How to Prepare for a Canadian Winter

By Conestoga College Modified on January 10, 2020

An international student shares her tips on keeping warm this winter.

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A group of international students at Conestoga keep warm in the wintertime and have fun doing it.

Winter season is here! Winter in Canada can get really cold, especially during January and February. The winter climate consists of snow, blizzards and lots of ice. Still, as long as you wear the right clothing, you'll have lots of fun during the winter season. International student Amanda Volpato shares three tips on how she prepared for the winter in Canada.

1. Invest in good-quality winter clothing

I am going to be 100% honest with you. When I first got here, I went for the cheapest winter jacket and winter boots I could find. At the time, I just wanted to save money and didn't think about quality, durability, and functionality. Trust me, that winter was extra cold for me. After a year, I had to buy new winter items, which was more costly in the long run.

Having warm clothing is crucial. It will change your experience during winters in Canada, and it doesn't have to be expensive. There are many outdoors clothing options in Canada for all budgets. For example, there are many thrift stores in the Waterloo region that carry winter items. Don't rule out visiting a thrift store for some high-quality second-hand goods!

If you live in a country that doesn't have cold winters like Canada, you will probably want to wait until you get here to buy winter clothes. I'm from Brazil and the coldest it has ever gotten was nine degrees Celsius. You can always wait until you arrive in Canada to start your winter shopping.

2. Remember to layer

It's important to wear warm clothing and layer up. Wearing layers will keep your body heat in so you can stay warm the whole time. Layering is also important to avoid being too hot in the winter! Conestoga campus buildings and classrooms are very warm during the winter from heating, and I can easily take off a cardigan to avoid being too hot inside. Watch this video for some clothing recommendations for winter in Canada.

3. Find a winter activity you like and get involved

You can avoid getting the winter blues if you find a winter activity that you enjoy. Winters in Canada are beautiful, and many people look forward to them. You can get involved in winter hobbies such as skiing, skating, hockey, or just hiking through the snowy landscapes in your area. There are many public skating rinks in Canada and also places to rent skates for some winter fun. Conveniently located in Kitchener, Conestoga College is near Chicopee snow tubing park, which is a great place to go with a group of friends. So far, I have tried skating and tobogganing, and I truly enjoy both.

Student Engagement at Conestoga also organizes various winter activities, such as trips to Niagara Falls, Christmas Markets, and indoor crafting for those of you who just want to stay inside with a cup of hot chocolate. The International Office at Conestoga also runs workshops and information sessions on keeping safe during the winter, offering tips on dealing with ice and driving with care. Getting involved with the many support services on campus also made winter fun.

When I first arrived here, I dreaded snow with all my heart. Now, I actually look forward to it. Just make sure to layer up in warm winter clothing and embrace the season! Snow can be annoying, but it sure is stunning.



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