Without doubt, Canada is one of the most sought after Study abroad destination. Every year, a large number of students from across the world choose to pursue their higher studies from one of the Canadian education institutions. However, landing in Canada also offers some of the challenges to these new international students. And, the most pressing ones are, where to stay and how to get around the Canadian town.
Accommodation and Transportation in Canada
Arranging accommodation and learning the mode of the transportation options can make the life of an international student very easy. In this article we will explore some of the ways through which a student can save a substantial amount of money. Specially, in accommodation and transportation in Canada. To start with, get ready to explore how the public transportation in Canada works. And, how its knowledge would be helpful to you.
Public Transportation in Canada:
Canada is a vast country with diverse landscapes, daunting mountains, countless lakes and extensive prairies. As a student you would definitely love to explore the natural beauty of the country. Besides, if you opt to stay in an off campus accommodations, you would be in dire need to minimize your transportation cost.
When it comes to public transit system, you would be surprise to see a multiple of options and means available in Canada. Most of the big cities in Canada have a very extensive public transit network. You need not to worry much about the frequency and availability either you are in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver or Ottawa. Each city has a very efficient and fast public transit system.
Let’s have a look at the various transport options available in the cities of Canada.
Public Buses are the most economical and convenient way of traveling in most of the Canadian Cities. If you are in town areas, you can easily find the frequent services of buses across the cities. For students concession passes are available, which they can use for different forms of transportation. They are available with different names, Such as PRESTO Card in Toronto, OPUS card in Montreal, and CAMPASS card in Vancouver.
The next most popular transit option in Canada is Subway. This is an extensive network of high speed network of trains to serve the local transit system. It Connect all the major commercial and educational points of the city and provides quick and efficient service. So, you can travel at any time of the day because the wait time is just 8 minutes. In Vancouver, it is known as sky train and has very efficient service network.
Yes, You can still enjoy a ride of a tram in Toronto. In fact, Toronto is the only city in Canada where Streetcar or Tram is still doing its best. So, if you are in Toronto or you come to this city, the ride in streetcar is worth your money and time. The network has eleven routes. And, is mostly connected to the downtown areas which help a commuter to provide an easy access to these areas.
Bike or cycling is very common the university areas where students prefer to rent a bike for the local visit. Moreover, even the universities encourage students to take up the bike for environmental purposes. Being the greenest and healthiest for of transport some of the educational institutes even organize awareness campaign and provide students option to use bike without even owning.
Besides these modes, there is always availability of a vast network of trains for the intercity travel. As you are well aware, Canada is a big country and the distance between cities are very challenging. A long journey may prove to be very tiring and time consuming. Otherwise, the train network in this country is very efficient and comfortable. Those who wish to enjoy the Canadian natural landscapes cannot resist this temptation.
Accommodations in Canada for International students:
Soon after getting your study visa, the most important task an international student should take up is to decide on the type of accommodation for the self in Canada.
Broadly speaking, there are two main options, On-campus residence and off-campus private accommodation. Here, we will explore these options in details to understand how a good knowledge of it can help us to save precious Canadian Dollars. Firstly, we will look into on-campus options and its pro and cons.
For those students who choose to stay on campus further have two choices, college dormitories or campus townhouses, both are owned by your education institutions. The benefits of staying in the campus are obvious, you can save on food and transportation, time and can have an easy access to the university library, Cafeteria and other book stores.
On the downsides of it, once in the campus, you deny yourself the much needed exposure to the Canadian experience and culture. Keeping oneself among the students all the time would let you assimilate in the Canadian work culture.
Off-Campus Accommodation Options:
Those who want to explore more of Canada and want to try on their own can choose from the multiple of options available. Here is a list of off-campus options available to the international students.
This is more like living in townhouse, where you would get one room separately with shared bathroom, common kitchen and living room. Here one student can get enough space and time to pursue one’s study without any disturbance. This is one of the cheapest accommodation options available for the international student.
Home stay or staying with a host family is one more popular option for those who wish to hone their English language spoken skill along with learning Canadian Culture. There are number of reliable agencies that may help you to live with a local Canadian Family. Some Universities also have a dedicated department to look after the home stay programs.
Students need not to worry about the food and furniture as the same is provided by the host family. Moreover, under the program, home stay families are carefully selected and students are allotted as per the taste.
As per the home stay program, the host family not only provides guaranteed meal, but also helps students in learning Canadian Culture. Further, the students would be exposed to English Speaking environment which eventually help them to be more proficient in this language skill.
Private Rental Apartment:
This is also one more popular option when the students wish to live completely on their own. These types of apartments are either furnished or sometime semi furnished. Students prefer to arrange the things according to their personal taste. Though, this option is relatively economical, yet it carries its own challenges.
Before reaching to a conclusion, students are suggested to make a proper research and look into the availability of the accommodation, on line reviews and ratings. Sometimes accommodations are full, well before the semester begins, so ensure to seal your options well in advance to avoid the last minutes rush.