Support for Spouses and Parenting Resources

Support for Spouses

Work and Volunteer Opportunities for Spouses

Spousal Open Work Permit


Where are the Jobs?

  • 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.


ESL Opportunities for Spouses

While you are busy with your studies, there are several opportunities (that are free) for your spouse to improve their English skills.

  • ESL Classes for Spouses (Women): These women only classes are offered to spouses of international students on Saturdays in partnership with The Association for New Canadians. To register or find out more information contact Jessie Peace.
  • Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council Inc. (RIAC)  offers free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 7:00-9:00pm; Tuesday's and Thursday's at 1:00pm. Everyone is free to join and no registration is required. Also offered is the Conversation Partner Program. It pairs those wishing to practice their English with someone who is fluent in English. This is a flexible program where both partners can chose when to meet, where to meet and how often they meet.
  • 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 to eligible newcomers. Individuals are assessed and placed in one of four classes - Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced or Pronunciation. The ANC also offer a Conversation Circle which is open to anyone wanting to improve their conversational skills. 

There are other informal opportunities for your spouse to develop their English language skills, as well as to connect with other spouses.

• Every Tuesday from 10am-12pm we run an English Café and Playgroup 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.

*English Café and Playgroup will start April 2019

Parenting Resources

Parenting in Canada resources:

Parenting in Canda Public Legal Information

Families Canada resources

Canadian Family Magazine

Children's Safety Association of Canada

Dietitians of Canada

Healthy Canadians - Kids' Health and Safety

Life Literacy Canada

Parents Canada

Parents Matter

Public Health Canada - Child Health

Transport Canada - Child Safety

Today's Parent

Government of Canada Parenting Resources and Support

Newfoundland and Labrador resources:

Family programs in St. John’s

Children programs in St. John’s

Brighter Futures 

Daybreak Parent Child Centre

Newfoundland and Labrador English School District

Family friendly activities


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