5 Ways to Prepare for Life In Canada as an International Student

5 Ways to Prepare for Life In Canada as an International Student

SEP 16, 2022



International students looking to live and work in Canada after completing their studies are in for a life-changing ride.

You would be pleased to know that Canada contains world-leading colleges, offering internationally recognized credentials that will equip you with the necessary skills and expertise needed within your field.

But why study in the Great White North?

In this article, we break down some fast facts that explain why Canada is ideal for both local and international students.

Student Life in Canada

Students can enjoy a wealth of opportunities outside of studies. Below, we will dive into a guide on how students can get the most out of their studies abroad.

Here are some reasons you should consider studying in Canada. Turn on the switches and read further!

The Great Outdoors

Rated as one of the most spectacular countries in the world, you can immerse yourself in Canada's luscious lakes and majestic snow-capped mountains while exploring the northern lights (aurora borealis). In Winter, the lakes freeze over and make the world's largest ice skating rinks! You can enjoy snowboarding, skiing, sledding and much more fun activities - pick your pleasure.

Expand your Horizons on Social Scenes

The country offers a quality social life with a rich culture and interesting, hospitable people who are always up for an adventure. From hanging out with friends at your local bar after a long day of class to watching hockey and baseball, you can engage in exciting activities offered by your school or your circle. Whether you decide to party it up on the weekends or chill with friends, Canadians are welcoming and more like-minded people than you think.

Canada’s Fantastic Foods

Canada offers tantalizing cuisines with various restaurants that accommodate just about every pallet. Poutine, Canada's national dish, is the most incredible combination of crispy fries, cheese curds and brown gravy to warm your belly on a snowy Winter's day. Cuisines such as beaver tails are deliciously served as a fried treat, similar to a donut, but much better. Enjoy the finest lobster rolls in Nova Scotia, cheeseburgers and shakes at small town diners, or a Canadian pizza deliciously topped with Canadian bacon and a touch of maple syrup - a foodie's paradise indeed!

Furthermore, if you are unsure about the best way forward, simply get in touch with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant to advise you throughout the process.

Now, shall we continue with the various ways you can prepare for life in Canada?
This leads into our next vital points…

1. Be Open to Opportunities in Canada

Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands of immigrants yearly with an ever-expanding job market where Canadian employees strive to fill the worker-to-retiree ratio. The Canadian government has implemented over 100 visas and immigration pathways that accommodate the individual's needs and circumstances.

Additionally, the Canadian population is rising, and more people are retiring, resulting in a shortfall of Canadian youth entering the job market to meet the urgent demand. Because of this, we will dive into the immigration options that enable you to live and work in Canada upon completing your studies and gain permanent residency in Canada in no time.

2. Target the Right Universities in Canada for International Students

While university rankings are subject to change, below, we break down the top universities in Canada for international students in 2022 to 2023 - these universities will not break the bank.

Memorial University of Newfoundland

  • Tuition fees: $2,150 – $11,460 per year
  • Programs and departments: certificate, diploma, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs in various fields such as environmental studies, chemistry, biology, computer sciences, English, sociology, humanities and much more.

University of Regina

  • Tuition fees: $1,715 – $20,050 per year
  • Programs and departments: Offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses such as arts, business administration, education, media and arts, engineering, science, social science, health sciences and much more.

Royal Roads University

  • Tuition fees: $3,750 – $27,600 per year
  • Programs and departments: Offers graduate and postgraduate courses, while general studies allow students to earn university credits without enrolling in a certificate, diploma and degree program. For undergraduate programs, you can enroll in business administration, environmental sciences, entrepreneurial management and much more. For graduate programs: corporate social innovation, disaster and emergency management, conflict analysis and management, business administration and much more.

University of Saskatchewan

  • Tuition fees: $4,110 – $24,000 per year
  • Programs and departments: Offers certificates, bachelor's and National Diplomas in various programs such as drama, economics, education, electrical engineering, ethics, justice and law and much more.

Athabasca University

  • Tuition fees: $1,625 – $17,250 per year
  • Programs and departments: Offers degree programs in arts, commerce, general studies, human resources, nursing, art and more. The university also offers diplomas and post-baccalaureate certificates.

For those of you who may be interested in pursuing a career in Canada at a quality Canadian college, you may find our resources on the top colleges in Canada here for your convenience.

Top Tip: When hunting for the right university or college, you want to ensure that the institution accommodates international students. Preferably, institutions that scholarships, accommodation and other financial aid would be the most favoured option. While some scholarships and their requirements may be subject to change, you can find out more about information on scholarships for international students here.

