Student Road Map to Canada: What You Need To Know Before You Go
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We’ve given you the reasons to consider working and studying in Canada, and by the looks of it, you’re interested. That’s not surprising, given Canada’s reputation for having high-quality education and dynamic multicultural environment—equivalent to Commonwealth countries like the US—at a more affordable cost.
Let’s sort out the practical stuff so you can get started on your student adventure overseas. Not to worry—we’ve mapped it out for you. From living costs to the weather, here are things to expect and prepare for when you want to work or study in Canada!
Apply for scholarships; there are plenty available!
Guess what? Education in Canada is relatively less expensive compared to the US. But you may need to brush up on your English and French skills. Every foreign student is required to submit proof that they are proficient in any of the two languages through a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®) test, or a Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF) test. Check out our TOEFL guide here.
Winter is coming
As the world’s second largest country, Canada has a variety of climates, so it depends on where you’re staying. Because of its northern position and mountain territories, the huge country is known for its harsh winters. Take note: Vancouver to be the only large city that doesn’t dip too low in temperature during winter; the average temperature there is 4 °C in January, and 18 °C in July. Expect summers to be short, with the highest temperatures usually between 21 – 27 °C for Central Canada. To give you a quick comparison, our very own Manila temperatures reach up to a scorching 37°C during April to May!
Since we are so used to tropical weather (and unless you’re Elsa from Frozen), it’s uber important to prepare for Canada’s notorious winters! Invest in thermal long underwear, a fleece, a parka, a wind jacket, warm boots, hats, scarves, and gloves. Cover up everything if you must; face masks are useful to keep your face warm, too.
Annual tuition fee averages at 8,000 CAD, but it can go lower depending on your financial aid application or the programs available for your chosen university. Here’s a quick breakdown of the living expenses per month:
On campus rental – 600 CAD/month or 23,497.05 PhP/month
Other living expenses:
Groceries and food – 300 CAD/month or 11,748.52 PhP/month
Gas – 200 CAD/month or 7,832.35 PhP/month
Mobile data and Wi-Fi – 30 CAD/month or 1,174.85 PhP/month
Public transport (transit pass) – 40 CAD/month or 1,566.47 PhP/month
Entertainment (clothes and gifts) – 80 CAD/month or 3,132.94 PhP/month
*This is the exchange rate at the time of writing
Because Canada is massive, if you wish to travel between major cities, you often have to it by plane. Take a taxi, train, or bus to the nearest airport. And don’t forget to always bring your passport! Canada’s rail system also runs through the whole country, and you can easily buy tickets online. Traveling by bus has the longest duration, but it’s also the cheapest way of getting around.
Can I work as a part-time student?
With most student visas, you will be able to work for a maximum of 20 hours every week. Plus, you can work unlimited hours during official school vacations. Pro-tip: your study permit must state that you are allowed to work on or off campus. You also cannot begin part-time work BEFORE your actual study program.
How do I maximize my Canada opportunity after I graduate?
Good news: Canada has one of the lowest unemployment rates among developed countries. After you graduate, it’s possible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This way, you can continue working in Canada if you’re already doing so. Just make sure you pass these official requirements.
Places you should visit to learn about Canadian culture:
Wherever you end up staying, a trip to the majestic Niagara Falls is a must! No matter which season you go, there’s always something special to see (think frozen waterfalls during winter!).
More of a sports buff? Visit downtown Toronto for a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame, which boasts a proud display of all major NHL trophies and the Puck Wall of Fame. You can even play as a goalie or other positions against a computer using VR technology.
For those who are into French culture, immerse yourself in Montreal and be charmed by the famous Notre Dame Basilica. Montreal is also home to the original Schwartz Delicatessen, a deli famed for its delicious poutine and smoked meats!
All done! Join thousands of Filipinos in Canada, the Great White North and discover all the amazing possibilities for higher learning and employment. While you’re here, check out more Study Abroad articles by Edukasyon.ph, made especially for young Filipino students.
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Tags: canadapreparing to study abroadstudy abroadstudy abroad in canada
About the author
Although she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Ateneo de Manila University back in 2014, Donna considers herself a lifelong student. She has been professionally crafting guides and content in the evolving digital marketing and start-up industry for over 3 years, with a plan to pursue higher learning opportunities in digital marketing and creative writing. Through her words, she hopes to help students who feel lost about their next career-defining step.