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Needing some direction from Canadian GameDevs!

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Hello, my name is Caio (or just Kyle) and I live in Brazil. I'm 22, Male, Game designer and Visual Artist.

I aspire to work as a Game Designer and actually already made some games under my own roof with some virtual friends and colleagues. I'm currently studying 'Digital Games' in college, and I'm near the end of it. I'm always producing something in the field, but you know, to be honest, I'm just studying in this place because I have no other option for Game Development in the city where I live. My classes honestly aren't really great and I have a feeling that only me and 4 students care about making games for real. I do get frutition from them, but I also tend to think it isn't.... enough.

Also, where I live, there isn't any game companies at all - everyone in the field are just studying by themselves like I do - internet.  Obviously, as I want to get a work, I need experience in a company so someone can take me seriously and I can get a job in the future. (Internships are non-existent here too)

Well, the thing is: I have conditions and means to go to Canada for a year through an interchange program in 2020. And with that, I'm thinking that I should 1) study Game Development in a better college at Vancouver, 2) manage to get a internship somewhere there, and 3) finally get some kind of experience in the job field.

As I don't live in Canada, I really don't know if I'm being dellusional here in some point. it is indeed a giant step in my life so I want to know what I'm doing for reals. Do you think my plan makes sense, or this isn't how it works in Canada? Is Vancouver really the best option for me, or is there any other town I would benefit more from getting XP? 

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There are big game development industries in Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary too.  The biggest centres for game development are Toronto and Montreal but Vancouver does have those mountains.

You will need to check visa requirements before making a decision.  You wouldn't be allowed to work with a student visa, and you can't go to school or work with a tourist visa.  Do your research at the government of Canada website well in advance to avoid problems.

To get a work visa, you would need a job offer and your employer would need to sponsor you.  Being in the same city is a good way to start that process. A good portfolio is a valuable asset, too.

Unpaid internships are illegal in Canada because they are immoral and unethical.  If someone offers you one, it is a scam.


Good luck.

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16 hours ago, Bregma said:

Unpaid internships are illegal in Canada because they are immoral and unethical.

That's true of many countries, but it doesn't mean the rules are followed. 

This includes the US where there are rules which many companies ignore trusting the odds they won't get caught.  In theory, it must be a part of their education, for the intern's benefit, and most often operated in conjunction with a school. In practice, they're up for whatever the company can get away with.

In this industry, internships should always be paid.  It would be difficult in this case unless the person has a student visa and the visa allows taking on smaller jobs while in school.  Student visas and study permits allow international students to do some work, including working as an intern or entry level worker while maintaining your schooling.

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Quebec City, which is also a major hub for game development in Canada (and not that far off Montreal) is currently boasting the lowest unemployment rate it has ever seen (<2.8%) and immigration is being openly discussed as a solution.

I'm not clear how that exactly translates right now for newcomer opportunities in the video games sector specifically, but in principle, studios are effectively aching for talent. Programming is always in high demand, though I can't necessarily say this is true of other talents.

(And internships are paid, and are associated with various tax credit measures for the employer, meaning a good intern can generate a lot of value for a growing business, and as such, the internship would, in principle, be paid as per prescribed by the law).

(Let me know when you do graduate, we sometimes take interns)

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