Getting a Canadian university degree is the dream of many international students. Indeed, studying abroad is an experience that deserves to be indulged in. Moreover, for every experience, you need some advice, especially as an international student visiting Canada for the first time. Here are 10 tips for international students in Canada.
Tip #1 Start the student visa application as soon as possible
When getting ready to study in a foreign country, after the university application, the student visa is the other crucial step. And this is why our first advice for international students in Canada is about the subject. Also, because the visa application process is very long and can take several months. Moreover, to avoid any unpleasant surprise, make sure to have all the documents and info you need before even start the application process.
You can check here the requirements to study in Canada for international students.
Read also our guide on how to apply for a study permit in Canada, which is the Canadian student visa.
And lastly, read our overview of the most common reasons why your visa to Canada might be refused and how to reapply.
Tip #2 Get ready for long lectures, a common occurrence in Canadian universities
The lecture usually lasts for about 3 hours. Hence, it is advisable to eat a snack and a cup of coffee before the lecture, as you usually will not have any breaks for rest.
However, the good thing about those long lectures is that you will spend less time in the library. This is because the lecturer explains the topics with more details and more examples.
Tip #3 Take advantage of the school’s resources for international students
You may be tempted to stay at your university residence all day, but invest your time to learn as much as possible about the school. As an illustration, search to find the nearest places to find transportation, health services, Canadian culture and more.
As a matter of fact, your university’s website usually contains a large amount of information for international students, so it is a great place to start.
Moreover, make sure to not miss any orientation program. Every university and college in Canada have these programs for students before the start of the academic year. This is the best way to get acquainted with the facilities, services, support and guidance available to any international students on campus.
Tip #4 Canadians are always on time!
Punctuality is important in Canadian culture. Hence, in case you are going to be late for an informal meeting or date, make sure to contact (the person/entity concerned) or at least inform them via text message that you will be a little late. Or else, cancel the meeting if you cannot arrive on time.
Besides, a basic rule that you must adhere to is not to arrive more than 10 minutes late. However, if you are a guest with someone at home, schedule your visit not to arrive more than 10 minutes earlier. This is because the host might not be ready yet to welcome you.
Tip #5 International Student’s bank account
Do a search on a student account that offers a low-cost service. Moreover, you can get a debit card that you can use to make deposits, withdrawals, or pay bills.
You will usually be prompted for your foreign passport and photographs to open a bank account. Some banks may require your home address or residence details if you live in apartments near your university.
Tip #6 Subscribe to a health insurance
International students need an adequate medical travel plan that meets health care expenses while being in Canada.
As an illustration, your university may recommend specific health insurance. Therefore, be sure to visit its website to find what it recommends for its international students.
Tip #7 Get ready for the Canadian extreme weather
If you’re an international student from a warmer or tropical country, your first experience with the Canadian winter might be brutal! So, make sure to take this part seriously, and pack the appropriate clothing to help you cope with the winter months.
Moreover, you can also invest in a good quality, sturdy pair of boots with soles that have a good grip. Add to that a new winter jacket with a size or two up what you’d normally wear.
Tip #8 Discover the Canadian nature
Canada has one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, and they are very easily accessible. Foreign students in Canada usually rent a car for road trips to various huts in the mountains.
Hence, this will be a great experience. We definitely recommend you to visit Moraine Lake near Vancouver.
Tip #9 Make friends
One of the advantages of meeting new people, especially from other countries, is that they will definitely help you improve your vocabulary. Moreover, you will learn the language faster. Therefore, do not hesitate and meet new friends.
Tip #10 Learn about the Canadian culture
Canada has different habits that would interest you as a foreign student about the country. When you understand the culture of the country, you will be able to interact with people more smoothly.
Learning people’s habits will also help you interact with conversations and make new friends easily. Moreover, remember that Canadians have a diverse background and culture. In general, Canadians are very polite and spontaneous people.
Learn more on the subject in our article: How to adapt to the Canadian society’s habits.
Finally, we hope that the above 10 tips for International students in Canada will make you more prepared.
Check also this ultimate guide for Studies in Canada for more information.