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Challenges Faced By International Students

Challenges Faced By International Students

When you move to a new country, it will never be a hand in a glove situation. Canada attracts students from all over the world. Entering university or college life is exciting, but it also comes with a certain learning curve that is bound to be encountered by everyone.

Many chose Canada because of the quality of the Canadian education system and opportunities offered, but tuition fees could seem daunting. The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) estimates international students' tuition is on average more than three times that of domestic students. Besides tuition, once international students are enrolled in a university or college, they face a number of challenges.

Connecting with the New People

Adjusting to living and studying in a new country can be difficult logistically, but the social aspect of not having a nearby support system can add to feelings of alienation. Some tips to get socially active in the community:

- Joining clubs or group fitness classes

- Volunteering

- Supporting local sports teams

- Attending local events and festivals These activities can also provide networking opportunities.

However, English is common among people and there are high chances that when you enroll in Canadian universities, you will have some level of proficiency in the English language to enhance communication. Another possible factor that may contribute to hardship in connecting with the locals is racism. However, this will be undermentioned soon.

Dealing with finances

The list would be totally incomplete without mentioning this problem among students. Talking of financial problems may not specifically mean inadequate funds, poor management of funds can also be attached to financial problems.

This happens when you are new in one of the cities in Canada and you probably lack the clarity of the city in terms of prices of items.

When setting up a Canadian bank account, students can seek financial advice from their financial institution. Online tools are also available to help students with budgeting. In addition, if a student is having difficulties managing finances, it’s best to talk to a counsellor about finances early on, so you can make a budget. Financial counselling is offered to students at many post-secondary institutions.

Cultural Shock

Often international friends miss their families, dogs, favorite places, and other things. Well, be prepared my dear friends, because homesickness, difficulties adjusting to the new academic culture, feelings of not belonging, cultural barriers, and financial limitations can make it really difficult. This is largely determined by where you come from. This difference in culture can be accompanied by other side effects that can, somehow, affect your performance.

The best thing that a student can do to help adjust to the environment is socializing with the locals as much as possible and always being open to ask questions in case there is any. It can also help when you have someone that you know in the university such that you spend time reading together and discussing different issues. The good thing is that Canada is much diversified in culture and religion such that a student can easily find a religion or culture that corresponds to their interests. Just keep the big picture in focus and continue on.


According to the university’s location, securing a place for you to stay peacefully can be pricey. This is common in all big cities. Also, areas close to the universities are more expensive. This means you will have to look for another place where you will get an affordable living room. Besides, the place needs to have good connectivity to the university in terms of transport.

How can one reduce the cost? Well, you may find a different way that would see you pay less but sharing the apartment with a friend is more ideal and pretty helpful.

Feeling Anomic

Leaving your family and loved ones immediately can come along with a negative impact on international students studying in Canada. So, the feeling of socially-disoriented can be experienced since there is no close support system.

Students who feel alienated are required to do the following;

  • Accompanying with other students and support teams.
  • Try to join different physical classes such as fitness classes and groups.
  • Attending local parties and other social events.

By doing this, students won’t have the mentality of feeling alienated since their minds will be busy. Engaging in some of these events can also help them create different opportunities in life.

Academic Issues

Most students work hard to see that they get the best out of the effort invested. However, success may not be always guaranteed even after working hard. Sometimes, this problem is triggered by the language barrier in the sense that students may have the concept towards a certain question but putting it better in English for the lecturers to understand them becomes a challenge. Therefore, English is very important and every student is supposed to have a good knowledge of the English language if they want to be on the safe side.

What can be the best solution?

Students should first identify the area that they are weak in and seek help from the relevant people.

Integrating family

If students come to study in Canada as a family with their spouse, one person is entitled to a study permit and the other person is entitled to a work permit. Unfortunately, the person holding the work permit can remain cut off socially from the local community until they have landed a job.

Check your college or university and see if there are any integration programs or counselling available for your family member. To have a positive experience in Canada it’s important that all family members feel settled.


Securing a job in Canada as a student can be very hard even though Canada is well-known for being rich in jobs – a factor that has made it receive a sea of immigrants every year. However, students can still secure jobs though they are ill-matched – low paying. Securing a job is very important since it will help you pay for rent, transport, internet, and other basics. The course that a student pursues determines a lot whether securing a job will be easy or hard. Most of the companies and individual employees are sometimes hesitant towards hiring international students due to local regulations. A good strategy that can help you minimize employment problems is getting familiarized with the Canadian labor market before searching for a job.


Studying in Canada is a great experience to explore and learn new cultures and life lessons. I was glad to provide you with the tips I have, so use them and have a blast!

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Komal· Aug 30, 17:07
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