Choosing to study in Canada is a big decision – and one that comes with a lot of logistical considerations.
If you’re planning on making the move to study in Canada, there are a few things you should know before you go.
From figuring out your finances to getting your study permit, there’s a lot to think about before you make the big move.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you need to know before coming to Canada to study.
By the end, you’ll be prepared and ready to make your dream of studying in Canada a reality!
You need a study permit.
The first thing you need to know if you are coming to study in Canada is that you need a study permit to be allowed to study here.
A study permit is an official document issued by the Canadian government that allows foreign nationals to study in Canada for a specific period.
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Below is what a study permit looks like.
You need it to study in Canada.
The good news is that you can apply for a study permit online or at a Canadian embassy, consulate, or high commission near you.
To get your study permit, there are a few requirements you must meet.
You must prove that you have enough money to support yourself during your studies.
You must have valid travel documents, and be admissible to Canada.
If you have a criminal record that could make you inadmissible to Canada, you can’t obtain a study permit.
You need to also provide documents like your acceptance letter from a designated learning institute, proof of financial support, and a valid passport to get your study permit.
If you meet all the requirements and are issued a study permit, you will be able to study in Canada for the duration of your permit.
See also: Most affordable Universities in Canada for International Students
Once your permit expires, you must leave Canada.
If you want to stay in Canada beyond the expiring date of your study permit, you must apply for an extension or apply for a new visa.
You need to prepare for the weather
The weather in Canada can be a bit of a shock if you’re coming from a warm climate.
No matter what time of year you come to Canada to study, you need to be prepared for the weather.
That means packing warm clothes, even if you’re coming in the summer.
The weather in Canada can be unpredictable, so it’s always better to be prepared.
You don’t want to be caught unprepared. My first time here, I wanted to go home after 3 days.
It was hard to bear because I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been.
Don’t be like me.
Canada is a huge country (one of the biggest in the world) and the weather can vary from region to region.
It’s also important to know that the further north you go, the colder it will be.
So if your designated learning institute is further north, you need extra clothes.
Another shocking thing about the weather down here is that it can change quickly, even in the span of a few hours.
So when you get here, always check the forecast before you head out.
That way you can be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way…
But no matter how you try, one thing is certain: you’ll experience some extreme weather conditions at some point during your studies.
See also: Universities that accept 3rd Class degrees for Masters in Canada
Whether it’s a blizzard in the winter or a heat wave in the summer.
So be prepared for all kinds of weather conditions.
One more tip.
When you get here, learn to dress in layers: This will help you to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
And finally, stay hydrated: drink plenty of fluids, especially in the summer.
You need health insurance
In Canada, proper health care is not free, even though it’s always reported to be free for all.
You’ll need to purchase health insurance to have access to medical care.
As an international student, there are a few different health insurance options for you.
You can buy private health insurance, enroll in a provincial or territorial health insurance plan, or get health insurance through your school.
See also: University British Columbia Dean Entrance Scholarships for International Students
Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to do your research and choose the option that’s right for you.
However, it has been reported over time that the best option is (always) to purchase a health insurance plan through your school.
This is also the option I used during mine.
It’s a lot easier and less stressful.
But you can check out other options.
One of them may meet your needs better than going through your school.
The most important thing is that you have a health insurance plan.
If you don’t get your health insurance and you get sick or injured while you’re here, you’ll end up with a huge medical bill.
You need to be prepared for the cost of living in Canada.
You’re probably already aware that tuition fees for international students studying in Canada are higher than they are for Canadian students.
See also: What is the minimum bank balance for a Canadian student visa application
But what you may not know is that the cost of living in Canada is also higher than in many other countries.
Well, not higher than the UK or USA, but it can be higher for a student on a budget.
As an international student, you need to budget carefully and make sure you have enough money to cover all your expenses.
So what exactly do you need to budget for?
Here are some of the main costs you’ll need to consider:
- Tuition fees
- Books and other study materials
- Entertainment (Not a must but highly recommended).
As you can see, there are a lot of things you need to factor into your budget.
But with the current work time for students, you will be just fine.
You can work to support yourself while studying.
See also: Which province in Canada is best for international students
In addition, the cost of living depends on the city you are studying in.
