Numerous international students choose Canada as a destination, making nearly one-fifth of Canadian university students being from other countries. Canada is also the fourth most popular country for international students to study abroad. That’s why we have decided to provide you with some basic information international students may need to know about the student life in Canada.
Read also our tips for international students in Canada.
International Student Life in Canada
When you think of Canada, you may think of its beautiful landscapes: wide open spaces, interesting mountains, ancient forests, and majestic lakes… While Canada also stands out by its modern, multicultural and very tolerant society. Moreover, Canada is a bilingual country, using both English and French.
Living in Canada is similar in many ways to living in other Western countries, however, there are some aspects of daily life that are unique and specific to this country.
A close-knit student community
Another great part of college life in Canada is the learning environment that is very supportive toward international students. In case you have any concerns, universities have a student support team you can reach out to. You are also encouraged to participate in class, in order to increase your knowledge in the subject of study.
In other words, everything is set to support not only your academic performance, but also your future career in the future.
Culture in Canada
Canadian culture has the influence of British and French traditions, but its historical openness to immigration means that the country is a melting pot of many different cultures. In fact, Canadians are professional sports enthusiasts, the most popular being the National Hockey League.
On the other hand, most Canadian cities host many sports events, theater productions, and musical performances. Many emerging artists often show their performances on campus.
To learn more on the subject, read also our guide on how to adapt to the habits of the Canadian society.
Ethics and safety
Canadians are polite and encourage foreigners to retain and share their cultural practices. Their morals are similar to those in America and Britain. Canada also has a reputation as one of the safest countries on earth. Besides, liberal attitudes in the country make it a great place to study for international students from any background.
Canadian Food and Cuisine
Thanks to the French and British influence on the country, Canadian cuisine offers a variety of dishes, which cater to every taste. Whether you like the traditional French pastries, smoked meats, or bread and pies, you will likely find it.
Most international students in Canada are likely to find something to remind them of their home.
As a matter of fact, most universities offer on-campus accommodation in Canada, with priority for first-year students. These dormitory-style residences may or may not have shared facilities such as kitchens or bathrooms.
Therefore, students who are uncomfortable with the idea of living in a mixed-sex area should inform the university before booking the room. Off-campus housing is also available in the form of private rent or accommodation with beds.
Read also our guide on student accommodation in Canada for more details.
Cost of studying in Canada for international students
Students typically need between CAD15,000 and CAD 30,000 a year to study in Canada, a figure that includes the cost of studying and living in Canada. A traditional restaurant meal costs CAD 15 and CAD2 for milk or bread.
Monthly transportation permits cost approximately with CAD 90, and the average cost of basic means of transport is CAD 150 per month. On the other hand, the cost of apartments rent varies considerably between regions, ranging from CAD 400 to CAD 1,500 per month.
Learn more about the cost of living in Canada as an international student.
Working while studying
To work while studying in Canada, you must abide by the rules of your study permit. As an illustration, international students are allowed to work on campus with a valid study permit. However, you must ensure that the company from which you will obtain this permit has close ties with the university.
You also can work off-campus up to a maximum of 20 hours per week. This is only if you have a work or study permit stating your eligibility.
For more information about work permits in Canada, see: Work in Canada after graduation.
Another common worry many have about the student life in Canada is the weather, most especially the cold. Canada is indeed known to be more on the colder side, but it is not the case all year long. As a matter of fact, Canada has 4 seasons, the hottest months of the year being from June to August.
Those are times people in the country enjoy fun outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, camping or biking. Many areas of the country also have milder winters, but to avoid being surprised by the cold, invest in good quality winter clothing!