Underrated Side Hustles for Immigrant as a Student in Canada

From finding a place to stay, getting around the country, paying bills, and feeding expenses, there are plenty of expenses that can drill a hole in your wallet if you’re not careful. That’s why considering ways to earn extra money isn’t a bad idea, even if it takes up some of your time. These additional jobs, often referred to as side hustles, might turn into a well-paying career down the line. If you’re unsure about which side hustle to pursue, no worries – we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll be highlighting some great side hustle options for international students in Canada among other useful information!

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is like an additional source of income for those looking to make extra money. It’s a gig you take on alongside your regular job to earn more cash. Especially for students who have recently moved to Canada, having a side hustle can help you develop skills and make extra money during your free time. Typically, a side hustle is a part-time job that lets you focus on your studies while also earning some additional funds. It’s a good idea to pick a side hustle that aligns with your passions or personal interests so you can make the most out of your time. You can do this online or in person, and you might work for yourself or someone else as a contractor.

Benefits of Having a Side Hustle as a Student in Canada

1. Enhance Your Financial Security

   A side hustle, even if it brings in an additional $100 a month, can boost your financial security by increasing your overall income. It could help you pay off debts, save money, and provide some “breathing space” in your budget. Having an extra income stream also means that if issues arise with your main job, your overall income won’t suddenly be affected. It’s a smart way to create a safety net and reduce dependence on a single income source.

2. Flexibility

   If your regular job sticks you in a rigid 9-to-5 structure, a side hustle offers a refreshing change by granting you more control. The best part is that you’re the boss. If you’ve had a demanding week at your main job, you can adjust your side hustle hours accordingly. This flexibility lets you fit your side hustle around your schedule, whether that’s during evenings, weekends, or other available pockets of time. Consider the level of flexibility you desire and choose a side hustle that matches your lifestyle.

3. Pursue Your Passions

   While some passion projects might not initially bring in substantial revenue, they provide a means for doing what you love without risking your main income source. Earnings from a passion-driven side hustle can feel like a bonus. Also, not all side hustles need to be passion projects, but if you have a hobby or interest you’re passionate about, why not give it a shot? This could include things like playing music gigs, running a YouTube channel, or selling your custom artwork. Even if it doesn’t become a full-time career, you can earn from doing what you enjoy.

4. Build Your Professional Portfolio

   If you’re new to your field or trying to break into a specific industry, a side hustle can help you gain experience and build an impressive portfolio. A rich portfolio makes you more appealing to potential clients or employers. Include details like your skills, accomplishments, education, and examples of your best work. Your side hustle can be a productive way to contribute to your portfolio, helping you advance in your career even as your main job pays the bills.

5. Career Changes

 Transitioning to a new career might not allow you to quit your current job immediately. Starting your new career as a side hustle enables you to establish yourself in the field before making a full switch. This is especially useful when you lack experience in your desired industry. By using your free time to build skills and connections in your chosen field, you won’t sacrifice your income stability while pursuing a new path.

6. Optimize Your Free Time

 While rest is important, using some of your free time for a side hustle can be a productive and fulfilling use of your moments of leisure. Instead of exclusively relaxing with your phone or TV, consider dedicating a few hours each week to a side hustle. This can be a way to learn new skills, earn extra income, and enhance your overall confidence. Making use of your free time doing productive activities can empower you to take charge of your life.

7. Nurture Your Creativity

  Everyone has creativity within them, and a side hustle can provide an outlet for your creative expression. Engaging in odd jobs or new challenges during your spare time can awaken your creative side. Overcoming these challenges can motivate you to discover innovative solutions and new approaches. If you’ve been feeling stuck or uninspired, a side project that challenges your creativity can reignite your passion and mental agility.

8. Boost Your Confidence

   Transitioning from a regular job to self-employment can have a positive impact on your mental well-being. The sense of control over your decisions and engagement in a high-demand job can lead to better mental health. These aspects are closely tied to your self-confidence. Studies have shown that as you work independently, your confidence grows. Even if progress is gradual, any achievement related to your efforts can enhance your confidence across various aspects of life.

Improved confidence brings lots of benefits, including resilience after setbacks, willingness to express ideas, decisiveness under pressure, increased happiness despite challenges, and a willingness to take on new endeavours, even if these involve risks. With rising confidence, you’re less likely to stagnate, and this newfound confidence can empower you to pursue your goals even in challenging times. Starting a side hustle, even if you’re not feeling fully confident, could be the first step in building confidence that permeates every facet of your life.

