Are you an international student planning to move to Canada? Have already applied for schools? Congratulations! It's very lucky for you to be able to study abroad. We hope your application process goes well! If you haven't decided which city to stay in, I highly suggest you come to Toronto. Toronto has some of the best schools including University of Toronto, the no.1 university in Canada. Studying abroad is both exciting and daunting, especially if you are by yourself. I came from somewhere else too so I know how hard it can be. But don't worry, we've got you covered! In this post, we have gathered 5 tips that are helpful for international students to ease your transition to Canada.
5 Tips for International Students
First thing first, you must have a study permit to study in Canada if you are an international student. A study permit is a document issued by the Government of Canada that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada. You will need to apply for it before coming to Canada. Keep in mind that the study permit is not a visa, which means it doesn't let you into Canada. You will likely need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) as well. The Government of Canada will issue one to you along with your study permit once they approve your study permit. A study permit is usually valid for the length of the study program you're enrolled in, with an additional 90 days for you to prepare for leaving Canada or applying to extend your stay. While you may leave Canada during your study, you will need to show proof of you enrolled in your school and a valid visitor visa/eTA (if you have one) when returning to Canada. The cost for a study permit is $150 CAD. For more information, please visit the Government of Canada website.
Applying for Schools
The first thing you need to do when applying for schools is to find out your interest so you can pick the program you want to pursue. You can also visit different university websites to learn more about the courses they offer and give yourself some ideas of what sound interesting to you. When deciding on which programs you want to apply, make sure you know the requirements for each program as they probably have different requirements. For example, a program may interest you but it requires a course that you never took. That means you're not qualified for that program. If you haven't graduated from high school, you may want to take the courses required by the programs you're interested in if possible, so you can have more options when applying. One of the common requirements is English language proficiency. If you haven't been a full-time student at the high school level in Canada/a country where English is the first language/a school where English is the primary language of instruction (usually 4 years), you will need to take an English proficiency test like Ielts and TOEFL and meet the requirements specified by each school. Let's assume you are applying to Ontario Universities. Once you know you meet all the requirements, you can apply through Ontario's University Application Centre (OUAC). You will need to complete the 105 applications that's for Canadian residents or international applicants not currently attending an Ontario high school. One important thing to keep in mind is to make sure you apply to one of the designated learning institutions (DLI) so you can get a study permit.
Another thing to pay attention to is the weather in Canada. While the weather differs in different cities, it is generally chilly during winter so get yourself prepared with warm coats, gloves, scarf and snow boots. A tip to that is to wear layers because there's heat indoors and can become really hot if your clothes are too warm. One nice thing to do during winter is to go skating at the free public skating rinks. That's right, they are free! The government often issues weather warnings like "extreme cold warning". Sometimes if there's a winter storm, classes may be cancelled. If you don't like extreme weather, Toronto may be a great option.
Most universities have their own healthcare plan for students that are included in the tuition. Take some time to learn about the plan and find out what is under the coverage. Some universities have their own clinic as well so you don't need to look for one yourself. Healthcare in Canada can be very expensive. Getting yourself familiar with your university's healthcare plan can save you lots of money.
Last but not least, you will need to find a place to live when you arrive. I personally prefer living off campus because I can be more independent and sometimes even more affordable. When searching for housing, I suggest you look for furnished apartments so you don't need to shop for furniture and save time and money. All our premium suites at Avalon are fully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen and all the amenities you need. We have 5 types of suites ranging from studios to 2 bedroom suites so just pick one that accommodates your needs. A studio may be a good choice if you're by yourself! Each studio has a queen-size bed with a private bathroom (with a bathtub!) If you're planning to find roommates, our 2 bedroom suites can accommodate up to 5 people. Each of these has 2 separate bedrooms with 2 queen size beds and a large sofa bed, 2 private bathrooms with a bathtub and a study area. We even have a washer/dryer in all our suites. With all these features, staying in any of our suites will definitely make you feel at home. Don't have time to clean? We offer one complimentary cleaning service per week when you stay more than a week! We have free fast wifi so it's perfect for you to take classes online. We're located in the heart of Toronto's most upscale neighbourhood at the corner of Yorkville & Avenue Rd. Just a few minutes walk away from TTC, one of our major transits. We're also super close to University of Toronto and Ryerson University! You can rent it on a month-to-month basis so you can go back home anytime and book again when you come back. Just let us know 15 days prior to the date you want to stop renting. No contract needed. We even offer a 5% discount for extended stay plus a 13% discount on the HST for booking over 28 days! To learn more, visit our website or call us at 416.731.1372.
Congratulations again on studying abroad, especially if you got an offer already! Hopefully you are now more familiar with the process after reading the post. If you want to get more information, there are many sources you can look at. The Government of Canada website is one of them and they have all the details you need. If you are looking for housing, come stay with us at Avalon! To make a reservation, contact us at 416.731.1372 so we can give you a discount!