Tips for Navigating Your First Year in Canada as an International Student

At CSI, we recognize that studying abroad can be both an exciting and challenging endeavour! To gain a better understanding of the international student experience, we asked current students to share their stories and any advice they may have for current and future Condors.

We’ve compiled tips from two students to help you get a better idea of what to expect while studying in Canada. Their advice includes making arrangements when you first arrive in the country, to how to cope with living within a different culture. Read ahead for what our students have to say!

Have a plan when you first arrive in Canada.

“When I landed in Canada, nobody told me to carry an international card. I had no one to pick me up, and I couldn’t book any temporary lodgings. I couldn’t even use Uber, as cash doesn’t work for such things.”

Always inform your instructors if you’re struggling.

“School work is overwhelming, I try to self-study and let the instructor know what I’m going through. This helps me a lot.”

Always check business hours when planning a trip.

“Whenever I plan to go out, I always check the opening hours. However, I took a trip to the mall without checking Google, only to learn that it was closed for Thanksgiving.”

Advice from Tanishqua Gautam, from India

Slow down and read through all documents and resources carefully.

“You need to realize that a different country doesn’t mean different people, it means different approaches to doing things.”

Branch out to fellow students, be open to making new friends, and don’t just stick to your own bubble of friends among people from your own country.

It’s great to have people who know exactly what you’re going through but making friends with people who are from the culture you are trying to adopt is a huge help.”

Keep in mind the ‘Adaption Curve.’

“It’s okay to feel euphoric moving to a new country, but it’s also okay to feel depressed as well.” Seek out friends, student services and most important build a routine that will help you through tough times.

Advice from Daria Danylova, from Ukraine

To current and prospective students, remember that CSI is here for you! If you’re struggling and need support, always reach out to our Wellness Office.