Adjusting to Life as an International Student

By OCAD University Modified on July 19, 2017

While coming to a new country and school can be challenging, there are resources to help you along the way.


In Canada, international students are welcomed with open arms. This is evidenced by the fact that there’s been a 92 per cent increase in international students in Canada between the years 2008 to 2015. If you do decide to come to Canada, below are some tips to help you out:

  1. 1) Meet with International Student Services at your school – This is a good first step to get you oriented and get the essential information you need.

  2. 2) Join Student Clubs – There are many clubs to choose from and it may be a good idea to join more than one club depending on your interests and motivations. Joining a club is a great way to meet new people and stay connected with your peers.

  3. 3)Seek a Student Mentor – A great way to adjust to new school is to learn from other students that have already blazed the trail. Many schools offer student mentorship programs that pair first year students with upper year students who offer support, guidance, tips and helpful answers.

  4. 4) Relax and Explore – Remember, even though you are in another country to study, try to make most of your time by exploring the area. Besides the usual tourist getaways, try local walking tours that give you a unique perspective on a city.

  5. 5) Improve your English Language Skills – Many international students speak a first language other than English and so it can be difficult to adjust to an environmental where English is the primary language. Fortunately, there are many resources and programs to help students.

  6. 6) Speak to a Counsellor – There is absolutely no shame in seeking the help of a counsellor to discuss your issues and concerns, no matter how urgent you think it may be. In fact, it’s encouraged. Visit your school’s Health and Wellness Centre to explore all the resources that are available.

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