STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Albin’s work nightmare

Feb 1, 2024 | Student Spotlight, Tales From Humber

Albin Augustine, an international student from India, has been facing significant challenges in getting a job since he came to Canada in September 2023. Augustine submitted more than 400 job applications, online and in-person, and received no responses.

Albin Augustine, student of Design at Humber College's Arboretum.

Albin Augustine, student of Design at Humber College's Arboretum. Photo credit: Anusha Siddiqui

His journey of finding employment took an unfortunate turn when he fell victim to a scam by a pizza shop.

“I was desperate for work,” Augustine said. “I was doing night shifts, getting off work at 6 a.m. and doing college in the morning.”

The owner of the shop told him the initial 10 days of training would be unpaid. The owner said he would pay Augustine $10 per hour in cash after the 10 days, well below minimum wage.

“After 10 days of rigorous, unpaid training, the owner told me that the shop wasn’t getting much business and asked me not to return,” Augustine said.

This came as a shock and left him financially distressed. It raised the question of the vulnerability of international students in the face of exploitative practices.

“It has been distressing,” Augustine said. “Neither the college nor the government supports international students in securing a job.”

Augustine said to address these problems a collaborative effort is required from educational institutions, host countries, and employers.

“Providing targeted resources, mentorship programs, and legal safeguards can create a more equitable landscape for international students, ensuring they can thrive academically and economically while contributing positively to their adopted communities,” Augustine said.