Volunteer activities that are not “work” and do not require a work permit
Volunteer work for which a person would not normally be remunerated, such as a foreign student being a ‘big brother’, or ‘big sister’ to a child; being on the line at a rape crisis centre. Normally this activity would be part time and incidental to the main reason that the person is in Canada (in this case, to study).
Unremunerated observation of the functioning of a given work environment or occupation (i.e. following a geologist on their sample-gathering trips). In some cases, minor tasks may be performed by the foreign student (such as clerical chores), however there should not a significant contribution to the productivity of the enterprise.
Unremunerated helping of a friend or family member during a visit.
There may be other types of unpaid short-term work where the work is really incidental to the main reason that the foreign student is in Canada and is not a competitive activity, even though non-monetary valuable consideration is received. For instance, if a foreign student wishes to stay on a family farm and work part time just for room and board for a short period (i.e., 1-4 weeks), this would not be considered an activity which requires a work permit.