Work Learn program

About the Work Learn program

The Work Learn Program supports and subsidizes meaningful work experiences on and off campus, offering current UBC Vancouver students the opportunity to develop their professional skills in a professional work environment. You can learn from a mentor, expand your professional network, gain work experience and skills through a part-time UBC job while still taking classes.

Community Based Work Learn

If you identify as an Indigenous student or a student with a disability, you’re invited to develop your professional skills in an off-campus Work Learn job with mentorship and training opportunities.

Get details

A headshot of Ellie Gang, a Work Learn student.

“[This] was my first full-time job where I gained an exposure working with many health personnel, like Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and researchers. Right now, I am working on a literature review for the government, and it never ceases to amaze me how many doors one Work Learn opportunity opens.”

Ellie - YEAR 5, Science

Read her story (pdf)

A headshot of Sara Compaore, a Work Learn student.

“I had no work experience in Canada and little work experience in the customer service/administration side of things. This position allowed me to be a part of an amazing team composed of my coworkers and supervisors and to be involved in project management, write resource guides and lead workshops.”

Sara - YEAR 3, biology

Read her story (pdf)

Example Work Learn positions

There are over 500 Work Learn positions available each term. Past jobs include:

  • Indigenous Engagement Climate Emergency Research
  • Health Promotion Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Oral Microbiology Project Assistant
  • Arena Operations Staff
  • Environment Data Analyst
  • UBC Library Shelving and Circulation Assistant
  • UBC Farm Marketing and Education Assistant

Time commitment

There are 2 sessions of the Work Learn program:

  • Winter Session (September 1 to April 30)
    During Winter Term 1 and 2, you can work a maximum of 10 hours per week, a total of 300 hours.
  • Summer Session (May 1 to August 31)
    Over Summer Term 1 and 2, you can work a maximum of 20 hours per week, a total of 300 hours. All Office or Library Worker positions are limited to 10 hours per week, a total of 180 hours for the session. 

Not all positions will offer the maximum number of hours listed above. Employers request how many hours they anticipate they’ll need for each position when submitting a proposal to the program. This number varies between units. Check the job listing and confirm with your employer when you are interviewing for a position.

Pay and compensation

Work Learn positions are part-time and compensation ranges from $15.77 to $32.66 hourly, depending on the role's responsibilities and which session it takes place in.

Review the different job categories and rates for each session:

When employers submit their proposal for the program, the level and type of work must match the rates and duties as outlined in the Position Classification Guide.

Eligibility requirements

Before you apply, you must meet all the following requirements:

Specific requirements for students

Depending on what type of student you are, you must meet specific requirements to be eligible for a Work Learn position. 

Domestic students

Undergraduate students

Summer Session (May to August) positions

You must be registered in courses for:

  • The previous term (Winter Term 2), or
  • The Summer Session (either in Summer Term 1 or 2)
Winter Session (September to April) positions

You must be registered in courses in both Winter Terms 1 and 2 to hold a Work Learn position for the full duration of the Winter Session.

Graduate students in a Masters or PhD program

For both Winter Session (September to April) and Summer Session (May to August) positions, you must either be registered in courses or have continuing registration and be paying tuition fees.

Students in a professional or diploma program

Summer Session (May to August) positions

You must be registered in summer courses (either in Summer Term 1 or 2).

Winter Session (September to April) positions

You must be registered in courses in the term you plan to hold a Work Learn position.

Unclassified students

Summer Session (May to August) positions

You must be registered in summer courses (either in Summer Term 1 or 2).

Winter Session (September to April) positions

You must be registered in courses in each term you plan to hold a Work Learn position.

Visiting students from outside of UBC

Summer Session (May to August) positions

You must be registered in summer courses (either in Summer Term 1 or 2).

Winter Session (September to April) positions

You must be registered in courses in each term you plan to hold a Work Learn position.

Undergraduate and graduate students in their last term of courses and graduating

You are eligible for a Work Learn position only for the academic term directly following the completion of your courses, regardless of your graduation date. 

  • If you finish your courses in the Summer Session (August) and graduate in November, you are eligible to hold a Work Learn position in Winter Term 1 only.
  • If you finish your courses in Winter Term 1 (December) and graduate in May, you are eligible to hold a Work Learn position in Winter Term 1 and Winter Term 2 only.
  • If you finish your courses in Winter Term 2 (April) and graduate in May, you are eligible to hold a Work Learn position in the Summer Session after.

International students

Make sure you have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) before you start your Work Learn position. The application process for a SIN can take several weeks.

