International Students Pre-Departure Guide

International Students Pre-Departure Guide

August 30, 2019 2 By Stanley Isaacs


Congratulations on being accepted into
St. Lawrence College. You are about to start a journey of a lifetime. This video will outline everything you need to know. It’s your first step to a successful experience
in Canada and at St. Lawrence College. STEP ONE: Where to Start If you still need a visa to study in Canada,
contact the embassy in your country or visit the website given in the document. Contact the International Office Once you have received your visa or study permit,
please let the International Office know so we can prepare for your arrival. We will also need to know if you are using an agent or not. If you are using an agent, please ensure that you are receiving our emails to an email address that you frequently check. We will also need to know what city you will be arriving in by plane. If you are attending Kingston or Brockville
campus, it would be a good idea to fly to Toronto or Ottawa. For Cornwall, the best airport is located
in Montreal, as it’s very difficult to travel between the cities of Ottawa and Cornwall by public transportation. Welcome Sessions There will be two dates you need to mark on
your calendar before coming to Canada. First will be the International Welcome Session
that is usually held several days before classes. The second date will be your orientation day. Both sessions need to be attended. This will help you prepare to have a successful
start in Canada. Book Your Flight Try to book your flight so you arrive at least
a week before the Welcome Session, so that you can get a little more comfortable in your new home. Get to Know Your City Research the town you will be living in! Find out where the nearest grocery stores
are to your housing and Google the many things you can do for fun. This may be your first time abroad and a little
research can go a long way. STEP TWO: Make Housing Arrangements It is important to find housing before you
arrive in Canada. Students who do not find a place to live prior
to arriving, should arrange to stay in a hotel temporarily. There are multiple housing options during
your stay in Canada residence, homestay, off-campus room rental and renting on your own. Residence is an on-campus option for students
that includes internet, a meal plan, areas for students to gather and is conveniently close to classes. If you require residence, you will need to
apply soon after receiving your acceptance letter, as rooms fill up fast. Homestay is an excellent choice for international
students who would like to work on their English
language skills. You will rent a room from a family, and meals
will be prepared for you, which is a great way to feel comfortable when you are so far
away from home. If you choose to rent a room off-campus, you
will be living in a house near the college with up to 7 other students. You would have your own room, while sharing
common areas such as the kitchen, living and bathroom. This is a great way to make friends from different
cultures. If you are an older student, bringing your
family, or just prefer to be on your own, renting is also an option. Off-campus housing and renting your own apartment
requires a lease agreement with a landlord. You can find apartment listings online and
through property management companies. STEP THREE: Packing Deciding what to pack is largely determined
by the time of year you will arrive. Do some research ahead of time and do not
pack in a rush! If you are arriving for our January intake,
it can be very cold, and snowy, and slippery during the winter months. Be sure to pack
warm clothes, boots and a coat. If you are arriving for our fall or summer
intake, you can pack lighter clothes for warmer weather, but be prepared, as the temperature
can change daily. Before leaving home, you should organize at
least one night’s accommodation if needed. Make sure you know if there are a few days
between your move in day and the day you arrive, and book your stay accordingly. STEP FOUR: Arriving in Canada Customs: Be prepared to spend 30-60 minutes
in customs when you arrive the first time. Things you will need to have with you in your
carry-on luggage and easily retrievable include: Passport, letter of acceptance to St. Lawrence
College, Letter of Introduction and all the papers used to obtain your study permit. Be prepared to answer questions about what
you are studying and prove where and how long you will be staying in Canada. After the questions are asked, the Border
Services Officer will print your study permit. Be aware of which campus your St. Lawrence
College program is, and look into transportation from the airport. Make sure
to leave at least a couple hours between your scheduled landing time and the time you are
booked to leave for your St. Lawrence College campus town. We do not recommend taking a taxi, it is
far too expensive. So, research and book your options prior to
landing. Ways to get to campus include Via Rail train,
Megabus or airplane. For more information please see the document
provided. STEP FIVE: Cultural Differences Friendliness: Things are going to be very
different than the country you are from. In the beginning this can be confusing, but
also exciting! Canada and St. Lawrence College are very welcoming
to new international students, and will support you during your stay here if you need help. Food: Thanks to Canada’s multiculturalism,
we tend to have a little bit of everything when it comes to food, and we enjoy all
of it! Here is your chance to try cuisine from many different cultures, but still find food that reminds you of home. Classroom Differences: In Canada, it is common to call your professor
by their first name and you are encouraged to ask questions during your lecture. Teachers are happy to help you, so please
ask for help if you need it. Group work is very common in a Canadian classroom. It’s also a great chance to practice your
English and meet new friends. In the beginning, it may make you feel nervous,
but don’t worry, with practice it will become easier. STEP SIX: Getting Settled Visit St. Lawrence College, introduce yourself
at the International Office, take a tour, and pick up your photo and receive your student
card. This student card also includes a bus pass
that you can use for city transit. Take a tour of your new city. Use your student card and an app like Google Maps, to travel around and get comfortable with your new surroundings. Some things that will help you transition: Open a student bank account (you will need
your student card for proof). If you have a phone, sign up for a plan
and purchase a SIM Card from a Canadian communication company. We’re excited to see you all here in Canada
and we’ll see you soon! Check your email for an invitation from iCent to download our International Office app.