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Can I volunteer to get Canadian experience?

Volunteer work is an excellent way to gain Canadian experience and Canadian references. There are also many other benefits to volunteering in your community.

Volunteering is unpaid work. Often, volunteer positions are with non-profit or charity organizations.

Volunteering can help you to:

  • Get Canadian work experience.
  • Get practical knowledge of the Canadian workplace.
  • Practise your English or French.
  • Make new friends and contacts.
  • Get Canadian references.
  • Get job leads.
  • Take on new responsibilities.
  • Develop new skills - such as interpersonal, communication, organizational, fundraising skills.
  • Learn about issues that affect the community.

Volunteer centres help match you with organizations that need volunteers. View a list of Ontario Volunteer Centres.

Another way to gain Canadian experience is to do a job placement. Find more information in How can group programs with placement help me?

Many community agencies can help you with your job search or volunteer search. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

It is important to note that although many people volunteer in order to gain Canadian experience, in most situations employers cannot discriminate against you if you do not have Canadian experience.  

For More Information

  • Volunteering For New Canadians - This fact sheet encourages new Canadians to embrace the many volunteer opportunities available to them in their communities. From Volunteer Canada.
  • Ontario Volunteer Centres - A list of volunteers centres across Ontario. These volunteer centres can help you find a volunteer position.
  • Charity Village Volunteer Listings - A search engine for finding volunteer opportunities in the non-profit and charity sector.
  • Where and why should I volunteer? - Information about volunteering, focusing on young newcomers. It is from NewYouth.ca, a website for young newcomers to Ontario.
  • What kind of volunteer are you? - This tool asks questions to help you figure out what kind of volunteering you would like to do. Then it gives you a list of positions in your area that match your interests. This resource is from GetInvolved.ca.
  • Police Background Check - You may be asked to provide a letter from your local police to show you have a clear criminal record. You can contact your municipality for more information.
Last Updated: April 11, 2014
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