Lessons in moving to Canada and UOIT

By University of Ontario Institute of Technology Modified on July 21, 2017

Learning from the past, UOIT student Oscar Liu gives advice on preparing for Canadian life.


Moving from your home to a completely different country can be a scary but exhilarating experience. Preparing yourself as much as possible beforehand for the experience of living abroad can help ensure a smooth transition into daily Canadian life once you’ve arrived.

For Oscar Liu, an international Criminology and Justice student from Kingston, Jamaica, his experience coming to Canada was one that included little preparation, and ultimately left him spending a very cold November day trekking to class in shorts and a T-shirt.

“I had never left Jamaica during the winter season, so I never experienced cold weather,” says Oscar. “When I came here, I didn’t realize that the weather changes so quickly, so one day I left residence to walk to the bus stop in summer clothes and I was freezing. Luckily, I was able to purchase some warmer clothes, so the next day I was able to dress appropriately, but it was a cold experience walking to that bus stop in shorts.”

Looking back, Oscar would have also prepared a little differently in terms of knowing how to get around.

“I had looked up where the school was on Google Maps so I knew where some of the essential stores and restaurants were around campus, but I wish I had familiarized myself with the transit system because there were a few times I almost got lost trying to get from residence to the downtown Oshawa campus location.”

Like any new university student, Oscar’s experiences gave him the opportunity to learn more about the school and city that he now loves, and even learn about himself.

“Moving anywhere is scary, but you just have to enjoy the moment while learning to live in a new place. It’s a great opportunity to get out of your shell and find out who you are,” says Oscar. “Embrace the change and have a blast in your next four years here.”