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By Betcy Benzen
Canada, a dream destination for many youths in our country, has opened its doors to expatriates like us since the beginning. Known for being the second-largest country by area in the World, this place has welcomed students like you and me. It has ten provinces and three territories. Each province and territory have rules of its own when it comes to permanent residency, education, work and other visas like visiting, spouse etc.
Ontario being one such province that has plenty of educational institutions, has welcomed hundreds of students during the three intakes in a year (January, May and September). All intakes are pretty much busy; however, September intake has lots to offer as it coincides with the back to school time in Canada. Here are a few tips on various elements closely related to a student life in Canada.
Students who land in Canada need to be prepared at the immigration counter to answer questions by the officers. The study permit will be issued there. Go through it thoroughly and make sure that in your name, date of birth, country of birth etc. are correctly entered.
Another error that can happen is that sometimes they might issue a study permit where they state we cannot work part-time. If you leave the airport with the document mentioned so, the correction procedure is tiresome and time-consuming. Usually, it can take two months to get it corrected. During this course of time, we cannot submit the study permit anywhere, and this can cause hindrance in finding jobs as well. So, always be careful about checking your permit before you leave the airport.
Social Insurance Number
After study permit, the next document students need is the SIN (Social Insurance Number). It's with this SIN that one can apply for jobs. We should share our SIN only with our employer and bank. If anybody calls and requests for your SIN, make sure you never hand it over. Such scam calls are frequent here, and naivety of students are being exploited in many such crimes. At times, the SIN is issued at the airport. But most often you will need to visit Service Canada to get your SIN, or your college will have representatives from these centres during the first week, so make sure you don't miss any classes during the first week of college.
All new students will have a GIC account. It is through this account the monthly money is deposited for your expenses for student life in Canada. Once you reach Canada, you need to visit the bank that has your account. It can be Scotia bank, CIBC or ICICI bank. Book an appointment at the nearest branch and open an account. Again, some colleges offer students with the facility of getting their banking done by having representatives over the first week. So, inquire and plan your arrival accordingly.
Most courses start with an orientation, before the start of the regular classes. I would strongly recommend that you attend it to get a clear idea about the student life in Canada. You would be able to understand what is required of you for your course, meet classmates and your professors. You would also get the hang of your college and sort out the admission related paper paperwork during these days.
Arriving a day or two before the orientation is enough, provided you have already arranged the accommodation. If not, try to come at least two weeks before. As the living expenses are high here, arriving here much before the college start can turn out to be a bad idea, especially for those who have no relatives in Canada.
Each college is different. Some colleges will have the necessity to take bus passes while others don't. You might be given a college ID card which requires uploading your photo in your college portal. Inquire with students who have previously studied in that campus and check if there is anything to be done regarding your class schedules. You can also access information on your college website or mail them regarding any queries.
Another matter that most people are concerned about the student life in Canada is the availability of part-time jobs. The chances depend on the area you reside in. If your college is in a remote region, part-time jobs would be scarce. Most jobs are in city areas. Prepare a resume and submit it to all places like Tim Hortons (Canadian coffee shops), Walmart and in fast-food restaurants like McDonald's, Burger King etc.
I have many times come across people whose resumes were rejected because they were overqualified. So, what most students do is that they rectify their resume and add in menial job experience like retail store or restaurant work experience to show they have done basic labour before.So, do think of some common jobs you could add in your resume to make it more presentable. Always investigate the chances of jobs and the requirements before you apply.
There are online job sites like Indeed, where you can search for opportunities. Apply through every possible source and continue this process till you bag an offer letter. Most of the time, it might take up to two months to get settled on a stable job. The law states that a student can work only 20 hours during class time and full-time during vacations. Try to follow this rule to avoid unnecessary troubles in your student life in Canada. However, if you get a part-time job within your campus, there is no limitation to your working hours.
Each of us arrives here intending to find a job here and settle after our one year or two-year of student life in Canada. You must realise that taking any course won't result in a smooth sail in gaining PR. Remaining here requires hard work, patience and endurance. Financial stability is something that will happen eventually. However, careful expenditure and planning can only result in the retrieval of the money spent on expenses for choosing Canada as your promised land.
With four of the top 100 universities in the world, it's no wonder that over 3,70,900 international students prefer Canada for higher studies. If you wish to study in Canada, then apply to universities in Canada with these easy application steps.
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