Things to know before studying in Canada
Things to know before studying in Canada: A popular study abroad destination, Canada enjoys a special relationship with India. Testimony to it is the 37,400-strong community of Indian students studying in the country’s different universities. This special relationship extends beyond the academic sphere, as Canada also happens to be home to one of the biggest Indian diasporas living abroad. Cities like Ontario, British Columbia and Toronto boast of sizable Indian communities that help provide Indian students with much needed moral support in a foreign land.
While planning to study in Canada, students pay much attention to aspects like top universities, tuition fee and admission deadlines, which, no doubt, is the right approach. But still, you will be better served if you also read up on the country where you will be spending a year or two, its rules, history, places of interest, food and work opportunities that you can explore there. You don’t have to be an expert on each of these topics or even spend considerable amount of time learning them. Getting a hang of these minor things will help you to embrace Canada and spend your time in the country happily.
Things to know before studying in Canada:
Far from the maddening crowd: One thing that will immediately draw your attention once you land in Canada is its vast open spaces, verdant beauty and refreshing air. Even the cities are dotted with manicured and well-laid out parks and expansive green areas that never let you feel like you are trapped in a concrete jungle, a common complaint these days. The canvas of Canada, in fact, is a prime example of seamless marriage between modernity and environmental consideration. The moderate population of Canada also plays a part in all this.
What is also intriguing about the country, where English and France influence is pervasive, is its diverse and rapidly evolving cultural scene, an outcome of its accommodating approach towards immigration. Furthermore, while studying in Canada, if you would like to go on a sightseeing tour you will be spoiled for choices -- starting from mountains that reach the skies to glaciers that show their moves when you least expect it, and from canopied rainforest to remote beaches. And we haven’t even started to describe Canada here!!
Dos and don’ts: While the USA and Canada are neighboring countries and share the longest land border in the world, they have very contrasting reputations that precede them: on one hand you have the reigning superpower of the world, the USA, which evokes a sense of awe for its military might and the economic clout it enjoys. On the other you have Canada, a more somber, unthreatening and friendly country, which in many ways is reassuring. But while Canada can be a paragon of peace, there are certain rules and laws that as an international student you are expected to follow when in the country; this is to ensure that law and order is maintained.
Drinks are best consumed in private: If you are not a teetotaler, better keep your habits to private spaces. Otherwise, you may get in some trouble, if not serious trouble, since drinking in public places is prohibited all over Canada.
Treat the Canadian flag respectfully: The Canadians hold their national flag in very high esteem and consider any disrespect to it as a personal affront. So be careful not to spill food materials, sit or walk on the flag, or anything that shows the flag in poor light.
Smoking isn’t ok in some public places: While people do smoke in public, they come with riders attached. Like if you are in British Columbia, smoking is prohibited in most public places: public transport, public buildings, which may include restaurants, bars and also studying places.
Avoid comparison between USA and Canada: While many aspects of Canada mirror the USA, Canada also has a very independent existence. Comparing the two countries may send the impression that you think less of Canada, which isn’t something you must do in a foreign land.
If studying in Quebec, learning French is a must: France influence is nowhere more evident than in Quebec, where everything from sign boards to greetings must be carried out in French. In fact, 80% of the inhabitants in Quebec speak only French, and it is more pronounced outside Montreal; so if you want to engage with a local, the only option is to learn France yourself. In Montreal, though you can afford to drop your guard and relax a bit as it has a more multicultural crowd.
Health insurance: For studying in Canada, you not only need basic health insurance coverage, but in some cases extended coverage for the duration of your study. Another key facet of health insurance in Canada is most universities have their own preferred insurance plans, and they highly recommend that students only buy these policies. Like, you have University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) by University of Toronto and Medical Services Plan (MSP) by the University of British Columbia. Nevertheless, it is not binding on students who can still opt for private policies provided they offer similar coverage and are considered legitimate by the university.
The cost of buying a university-sponsored insurance policy can be anything from $648 to $1,296 for a family with two or more dependents annually.
Best student cities: While tuition fees and the reputation of a university are the primary concerns when deciding whether to study abroad, another element is slowly gaining traction lately. It is a concept called student cities, which is a yardstick that rates a city on different parameters like pollution index, quality of life and safety. The idea behind having student cities is to go beyond the traditional academic requirements, and include elements which are crucial for the physical and mental wellbeing of the student. If you have decided to study in Canada, you would be glad to know that it features a host of cities that are listed in the best student cities in the world rankings. Prominent among them includes Montreal and Toronto, ranked 7 and 13 respectively.
