Information for Spouses/Partners of International Students

We offer a wide-range of supports for spouses/partners of International Students. If you would like more personalized information on community and university supports for your family, please make an appointment with the family advisor.
Note: If you have any questions, please reach out to the Internationalization Office at

Work and Volunteer Opportunities

Spousal Open Work Permit: For more information visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Finding work: Your spouse will need a resume to look for work in Canada, for more information see resume format and content. Looking for a job can be stressful, especially in a new country. Further information on where to find jobs can be found in the employment section of our handbook. You can also make an appointment with the career advisor by emailing

Volunteering is a great way meet people, become familiar with the community and develop skills to include on a resume. Information regarding volunteering opportunities can be found on campus at the Student Volunteer Bureau or the Community Sector Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.

ESL Opportunities (on campus)

Please note, because of COVID-19 most of these classes are on hold or offered remotely. For more information please contact the family advisor. 

There are several opportunities (that are free) for your spouse to practice their English skills:

  • English Conversation Circles are offered on Mondays from 3-4pm at the Internationalization Office, in partnership with the Student Experience Office and ANC. 
  • ESL Classes for Spouses: These classes are offered to spouses of international students on Saturdays in partnership with The Association for New Canadians. To register or for more information contact the family advisor.
  • Our English Café and Playgroup  is open to all student parent and spouses. Children are welcome to attend. It is a chance to connect with others and have a coffee and a chat while your children play.
  • Coffee club: The Coffee Club presents a great way of meeting other students on campus. It is free to join and there is always interesting conversation and lots of opportunity to socialize.
  • Discussion group: Weekly topics range from study habits, loneliness and other topics such as adjusting to life on campus, healthy eating and living.

ESL Opportunities (off campus)

  • Teachers on Wheels is an adult literacy organization operating primarily in St. John's and the surrounding areas.Through one-to-one tutoring with trained volunteer tutors, they aim to provide adults with a good educational alternative to the more traditional classroom setting. Lessons take place at times and locations convenient to the two. Services are best suited to individuals with basic English skills. For more information, contact Tom Dawe at 738-3975 regarding eligibility and assessment.
  • The Association for New Canadians (ANC) offers free evening classes open to all community members on Tuesdays from 7-9pm. For more information, please email Marlene
  • Bethesda Church offers weekly English Conversation Cafe for all community members. Child-minding is also provided. For more information, please email Susanne

Community Programs

For a comprehensive database of resources and programs in the city for families, click here

To learn about community programs both on and off campus for spouses/partners of international students, see our facebook page! 


Internationalization Office

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000