9. Acquire New Skills

  Whether you’re sticking to your familiar industry or exploring new territories, running a side business will demand that you acquire fresh skills. You might even view it as an opportunity to venture into an entirely new field, broadening your skillset further. The beauty of a side hustle is that you have the freedom to choose. Challenge yourself by starting projects that stretch your capabilities, focusing on skills and gradually embracing entirely new ones as your confidence grows. Beyond your field, self-employment teaches you invaluable skills such as client acquisition, negotiation, time management, sales closing, and delivering results. These skills carry significance not only for your side hustle but also for various other aspects of your life.

10. Expand Your Social Circle

   If you’re experiencing loneliness, a side hustle that involves interactions with people could alleviate some of that. While not the main motivation for many, it’s worth considering if you find yourself spending most of your time indoors without much social engagement. Numerous side hustles provide opportunities for increased social interaction. Roles like ridesharing, dog walking, and similar simple gigs can provide the chance to connect with others more frequently than your usual routine. If you’re seeking a way to break out of isolation and engage with a broader community, a social-centric side hustle could be a positive step to consider.

Remember, a side hustle can bring various benefits beyond just financial ones. It offers an opportunity to explore new avenues, grow your skills, and enrich your life in ways that your regular job might not provide.

Underrated Side Hustles for Immigrant as a Student in Canada

1. Nanny

   If you enjoy spending time with children and have some extra time to spare, becoming a nanny or babysitter could be a wonderful opportunity. Many parents are faced with demanding full-time jobs and tight schedules, making it challenging to balance their work commitments with caring for their children. This is where individuals like you can step in to provide valuable assistance. As a nanny or babysitter, your role could involve picking up kids from school, aiding with homework, facilitating bedtime routines, and even preparing meals. The income for this role is quite attractive, with an average hourly rate of approximately $14, and the potential for even higher earnings based on the range of responsibilities you take on. By offering your care and support, you not only ease the burden on busy parents but also create a positive and nurturing environment for the children in your care.

2. Teaching Assistant

Many schools often require additional support to manage their activities during the term, and this is where teaching assistants come into play. This role involves tutoring and aiding students, maintaining records and reports, crafting lesson plans, and more. To become a teaching assistant, you typically need to have completed at least your first year of college or university. Additionally, possessing strong communication and organizational skills, as well as experience in a specific subject area is essential. The great news is that you can fulfil this role without even leaving your campus. As a teaching assistant, you could earn around $15 per hour, making it a rewarding opportunity both financially and in terms of the valuable assistance you provide to students and educators alike.

3.  Translator

   If you have a knack for languages, delving into the role of a translator could be a promising avenue. This role requires a high level of proficiency – you must be adept at speaking, writing, and reading in multiple languages. Your responsibilities could include diverse tasks such as communicating with individuals in various languages, writing articles in different languages, and more. Depending on your preference, you can either work as part of a company’s translation team or embark on an independent path. As a translator, your earning potential can be reasonable, reaching up to $25 per hour. This role not only rewards your linguistic prowess but also opens doors to connect with individuals across cultures and bridge communication gaps – a skill set that’s highly valued in today’s world.

4. Freelancer

   Embracing freelancing has become a popular choice for students all over the world. What makes freelancing truly appealing is the flexibility it offers – you can work comfortably from your home, whether that’s in your pyjamas, on your bed, or wherever you feel most at ease. No matter your skill set – whether you’re a writer, a graphic artist, or a creative mind – freelancing offers a multitude of pathways to explore. If writing is your passion, consider launching a blog that can eventually generate a good income. Alternatively, you can put your writing skills to use by crafting blog posts and articles for those seeking content. If your strengths lie in graphic design, you can leverage your abilities to craft event posters, flyers, logos, and other visual assets for clients. The options are vast and varied for a student. As a freelancer, your potential earnings could reach around $25 per hour or potentially more, depending on the volume of projects you undertake. Beyond just financial gains, freelancing provides you with the independence to display your talents and grow as a professional, all while enjoying the comforts of your personal space.

5.  Social Media Manager

  Amidst the digital era, many businesses seek individuals to assist in the management of their social media platforms. If you have a grasp of social media algorithms and can leverage them effectively, diving into the role of a social media manager could be a rewarding business for you. As a social media manager, you can earn around $20 per hour, serving as the driving force behind a business’s online presence. Your responsibilities might include content creation, engagement with audiences, strategizing, and maximizing platform algorithms to increase traffic and impact. This role not only helps businesses thrive in the digital space but also offers you an opportunity to monetize your understanding of social media dynamics.

