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Difficulties faced by international students in Canada

Having a Canadian education opens up many opportunities, so many students from different parts of the world are eager to come here and fulfill their dreams. However, is everything going smoothly?

The student left the airport, and taxi drivers immediately began to approach him, offering their services. The newly arrived student, not knowing anyone in the new city, gets into a taxi “to the UNBC residence, please.” Upon reaching the residence, he is immediately met by the residence assistants and helped to move into the residence. The first day has passed, but what’s next?

We will say that there are many workshops at the university, where they explain what to do if you have just arrived in Canada. However, when I entered, there were no such workshops, and even now, not everyone has the opportunity to attend them.


The location of some offices is challenging to find. Probably, at first, not only international students face this problem, but everyone! When you just come to the university for the first time, it’s not the first time you can figure out where your office is.

Blackboard and University website

Canada is a country with a high standard of living, and the automation of the education system here is faster than in many other countries. An automated schedule and a personal account on the university’s website are undoubtedly convenient things. However, to figure out where to find your schedule and contact teachers, you need to try pretty hard! When face-to-face classes, at least you can find help from other students or contact the support service, but can you imagine what stress international students had to face, whose first year of study fell on a pandemic with online learning?

Educational system

In Canada, a test system of assessments with multiple-choice answers on tests is standard, mixed with questions to which a short or long answer must be given. Students get used to this system from school; they are given a task, given time to complete it, and students hand over completed tasks to the teacher’s desk. In many countries, exams are conducted in a completely different way. At the entrance to the classroom, the student pulls out a ticket with questions, sits down at the desk, and is given time to prepare answers to the questions. In turn, the teacher calls the student and sits at one of the tables; the teacher listens to the student’s oral answers, asks additional questions, and immediately evaluates the student’s knowledge.

Translation of educational documents

Almost every international student faces this problem. Why? It’s all about the vast difference between the education system and the student assessment system. The Canadian percentage assessment system, syllabus, and GPA calculation are not widespread in every country. There is a five-point rating system in which a score of 2 or lower is considered a failure in other countries. Also, not every country has a syllabus. More precisely, it is there, but not as detailed as in Canada. Usually, the syllabus can include the name of the subject that will be studied in the classroom and the assessment system. Still, not all will consist of the characters of textbooks, the audience number, and other details. What is the most challenging subject to translate when entering a university in Canada? Math! Especially during a pandemic. It is tough to request a syllabus from a school in your country with all the details that the registration office at the University of Canada asking for. It is also almost impossible to prove that even if you already have an engineering degree in your country, you can take the Precalculus course that you are trying to register for. However, there is one function that not everyone knows about. There is an Academic Success Centre (ASC) at our university, where you can get tutoring and learning assistance. One of the functions of this center, which not many people know about, is an assessment of your knowledge, after which you can be redirected to the class you want.

Getting around the city

In Prince George, you can get around in three ways: by car, bus, and taxi. If you have the opportunity to buy a car and move around on it, undoubtedly you will save a vast amount of time, but not everyone can afford a car. Traveling by taxi will significantly affect your finances, as one trip will cost you about 20-25 Canadian dollars. The last option remains – the bus. If you have just arrived in the city and have not yet managed to get a Canadian SIM card and you do not have Internet on your phone, you can take a map of the movements of all buses around the city for free on the bus. To be honest, it is impossible to understand this map for the first time, so get ready for an adventure. Also, if you need to transfer to another bus, make sure that you inform the driver about it. Otherwise, you have a high chance of not catching the next bus.


Upon arrival in Canada, not everyone immediately begins to deal with documents, which becomes a big problem since the preparation of documents takes time. If you are reading this article and have not yet taken up the documents, start right now! You will need essential documents: SIN number, BC medical card, and proof of registration (you can request at the residence). All the listed documents can be ordered online. However, the examination of bitcoin documents will take much longer than if you go straight to the office in the city.

Language barrier

When you study English in your native country, you think you speak it perfectly, but when you come to Canada, you realize that no one understands you. It’s all about the accent. Even if you talk without mistakes and use all the tenses correctly, you may still not understand the accent. When you realize that you are not understood, you begin to be afraid to talk to native speakers, which becomes a problem. However, this is a difficulty that every student from abroad goes through. Over time, without realizing it, your accent will become softer, and it will be easier to understand you. Just give yourself time and be patient!

Difficulty finding a job

Indeed, international students face this problem, but it is easier for a Canadian to meet the criteria when applying for a job. There are two main criteria: work experience in Canada, perfect English with almost no accent. As you understand, it is difficult to get even the lowest-paid job in Canada only after coming from another country. However, if you have friends who can recommend you to employers, everything will be more accessible, so get in touch now!

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