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How to Succeed In Canada As An International Student

Hundreds of thousands of international students come to Canada each year to better their lives. Whether you plan to stay and work in Canada and use education as a pathway to permanent residency, success as a student will set you up for a bright future.

We spoke with some former international students in Canada and asked them to share insights and tips that helped them succeed to help you on your academic journey.

This article includes:

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International students’ budgeting and financial planning

juggling studies, work, and recreation

Creating your support network

Maintaining one’s health

Putting yourself in a position for professional success

A guide to achieving success as an international student in Canada

Student Success Suggestions.

 

International students’ budgeting and financial planning

“As an international student, the money you bring from home can quickly run out if you don’t have a proper budget.

“Having a financial plan in place allows you to spend and save money wisely,” says Lucas, who moved to Canada from Brazil in 2017.

Planning ahead of time can help you avoid financial concerns while studying in Canada.

A good student budget is essential for keeping track of expenses, planning savings, and ensuring you have enough money to cover any unexpected expenses.

 

Building a credit history is a critical component of financial success in Canada.

Even as a student, you may need a good credit score to rent an apartment, get a cell phone, or get a car loan.

You can get a head start on your financial goals by opening a student bank account and obtaining a credit card.

Pay your credit card bills on time, as late payments can result in steep penalties.

If your study permit allows you to work part-time, you must also obtain a Social Security Number (SIN).

Schedule a meeting with a financial advisor to develop a financial plan to secure your future.

 

juggling studies, work, and recreation

“It is critical to know what you want to achieve while studying in Canada.

Set aside time for everything you want to do, whether it’s academic success, getting a head start on your professional development, or honing a talent,” advises Siang, who came to Canada as an international student from Malaysia in 2008.

“Don’t forget to explore your new city and enjoy your time as an international student. “Canada has a lot to offer, and each new experience has the potential to become a memorable one,” he adds.

Many international students find it difficult to balance their academic and extracurricular activities.

Create a schedule based on your course schedule that allows time for everything you want to do, such as studying, networking, socializing, commuting to university, and working part-time.

“If your study permit allows you to work part-time, do some research to see if you will have enough time to work.

“Contact your university coordinator or former students for information on course schedules, and plan your schedule accordingly,” Lucas suggests.

Try not to take on more work than you can handle, and always set aside time for your studies and well-being.

 

Creating your support network

A good support system can keep you motivated and give you the encouragement and direction you need to keep working toward your goals.

Many international students in Canada experience homesickness during their first few months because they have left friends and family behind.

While connecting with your local community may appear to be the simplest way to make social connections, there are numerous benefits to broadening your support network.

 

A diverse social circle will introduce you to new ideas and perspectives, allowing you to broaden your horizons.

Speaking with people from outside your community can also help you improve your English language and communication skills.

Many universities have student clubs and societies where you can meet people who share your interests or find like-minded people.

As you prepare for your future career, a larger social circle will translate into a larger professional network.

 

Maintaining one’s health

With a schedule jam-packed with classes, work, and social obligations, international students may neglect their physical and mental well-being.

Pay attention to your diet and make sure you’re eating nutritious, healthy meals. Limit your intake of junk food and sugar, and avoid snacking when you are stressed.

Make time in your schedule for exercise, hobbies, and rejuvenating activities.

Many universities provide gyms and fitness classes to students.

If going to the gym or participating in sports isn’t your thing, consider walking or riding your bike to class.

Remember, there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep.

While you may have to work late or study all night on occasion, try not to make it a habit.

Sleep deprivation can make it difficult to focus and learn in class, as well as have a negative impact on your health.

 

Putting yourself in a position for professional success

Keep in mind that your education is a means to an end. As you study, keep your ultimate goal in mind.

If you intend to work in Canada after finishing your studies, you must first learn about and prepare for the Canadian job market.

Building your professional network will be a big part of that.

Some international students in Canada believe that there will be plenty of time for professional development after their education is completed.

The Canadian job market is competitive, and the sooner you begin preparing for it, the easier it will be to transition.

 

Here are some pointers from former international students who have gone before you:

 

Master the art of networking.

“In Canada, networking is critical to academic and professional success. “Many international students are hesitant to talk to people, often because they are not confident in their English,” says Ke, an international student from China who arrived in Canada in 2019.

“It is critical to overcome your apprehension and push yourself to network with people who can help you on your path to success.”

Professional social networks, such as LinkedIn, are excellent places to connect with people who have traveled similar paths or who hold professional positions to which you aspire.

“Canadians are open 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 to improve my job applications,” adds Ke.

 

Investigate internship and co-op opportunities.

Summer internships and co-op placements are excellent ways to sample the industry and put your skills to use. “As part of their curriculum, some study programs include work experience.

“Depending on your major, your academic advisors may be able to help you find internship or co-op opportunities,” Siang says.

 

You must apply for a co-op or intern work permit and may be required to submit a copy of your study permit as well as a letter from your school stating that the internship is required for your degree.

 

Volunteering allows you to expand your network.

If your study permit or university schedule prevents you from working, you can gain Canadian experience and expand your network by volunteering.

Search for volunteer opportunities on Volunteer Canada or contact local non-profits to see if they have any openings.

“As a student, I spent my weekends volunteering at events and industry conferences. I used those platforms to network with people, share my background, and make industry connections.

“Some people were open to having longer conversations with me and guiding me toward my career path,” Lucas says.

 

Find a part-time job.

“Part-time jobs are not only a way for many international students to earn extra money, but they also help you grow your network and gain work experience in Canada,” says Ke.

If your study permit allows for part-time employment, you can choose to work on or off campus.

Find work that allows you to hone your skills, collaborate with people who inspire you, or apply your knowledge.

When looking for post-graduate jobs, having prior work experience on your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates.

 

Get ready for the job market.

There will be numerous opportunities to build your professional network, hone your skills, research companies you’d like to work with, and even gain hands-on work experience while studying in Canada.

 

Information symbol Information:

Learn more about preparing for a job search in Canada by reading our career guide.

“Take advantage of the resources provided by your university.

“International students can take advantage of free language classes and workshops to help them improve their English,” says Ke.

“Check with your university’s career services center to see if they offer professional development resources and support to help you build a resume and prepare for interviews,” Siang adds.

Do some research on how to write a Canadian-style resume and practice answering common interview questions.

 

As an international student in Canada, your success extends beyond academic achievements.

Your student years are an opportunity to find your place in your new community, learn new skills, and chart a course for a successful career and life in Canada.

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