10 Things to Know Before Your Move to Canada

By Carleton University Modified on December 20, 2019

There are plenty of reasons an increasing number of international students choose Canada.

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A beautiful green forest just outside Ottawa, Canada, where Carleton University makes its home.

1. Multiculturalism is part of Canada's identity, which is ideal for a newcomer. If you're from a different country and culture, you will see people who look like you, speak your language, and share your traditions. One of the best parts of multiculturalism is the food! If you're adventurous, Canadian cities offer a variety of global cuisine, and if you're craving some home cooking, you will most likely find something to satisfy you!

2. Canada is one of the safest, most welcoming countries in the world. Canada consistently ranks high for safety (OECD, World Economic Forum, Global Peace Index, UL Safety Index, and more). You will also want to research the support services universities provide to promote the safety and well-being of students.

3. Canada has an excellent education system. Canada is a top-performing OECD country in reading, literacy, maths, and sciences. In fact, Canada is the "World's Most Educated Country:" over half its residents have college or university degrees.

4. Most international students can gain Canadian work experience: This includes working part-time during your studies, and you can also apply for a work-permit after you graduate (for up to three years) to gain international work experience. Details are here.

5. People in Canada are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter enshrines rights associated with fundamental freedoms, democracy, mobility, the law, equality, language, and minority language rights.

6. It's not cold all year round! Take Ottawa for example: spring is resplendent with tulips, and summer is hot! Tourists from around the world come just to see the colour of changing leaves in fall/autumn. In Canada, you will be able to enjoy all four seasons.

7. Winter is beautiful! When winter does arrive, there are plenty of fun and exciting outdoor activities. Ottawa activities include snowshoeing in Gatineau Park and skating on the Rideau Canal. You do have to wear the right winter gear (our international student services office has "preparing for winter" workshops to help you find out what you need. Hint: Layers are key!).

8. The nature in Canada is stunning. Canada offers plenty of opportunities to experience nature at its best. Did you know that Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined? Canada is home to the Great Lakes, mountain ranges, a rainforest, a desert, and there are 42 National Parks, and more than 1,000 provincial and territorial parks. If you come to Carleton, Ottawa is close to Algonquin Park and Gatineau Park.

9. Some stereotypes are true. You will hear "sorry" and "eh" a lot. And most Canadians really do love maple syrup (what's not to love?!). And many Canadians really are quite polite and friendly. But some are not: You won't find Mounties, snowmobiles, or igloos on every street corner! :)

10. As an international student, you make Canada better. Your diverse cultural backgrounds, perspectives and life experiences help Canadians (and domestic students) learn and grow. You also become valuable researchers, helping to build global research relationships. It's a small world, and it's nice to have friends across the globe.

Apply now to Carleton University!