Accommodation in Canada for Foreign Students: There are a host of accommodation options for a student studying in Canada, be it homestays, private accommodation or the much coveted on-campus accommodation. If you are among the lucky ones who have been offered on-campus accommodation, you can benefit from vibrant social life, easy access to the university, and guaranteed security. But even if you miss out on on-campus accommodation, there are decent off-campus accommodations just nearby all the major universities; and with a little bit of effort, you should be able to find out one that fits your budget and sensibilities. Also, unless you go for extravagant lifestyle, the price scale is pretty reasonable, starting from around $700 (compared to $800 for on-campus accommodation at Vancouver) for a shared room. Additionally, homestays are another popular option for students, as they give students a home-like ambience to live in.
Work opportunities: When it comes to work opportunities in Canada, the question isn’t about whether a student would like to work during study in Canada, as the answer is quite obvious: barring a select few, they all want to work. It is because while Canada isn’t as costly as, say, the USA or Australia, it is still costly enough to give many parents a difficult time. When it comes to work during study in Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), a department of Canadian government, allows international student to work both on-campus and off-campus. That is not all, as students can also opt to work as co–op student or intern, other popular work during study avenues. But there are separate norms for working on-campus and off-campus, like only full-time students with a valid study permit are allowed to pursue off-campus work in Canada. Likewise for on-campus work, there are separate norms, though they tend to be less stringent than off-campus work. After completing their studies, many students again stay back and pursue post-study work opportunities in Canada.
Scholarship: Winning a scholarship to study in Canada is a great way to escape the high cost of studying abroad. However, before you can win a scholarship to finance you studies in Canada, you must know what scholarship options are available in front of you. For example, if you plan to study MBA in Canada, there is the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Program, a merit-based scholarship offered by participating universities of Ontario. The scholarship value is $5,000 for each term, with a maximum cap of three terms. In addition to MBA, the scholarship is also available to students with other disciplines as well.
Some of the top scholarships in Canada that you must definitely apply are Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Programme, Trudeau Scholarships, Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.
Food: While studying in Canada, you can engage in another pastime: eating. If you are in Quebec, dig into Poutine, which many consider as the city’s signature food. The dish is a heady mixture of fries, gravy and cheese curds, which give it a rich texture and unique taste. As you move on to Montreal, it is bagels which do the trick for you. Wood-fried, this popular item is much sought after in Monkland and Mont-Royal cafes. Another popular dish in Montreal and much of Canada is Shish Taouk, which is a type of street food easily available and cheap. The dish is a combination of marinated, boneless, roasted chicken with pickled veggies and hummus. If you like to have an Indian connection, go for the Soho Road Naan Kebab, an Indian-styled kebab found in Vancouver, which is delivered packed in a warm pita.
Stay tuned to www.studyabroad.careers360.com for more news and updates on Canada
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Questions related to Canada
Hello I just want to know which IELTS test is better for student visa of Canada? IDP or British council? Im planning for test on July 11 but confused between IDP and British council
Both British Council and IDP conducts IELTS examination under the authorization of Cambridge and so the it does not differ much between British Council and IDP. Both have very similar test pattern and format and you can choose any one of them, you can consider the Exam center and timing, which suits you more. Most of it depends on your performance, how much you score in IELTS exam and does not matter on the agency (British Council/IDP).
For further doubts, ask us. All the best
my sister is currently 10th std but my family might move to Canada this year,so shes planning to do all her studies in canada.is it advisable to continue her studies there.she might miss the board exams?
see it would be best if she completes her board exam here and then go for canada, however it would be easier for her next level study admission if she has some qualifications certificate from India, however it is quite difficult and need immense hard work to again settle in Canadian college system and education.
am preparing for neet 2020 but my family might move to Canada this year so if I want to join in Canada medical college ,is it enough for me to give neet or should I also give the MCAT exam?
Aarthi, NEET is the entrance examination for admission to Medical,Dental, Ayush and Veterinary courses across India. Now NEET is also mandatory to study MBBS abroad. This is the requisite for you as an Indian Citizen to study MBBS abroad. And MCAT is a requisite by countries like Australia, Canada, US etc to check your readiness and knowledge to study Medicine in their country. It is their requisite. So you have to appear for both NEET and MCAT.
I am preparing for neet 2020 ,but my family might move to Canada this year so can I join in medical college in Canada with my neet score card?
Hello student yes for indian origin student its mandatory to appear in neet entrance examination to get admission into medical college in Canada also.
NEET eligibility - candidates must passed or appearing class 12 with physics chemistry and biology with minimum 50 percent marks from a recognized board.
Feel free to comment if you have any doubt
i have 49.4% in 12th and 62% in graduation. Can i apply for post graduate diploma program in canada?
Thank you for your query. You can surely get admission for PG Diploma in Canada. But the University you will be getting may not be the most prestigious one. You also will have to get a score between 6.5 to 8.0 in IELTS. The living costs in Canada are cheaper than in other foreign countries ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 CAD.
All the best