Leaving the comfort of your home to study abroad can be very daunting. Every year thousands of foreign students move to Canada to pursue their higher education. Most of these students don’t know anyone in Canada and neither do they know what to expect. The whole situation, thus, can be somewhat stressful. Keeping in mind certain things can help make your study abroad journey a lot easier.
If you are planning to study in Canada, these tips will help you prepare for what’s to come.
If you are moving to Canada from India, it is quite obvious that you will face some cultural differences. However, these differences need not always be bad. Canadians are known to be extremely welcoming and friendly. International students who have previously studied in Canada will tell you how great “student culture” is in Canada. There is a very strong sense of camaraderie between the students and the university. You will see a ton of students supporting their university by wearing clothes with the university logo. Yes, the food, the language and the culture may be different. But if you are prepared for the same, it will be easier to adapt to student life in Canada.
Get your finances in order
You must organize your finances before you move to Canada for your studies. It is wise to keep aside a certain amount for unexpected expenditures in Canada. Books, transport, accommodation etc. may cost more than what you expect. Hence, keeping a tidy sum aside apart and planning your finances smartly will help you avoid unnecessary tension in Canada. Contact the international student support desk of your university and ask for the full list of fees before you make your move. Keep in mind the exchange rate when you plan your finances for coming to Canada.
Pack your essentials beforehand
You need not bring everything while moving to Canada. However, there are some essential items that you must carry with you. Pack these things beforehand to avoid any hassles at the eleventh hour. The list of essential items is:
- Documents: You must carry your Student Visa, educational certificates, admission papers, passport and flight tickets. Make sure that you also carry photocopies of the same.
- Medicines: If you are on any prescription medicines, make sure that you pack them. You can also carry medicines for minor ailments like cold and fever.
- Clothes: It is wise to pack clothes which dry easily as Canada is a cold country. Also, pack clothes which do not need ironing. You can also pack clothes which you can mix and match so that you do not end up carrying too many clothes. Don’t forget to pack your winter clothing. Also, make sure to carry your toiletries.
- Gadgets: You will need your laptop and phone to study in Canada. Make sure you pack them and also do not forget accessories like your laptop and phone charger, adapters and USB cords.
When studying in Canada, you can opt for on-campus or off-campus accommodation. You can choose from student residence, shared apartment, individual apartment and paying guest accommodation. There are advantages with both on-campus and off-campus accommodations. If you live on-campus, you get to socialize more with the students. However, off-campus accommodation allows you to be more independent and meet people outside of your university. Before you leave your home country, try and find a place to live in your destination city in Canada.
Hunting for a part-time job
Canada allows international students to work part-time during the course of their studies. Part-time means you will be allowed to work for 20 hours a week. You should start looking for a part-time job once you have settled in well in the city. You would need a SIN (Social Insurance Number) to work in Canada. You may apply for the SIN through mail or in person. Working part-time can not just help you manage your expenses but it will also be a great way to earn valuable Canadian work experience.
Be ready for the cold weather
Canada is a cold country with temperatures in winter falling well below zero degrees. The winter clothes from India may not be sufficient in Canada’s intense winter. Hence, it is highly advisable that you invest in some good quality winter clothes in Canada.
Studying in Canada not just gives you top-class education but also a chance to settle permanently in the country. You will be able to earn extra points for your Canadian education and work experience when applying for the Canada PR Visa process through the Express Entry Program.
The Express Entry Program prioritizes candidates with high CRS scores. The higher your score, the better your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for Permanent Residency of Canada. Your Canadian education and work experience can help you score more than other candidates. Have you checked your CRS score yet? You can use a CRS calculator to do so.
Studying in Canada can be a life-changing experience and will give you memories of a lifetime.