Many international students dream of obtaining a Canadian university degree. Primarily because studying abroad is an experience worth having. But to make sure everything goes smoothly, here are 10 practical tips for international students in Canada.
Tip 1# Start the request for a student visa as soon as possible
When preparing to study in a foreign country, after the university request for registration, the student visa is the other crucial step. This is why our first piece of advice to international students in Canada is on this topic. Also, the request for a visa is very long and can take several months. Also, to avoid any unpleasant surprises, make sure you have all the necessary documents and information before you even start the request for the visa.
Tip 2# How to handle long conferences
Conferences usually last about 3 hours. Therefore, it is advisable to have a snack and a cup of coffee before the conference, as you will usually not have a break to rest. However, the benefit of these long lectures is that you will have to spend less time in the library. This is due to the fact that the lecturer explains the topics in more detail and with more examples.
Most importantly, choose a university based on your aspirations and goals. Do not sign up for any university just to get into Canada.
Normally, the first few days at the university can be a bit difficult. However, you should be patient and inquisitive, after all, you will not be the only newcomer on campus.
Tip #3# Canadians are punctual
Punctuality is important in Canadian culture. So if you are late for a meeting or an informal gathering, be sure to let the person or entity know. Or, cancel the meeting if you cannot arrive on time.
A common rule of thumb is to arrive no more than ten minutes late.
However, if you are invited to someone’s home, be sure not to arrive early. The host may not be ready for you yet.
Tip 4# Open a bank account to manage your student budget
Do some searching to find a student account that offers good service. Also, get a debit card that you can use for deposits, withdrawals, and bill payments.
You will typically be requested for your foreign passport and photos to open a bank account. Certain banks may need your home or residence address if you live in an apartment near your university.
Tip #5# Get health insurance
International students need adequate health insurance to cover possible health expenses while in Canada.
Canada has a national health insurance plan, but it is managed by each province. You will need to verify that the province you are traveling to accepts international students.
Otherwise, your university may recommend a specific health insurance plan. So be sure to check their website to see what they recommend for their international students.
Tip #6# Be prepared for Canada’s extreme weather
If you are an international student from a warm or tropical country, your very first contact with the Canadian winter could be brutal! So make sure you take this part seriously and pack the appropriate clothing to help you cope with the winter months.
You may also want to invest in a pair of good quality, sturdy boots with good traction soles. Add to that a new winter jacket size or two larger than the one you normally wear.
Tip #7# Take advantage of the Canadian outdoors
Canada has beautiful national parks and it is easy to get to them. International students in Canada usually rent a car to go on road trips to the different huts in the mountains.
This will be a great experience. For example, we recommend visiting Moraine Lake near Vancouver.
Tip #8# Make new friends
One of the benefits of meeting new people, especially from other countries, is that they will definitely help you improve your vocabulary.
This will allow you to learn the language faster, and will also help you adapt to their culture. So don’t hesitate to make new friends.
Tip #9# Take advantage of your school’s resources for international students
Might you be tempted to stay in your dorm all day? Then take the time to learn as much as you can about the university’s website. Very often, your university’s website will provide you with information about transportation, health services, Canadian culture, and much more. So it’s a great place to start.
Also, make sure you don’t miss out on orientation programs. All universities and colleges in Canada offer these programs to students before the school year begins. This is the top way to become familiar with the facilities, services, support, and advice available to international students on campus.
Tip #10# Get to know Canadian culture
Canada has different ways of doing things than you do, so take the time to learn about them and everything will seem easier. Once you understand the culture, you will be able to interact with people more easily.
Also, keep in mind that Canada is a very large country with two official languages. In addition, Canadians come from a variety of backgrounds (Aboriginal, European, and Asian immigrants…), so the culture is very diverse. In general, Canadians are spontaneous and very polite people.