If you get admitted to a school in a small city, then expect to spend less.
Ensure you have all the necessary documents
This is as important as your coming to Canada, you cannot afford to forget any documents.
Make sure you have all the right documents.
This includes a study permit – you can obtain this on arrival but you can apply before coming—and a student visa.
You may also need a medical exam and a police report.
If you’re not sure what documents you need, the best thing to do is to contact the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country.
They’ll be able to tell you what you need based on your specific situation.
You can also contact your school to assist with a list of all necessary documents you may need.
Do not come to Canada without your documents.
See Also: How many hours can international students work in Canada
It will be stressful to get on, but if you have gathered all the necessary documents.
You are ready to come to Canada. Your adventure as an international student in Canada just started!
The food can be a lot different from what you’re used to.
Another thing you need to know before coming to Canada to study is that the food can be a lot different from what you’re used to.
Canadians generally eat more fresh fruits and vegetables than people in other countries, and they also eat more whole-grain bread and cereals.
Another significant difference is that Canadians consume more milk and dairy products than most people in other countries.
This is because Canada has a large dairy industry.
If you are a fan of milk and take a lot of dairy products, you will enjoy it here.
I am also a big fan of milk so I enjoy this part of Canada a lot.
In addition, Canadians consume more protein than people in other countries, as they tend to eat a lot of fish and shellfish.
If you’re used to eating a lot of processed food, you may be surprised by the amount of fresh food that is available in Canada.
It’s important to remember, however, that fresh food can sometimes be more expensive than processed food.
So get your cash ready. Food can cost you a lot, but it will depend on how often you eat out and whether you cook for yourself or eat at the residence cafeteria all the time.
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Some common foods you will find in Canada are:
- poutine (fries with gravy and cheese).
- maple syrup.
- Timbits (doughnut holes).
- back bacon.
- Nanaimo bars.
Generally, there are great meals in Canada, but you will need time to readjust.
There are a lot of great places to visit in Canada.
This is the part I love most about Canada, Upon getting here, I was WOWED at the amazing beauty the country is filled with.
Canada is truly a beautiful country, with many natural attractions.
There are many great places to visit in Canada, including world-renowned national parks, historic sites, and cosmopolitan cities.
No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to your taste in Canada.
See Also: How to make friends in Canada as an international student
When you arrive here, get used to the country as fast as you can, and ensure you go out or hang out with friends as much as you can, it will help you get used to the country fast.
Here are just a few of the places you might want to consider adding to your list (of places to visit):
- Niagara Falls: One of the most iconic tourist destinations in Canada, Niagara Falls is a must-see for anyone visiting the country.
- Ottawa: The capital of Canada, Ottawa is a beautiful city with plenty of history and culture to explore.
- Vancouver: A popular destination for students, Vancouver is a beautiful city with a lot to offer, from its lively downtown to its stunning natural scenery.
- Montreal: Another great option for students, Montreal is a bilingual city with a unique European flair.
- ·Toronto: The largest city in Canada, Toronto is a cosmopolitan metropolis with something for everyone.
No matter what part of the country your school is in, you can always find stunning places to visit or things to do.
Canadians are generally very welcoming to international students.
If you are wondering why Canada is a popular choice for international students, here is one of the major reasons:
Aside from the renowned institutions and world-class teaching and research systems, the country has a huge reputation for being welcoming and inclusive.
Canadians are known for their friendly nature and openness to others, and this extends to international students.
You’ll find that Canadians are quick to offer help and assistance, and they’re always happy to share their culture and traditions with visitors.
If you’re thinking of studying in Canada, rest assured that you’ll be warmly welcomed by many Canadians.
See Also: How you can do masters with a 2.5 GPA in Canada
There are lots more you may need to know, but these are the major points to note before coming here for your studies.
With these at your fingertips, you can get along easily.
As you can see, there is a lot to take note of before coming to Canada to study.
From the weather to the food, a lot of things will be different from what you’re used to.
So get prepared.
The people are generally nice and welcoming, so you will get along well.
You just need to give yourself a little time from when you arrive and everything will start feeling familiar.
You will surely enjoy it here.
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