International Students' Views of Transition to Employment and Immigration


  • Nancy Arthur University of Calgary
  • Sarah Flynn University of Calgary


international, students, international students, transition, employment, immigration, career


This study explored international students’ views and experiences of transitioning from school to employment with the goal of permanent immigration. A semi-structured interview with critical incidents was used to assess the career transition experiences of 14 graduate international students from university to employment and permanent immigration to Canada. Data were analyzed using a constant comparison method and critical incident protocol. Despite the fact that most students had not obtained a job after completing their educational programs, the majority felt as though the decision to remain in Canada to work and eventually immigrate was a good one. Students’ expectations about better job prospects were unmet while their expectations about an enhanced quality of life in Canada were met. Students recommended that Canadian employers be more open-minded about hiring people with international experience and see the benefits of a diverse workforce. The international students hoped that those employed in career services will help future students to build networks and meet prospective employers. Students advised future international students to educate themselves about Canadian culture, how Canadians interact, and the Canadian work environment. Implications for career services and career counselling are discussed.


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How to Cite

Arthur, N., & Flynn, S. . (2013). International Students’ Views of Transition to Employment and Immigration. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 12(1), 28–37. Retrieved from




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