Heading off to university in Canada as an international student is exciting but also daunting. To ensure you feel at home and make the most of your experience, here are a few things you should do.
1. Research What Your University Has to Offer
Spend some time on your university’s website, exploring what resources your school provides. There may even be some services just for international students, such as advice for things like study permits, health insurance, and renting an apartment. In addition, your university may be able to offer you support if you’re struggling with homesickness or adapting to the new culture.
2. Strive to Be on Time
One thing you’ll notice when living in Canada is that it’s normal to be punctual. Whether you have a formal meeting or you’re just meeting friends, make sure you’re always on time. If you’re running late, you should send the person a message — but even then, it’s important to arrive no more than 10 minutes late.
3. Learn About Other Aspects of Canadian Culture
You’ll find it useful to learn as much as possible about other aspects of the culture in Canada. This will help you feel relaxed and mean that you’ll never need to worry about offending someone. It will also help you build good relationships with professors, faculty members, and friends. Although Canadian culture is diverse in many ways, you’ll find that people are polite but casual. For instance, you should address your professors by their preferred titles but friends by their first names.
4. Take Out Insurance
You should have health insurance to cover you in case of illness or injury. Take out travel insurance that includes a medical plan with sufficient coverage. You can ask your university if you’re unsure about what policy to choose.
5. Set Up a Bank Account
You’ll also need to have a bank account with a debit card to make purchases and deposits. There are student accounts available that are inexpensive for international students. You’ll usually need to show your passport and proof of address in Canada to open an account.
6. Expand Your Social Circle
Take full advantage of your time in Canada by meeting as many people as possible. It may be tempting to spend your time with other international students who speak your native language, perhaps even people from your home country. However, there’s no point coming all the way to Canada to do this! Strike up a conversation with other students in your classes and residents at your student housing. It doesn’t matter if you make some mistakes when you’re speaking English — in fact, you’ll find that you quickly improve if you have a big group of friends.
One more thing you need to do is find somewhere to live. 1TEN on Whyte is a top choice for University of Alberta off-campus housing, especially if you’re an international student. You’ll receive a fully-furnished suite with water and gas included in the price. You can choose to have a bachelor suite to yourself or share an apartment with other students. Book a tour over video call to check out the housing before you sign a lease.