Students Apply Now—Canada’s Federal Student Work Experience Program

Students Apply Now—Canada’s Federal Student Work Experience Program

Perhaps there is no better opportunity for Canada’s full-time college and university students to acquire transferable and meaningful work experience than through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP).  The FSWEP is Canada’s largest student employment program, and it gives students of all levels and fields of study the opportunity to acquire experience in the federal public sector and to experience the various career paths available through the Government of Canada in fields like science, trades, administration, information technology, and finance.  What makes the FSWEP so unique is that it stays open year-round, and students can submit their applications throughout the year. On the other hand, managers of public departments are provided with an expanding student recruitment inventory to fill roles across 200 departments and agencies.

Currently, there is a one-of-a-kind opportunity offered by Veteran Affairs Canada where students can work as guides at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial located in northern France.  The benefit of this experience is that students will have the opportunity to gain international experience by living and working in France, to develop their public speaking and presenting abilities, interact with visitors from around the world, and to discover Canada’s rich military history.

The job of the guide will require students to serve as guides and provide information on the preserved battlefields and underground tunnels, discussing Canada’s military history and answering other related questions.  A guide will be tasked with leading groups in both natural outdoor settings and preserved underground tunnels.  Students would have to pay for their own travel and other related costs, but Veteran Affairs Canada is providing subsidized housing alternatives for students, and they would be eligible for a partial reimbursement of their airfare. The deadline to apply for this opportunity is September 11, 2023, and the job would commence in January 2024 and end in May 2024.

An opportunity to travel abroad and to work overseas is just one of the things that makes the FSWEP such a unique program, and yet so many students seem to be unfamiliar with it.  The potential of the FSWEP is such that science students can leverage it to help them to become top researchers at Canada’s major health labs, law students can leverage it to help them play a role in being a part of Canada’s legislative process, and technology students can leverage it to experience all of Canada’s departments and agencies, because the need for developers and cyber security talent is in such high demand.  The FSWEP can also be leveraged to serve as a steppingstone from the public sector and into the private sector; one of my friends who was studying software development had applied to the FSWEP and got a job in the CRA—they worked that job until they graduated from school and it helped them land a prestigious software developer job at Amazon.

While the FSWEP can be a competitive program, the best part about it is opportunities are not solely determined by academic performance, and the program provides students with unique needs the opportunity to self-declare as members of different employment equity groups including gender, ethnicity, race, and disability.  Ultimately, there is no reason not to apply and not applying guarantees that you will miss out on the opportunity to work on projects and initiatives that impact the lives of Canada, and potentially the career of a lifetime.

If this sounds interesting to you, go to to find out more.

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