What to do when you first arrive in Canada?

by Northen Road, January 27th, 2022
What to do when you first arrive in Canada?

Author: Yan Desjardins, Founder & Executive Director


Study in Canada: your adventure begins!

Moving to a new country is no easy task. It can be intimidating when you do not know much about how life is in your newly chosen country. During the first few months of your studies in Canada, you will get to know many people, learn the languages, experience the culture, live in Canada’s different climates, and so much more. This is an exciting time for you!


As Canadians living in Vietnam, we understand the importance of settling in the new country. That is why we are bringing you our own checklist to help you settle nicely for your studies in Canada. Take a look below!


Arrange for a mobile phone plan.

The first thing you will need when arriving in Canada is to get connected. For that, we suggest you first add an international roaming short plan to your current phone plan before you leave. This will cover the first hours or days you will need to arrive and settle for your studies in Canada safely.


Many Canadian service providers offer to purchase and register a SIM card online. Take advantage of this service for a smooth transition. The card will be mailed to your address in Canada and will be ready when you arrive. 


Check out some of the major service providers such as Telus, Bell, Virgin, or Rogers. There are many more providers available, so take some time to research which option works best for you. Also, make sure to check their student plans!


Simon Fraser University, British Columbia


Get your IDs.

Student ID

Start by getting your student ID from your college or university. It will be helpful to you to obtain student discounts on transportation, food, venues and help save you money as an international student. For more information on how to get your student ID, contact your school’s registrar.

Health Card

You may be eligible for health coverage in the province in which you will study in Canada. First, check with the province or your school to see if you qualify. If you do, make an appointment to get your Health Card. You can use the card as a form of identification within Canada. 


Social Insurance Number

If you intend to work in Canada during your studies in Canada, you must apply and obtain a Social Insurance Number, commonly known in Canada as SIN. After you apply, you will receive the SIN card by mail. 


Set up your banking.

If you haven’t already done it before you applied for your Canada student visa, it is a good idea to open a bank account to facilitate your daily life. Many banks have very competitive student plans. You can apply online to open a bank account with most financial institutions. You may also qualify for a Canadian student credit card. A great way to start building your credit score if you intend to stay longer than your studies in Canada.


After you open your account, you will receive your bank cards in the mail. Simply call the number on the card to activate the card. You’ll be all set up in no time. If you plan on working in Canada during your studies in Canada, you’ll need your bank account to have your paychecks directly deposited.

Look for a job.

While we’re on the subject of working in Canada, for the time of your studies in Canada, you can work on or off-campus. You can work as many hours as you want if your work is on the school campus or a maximum of 20 hours during your school semesters if you work off-campus. During holidays and recess periods, you can work full-time. 


There are many job opportunities in Canada for students in several industries, like food and beverage or retail. Regardless of what type of jobs you get, you’ll start making valuable work experience in the Canadian labour market. This can prepare you for your future career after your studies in Canada.


There are job bank sites that you can use to help your searches. You can try Monster.ca

Jobbank.gc.ca or Workopolis.ca


The Montréal Métro


Get your public transportation pass.

When you arrive to study in Canada, it is a good idea to get set up with a monthly pass for public transportation in your new city. Also, don’t forget to bring your student ID to get considerable discounts. 

If you are going to live in cities like Montréal, Toronto, or Vancouver, you will love the underground train systems. It is easy, safe, and fast and can get all over the city in no time. Other smaller cities have comprehensive bus systems that you can take to get you from point A to point B. 


Both are great ways to start discovering your surroundings and the rest of the city! 


Connect with your surroundings.

Start with your campus and your neighbourhood. Canadian cities have many dynamic communities where there is plenty to discover. Go out and spot that coffee shop you’ll be sitting at during your studies in Canada, look up the different international foods available to you, and get oriented in your new environment. 


If you reside in the larger cities, you’ll love all there is to discover. Each city is truly unique and offers many great attractions. Once you are comfortable in your new town, try to venture further and discover other areas. There is so much to discover in Canada; make the most of it! 


Connect with people.

Canadians are notorious worldwide for being friendly and polite. You’ll find them engaging and willing to meet new friends. On-campus, there will likely be other international students, such as yourself, who came to study in Canada and are eager to meet people for the same reasons. It is also a great way to meet and share with people from different cultures. 


You can start with your school; you may find that there are groups to help connect people. But, first, find the right circle that fits you. Then, don’t be afraid to venture out and connect with Canadians, taste our food, and enjoy the Canadian folk and culture. 

We are sure that you will love Canada as much as we do! So let us accompany you there; contact us today for your Canada student visa!