Study in Canada - Life of an International Student
Canada is a fascinating blend of various cultures and modern thought, bound together by a strong sense of diversity. As an international student, you'll have a plethora of interesting opportunities ahead of you, including the chance to see exotic locations and meet new people. You'll find that many Canadian customs are already known to you because Canada is like a global city, and you'll settle in faster than you think.
Due to its high quality of education, diversified culture, and overall quality of life, Canada is one of the world's most popular study destinations. Thousands of international students are welcomed each year, and they are set on a path to academic and personal success.
Read on to explore what you can expect as an international student in Canada. Let's start with the culture here.
Canada is known to be the second happiest country in the world; it is vast, multicultural, and multilingual. The most basic fact about Canadians is that they are truly polite and friendly. Regardless of your gender, ethnicity, religion, and occupation, you are accepted here. Initially ‘Canadian English’ might sound surprising to you until you get used to the lingos. Usage of niceties like “sorry,” “thank you,” “may I,” “excuse me,” and “please,” is a social standard. Also, tipping in Canadian restaurants, salons, and taxis, along with a “Thank you”, is much expected.
Canada is a very large country; the second biggest in the world. It is a country of immigrants. International migration accounted for 58.0% of population growth in 2020. As an international student, if you are staying in a PG or a homestay with a Canadian family, I am sure, you’ll feel settled and secure and most importantly at home. As an international student, you can opt for an on-campus residence facility or look for off-campus accommodation.
It is observed that most international students prefer staying off-campus. In this case, you can get a space for yourself on rent in shared apartments/condominiums. Remember, the rentals will vary from city to city.
Most universities and colleges in Canada offer dormitories or townhouses for students from other countries. However, you need to apply for it separately, and well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself. The cost for on-campus housing may or may not include a meal plan and or other utilities such as phone and internet connection. The benefit of staying on campus is that you will get to spend more time in and around your campus.
At the university/college level, most of your day will be spent on practical-based career-centered education. your days will include lectures, labs, tutorials, and workshops. This variety is what campus life is all about in Canadian universities. Your professors and instructors schedule office hours for students, so you can meet with them to discuss assignments or questions. A lot of colleges/universities do have buddy programs, where a graduate/senior student in your field will also be there to provide that extra learning support.
We believe the campus environment plays a major role in the quality of the student experience. That’s why most universities and colleges offer many extracurricular and fun activities and clubs to create a fun and interactive environment for all students. These activities can range anywhere from dance groups and cooking classes, to video game clubs and athletic teams. If you have a hobby you enjoy and want to find people who are also interested, social clubs are a good place to start. Apart from all of this, all campuses have a gym, health services, library, dining hall, class buildings, restaurants, and grocery stores. So, you see there’s so much to explore and do on the campus.
All study and no play make Jack a dull boy! So, there are abundant leisure and entertainment activities for all the international students. Canadians also enjoy a very active lifestyle and frequently participate in various indoor and outdoor activities all year round. As we discussed earlier, there are lots of activities and social clubs and groups available on the campus and we have seen students get to be a part of it very easily. The availability of the number of rivers, lakes, and seas in various parts of Canada makes water sports one of the favorites and popular. Some of the popular activities include cycling, reading, bowling, golfing, walking, skating, hiking, cooking, skiing, swimming, and many more.
Canada's public transit system is safe, efficient, and well-connected. Depending on where you stay, you can use public transportation such as Buses, trains, subways, and light-rail trails, or you can cycle around, or walk to your institution. There are student discounts available when using various public transportation options, this makes it simple to navigate throughout Canada.
We know, food is a favorite topic for most of us and we are sure, every aspiring student will have lots of questions about it. But, to summarize, yes you do get Indian food in Canada. There are many Indian and other Asian restaurants where you can walk in and enjoy our traditional delicacies. However, you will also have to remember that, being an international student, it may not be feasible for you to eat outside every day and hence most the students prefer to cook at home. There are many Indian stores where you will get Indian spices and groceries. Alternatively, if you are residing on campus, you can also enroll for meal plans at your university/college cafeterias.
Staying connected with your friends, family, and the university will likely be on your list of essentials. In Canada, you have the option of choosing between a pay-as-you-go (prepaid) or postpaid phone plan. However, since postpaid plans typically require a credit check, most international students start with prepaid phone service. Some carriers also allow you to purchase a prepaid SIM card online and have it delivered to your address. International students living on-campus typically have internet access through their local Wi-Fi.
In a Nutshell
That’s right! Student life in Canada is about more than just academic success. You will be spending time and networking with your classmates, faculty, and the locals. New connections and friendships. As Canadians are welcoming and friendly, you will feel good about living in Canada. Many universities have on-campus student groups where you might find people with similar interests or backgrounds. You will have ample options to engage in extracurricular activities, such as socializing, sports, exercising, exploring the city, or working part-time.
While in Canada explore the city and enjoy your student life.
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