How to Succeed in Canada as an International Student
Every year, hundreds of thousands of students from other countries come to Canada to get a better education and make a better life for themselves. Whether you want to come to Canada for a world-class education or to stay and work there and use education as a way to get permanent residency, doing well in school will set you up for a bright future.
Tips for international student success
Budgeting and financial planning for international students
“As an international student, if you don’t budget, your home money can go quickly. Lucas, who moved to Canada from Brazil in 2017, advises having a financial plan to spend and save wisely.
Plan ahead to avoid money worries while studying in Canada. Students need a budget to track spending, save money, and prepare for unexpected expenses.
Credit-worthy Canadians succeed. A cell phone, apartment, or car loan may require good credit for students. Student bank accounts and credit cards can help you reach your financial goals. Pay credit cards promptly. You may be fined. Part-time work requires SINs. Visit a financial advisor to plan for the future.
2. Balancing studies, work, and fun
“Know your goals for studying in Canada. Siang, who came to Canada as an international student from Malaysia in 2008, advises, “Make time for everything you want to do, whether it’s doing well in school, getting a head start on your career, or getting better at something you’re good at.”
Enjoy your international student experience and explore your new city. “Canada offers a lot, and each new experience could become a lasting memory,” he says.
International students struggle to balance schoolwork and extracurriculars. Use your course schedule to create a schedule that lets you study, network, hang out with friends, drive to school, and work part-time.
If your study permit allows part-time work, research to see if you have time. Lucas advises, “Talk to your university’s coordinator or former students to find out when classes meet, and then plan your schedule around that.”
Try not to overwork and make time for your studies and health.
3. Building a good support system
A good support system can motivate and guide you toward your goals. Because they left friends and family, many international students in Canada feel homesick in their first few months. Though making friends in your hometown may seem easiest, making new friends elsewhere has many benefits.
Spending time with diverse people will broaden your perspective. Talking to strangers can also improve your English and communication skills. Student clubs and societies at colleges and universities can help you meet like-minded people. More friends will help you expand your professional network as you prepare for your career.
4. Staying healthy
International students often forget about their physical and mental health because their schedules are so full of classes, work, and social events. Pay attention to what you eat and make sure it’s healthy and full of nutrients. Don’t eat too much junk food or sugar, and don’t snack when you’re feeling stressed.
Find time in your schedule for things like exercise, hobbies, and other things that give you energy. Students at many universities can use the gym or take fitness classes. If you don’t want to go to the gym or play sports, you could walk or ride a bike to class.
Don’t forget that there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Even though you may have to work late or study all night sometimes, try not to make it a habit. Lack of sleep can make it hard to pay attention in class and learn, and it can also hurt your health.
5. Setting yourself up for professional success
Don’t forget that getting an education is a means, not an end. Keep your long-term goal in mind as you study. If you want to work in Canada when you’re done with school, you need to learn about and get ready for the Canadian job market. Building your professional network will be a big part of that.
Some international students in Canada think that they will have plenty of time to work on their careers after they finish their studies. The job market in Canada is competitive, so the sooner you start getting ready for it, the easier it will be for you to move there. Here are some tips from people who have been international students before you:
6. Learn the art of networking
“Networking is an important part of success in school and work in Canada. “Many international students are shy to talk to people, usually because they aren’t sure of their English,” says Ke, a Chinese student who moved to Canada in 2019 to study. “It’s important to get over this fear and push yourself to meet people who can help you get where you want to go.”
Professional social networks like LinkedIn are great places to meet people who have had similar experiences or who are in jobs you want to have. “Canadians are quite receptive to LinkedIn connection requests. By having coffee chats with my LinkedIn connections, I learned a lot about the local work culture and got some great tips on how to improve my job applications,” says Ke.
7. Explore internship and co-op opportunities
Internships and co-op placements in the summer are great ways to see what the industry is like and put your skills to use. “Some study programs require students to get work experience. Siang says, “Depending on what you’re studying, your academic advisors may be able to help you find internship or co-op opportunities.
You will need to apply for a co-op or intern work permit. You may also need to send a copy of your study permit and a letter from your school saying that the internship is a requirement for your degree.
8. Do volunteer work to get to know people.
If you can’t work because of your study permit or school schedule, you can still get experience in Canada and build your network by volunteering. Volunteer Canada is a good place to look for volunteer opportunities. You can also contact local non-profits to see if they have any openings.
“When I was a student, I used my weekends to help out at events and industry conferences. I used these sites to meet new people, talk about my background, and make connections in the industry. “Some people were willing to talk with me longer and help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” says Lucas.
9. Get a part-time job
Ke says that for many international students, part-time jobs are not only a way to make extra money but also a way to meet new people and get work experience in Canada.
If your study permit lets you work part-time, you can choose to work on or off campus. Find jobs where you can improve your skills, work with people who inspire you, or use what you already know. Having work experience on your resume will give you an edge over other job seekers when you are looking for work after you graduate.
10. Prepare for the job market
You’ll have a lot of chances to build your professional network, improve your skills, learn about companies you’d like to work for, and even get some hands-on work experience while you study in Canada.
“Check with your university’s career services center to see if they have resources and help for professional development that can help you build a resume and get ready for interviews,” says Siang. Find out how to make a resume in the Canadian style and get ready for common interview questions.
As an international student in Canada, you need to do more than just do well in school to be successful. As a student, you can find your place in your new community, learn new skills, and make plans for a successful career and life in Canada.
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