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How to get settled in Canada as an international student

December 23, 2021

Each year, many students from across the world choose to come to Canada to pursue their education. And while starting at a new school can feel overwhelming for anyone, international students face a number of additional considerations.

“Moving countries can be a complex and stressful undertaking,” says Frank Psoras, Senior Vice President, Money-In Solutions at TD. “Fortunately, no one needs to do it alone – we’re here to help new Canadians feel confident as they settle into Canada, offering a number of resources, including personalized advice and online tools and resources specifically designed to support post-secondary students on their new adventure.”

Below are five tips to help international students get settled into life in Canada:

Strategize your school pick
When choosing which school to attend, first determine which schools accept international students, known as Designated Learning Institutions.  Once you’ve identified your preference, select one or two alternatives as a back-up. A few factors can help narrow down your choices – like location or a school that offers your preferred specialty area.

Take a Language Proficiency Test
Every international student will have to prove their language proficiency in either English or French before arriving in Canada. Depending on the school, you may need to take a specific type of admissions test, so make sure to do your research and ensure the test you take is one they accept.

Apply for a Study Permit
Once you choose a school, whether it’s a college or university, you must apply to go there. Every school has different rules on how to apply however, the Government of Canada[1] suggests that you apply for your Canadian study permit at least one year in advance. You can apply online or at your local visa application centre. Common requirements include an updated passport, proficiency in either English or French, an acceptance letter from your school confirming your enrollment, no criminal record, proof of funds to show you can finance your studies and living expenses in Canada, and proof you will leave after your permit expires.