Tips for International Students Relocating to Canada
Canadian universities and colleges continue to see more students attending their schools from overseas. For many years China sent a steady stream of students to Canada, but schools are now seeing an increase from countries such as Nigeria, Brazil, Russia, France and Vietnam. The Canadian Bureau for International Education estimates that more students will decide to study abroad as time goes on.
Many post-secondary schools across the country have international student recruitment programs. The programs are proving to be very successful and they are seeing more students from around the world attend Canadian universities and colleges. Both small community colleges and large universities are benefiting from this explosion in international student enrollment. Attending a Canadian post-secondary school as an international student, however, can be both challenging and expensive.
Planning for a student relocation can be exciting and scary. Many are excited by the notion of fully emerging themselves into a completely new culture. In addition to obtaining an education, international students will have the chance to meet new friends while experiencing Canadian culture first-hand.
While attending schools in Canada presents some amazing opportunities, there are many things that an international student must take into account. These are concerns that native students rarely need to worry about.
Take some time and learn as much English as possible and study Canadian culture. Many nations have strong English programs, but some extra studying can make a move to Canada much easier.
Once you’ve found the right school and location, it’s time to apply. Each university and college will have their own application process and it’s important to adhere to it. Be sure to apply early. It is recommended that international students apply at least one year before their desired program begins. Contact the school ahead of time and find out how to apply, and if possible you should verify that your application was properly received after it’s submitted. During this time you will want to research and gain a good understanding of the cost of applying, tuition fees, health insurance, the cost of rent, any required English testing and any relevant immigration information.
If you are accepted into a Canadian post-secondary program, you will receive a letter of acceptance. This is a very important document and will be needed when applying for a Canadian study permit. After acceptance, you will need to pay for your program or make acceptable arrangements. Be sure that any international money transfers meet the school’s requirements.
Remember, the Canadian Government does not provide money for international student health-care, and provincial coverage will vary. It’s important to do your research and possibly ask your school for more information. Private insurance may be required as part of your relocation process. Many schools will have an insurance plan for international students which will provide coverage for most injuries and illnesses.
It is important to do your research and to learn about your new home. Most colleges and universities have international student groups. These student groups can really help expats network and connect them with information about transportation, health-care, living costs and Canadian culture. International student groups do a great job at connecting students and help create friendships. Developing social relationships can be a great way to improve English skills. These groups can also provide valuable links to both the campus and community.
Many international students find Canadian culture to be refreshingly diverse. Canadians come from various backgrounds and cultures, and this can be exciting for expats. Overall, Canadians are casual and are very accepting.
You may want to open a Canadian bank account. Shop around and find a bank that offers discounts on student bank accounts. You’ll get a debit card which will provide you with ATM access and the ability to purchase items at most stores without needing cash, and most banks offer online banking options. Typically, banks will require two pieces of identification to open a bank account. Your passport will usually work as photo ID.
Canada is a wonderful country and it has an excellent education system. Students of all levels will be able to fully emerge themselves into Canadian culture and will gain a valuable education at the same time. The key to a successful relocation is research. We’ve been helping international students have a positive experience for years. We take a lot of pride in our personalized approach with everyone we work with. Every relocation is unique and we work with families and international students in all phases of their move, making the experience enjoyable and relaxing. Want to learn more about education opportunities in Canada? Contact one of our talented Canadian relocation consultants to get your move started.