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Last Updated: November 01, 2021

Life and Living in Canada

Canada is the second-largest country in the world and is situated in North America. The country has an estimated population of approximately 38 million. Ottawa is the capital of Canada, whereas Toronto is the largest city. Because it is located in North America and experiences abundant snow, Canada is popularly known as “The Great White North”. The country experiences extremely cold and harsh winters.

Canada is a fantastic choice for students interested in studying internationally. Offering an abundance of educational and career opportunities, Canada has a lot to offer, like beautiful landscapes, sports, diverse, and friendly people, a great economy, and of course, maple syrup. The cost of living and overall expenses may be comparatively cheaper than some of the other western countries, many international students find Canada as the ideal place to pursue high-quality education and grab great career opportunities.

Languages in Canada

Canada is globally recognized for its cultural diversity which is evident through the multiple kinds of languages that are spoken here. English and French are the official languages of Canada. Due to certain unique characteristics in the tone, and accent of the language, they are also known as Canadian English, and Canadian French, respectively. Based on the region, there are also several Canadian dialects such as the Ottawa Valley Twang, Newfoundland English, Acadian French, Canadian Ukrainian, and so on.

One must also consider the fact that there are many immigrants living in Canada, which has given rise to immigrant languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Punjabi, Tagalog, Portuguese, German, and so on. Indigenous Languages (over 70) such as Cree, Inuktitut, Ojibwe, Montagnais-Naskapi (Innu), Oji-Cree (Anishinini), Dene Suline, and so on, are also spoken by a minority of the people in Canada.

Cost of Things in Canada

Many people find that the cost of living in Canada is much cheaper than in Europe, or the U.K. While life in all of these cities comes with various expenses, some of them will put a much bigger dent in one's wallet. Vancouver is ranked as the most livable city in the world and is also one of the most expensive cities. Toronto is much cheaper to live in than Vancouver, but not quite as cheap overall as Montreal. Expenses in Canada could be much less for the average student than in other parts of the western world, except for the U.S. Prices of commodities also vary based on the location. The average prices of some of the essential items are: There are several popular discount store chains in Canada such as The Bargain! Shop, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Dollarama, Target Canada, Walmart Canada, Freshco., No Frills, Winners, and so on. It is always good to get the grocery shopping done in discount stores as it helps save money to an extent. One can also explore the city and discover other local shops that can offer basic items at a cheaper rate.

Living Expense in Canada

Canada offers two kinds of housing - On-campus and Off-campus. On-Campus housing is said to be cheaper than Off-campus housing, mostly because your private living expenses are way lesser when living On-campus. However, many students prefer to live Off-campus as it gives them a better opportunity to experience the lifestyle of Canada and move around much more. Needless to say, the experience of living on-campus and off-campus differ by a huge margin.

To help in deciding if on-campus or off-campus would be a better choice, let us look at some details below:

Currency Conversion

The first and foremost concern of any international student is the currency conversion rate from their home to the currency of the country abroad. The official currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar and has the popular nickname known as the "loonie". Even though Canada's currency is the dollar, the same as the US, the rate of currency differs between both countries. The conversion rates aren't always consistent and would go up and down almost every day, so it is a good idea to frequently check the conversion rates to avoid any problems that may occur. The most recent conversion rate is: 1 U.S. dollar is equal to about 1.24 Canadian Dollars.

Things to do in Canada

The Great White North is not only diverse in its cultures, ethnicities, and languages, but also in its splendid beauty of nature. International students who come here to study, as well as the tourists that come for vacations, often fall for the mesmerizing charm of this country. One visit might not be enough to enjoy the greatness of this beautiful country.

Places to Visit in Canada

Some of the most popular cities in Canada are:

Cuisines to Relish While in Canada

Canada is widely known for producing the best maple syrups in the world and also for being the leading producer. However, when it comes to food, Canada has a lot more to offer. Because Canada has its influence from the English, the Scottish, and the French, the traditional dish of Canada has its own variety. Because of this characteristic, people get to taste different flavors and dishes, of utmost excellence. Some of the most popular cuisines available in this country are Poutine, Bannock, Nova Scotia Lobster Rolls, Saskatoon Berry Pie, Caesar (cocktail), Butter Tarts, Tourtière, Trempettes, Calgary Beef, and several others.

Festivals to Attend While in Canada

Being part of different festivals in a country is a great way to learn about the country and its various cultures, art, music, and legends. It is also a great way to understand different communities, religions, rituals, ideologies, and more. Another great aspect about festivals is the great amount of joy and beauty it puts forward while giving people an opportunity to celebrate in harmony. Canada also has its famous festivals. Some of the most popular festivals are Canada Day Celebrations, Winterlude, Quebec Winter Carnival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Canadian Tulip Festival, Bard on the Beach, North by Northeast, Bud Light Dreams Music Festival, The Calgary Stampede, Vancouver Celebration of Light, and a lot more.

Commuting to Places in Canada

Trains, subways, passenger airlines, intercity buses, ferries, and so on, are the major modes of transport in Canada. One can also make use of bicycles, unicycles, or even prefer walking when traveling short distances. Trains are ideal for destinations that are far away. It will be best to book the train ticket beforehand to get it at a cheaper rate. The Canadian Government is also making the best efforts to make the public transportation system more accessible, especially for people who live in remote areas.

It is best to avail of the monthly transit passes instead of daily one-way tickets to save up money. The average transportation costs may range from $70 to $156 a month. The best part about public transportation in Canada is that it offers customized features to assist those with any form of physical ailment or disability. It is often said that traffic in Canada can be a hindrance, and reaching the preferred destination may often be time-consuming. It will be best for one to get out of their houses earlier than scheduled to avoid being late.

Entertainment Options for Students in Canada

Canada is the ideal destination for all nature lovers as well as adventure lovers. one should not miss getting involved in rock climbing, boating, kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, paragliding, snowboarding, downhill skiing, and so many other adventurous outdoor activities. Canada also houses some of the most spectacular wonders (both natural and man-made) which is a boon to travelers. Some of the popular tourist attractions in this country are:

Safety Concerns for International Students in Canada

It is a thrilling idea for international students coming to settle in a new country. Living in a new place in itself means gaining new experiences, and learning about something new each day. But one should also prioritize safety and security wherever they are, no matter how safe the place is considered to be. Canada holds the 12th position, globally, in the context of safety and peacefulness, according to the 15th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI). However, certain areas in the country are unsafe, and crime rates are not nil. Therefore, one should stay alert and take certain measures.

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