Canada is known as a picturesque nation of cultural diversity, friendly people, and tolerant attitudes towards foreigners. Nearly a fifth of Canada’s students are welcomed from other nations, and at IEC Abroad we’ve helped many of them to settle in the country, so here are some of the basics international students in Canada may need to know about Canadian life.
Canadian culture is influenced by British and French traditions, but its historical openness towards immigration means the country is a melting pot of many different cultures. Canadians are big fans of professional sports, with the most popular being the National Hockey League. Most Canadian cities host numerous sporting events, theatrical productions, and musical performances; and many emerging artists often play at university campus venues.
Canadians are a polite and community-oriented people who encourage foreigners to retain and share their own cultural practices. Their manners are similar to those found in America and Britain, and Canada also has a reputation as one of the safest countries on earth. The nation’s liberal attitudes make it a fantastic place to study for international students of any background.
Canadian cuisine goes far beyond the maple syrup and poutine stereotype, and thanks to French and British ancestry the nation offers a diverse set of dishes catering for every taste. Whether you sample the traditional French fayre offered up in Quebec, or the smoked meats, bagels and tarts who owe their existence to the country’s Jewish population, most international students in Canada are likely to find something to remind them of home.
Most universities offer on-campus housing, with first-year students often prioritised for rooms. These are dormitory style dwellings which may or may not come with shared amenities such as kitchens or bathrooms. Students who are uncomfortable with the idea of living in a mixed sex area should inform the university of their requirements prior to reserving a room. Off-campus housing is also available in the form of family placement or private rentals.
Students typically need between $15,000 and $30,000 Cdn per year to study in Canada, a figure which includes tuition, accommodation, and other living expenses. You will pay $15 Cdn for a typical restaurant meal, $6 Cdn for a domestic bottle of beer, and $2 Cdn for milk or bread. Monthly transport passes are priced approximately $90 Cdn, and the average cost of basic utilities is $150 Cdn per month. Apartment costs vary wildly between regions, costing between $400-$1500 Cdn per month.
To work and study in Canada you must adhere to the rules of your study permit. International students are allowed to work jobs on campus with a valid study permit, but you must ensure that the company is legitimately university affiliated. Off-campus work is also allowed for a maximum of 20 hours per week, but only if you possess a work permit or a study permit which states your eligibility.
If you would like more specific details on what living in Canada is like for an international student, contact IEC Abroad today for expert, tailored advice.