Welcome to Canada! As one of the most sought-after destinations for international students, Canada offers top-notch education, work opportunities, and a chance for permanent settlement post-graduation. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the number of international students with valid study permits reached an all-time high of 807,750 as of December 31st, 2022.
At Ansari Immigration, we've been helping students like you make the move to Canada for years. If you're interested in exploring more about visas, healthcare, work permits, or PNP applications, don't hesitate to read our other blog posts. But for now, let's dive into the essential things to focus on during your first month in Canada!
Finding the Perfect Housing - International Student edition
Explore Your Options
Your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) often offers student housing, but if you want to explore options closer to your daily activities or downtown, here are some resources:
- School Housing Portal: These online boards are goldmines for rental opportunities.
- Kijiji: Canada's leading classifieds site tailored to your area.
- Facebook Marketplace: A transparent platform for renters and landlords.
- Realtor.ca: Ideal for those who want a professional edge to their search.
- Hiring a Realtor: They get paid only when you successfully rent or buy a place.
What Landlords Expect
You'll often need a credit score, a year-long lease agreement, and possibly a Canadian guarantor. But don't worry, there are workarounds like offering a larger deposit to secure your place.
Travel Tip: Use Transit apps or Google to check commuting options to school before finalizing a place.
Stay Connected: Getting a Cell Phone Plan
Getting a local number is crucial for your social and professional life in Canada. Choose your plan based on factors like:
Duration of the plan
Data and calling minutes
International call options
If you're just starting and have no credit history in Canada, a pre-paid plan might be your best bet.
Sort Your Banking
You'll need a bank account for daily expenses, bill payments, and possibly, for your part-time job. Canadian banks often have special packages for international students.
Passport and student visa
Proof of residence
Letter of acceptance from DLI
Bonus: Consider getting a credit card to build your credit history in Canada.
Academic and Career Support
Your school's international student office and career centre can offer essential support ranging from language training to job search. Make sure to get your student ID early for additional benefits like discounts via the SPC Card program.
Participate in Club Week: It's an excellent way to find your community in a new country!
Secure Your SIN (Social Insurance Number)
To work or access government benefits, you need a SIN. You can apply:
Online through the eSIN portal
In person at Service Canada Centers
By mailing your application
Office Hours: A Hidden Gem
Professors' office hours are your gateway to a personalized learning experience. It's not just about clarifying doubts; it's about networking and gaining industry insights.
And there you have it! Your comprehensive guide for thriving in your first month in Canada. Making the most out of your time here starts with being prepared, and Ansari Immigration is here to guide you every step of the way. Explore our blog for insights into student visas, healthcare, work permits, PNP applications, and much more.
Want to know more? Contact Ansari Immigration today!