Canada has become the new study destination for those who want to pursue their master’s degree overseas. Studying in Canada is a wonderful learning experience that you should seriously consider. Most of Canada’s policies are inherently student-friendly as international students play a significant role in the economic development of the nation. The higher education sector contributes to about 19 billion CAD to the Canadian economy every year.
The Canadian government has always been very welcoming of immigrants and has taken substantial political steps to ease their passage toward gaining residence in the state. The nation is trying to make itself the new powerhouse in the field of higher education. However, there may be day-to-day difficulties that you might face as an Indian student studying in Canada.
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When you travel to a new country for the first time, you might feel a bit isolated at first which is quite natural as the nation and its people are alien to you. There may be a few cultural disparities that you may not be able to relate to, and the outlook of people may seem a bit odd. It is also quite tricky as you are living on your own and do not have immediate family to take care of you. You may experience a feeling of isolation at first, that will take a while to settle.
It would be advisable to read about Canadian culture before travelling to the place for your master’s degree. Canada, as a nation, encourages different cultures and traditions within society. It also has a significant diaspora of Indians. Look for accommodation in Indian communities within or close to the university you study. Living amongst Indians or Asians may help you feel a sense of belonging.
If you are unable to find Indians to live or socialize with, be open minded to nurture friendships out of your comfort zone. Making friends with people of diverse communities will broaden your social circle and give you a culture-rich experience living in a foreign country.
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The cost of eating out regularly is high in Canada, especially on a student budget. It is strongly advised that you cook your own meals. If you are not accustomed to it, you might find it challenging to do it all on your own. Get some tips about cooking and practice making some basic dishes before travelling.
If you are a vegetarian, you may initially face some obstacles as you may not find the same variety of vegetables in Canada as in India. You can cook your food on the weekends and store it in the refrigerator over the whole week. This will help you in saving your time and money. It will also give you the time to concentrate on your education and cut down on unnecessary wastage of time.
Adapting to and Understanding Accents
Even though a lot of Indians speak the English language, it’s not their mother tongue. It does not come naturally to them, and they require a certain amount of time to understand it especially when someone speaks with a different accent. Adapting to it can take time, and it might get challenging to communicate to people. These little challenges are a part of growing and exploring things in life.
If you are an avid follower of Hollywood movies, following western accent is not hard at all. However, if you do find it challenging, you will get a hang of Canadian accent and their style of communication within a couple of weeks.
This link below can help you with the basics of understanding Canadian accent.
Students in India mostly live with families throughout their schooling and often get accustomed to being around family. Living on your own in an alien environment would be overwhelming initially with a turmoil of emotions surging inside. Homesickness and social anxiety will bother you initially; however, you will eventually appreciate your independence and the freedom of making decisions on your own.
Do not forget to keep in touch with your family and friends in India. You could set a regular schedule to talk to them over the weekend and catch up with everyone. This will make you feel connected, giving you a sense of peace and helping you focus on the primary goal of studying in Canada.
Budgeting your Finances and Spending Wisely
Planning your finances is an extremely important factor that determines the quality of your life as an international student studying in Canada. Based on your financial situation, you will choose the type of college, the field you can go for and the place you can afford to live. You need to be clear in your mind about what kind of spending you can afford and try to do some jobs to avoid any unnecessary financial strain. It is also necessary that you look after your finances well to have a stress-free life for you and your family. The best way to overcome any problems regarding finances would be to pre-plan all your expenses.
Canada may not be as expensive as the USA and UK, but it is still dearer on the pocket from an Indian student’s point of view. Canada offers various scholarships for students coming from abroad, and you need to make sure to keep yourself updated about any such awards to save money. These scholarships are generally applied for within a short period of time, so to avail the scholarship, you would need to go for them well in advance.
Part-time Jobs and Financing your Living Expenses while studying in Canada
Most international students who come to Canada take up part-time jobs to cover up their daily expenses. If you have not worked in part-time jobs before, you may face some hiccups; however, you will soon learn the trade of the job. Part-time jobs are necessary to take care of your expenses. In Canada, you are permitted to work for 20 hours a week part-time. Universities in Canada are quite supportive of the students working part-time and flexible study schedules are shared to help you set a time-table accordingly. You can look for paid internships or research assistant jobs; you can alternatively work in restaurants, supermarkets or the university library.
The most common challenges faced by Indian students studying in Canada can be easily overcome with hard work and an open mind. it is definitely possible to adjust to the changes quickly. Getting used to a new place for anyone can take more than just a few weeks; however, with a strong will to succeed, you can surely prosper in the Canadian education environment. It is essential to be smart and take one step at a time. Like any other foreign nation, fitting in takes time, but Canada being a relatively open-minded nation, living and studying in Canada will not be as challenging as we perceive.