3. Obtaining Your Canadian Student Visa

International students who want to live and work in Canada must obtain a study permit. Below are the steps to apply for a study permit:

Step 1: Check eligibility - ensure that you have secured your acceptance letter and meet the program criteria.
Step 2: Get a Letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
Step 3: Gather important documents like a passport, proof of finances, letter of explanation, and other required documents.
Step 4: Pay the application fees and apply online

Kindly note: Candidates must be honest when filling in the information on their application or Express Entry profile, as the information they provide must be validated with the necessary supporting documents later.

The permit will be valid for the length of your program with an additional 90 days beyond that in case you want to continue staying in Canada - this is done so you can have adequate time to apply for an extension, a work permit and/or gain permanent residency.

Understandably, you may want to return home during your studies. In this case, you will require a study permit and proof you are still enrolled at the institution you are studying at. Below we outline the requirements to obtain a study permit. These are as follows:

  • Have a letter of acceptance or be enrolled in a designated learning institution;
  • Prove you have enough money to pay for your studies, living expenses and return travel;
  • Have no criminal record, you will need a police certificate as proof;
  • Be in good health, doctors certificate may be required; and
  • Be able to show you intend to return home after your study permit expires.

A study permit may also allow you to work part-time on or off campus. If you have a common-law partner or spouse joining you, they may be eligible for an open work permit which will also be valid for the duration of your enrollment.

Find out more about how you can get an open work permit here.

4. Know which Suitable Immigration Programs are Available

If you are keen on studying in Canada, you must know immigration options are available to international students. Let us dive into the immigration pathways below:

Express Entry System

The Express Entry system is an online points-driven system designed to yield quick immigration results. Here are the three Express Entry streams under the Express Entry umbrella:

1. Canadian Experience Class
2. Federal Skilled Worker Program
3. Federal Skilled Trades Program

International students and skilled workers can gain permanent residence through the above- mentioned programs. You can find more information on which Express Entry program is best for you and how to increase your CRS score here.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The PNP is a province-driven program that targets skilled workers. You may be interested in this program after you have completed your studies - the program is for skilled workers who have the necessary skills in provinces with a shortfall of skills. In turn, Canadian employers often use this program to hire skilled foreign workers who can add value to the Canadian economy and fill the labour shortage in the province.

Skilled workers may have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Canadian employee. A positive LMIA would show that your employee is authorized to hire a skilled foreign worker.

For fresh graduates looking to land a job or who are already working in Canada, simply find out more about the five ways you can extend your work permit here.

5. Know the Application Process

While some steps may be subject to the individual's circumstances, province and program criteria, the steps below are pretty much standard when making the application. All immigration programs will require you to follow these steps if you are applying for permanent residence in Canada:

  • Step 1: Check if you meet the program criteria (and the job requirements) - you can do this with our eligibility assessment.
  • Step 2: Check your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score - under the Express Entry system or other points-driven programs
  • Step 3: Gather your documents beforehand and have them ready
  • Step 4: Create your online Express Entry profile
  • Step 5: Apply to the most suitable program, pay the application fees and submit your application

Kindly note: Applicants who have failed to be honest in the information they provide will cause a delay in processing times, and their application will be rejected immediately.

For your convenience, find out more about IRCC processing times and how fast you can move to Canada here. All international students must undergo the International Language Testing System (IELTS), which will test their English or French proficiency levels. Feel free to learn more about how to meet the IELTS requirements for a Canadian student visa here.

Student Life in Canada at its Finest…

We have compiled a list of resources, steps and immigration processes which you may find helpful. Furthermore, if you have any concerns about student-friendly cities in Canada, you can explore our resource on the five best cities for international students. Additionally, once you've completed your studies, you want to explore Canada's job market for foreigners. Feel free to check out our top in-demand jobs in Canada for foreigners here

Immigrating can be a tough decision to make, but with an immigration expert by your side, the process can be simpler. Contact our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) today for the necessary support and guidance!


1. Is student life tough in Canada?

This will depend on the individual and how the student can adjust and handle stress. Students who can immerse themselves easily into the Canadian environment and culture will have an easy time. Canada is generally student-friendly, but it still depends on the student's preference.

2. How much does it cost to live in Canada as a student?

A good place to start would be thorough research on the province or city before settling in Canada. Then, with the help of an RCIC, you can make the right decision or simply head over to our compilation of the five best cities for international students in Canada.

3. What are the fastest ways to get to Canada?

Find out more about which Canada Express Entry program is best for you.