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Every year, Canada records thousands of international students coming in to enjoy the quality education, diverse culture, and a serene environment. In fact, 2018 records more than 721,000 international students that settled in for studies, and the numbers keep increasing.

If you intend to come to Canada to study either in a bid to gain permanent residency or not, there are some things to take note of before starting your journey. Even if you have already been accepted into an institution, you must consider these twelve things and check them off your list before leaving your country.

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If you have plans to study abroad, the first fundamental thing is a passport. Without a passport, you can’t leave your country, which means you won’t be able to achieve your international schooling dreams. Even when you have a passport, you need to check the expiration date to know if it will be valid for your stay in another country. Also, there are other documentations you should carry along with the passport that identifies you to your home country. Documents like birth certificates and valid driver’s licenses should be carried along.

A letter of acceptance

You should have received an acceptance letter before you can say you are a potential student of a post-secondary institution. This letter is sent to all students offered admission into a particular institute. So, it is crucial to bring it along with you.

Also, you need to check if your acceptance letter is not conditional, as that can deter your admission. If it is on a condition, you are expected to meet that requirement before processing your entry into the university. Most schools would hope that you complete a specific English or french training before being accepted.

A financial plan

This is an essential criterion for studying in Canada. Before you can even get a study permit, you need to have a stable financial plan and provide evidence in that aspect. If the institution sees that you have the funds to cover your tuition fee and regular living cost, it is proof that you can live in the country. If not, you might be denied admission.

The minimum amount of funds in an international student account should be about $10,000CAD, covering for a year. If you are coming with a family member, you must provide additional funds to the minimum amount. In fact, you might be required to have more than that in some provinces, as Quebec involves a minimum of CAD 11,000 per year.

A study permit

You can only apply for your student permit when you have passed the first three on your checklist, and you have it ready for assessment. Without a study permit, you can’t stay in Canada even if you have been accepted into an institution. To apply for it, you need about $150CAD, and this is not the same with a student visa.

Looking back at what we have already discussed, you will be needing

  • Acceptance letter
  • Passport or any proof of identification
  • Proof of financial stability or support
  • The other things you will be required to have are:
  • A certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)
  • A letter of explanation
  • A custodian declaration

Find accommodation

It is never too early as a student to start planning your accommodation immediately after discovering your admission. If you want to stay within the school premises, it might be a challenge, but if you start the processing on time, you can get it.

Below is a list of the different types of accommodation international students can get.

  • On-campus student accommodation
  • Off-campus housing accommodation
  • Homestay
  • Short-term furnished rentals

Student health insurance

If you are an international student in Canada, you cannot do without health insurance as it is a requirement for your stay. To get the insurance, you need to contact the provincial health insurance of your location. Please don’t assume that you will get sponsorship for your health insurance from the Canadian government as they don’t sponsor it. Once you get your provincial health insurance, you will have access to dental care, eye care and other similar health issues. Note also that you can only get this insurance if you have a valid study permit.

A copy of your previous medical records and any other ongoing prescriptions

If you want the health care officers in Canada to monitor your health is to have a proper record of your medicals. Hence, this should not be overlooked when planning to travel to Canada. Plus, the health care provided by most schools is sure to do justice to any health challenge as they are competent hands there.

A Canadian bank account

Not all banks can be able to understand what international students needs. Therefore, you need to bank with a bank with years of experience in dealing with newcomers. All you need to make available for the bank opening is your passport, student permit, enrollment evidence, and proof of residence.

A list of emergency contacts

In whatever university you get admission to, you need to provide them with a list of emergency contacts. This is done so that the school can reach out to family members from your home country or Canada. The emergency contact can include friends, but they should be about two or more depending on the number required by the school.

A cell phone plan

As a resident of Canada, you will no longer be using the phone plan of your home country but that of Canada. Though Canadian phone plans are on the high side, you have no choice but to purchase them. You have options from different services and can range from $60 – CAD 100, charged monthly. The package also depends on the type of phone you are using as a regular non-internet phone can be as low as $50. In comparison, the internet smartphone can be charged about CAD 1000, which can be costly for some students.

A laptop computer or tablet

Most universities with online courses would need students to use laptops and tablets to connect. This is not a general criterion as different departments have unique technological requirements, so you might have to check to know what to take along. If you need to get a new laptop or tablet, you can get them between the range of CAD 500 to 3000CAD. Be sure of the specification of the computer before you purchase so it can serve you well during your studies.

Winter gear

If you don’t know this before now, Canada is a cold place to live. If you have always experienced winter in your home country, you should be able to cope with the temperature but if not, get ready to wear layered clothes. Some of the things you shouldn’t forget to take along when coming to Canada are the following.

  • Waterproof boots
  • Long thick pants
  • Lots of thick sweaters with long sleeve shirts
  • Warm sleepwear
  • Mufflers, gloves, hats, and thick socks
  • A thick winter jacket
  • A jacket for rainy days (this is necessary for students in Vancouver and other rainy cities)
  • Choose quality coats, but if the price is higher than your budget, you can go for the cost-effective ones in good stores in Canada. Stores like Sportchek, Walmart will give you a reasonable price and offer you the cosy coat you need.

Here you go- the twelve things you need to check off your list before starting to journey to Canada. If you can cover these lists, you will not have any issue enjoying your dream study country. So, start processing and remember we are always here to help you at every point of the way.

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