Life in Canada as an International Student

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In 2020, Canada accepted over 530,000 international students who now call Canada their new home. The journeys of international students are already well-documented on YouTube channels, Instagram posts, and personal blogs. But, there are several struggles and rewards of the international student experience that go unnoticed. 

The question is – why should you learn about the life of international students in Canada? If you are planning to take the student route, this will be your future life. And if you plan to take some other path to Canadian immigration, this will still help you paint a picture in your head of what happens in Canada! 

Life of an International Student in Canada

Every international student has a different story that cultivates a different experience in Canada. But, almost every international student goes through these touchpoints on her road to permanent residence. 

Get a Job. Then, Get Another Job! 

Before you get to Canada as a student, you should start budgeting so you are aware of what to expect. Here are tentatively some of the expenses that you may face.

  1. $500-1000 approximately in the rental deposit for the first and the last month. You can live with your friends or relatives in order to decrease this budget.
  2. $25-40 per month for an affordable gym. 
  3. $150 to $180 for groceries – with a very conservative estimate. 
  4. $50 approximately for a Canadian phone number.
  5. $150-$200 for other expenses such as buying a winter jacket.

And as you run the totals, you land up to $1500 of expenses in the first month of landing in Canada. If you have a GIC, you will receive approximately $650 next month. So, the indication is that you should consider getting a part-time job.

Your study permit allows you to work 20 hours a week while you study. Most international students go through a few rounds of part-time jobs before they find one which can work for them. And then, towards graduation, they have to shift to a new job that matches their formal training to work in the direction of their PR. 

Useful websites you should be visiting: LinkedIn and CIC

These two websites become the daily destination for every international student. LinkedIn is the place where international students get a level playing field – you can network with recruiters, hiring managers, colleagues, and professors. You can also start posting content and building your social media brand. All of this adds up when you enter the job market. 

LinkedIn is also a great way to build your future role pipeline that suits your profile. The platform helps you explore job descriptions and save jobs for later. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is another useful website you should be visiting regularly. This has information about your study permit and the conditions you need to comply with. In case you need a study permit extension, student visa extension, Co-op work permit, and post-graduate work permit (PGWP), this is where you will find all the information.

If you have applied for Express Entry, you will be checking the draws now and then. And just like that, you will have IRCC as one of your most visited websites. 

Understanding and Complying with the conditions imposed on your study permit

Tutors, and ‘Grades Don’t Matter.’

In every class and networking event, you will find at least one individual who explains how grades do not matter in the hiring process. While this assertion might hold up in anecdotes, it does not work all the time. The more competitive the role, the more challenging it becomes to bag it without suitable grades. 

So, the smart students will either form a study group or work with tutors to get their extra lessons. Since COVID has pushed colleges to go virtual, you might even get access to recorded lectures, notes, and presentations. 

If you cannot manage through any of these, you can get private tutoring from your student services body. These might be free or available at a nominal fee, depending on your school. 

Global Travel is Not that Impossible

You might feel shy in calling yourself a globe-trotter. However, you can become one for an amount much smaller than your imagination. 

It is not uncommon for international students to take international holidays and return refreshed, ready to rock the semester. For instance, you can book an air ticket from Toronto to Milan for approximately $750 if you book one a few weeks before your intended date of travel.

The world, especially North America and Europe, would seem accessible from Canada – even on a student budget. Part-time workers make $2500 on average in Toronto, and with that logic, the air tickets cost only about 20% of your pretax income. 

Experience Multiculturalism

Canadian multiculturalism is known and celebrated across the globe. As an international student, you will experience it everywhere – from your classroom to the grocery store. From learning about Hanukah to the Lunar New Year to Easter – you will get total exposure to every segment of cultures around the globe. The systems are set to welcome newcomers and integrate their culture into the fabric of Canada. And each time you meet someone from a different background to yours, you realize the differences in individual lives across the globe. 

In Summary

Canada will do it all for you – inspire you and make you question your judgment. It will help you meet new friends who become family when you feel homesick. You will learn how to budget and pay your taxes. And all of that would happen within a span of a few months or years! You will get your first job, then your second job, then the third, and so on & so forth. 

If that journey inspired you, you are in the right spot. Our experts are ready to help you take the leap and realize your Canadian dreams. Click here to get a free consultation! 

Are you already in Canada, need a part-time job, or want to discuss your PGWP/PR eligibility? Contact us and our recruitment division will be able to assist you. 

If you have any further questions or need more information, feel free to contact us.

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