Undergraduate students

Summer Session (May to August) positions
  • You must be registered in courses for the previous term (Winter Term 2) or the Summer Session (either Summer Term 1 or 2).
  • You must have a valid study permit.
  • You must be on a scheduled break, or be considered full time for immigration purposes.
    Winter Session (September to April) positions
    • You must be registered in courses in both Winter Terms 1 and 2 to hold a Work Learn position for the full duration of the Winter Session.
    • You must have a valid study permit.
    • You must be considered full time for immigration purposes.

      Graduate students in a Master or PhD program

      For both Winter Session (September to April) and Summer Session (May to August) positions:

      • You must be registered in courses or have continuing registration and paying tuition fees.
      • You must have a valid study permit.
      • You must be considered full time for immigration purposes in the term(s) you plan on holding a Work Learn position.

      Exchange or visiting students from outside of UBC

      Summer Session (May to August) positions
      • You must be registered in summer courses (either Summer Term 1 or 2).
      • You must have a valid study permit.
      • You must be considered full time for immigration purposes in the term(s) you plan on holding a Work Learn position.
      Winter Session (September to April) positions
      • You must be registered in courses in each term you plan to hold a Work Learn position.
      • You must have a valid study permit.
      • You must be considered full time for immigration purposes in the term(s) you plan on holding a Work Learn position.

      Undergraduate and graduate students in their last term of courses and graduating

      You are eligible for a Work Learn position only for the academic term directly following the completion of your courses, regardless of your graduation date. 

      • If you finish your courses in the Summer Session (August) and graduate in November, you are eligible to hold a Work Learn position in Winter Term 1 only.
      • If you finish your courses in Winter Term 1 (December) and graduate in May, you are eligible to hold a Work Learn position in Winter Term 1 and Winter Term 2 only.
      • If you finish your courses in Winter Term 2 (April) and graduate in May, you are eligible to hold a Work Learn position in the Summer Session after.
      Additional requirements
      • If you completed program requirements and your program completion letter is not yet available, you are considered by UBC to be full time for immigration purposes and are still eligible to work unlimited hours on campus.
      • If your letter of completion is available, you must meet one of the following scenarios:
        • You have a valid study permit and you have applied for a work permit, such as a Post-Graduation Work Permit, within 90 days after completing your program at UBC.
        • You have an official letter of acceptance into a new academic program, and you have a valid study permit or you have applied to extend your study permit when the old study permit was still valid. 
        • You have some other form of authorization to work in Canada.

      If you have questions about your eligibility, please speak with an International Student Advisor.

      Applying for a Work Learn position

      All Work Learn jobs are posted on CareersOnline, the online job board for UBC students.

      Positions for the Winter Session are typically posted in August, and Summer Session jobs are posted in March. Term 2 positions may be posted in early December as well. Check CareersOnline throughout the year for opportunities.

      1. Log in to CareersOnline.
      2. On the left sidebar, under Opportunities, select "Work Learn Program".
      3. Browse over 500 jobs and read the job descriptions carefully.
      4. Follow the application instructions listed on the posting.

      Creating your own Work Learn position

      You can create your own Work Learn position by connecting with eligible UBC faculty or staff members and asking them if they might be willing to hire you. Make sure you have a good idea of what you are looking for in a position and match it up to the needs of a potential supervisor or team.

      It can help to understand the program details from a Work Learn supervisor’s perspective, to prepare the necessary information for your potential supervisor. You and the supervisor would need to meet all program requirements and the same deadlines as other program participants. The supervisor would also have to submit a proposal for funding within the program. The proposal timelines for supervisors are different from job application timelines for students.

      New or current Work Learn students

      Helpful resources

      • Resumes and cover letters
        Generic cover letters rarely get looked at, so tailor your job application for the position you're interested in.
      • Social insurance number (SIN)
        If you're planning to work in Canada, you'll need to have a social insurance number to be paid.
      • Working in Canada
        International students have to meet certain conditions to work in Canada.
      • International Student Advising
        Connect with an advisor if you have questions about working in Canada as an international student.
      • Interview preparation
        Learn about different types of interviews and what you can do to get ready for one.
      • LinkedIn Learning
        Develop employable skills with this online resource that offers courses on technical skills and professional development.

      About employers of Work Learn jobs

      Employers in the Work Learn Program are faculty, staff, and affiliates with UBC Vancouver payroll accounts that can pay your full hourly wage as you complete your hours. 

      For more information on the employer side of the Work Learn Program, review the Faculty and Staff Work Learn webpage.

      If you have questions