Canada is one of those countries that offer a very high-quality education system. Perhaps it’s the reason why many students around the world make applications to join universities and colleges across Canada. But planning a trip to study abroad can be an exciting and somewhat scary process. You may be excited to learn a new culture, make new friends and kickstart your career. Doing a little research will certainly help. You’ll feel at ease when you know what to expect and be well-prepared for everything that your new home will have to offer.
1. Start with the legal paperwork and visa applications
The fact that you have been accepted by a Canadian University doesn’t mean that you will automatically get a student visa. However, there are situations where you may not need a student visa. These include:
– If you are a family member or staff member of a foreigner who is accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada.
– If your course or program lasts less than 6 months.
– If you are a member of the foreign armed forces from the Visiting Forces Act.
– If you have an Indian status registered in Canada
You may not need a student visa in the above situations, but you’ll need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
2. Applying For The Student Visa
Immediately you receive your acceptance letter from the university, the next important step is to apply for a student visa. Preparing all the required papers can be an overwhelming process which is why you need to hire Canadian immigration lawyer to help you out. A legal representative will explain to you what steps should be taken depending on your situation.
If you are applying for a study permit, your lawyer will assist you to gather all the required documents. With a study permit, you can be allowed to work part-time on campus if you’re a full-time student in an accredited higher education institution in Canada. Study permits also give foreign students the opportunity to work off-campus, get a job as an intern and even remain in the country as a permanent resident or find work once they graduate.
3. Working in Canada
If you need to get a job to support your studies in Canada, you can qualify for work but only up to 20 hours during university semesters. You may be able to work full-time during breaks without a work permit. To qualify to work in Canada while studying you must:
– Have a valid study permit
– Be a full-time student
– Be enrolled in a program offered by a designated learning institution at post-secondary level
– Be studying in a program that will lead to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least 6 months long
To work in Canada and receive benefits offered by the government to Canadian employers, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada. If you wish to stay in Canada and work after completing your study program, ensure you get a post-graduate work permit which is valid for 3 years.
4. The Process Of Applying For A Canadian Student Permit
The application can be made online or by submitting the paper documents which can be obtained at the CIC website. Paper applications can take longer to process but an immigration lawyer can work with you to ensure you choose the ideal option if you’re keen on processing times. The documents needed for your application may vary depending on your location. Before you are permitted to apply for a study permit, you will need to first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from an accredited higher education institution. If you want to study in Quebec, you’ll need a certificate of acceptance from the government of Quebec.
5. Finding a Place to Stay
When deciding on where to stay, consider factors such as proximity to the bus station or subway and other amenities like the grocery store, library, and bookstore. It’s better to stay nearby school where all the required amenities are just next door. In fact, living in a student residence or on campus is most recommended for international students. It gives you the peace of mind and convenience since you avoid the difficulties arising from trying to figure out where simple places are.
Living in a student residence open up doors to network with like-minded individuals and form lifelong relationships. It’s actually easier to adjust to your new home when you choose to live in a student residence because the rooms are furnished so you don’t need to spend extra cash on furniture. Student housing facilities come fully fitted with all the amenities you’ll need to enjoy campus life. Basic amenities like a high-speed internet are often included in the price making it cost-effective for students. You get access to a gym, lounges, kitchen facilities and even nearby restaurants at your own convenience. Your residence will soon feel like a home away from home.
6. Health and Dental Care
While getting ill while studying is certainly not in your plans, it’s always wise to plan ahead by taking the time to understand the health care system in Canada. As an international student, you are required to have health insurance. The type of coverage will depend on the province you’re travelling to. The provincial health care system in Canada will cater for all basic and preventative medical care. It also covers basic emergency care. You are eligible for a provincial health care card once you receive a student visa.
Note that the Canadian provincial health care system may not cover some medical services. For instance, dental care is not covered in this plan. It’s therefore recommended that you find yourself a good dental clinic in the city which offers the best discounts for students. You may also prefer to purchase private health insurance which may cover some of the medical services not offered by the institution’s province or territory’s health insurance plan. Private health insurance will cover areas such as dental costs, hospital rooms, ambulance services and prescription medication.
Leaving your loved ones behind to pursue education abroad can be a strange feeling, but you can do it. This could turn out to be one of the best experiences of your life. You’ll visit new places, learn different cultures, eat amazing food and see breathtaking sites. We wish you success as you plan your study abroad adventure.
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