies or later on. because what fun would that be, am i right?

    just kidding. i hate doritos and like my job, and you weren’t even asking about post-graduation employment. but i take every opportunity to tangent away, because god knows i can’t do that in my papers without some kinda consequence. we don’t love consequences here.

    primarily, u of t offers work-study and casual employment positions for students, as far as on-campus employment goes. i’m a work-study student myself, so i’m happy to answer any specific questions and would definitely recommend giving the program a try. i believe it used to only be open to students receiving OSAP, but now it’s open to everyone!

    how it works is that you’re usually given a set number of hours– i know people with everything from 4 to 15– and you’re allowed to work however much (or as little) as you want within those parameters. officially, i think it’s 15 hours max, at $15 an hour. once again, i have heard of some variance– for example, my friend in a slightly more demanding work-study makes a higher wage, and there are opportunities for promotion at her job. not too sure how common these situations are, but they are out there.

    work-studies are primarily advantageous in that they prioritize your learning in two ways:

    first, they offer flexible schedules, allowing you to focus on your classes. with my work-study, i pretty much set my own hours, so if i have a really overwhelming week at school i don’t even have to come in. once again, i’m not exactly sure how common that is across the program.

    second, they’re fundamentally designed for you to further your own learning! as a work-study student, your job is meant to bestow upon you some kinda meaningful experience. in keeping with this, you set learning goals, complete self-assessments, and (at least in my case) get some paid training. you’re also eligible for CCR credit upon completion of your work-study.

    work-study programs run both fall-winter and summer, but to be eligible for work-study during the summer as well, you unfortunately need to be studying. otherwise it’s just work and you might as well… become a line cook at de dutch or something. i dunno.

    you can find more info on work-study positions on the career and co-curricular learning network. in terms of eligibility for the program, these are the hurdles you’ll need to jump:

    • be a u of t degree student that’s not in theology (sorry… theologists)
    • not be in co-op/placement
    • be a domestic student in at least a 40% courseload for fall/winter (total 2.0 credits) or 0.5 credits in either of the summer sessions
    • be an international full-time student for fall/winter and meet federal government requirements, or check in with the cie for summer session requirements

    casual on-campus employment may be available on the clnx portal as well, but i don’t have as much info on that as i do on work-study. sometimes, there are postings on departmental or faculty websites– here are the job postings for kpe, for example. if you were hoping to secure employment for the summer session without being in classes, this would be the way to go.

    hope this helped and that you manage to secure a job! if ever you need advice or help with the job search, feel free to check out the peer career advising program— you should be able to get additional assistance, like resume feedback, there.

    be Boundless,



  • time management,  work-study

    you know yourself best

    Currently, I am a 4th year neuroscience student at U of T. I have recently got a work-study job at a psychology lab. Then another opportunity came up and I could be a volunteer research assistant for another psychology lab. I have read some posts from searching on Google and most posts suggested that undergrad student shouldn’t do this because it would tired me out. Some post even suggested that researching with two different profs from the same faculty might not look the best. I am only doing 3 course for this semester (so I am not that busy) and I was wondering if I could get some advice on this matter.

    Thank you!



    i can’t really say whether or not you’d be able to balance 2 work-study positions/ lab positions and 3 courses as i don’t know you. my suggestion is to really think about how you work, whether or not you can commit to managing your time efficiently, and if if will take a toll on your grades, mental health, or physical health. i would also discuss these concerns with the profs that you would be working with and see if they would help you to balance your time between the two labs and school.

    i don’t really know about working with two different profs from the same faculty not looking great. i don’t know if it would really matter, but then again, i’m not a prof or someone looking at your transcript for grad school or whatever. if it’s something that you’re really worried about, i would bring it up with the profs who you’d be working with. they would have more insight onto how student placements in labs work as well as grad school applications.

    Converse reaction angry tired feels GIF

    i really hope this helps and i’m sorry for such a slow response.

    peace and love,


  • new kids,  work-study

    will work-study for food

    Are you allowed to apply for work study when you’re still a high school student? Or can you only do that after you begin in September? Thank you!
    unfortunately, you can’t apply for work study if you’re still a high school student. you need to be enrolled as a student (full-time, part-time, undergraduate, or graduate) to qualify for work-study positions. 
    good luck, young one. looking forward to seeing you around campus come fall.