Guide for International Student Success in Canada

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Learn how to lay a strong foundation for your future while studying in Canada

As an international student, studying in Canada can be a gateway to many exciting opportunities. Whether you plan to return home with a Canadian degree, leverage your new education to thrive in the Canadian job market for a few years, or even settle in Canada permanently after you graduate, your Canadian education will play a pivotal role in your future success.

Student success encompasses all aspects of your journey as an international student. While your primary focus during your studies may be on academic achievements, this is also the time to prepare yourself for the job market, whether that is through gaining part-time work experience or building a professional network. And your financial success is just as important, not only to fund your education and manage your expenses while you study but to save for the future and build a good credit history. Finally, you need to have a plan for what comes after your studies. Your Canadian education will open doors to a possible future in Canada, temporary or permanent, and you may want to consider applying for a work permit or permanent residence (PR).

In this guide, we help you chart a path to success, right from the start. Whether you’ve just started thinking about studying in Canada, have already applied for admission into a Canadian school, or are about to graduate, this guide will provide you with tips and resources to help you fulfill your goals and succeed in all aspects of student life.

What you’ll find inside

  • Top reasons to study in Canada
  • Choosing the right study program
  • Funding your education in Canada
  • Applying for a Canadian study permit
  • Pre-arrival student checklist
  • Financial planning basics for students
  • Settling into student life in Canada
  • Working while studying
  • Preparing for your future career
  • Applying for a work permit after you graduate
  • Pathway to permanent residence

Who is this guide for?

This guide is written for international students getting ready to begin their studies in Canada. It will help you prepare for your arrival, navigate the first few weeks of your life as a student, and understand how to set yourself up for future career success in Canada and settle in the country beyond graduation if you so wish.

Achieving student success: Working towards your professional, personal and financial goals

As an international student, studying in Canada is a stepping stone towards achieving your professional and personal goals. Having a Canadian degree on your resume can open a plethora of opportunities, but student success goes beyond that.

Your student life is a chance to find your place in your new community, lay the foundation for a successful career in Canada, take ownership of your finances, discover new skills and interests, and of course, do well academically.

Once you decide to study in Canada, there will be many milestones to achieve along the way. You will need to get admission into a Canadian university or college, apply for a study permit, prepare for your move, open a student bank account, and finally, get started with your new life as a student in Canada.

Adapting to your new environment and schedule may take time. You’ll need to ensure you have enough time to study, make new friends, pursue your hobbies, and take care of your health. Plus, you may want to look for student jobs or internships that align with your study program, start building your network in Canada, and prepare to enter the job market after your studies. If you plan to stay in Canada, it’s a good idea to explore work permits and permanent residence pathways early on, so you’re all set to take the next steps after graduation.

The information and tips we share in this guide will help you achieve holistic success as an international student in Canada, from securing your study permit and adapting to life in Canada to laying the groundwork for your career and future.