6. Bartender/ Waiter

This is a job that’s incredibly popular among students in Canada, and it’s easy to see why. It offers a high degree of flexibility, allowing you to choose when you work based on your convenience. Whether it’s evenings or weekends, you’ll find opportunities at bars, cafes, restaurants, and more. While the hourly pay might not be the most enticing, the potential for tips can make up for it. Depending on your dedication to your work and your ability to sell, you could end up making tips of around $200 per night, or possibly even more. The actual tip amount can vary based on factors like the day of the week, the time you’re working, the types of customers you serve, and the establishment itself. Typically, tipping in Canada falls within the range of 15% to 20%. If you’re employed in a well-frequented place in a major city or a popular student area, you might find yourself working longer hours and pulling in more earnings.

7. Salesperson

   For students who possess strong communication skills, a persuasive demeanour, and enjoy interacting with people, a path in marketing could be intriguing. Venturing into sales offers a viable avenue to earn extra income while also gaining skills that can prove valuable in various aspects of life. To excel in this role, effective communication is key – being able to engage fluently with individuals is crucial. While your earnings are influenced by your level of effort, it’s entirely possible to earn as much as $50 per hour, provided you’re willing to put in the hard work. Many positions in this domain offer commission-based compensation, which means that the more you sell, the higher your earnings. This not only provides a monetary incentive but also hones your ability to close deals, build relationships, and understand customer needs – skills that can serve you well in your professional journey.

8. Dog Walker

Many Canadians are proud pet owners, especially of dogs, but their busy lives often mean they lack the time to give their furry friends the exercise they need. If you’re seeking an extremely flexible job and have some spare time on your hands, the role of a dog walker could be perfect for you. The pay is quite attractive, averaging around $14 per hour or potentially even higher, depending on factors like the number of dogs you’re responsible for and any additional duties you take on. Dog walking sessions generally run for about 30 minutes to an hour, varying based on the preferences of the pet owner. Alternatively, you can explore the role of a pet sitter, which involves caring for pets while their owners are engaged in other activities. This often results in increased earnings for you. The rewarding aspect of these roles is that you’re not just earning money, but you’re also contributing to the health and happiness of these beloved animals.

9. Surveys

   Engaging in online surveys offers yet another avenue to boost your income. Numerous websites offer compensation to individuals who participate in surveys, contributing valuable insights to improve products, guide manufacturing decisions, or fulfil other research needs. To get started, you’ll need to create an account, share some basic information about yourself, and then proceed to complete the survey. The questions are usually straightforward, requiring you to share your opinions and thoughts. Once you’ve completed a survey, you’ll receive payment for your participation, which you can conveniently withdraw using platforms like PayPal. This endeavour not only provides an easy way to earn extra money but also lets you contribute to shaping various products and services based on your valuable feedback.

10. Virtual Assistant

  If multitasking is second nature to you or you have exceptional organizational skills, getting into the role of a virtual assistant could be a lucrative path. As a virtual assistant, you can earn a commendable hourly rate, which can reach up to $40 or more, depending on the scope of tasks assigned by your clients. Your responsibilities might span various areas, such as email management, proposal creation, scheduling coordination, proofreading, and more. While this job typically offers remote and part-time work, it’s important to note that the workload can sometimes be demanding, probably extending throughout the day. Balancing your studies alongside this role can be a challenge, so careful consideration is advised before taking on the commitment. If managed effectively, this opportunity not only brings in income but also nurtures your organizational abilities and time-management skills.

11. Sell Stock Photos

   If photography is your passion, you have a potential avenue to generate a high income by selling stock photos. There are numerous websites actively seeking to buy your photos. The strategy is simple: gather a diverse collection of pictures and create a portfolio. From there, approach potential clients who might require these images. Diversity is key – capture a variety of subjects including food, nature, architecture, and more to provide clients with a broad array of options. Getting a quality camera is essential for capturing high-resolution images that stand out. However, even if a dedicated camera is not within reach, a smartphone with a good camera can be a good alternative. This business not only rewards your photographic eye but also offers an opportunity to turn your creative talent into a lucrative income stream.

