CANADA

Culture

Canada is a country in North America consisting of 10 provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the pacific and northwards into the Arctic Ocean. Canada is the world’s largest country and shares a common border with the United States. It is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world. Canada’s culture draws influences from a broad range of constituent nationalities: aborigines, culture of Quebec, ethnic sub cultures etc.

Hockey is the national game of the country but there are a thousand others to choose from. Canada also has some of the most breathtaking scenery the world has ever seen…there are quite a number of places to choose from: some on sunny beaches, some near vast lakes, oceans and some amidst busy modern cities.

Food

Food in Canada consists mainly of bacon poutine and maple syrup, pancakes, sugar pie, smoked salmon, apples, potatoes, beef etc; they are regarded as country favorites.  Typical breakfast in Canada comprises of cooked eggs, bacon, deep fried potatoes, toasted bread, pancakes and syrup, cereals or oatmeal. Lunch is a much lighter affair as people have just sandwiches, soups nor salad. Dinner could be chicken breast, steak, pork chop, hamburger, ground beef, cooked vegetables, rice, pasta, potatoes, bread etc.

For international students who are scared that they may not be able to adapt to Canadian cuisine, there are a few shops in the major cities where they sell local food from various African cultures: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa etc.but they may be quite expensive. Food is relatively cheap in Canada should one adapt to their cuisines.

Transportation

Taxis can be very expensive to use. In Ontario the typical cost per kilometer is around $4.40, subsequent kilometers are charged at $0.25.  In British Columbia the average is around $3.30. The fare is based on time of day, distance travelled and time taken. Fares elsewhere will vary from place to place and are more expensive in the evenings, at weekends and during public holidays.
Bikes are a cheaper alternative and healthy too! Students can have more time on their hands because the time for exercise and moving around can be combined but a helmet should be worn at all times and a good lock should be used for the bike. Many cities have bike lanes.  These are designated lanes just for bikes so students should get used to these lanes and avoid any sort of accident.
 

Buses are very convenient way of getting around. Public transport can be inexpensive if used with student discounts on offer. The cost of travelling on Toronto’s TTC buses is $2.00 for a student ticket. If you are going to travel on the buses or underground frequently then buying aMetro pass may be a more cost effective option. Toronto bus information can be found at:www.ttc.ca/Routes/Buses.jsp.  Outside of Toronto check your local town government website for details of buses in your area.
 Trains are an effective and less expensive means of transportation in Canada. Train networks are vast and fairly inexpensive. If you are able to plan your journey in advance and book online it is generally cheaper than buying a ticket at the station. For details of tickets, train times, and journey planners contact Rail Travel www.viarail.ca. For discounted travel visit: www.viarail.ca/en/fares/travel-passes/via-6-pak. The VIA 6 pack saves you up to 50% on the adult regular fare with the purchase of 6 one-way trips on the VIA network. You are eligible for this if you are between the ages of 12 and 25.
 Air Travel - There are quite a number of airlines that fly to Canada and also do inter-state air travel; try a comparison website or travel agents to find out various flight prices and schedules.

Weather

Canada’s climate is not as cold all year round as you might think.  Winter temperatures fall below freezing in most of Canada but the South Western coast is relatively mild.  Along the Arctic Circle is where it is coldest, the temperatures fall below freezing for around seven months of the year. During the summer the Southern provinces often have temperatures of over 86oF and high levels of humidity. In terms of rainfall, Western and South-Eastern Canada has the most, while the Prairies are dry and only get 250 – 500 mm per year.

Students are thereby advised to get ready for the different types of weather they will experience while schooling, both cold and heat. Clothes should be bought in the country as stores will provide the right clothing for the right season and at reasonable prices depending on the kind of store.

Accomodation

Accommodation in Canada can include homestays, halls of residence/dormitories, house share or private lodgings depending on the student’s preference or choice and the budget the said student has. Homestays involve staying with a host family who provide room and board as well as feeding and companionship during your schooling. These host families are registered with the school and staying with them can help students adapt faster to the Canadian system.

Halls of residence/ dormitories are provided by the school. Many universities have accommodation located on or near their campus. Room sizes vary in size and quality.  Many have shared facilities (kitchens, toilets, showers, laundry). Some universities can offer shared or private rooms. There may be the option for meals plans that can be included in the cost of the room.  

House share involves getting an apartment independently and this gives students privacy. If you prefer a more independent living environment the many universities can assist with arrangements. Private accommodation options have kitchen facilities, are often shared with other students. You would prepare your own meals as the cost of feeding is not included.

It is advisable that accommodation arrangements are made before travelling so as not to get stranded or pay extra fees concerning where to stay on arrival.

Why study in Canada

There are various reasons why one should study in Canada. For one, the level of education is really high and Canada has a lot of schools that are ranked in world ratings. Students are assured of the best education with modern facilities and the right study environment.

Getting value for your money is another reason why students should consider schooling in Canada. Canada has a couple of affordable schools that give world class education and the cost of living isn’t high.

Canada is a safe, stable and peaceful political place. With the Low crime rate, low population etc students will find the environment conducive for studying.It’s also a multicultural place where one can pick up different skills in art, culture, language, etc. The environment will help expose international students to different cultures, lifestyle etc.Canada also has a high quality of life. It has been ranked one of the best places to live in in the world.

students who school in Canada can work as they study. This I believe will make living in Canada easier as there is an extra source of money for the student. There is also a high possibility of getting a job after graduation if the student so desires to remain in Canada after schooling rather than return home.