5 Things You Need to Figure Out Before Coming to Canada

By Conestoga College Modified on August 05, 2019

An international student shares her top 5 tips for your journey overseas.

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A group of cheerful international students waves Canadian flags at Conestoga College.

My name is Amanda Volpato, and I am an international Journalism student at Conestoga College. Today, I would like to share 5 things that you should figure out before arriving in Canada.

  1. 1. Pay attention to important dates
  2. Make sure your time of arrival is before your Orientation week! It is extremely important to attend all your Orientation events, especially when you are an international student. During this week, you will become familiar with your campus support services, meet your professors and classmates, learn about program and Canadian classroom requirements, and complete important start-up tasks like getting your timetable and picking up your student identification card. Know your academic dates (such as the first day of class, midterms, scheduled breaks) and fee deadlines to avoid late fees.

  3. 2. Be sure to have a budget
  4. When coming up with how much money you should save to come to Canada, take into consideration both start-up costs and living costs. Your first month is usually the most expensive, as you may pay for airport transfers, first and last month's rent, tuition and textbooks and items for your new home. Research other costs of living, such as transit, food, and entertainment. Plan your budget, so once you are here you don't have to worry about adapting to a new country and making money at the same time.

  5. 3. Find a place to stay
  6. Figuring out housing before arriving is crucial. There are many options for international students, such as living on-campus at the College Residence, off-campus in shared rentals with other students, or at a Homestay with a Canadian family. Make sure you start your search early and have somewhere to stay when you arrive. Also, be aware of your rights as a tenant, know the responsibilities your landlord has towards you, and be on the lookout for any frauds and scams!

  7. 4. Understand your health insurance
  8. As an international student, you should have a health insurance plan through your school. Read through your health insurance terms so you understand what your coverage inclusions and exclusions are, as well as coverage dates. This is extremely important as it can get very expensive to go to the doctor when you are not covered by your health insurance.

  9. 5. Start making connections
  10. Make sure you know how to contact your Program Staff, how to get in touch with other students, and how to connect with the International Office. For example, when it comes to getting in touch with other students, we recommend people post their questions on our Facebook page's Wall. Check out our website, watch our YouTube videos, interact with us on Instagram and tune into our pre-arrival webinars for more tips on how to prepare for your life in Canada!

    I hope this article has helped you. Conestoga College wishes you the best of luck in your journey. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at connect@conestogac.on.ca.

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