12. Fixing Things

   Transform your talent for fixing things into an income stream. Interestingly,  it’s an ideal way to monetize your hobby. Also, there’s a demand among many Canadians for individuals who can assist in repairing pipes, electronics, gadgets, and more. Providing this service not only helps people in need but also brings money into your pocket, even if it’s just a reasonable amount. The essentials are simple: gather the necessary tools, develop your repair expertise, and seek out potential customers. Promoting your skillset to others can hasten the process of finding clients. Additionally, consider a creative approach by buying items, refurbishing them to their former state, and subsequently reselling them. This venture not only generates income but also allows you to indulge in your passion for fixing while benefiting others in the process.

13. Cleaning

 Consider taking on a cleaning job as a student. Whether it’s tidying up restaurants, cafes, or individuals’ homes, there’s a demand for cleaning services that you can tap into. Typically, the necessary cleaning tools would be provided, leaving you with the task of only putting in dedicated effort. A cleaning role can fetch you an hourly rate of around $20 or even higher, depending on the workload you’re handling. Commitment and diligence are key to excel in this role. By delving into cleaning, you’re not only earning extra income but also contributing to maintaining a clean and organized environment for others.

14.  Sell your Goods

   The path to selling goods doesn’t necessarily involve traditional employment. If you’re skilled as an artist, writer, sculptor, or in any other creative field, you can tap into the opportunity of selling your handmade creations to individuals seeking precisely what you offer. Whether it’s personalized crafts or unique pieces of art, your products can find a market. You have the option to showcase your offerings online through platforms like e-commerce websites or social media, or even in physical stores. To be successful in this, proactive promotion is key – ensure you share details about your creations with people to attract potential customers. By pursuing this path, you not only monetize your talents but also experience the gratification of seeing your work appreciated and cherished by those who purchase it

15. Uber Driver

   If you’re a skilled driver, becoming an Uber driver could be a great option. Uber is a transportation company that connects drivers with passengers through a convenient app. To work as an Uber driver, you typically need to be 21 years or older, have a well-maintained car in good working condition, and meet the fitness requirements for driving. The major advantage of this gig is its flexibility – you have the freedom to set your working hours. Although you can work at any time, many drivers find the mornings, evenings, and weekends to be particularly busy periods. If you’re working in a popular area or a bustling city and you drive frequently, your earning potential can be higher. On average, Uber drivers can earn up to $25 per hour, making it a potentially lucrative opportunity for those who enjoy spending time on the road.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Side Hustle as a Student in Canada

  The variety of side hustles available can be overwhelming, but it’s important to make an informed decision. When selecting a side hustle as a student in Canada, keep these factors in mind:

1. Time Management

 Remember that a side hustle is an additional commitment on top of your education. Consider when you can realistically allocate time – whether it’s early mornings, late nights, or weekends – without compromising your studies. The chosen side hustle should complement your education, not hinder it.

2. Financial Considerations

  Some side hustles require an initial investment to start. Assess your financial situation to determine if you can afford to allocate funds for a business venture. Ensure that your financial stability remains intact while pursuing the side hustle.

3. Certification

 Certain side hustles demand specific certifications. If you’re eyeing a professional role that you lack credentials for, it’s wise to avoid it unless you’re willing to invest time and effort in obtaining those qualifications.

4. Passion and Talents

  Opt for a side hustle aligned with your passions and talents. For example, if you have a knack for cooking, consider part-time work at a local eatery. Not only will you earn money, but you’ll also gain experience, develop skills, and potentially pave a future career path.

5. Flexibility

   Check if the side hustle can be adjusted to fit your schedule. It should accommodate your class timings, study commitments, and other personal responsibilities.

6. Location

  Consider whether the side hustle can be done remotely, on campus, or if it requires you to move to a specific location. Location plays a role in determining convenience and feasibility.

7. Demand and Market Trends

   Research the demand for the chosen side hustle and its potential growth. Trends in the market can affect the viability and long-term sustainability of your chosen venture.

8. Skills Enhancement

  Opt for a side hustle that allows you to develop new skills or hone existing ones. It’s an opportunity to gain practical experience that could benefit your career in the long run.

9. Competition

   Evaluate the level of competition in the chosen field. A high level of competition might make it more challenging to stand out and succeed.

10. Networking Opportunities

   Some side hustles may offer networking opportunities that can expand your connections and open doors for future opportunities.

11. Physical and Mental Demands

   Consider the physical and mental demands of the side hustle. Some jobs may be more physically intensive or require handling stress and pressure.

Conclusion

If you want to make some extra money and ease your financial burden, you can try doing a side hustle. This article has shared various jobs you can do while studying in Canada. Just remember that your education is still the main priority, so make sure your side hustle doesn’t interfere with your studies.

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