What to do when you are in Canada? (Part 1)

For being an international students and study far from home, there are a lots of thing an international student like you should know in order to know your rights as a resident.

This post will introduce the first part of how you can legally to live and study on Canada, how to find a place to rent and how to commute.

Know your status

As Canada is having million of people come to work, visit and study every year, it is a must for you to know your status at Canada. There are two different things you should remember, they are different: Visa and study permit.

  • Visa: the visa is the paper attached on your passport. Unlike study in EU countries, visa Canada is only the mean that allows you to enter Canada, it is not the legal paper for you to stay in Canada.
  • Study permit: As arriving to Canada, you will be required to show the proof of the institution that you are going to study. Therefore, you will be issued study permit with the time which is equal to the duration of study stated in the letter of confirmation from your school. The immigrant officers hold the rights whether to issue the paper of study permit or not. You should be well-prepared these papers and knowledge to answer the immigrant officers (school information, duration of study, where to study). Failure to present these papers could get you into trouble, and the worst you can get disported.

Please remember two things:

  • If your visa is expired do not leave Canada because you will be required to re-apply visa to enter Canada. If the Visa is multiple times, you can enter and leave Canada anytime you want as long as you still have a valid and non-expired study permit. However, I strongly recommend you guys do not leave Canada if it is unnecessary even the visa and study permit do not expire yet.
  • Before two months your study permit expires, you should re-apply to extend study permit or apply for work permit. Please do not make yourself a illegal statusy to stay in Canada as you let study permit expire.


Working on and off-campus

According to laws of Government of Canada, international students who is studying ESL (english as a second language) courses are not allowed to work in Canada at all.

International students studying main courses can work off-campus 20 hours week off campus and non-restrictions hours on-campus. However, they must be a full-time students and have a SIN (social insurance number)  to work.

  • What is a full-time student? Full-time student is defined as a student enrolled the official program and study at least 4 courses per semester.
  • What is SIN number? It is Social insurance number, which is a paper you have to provide to your employee while you are working for them. This paper can be issued by the service of Canada.


Rents in Canada

There are different ways for you to rent a place in Canada

  • Renting a condo: quite costly but you own the place, the range from 800-1200/month.
  • Living in residence: very convenient for you to go to school. However, if you are skipping a semester (for example, summer), you have to move out. In addition, you have to pay a high price to say (approximately 800-1000/month)
  • Rent a basement: the cheapest way to save money. The range for basement is ranging from 300-400/month. However, some basement is very smelly, wet and it is not good for your health.
  • Rent a room: renting a room is about 500-700/month. It is the options a lot of students choose. However, you will be having roommates and you can go into a fight with them.



Public transportation is widely used in Canada. There is a large number of Canadians using public transportation such as: subways, streetcars, busses to commute, go to school and go to work. Mostly, each of big city will have a company that owns public transportations for that areas. You can buy:

  • One-time tickets. Each ticket you can transfer to different public transportation as long as you do not turn back or stopover
  • Token: used as ticket but cheaper but need to be purchased at least three)
  • Daily pass: used one day for all travels as many time as you one under the same companies
  • Weekly pass: used as same as daily pass but duration is a week from the day of purchase*
  • Monthly pass: used as same as weekly but duration is at the beginning of the month*

*it can be changed depends on where you reside.


When you are in Canada, there are a lot of things you need to prepare for you new life. This post will help you know how to work, study, reside and commute in Canada. The next one will talk more about what you should do in Canada.



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