The decision to pursue your educational studies in Canada is an important one. Moving to another country can be not only an exciting but also an overwhelming experience. In order to make your stay here smoother and more enjoyable, I’ve decided to share some tips I wish I knew before coming here.
I am from Siberia and I am used to cold winters, but so many of my friends had left Canada as they did not expect winters to be so long and severe. Get ready to face quite cold temperatures and strong winds! I suggest you pack your winter jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, etc.
Summers here are the best though! Torontonians are not spoiled with a long summer, so they make sure to get the most out of it. Summer months fuel your spontaneity, and you can expect to find events, festivals, and endless fun just around every corner!
Working while studying
If you are a full-time international student in Canada and have a valid study permit, you are allowed to work on or off-campus while studying. Side note: don’t forget to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
You may work full-time during semester breaks; however, make sure you don’t work for more than 20 hours per week during university semesters. Not only is this a good way to cover your living costs, but also a great way to build your network ad start gaining work experience in Canada.
Make sure you apply to scholarships that are available for international students! I know this for a fact that a majority of students usually do not bother applying to any scholarships.
As for my experience, I applied for it once and received a scholarship that covered my summer educational trip to Europe. Isn’t it lovely?
So do your research and don’t miss this great opportunity! I promise that this is worth it and you will thank me later!
Most colleges and universities have International Student Welcome Centers. Don’t be shy to reach out to them if you have any questions! They can provide more information on how to set up a bank account, phone plan, TTC pass, health insurance, student ID card, and much more.
Time to adjust
Don’t forget to give yourself some time to adjust to living in a different country. It can be overwhelming, and you may experience a “culture shock”, especially if this is your first time away from home. The best way to get through this phase and overcome culture shock is by getting involved, finding friends who are going through a similar experience, and just simply realize that adjusting takes time.
It is absolutely normal to feel homesick but remember that you are not alone – all students experience these different phases of adjusting to a new country including honeymoon, frustration, adjustment, and acceptance. They are all doing well now, and you will too!