International Students, Here's How to Prepare for Post-secondary Life in Canada

By RBC Modified on June 04, 2019

It is an exciting time, but there might also be concerns about the unexpected.

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A group of excited students in a study circle.

Canada is home to about half a million international students. If you too have chosen this wonderfully diverse and multicultural country to pursue your college or university education, lots of questions may be running through your mind about academics, campus life and what to expect here.

It is an exciting time, but there might also be concerns about the unexpected. Having some nerves comes with the territory, but being prepared can help ease them.

“Adjusting to campus life can be challenging for any student,” says Ivy Chiu, Senior Director of Newcomer Strategy at RBC. “The transition can be even tougher for international students as they settle into life in a new country. Taking the first steps to set yourself up for success is a great way to feel at home faster.”

Here are four things for international students to consider when preparing for post-secondary life in Canada:

  1. Get involved in campus life.
  2. If you have moved to Canada for your studies, getting involved in life on campus can help you adjust. Joining interest clubs or sports teams are two ways of getting involved with life outside the classroom.

  3. Keep wellness top of mind.
  4. Adjusting to a new routine will take some time. Between juggling classes, assignments and a social life, taking some much-needed “me time” can help. Eating balanced meals, having a regular exercise routine that works for your schedule and getting lots of sleep will serve to keep your mental and physical wellness on track.

  5. Use the resources.
  6. Universities and colleges are filled with amazing resources, many of which are free. Everything from guidance counselors offering help with academic questions to an international student office to aid students navigate life on campus in Canada are available. They are there for students to use, so remember to take advantage.

  7. Build a budget.
  8. Keeping finances on track is another part of transitioning to post-secondary life. For many students, this may be the first time they have to manage their own finances. As international students, you may have a whole other list of questions about banking in Canada to those who have grown up here. A great first step is to speak with a financial advisor about tips on keeping your finances in order throughout the year.

Looking for banking resources, tools and advice as you come to study in Canada? We can help you with all your banking needs.