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First Things to Do as an International Student in Canada

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Now that you’re in Canada and ready to embark on your academic journey, we’re thrilled to guide you through the initial steps as an international student. This article will discuss eleven essential things you must undertake to fully settle into the Canadian system.

  1. Get Your Student Identification Card

A student identification card will help you enjoy discounts at school and within school surroundings. Benefits such as access to libraries, leisure facilities, and free buses are only available when you have a student identification card. Therefore, visit your school’s student card office to obtain your ID.

  1. Get Your Provincial Identity Card

A provincial identity card makes you eligible to apply for a bank account. Additionally, it is an alternative to a driver’s license, an identification requirement in most places in Canada. If you’re required to provide two pieces of government-issued photo ID for identification, a provincial ID card serves that purpose. Endeavor to visit an authorized registry in your province and request one.

  1. Get Your Study Permit

One of the first things to do when you arrive in Canada is to get your study permit. Your study permit serves as official approval to study, work, and live in Canada. Make sure to visit the immigration office once you arrive to issue you an official study permit.

  1. Sort Your Accommodation

Sorting your accommodation is one of the essential things to do even before arriving in Canada. For starters, seek temporary accommodation from family and friends or use Airbnb if you can afford one. Whichever you choose, ensure to sort this out before arriving in Canada. Meanwhile, remember that you can get on-campus accommodation during your first year of study. And this is highly recommended to help you settle in fast, make new friends and blend into your new environment.

  1. Update School System With Your Address

It’s important to update your student account once you have a new address. This ensures you get all the essential information and mail your school disseminates. Therefore, make it a point to update your address once you arrive in Canada.

  1. Attend School Orientation Events

Orientation events expose you to vital information about your university, program, and other details. It also lets you meet and connect with people. Plus, you get essential tips on studying and living in Canada during orientation. So strive not to miss attending orientation events once you arrive in Canada.

  1. Enroll for Classes

Isn’t attending classes the crux of studying abroad? But how do you attend classes if you’re yet to register for them? Once you arrive in Canada, make haste to contact your program coordinator or visit the international student office to learn about enrolling for classes. Remember, most classes have limited spaces, so registering early is crucial.

  1. Get a Phone Number

A phone number is essential for applying for necessary documentation while schooling in Canada. Therefore you must get one once you arrive. To get started, learn about the prepaid and postpaid phone services available for students. Choose the services with great incentives so you can save tons of money.

  1. Set up a Bank Account

Having arrived in Canada and obtained a provincial ID card, it’s time to open a bank account. You’ll need this account for your daily spending. Bear in mind though, that the recommended account type for this purpose is a student account. With a student account, you’re exempted from charges and extra fees applied to transactions. To understand how this works, seek a financial advisor’s help or research them on Google. Finally, create a second account on the Pay4Me app to help you receive dollars from your sponsor and family at home. You can as well use the app to process your tuition and other school fees swiftly.

  1. Obtain a Social Insurance Number

Because Canada allows international students to work 20 hours per week and 40 hours during holidays, you’ll need a social insurance number. A social insurance number is a confidential number that allows you to get paid in Canada. To obtain yours, apply at the appropriate office with your study permit and international passport.

  1. Obtain Health Insurance Card and Coverage

Most foreign universities offer international students free healthcare services, usually lasting up to 12 months. You can also get health care services from your province’s health care system. Just make sure to contact your school’s international students office on arriving in Canada to learn about the most suitable health insurance options for students.


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