International Student Experience – Top 10 Tips

International Student Experience – Top 10 Tips

August 31, 2019 3 By Stanley Isaacs


Hi, I’m Amandine. And I’m Maarij. One year ago we were just like you — international
students arriving in Canada and adjusting to our new classes on campus. Moving to Canada and attending university
can be a big deal, but we have ten tips for you that’ll make
your first few weeks here a little easier. First, make sure you read the International
Student Handbook. It has a lot of great information, like how to apply for a study permit, what
to pack, how to travel, open a bank account, or buy a cell phone. Orientation and Student Life 101 are some
of the best experiences you will have here at Waterloo. Make sure you register before you arrive in
Canada. Don’t miss out! One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the different
types of weather in Canada. When you are packing, remember that Canada
has four distinct seasons, with temperatures in Waterloo ranging from
-20 to +35. The Turnkey Desk located in the Student Life
Centre is both a helpdesk and store. It never closes, which makes it great if you
need international calling cards, bus tickets, or maps. When you first arrive, it will be less stressful
if you aren’t trying to do too many things right away. Your first week will be really busy. Take
the time to unpack, settle in, and adjust to your new time zone. Your WatCard is your Waterloo student card.
Get your WatCard in the Student Life Centre. You will need it to take the city bus, borrow
library books, use the athletic facilities and write your
exams. Food in Canada was different from what I was
used to. However, Food Services on campus have a lot of international food options that
will help you feel at home. Also, there are many international food stores
and restaurants within walking distance. If you live on campus, make sure you get to
know your don — I did! They’re a friend and help guide you through
your first year. There are a lot of fun events in residence
— make sure you get out and participate. If you don’t have a Facebook account, get
one. I joined the UW International Student Connection
Facebook group to stay up-to-date about events like movie
nights and fun trips to Niagara Falls. Lastly, attend your Orientation events, especially
your International Orientation. It’s a great chance to make new friends with
other international students. There will also be international advisors
to answer any questions. We hope you find these tips helpful. And if you have any questions, the International Student Experience team is always there to help.