Welcome to Canada – a land of diverse cultures, top-tier education, and breath-taking landscapes! Embarking on your first month as an international student in Canada, you’ll swiftly grasp the distinct allure this country extends to worldwide scholars. This is true as the country offers excellent education. affordable fees, and work options while studying.
Recent data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) highlights a record-breaking count of 807,750 international students with valid study permits as of December 31, 2022. As the upcoming fall semester brings in more students to Canada, we have crafted a guide to help international scholars navigate their first 30 days on this Canadian voyage.
Arrival and Settlement
Finding Your Footing
As you touch down on Canadian soil, inhale the start of a transformative journey. A rush of emotions – excitement, anticipation, maybe even a hint of nervousness – is natural. Our guide is your compass, providing insights and knowledge for a seamless first month. Welcome to a new chapter with ease.
Accommodation and Essentials
- Housing – Securing housing as an international student is pivotal. While Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) often offer housing, others must explore options near campuses. College portals, and online platforms like Kijiji Facebook Marketplace, and Realtor.ca simplify the search. Realtors can help, and remember, they’re compensated only upon successful closure. Landlords may require a year-long lease and a credit score – consider co-leasers or larger deposits. Factor in commuting, using apps like Transit and Google, for wise housing choices.
- Cellphone – For international students, a local cell phone number keeps connections alive. Plans vary in length and offerings, often with student-centric options. Check for devices, call minutes, data, and international call add-ons. Set up plans at stores, kiosks, or online. No credit history? Pre-paid plans are available.
- Banking – Upon arrival, open a bank account for daily expenses and work-related needs. Canadian cities host a range of banks, credit unions, and international options. Gather identification documents—study permit, passport, student ID, acceptance letter, and proof of residence. Special banking packages for newcomers and students are common, alongside credit card options for financial security and credit building.
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- Student Supports – Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) offer robust support for international students. The international education center provides language training, housing assistance, and tailored events. They connect you to various departments, like the career center, aiding in resume building, interviews, and networking.
- Student ID Benefits – Secure your student ID for seamless registration and exclusive benefits. The renowned SPC Card program offers discounts across stores with your student ID. Enjoy preferential pricing and specialized plans.
- University Orientation – A key event in your first month is the university orientation. This invaluable experience introduces you to campus facilities, academic resources, and fellow students. Participate actively in orientation activities and seize the opportunity to make connections that could last a lifetime.
- Navigating Course Selection – Selecting your courses is a significant decision that sets the tone for your academic journey. Be sure to consult your program advisor and consider your long-term goals. Remember, a balanced course load that aligns with your interests and aspirations is the foundation of a successful academic experience.
- Club Week – At the school year’s start, Club Week introduces myriad clubs for students to join. These gatherings help build connections based on culture, interests, or hobbies. Expand your social circle and find your community through shared passions.
Acquiring a SIN: Essential for Work and Benefits
To get work or access benefits in Canada, a nine-digit Social Insurance Number (SIN) is essential. Apply online via the eSIN portal, a secure platform for quick submissions and document uploads. In-person application at Service Canada clinics or centers is another route. Mail-in application is available too. Upon approval, receive a paper confirmation with your SIN number.
With this guide in hand, we are confident that your journey as an international student in Canada will be filled with growth, learning, and memorable experiences.