8 Benefits of Moving to Toronto as an International Student
By Claire Glassford
If you are considering to become an international student, one of the best places you can move to is Toronto, Canada. The city offers a multitude of possibilities for learning, self-discovery, and building your personal and professional networks.
Here are the highlights of what to expect when you decide to pursue your international studies in Toronto.
Exciting City Life Benefits
Since Toronto is the largest city in Canada, with a population of around 3 million people, it has evolved into a bustling metropolis with loads to offer its inhabitants. It is the country’s center for business, arts, culture, design, and communications. All of these means you’ll have plenty of city life benefits to enjoy here once you move for your studies.
There are various restaurants, coffee shops, entertainment hubs, and shopping centers to choose from. Expect a wide array of events throughout the year as well. Whether you’re into the performing arts, festivals, sports, food trips, or cultural experiences – Toronto will not disappoint.
Work Opportunities While Studying
International students in Canada are allowed by the government to find part-time work to support their studies. You can work up to 20 hours each week whether within the campus or outside its grounds.
During summer and winter breaks, you can take on up to 30 hours per week of work. Ready your student permit when applying.
Toronto is a great city that attracts a wide variety of people, which has led to the establishment of diverse neighborhoods. There’s Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Italy, Portugal Village, Greektown and more. As an international student coming to live here, you’ll be exposed to this cultural melting pot and will have plenty of opportunities to broaden your horizons.
English, being one of the two official languages spoken in Canada, is everywhere so communication won’t be that challenging. All universities also teach English courses for all Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Ph.D. degrees. The second official language in the country is French, by the way. Why not learn it too while staying here?
As an international student, you can make friends with the locals and other individuals from various ethnicities. Expose yourself to different cultures, traditions, and points of view. Not only will you be learning inside your university’s classrooms, but the city can be one huge knowledge center for you!
Reliable Public Transportation
Another great thing about choosing Toronto for your international studies is that the city has an extensive public transportation network. You can cut costs and enjoy the convenience.
You can use a Presto card, which is an electronic payment system, that is supported by all transport systems in the city. No need to use tickets or tokens to ride the trains and buses. You don’t have to keep paying cash either, and you can even use a mobile app to manage your Presto card transactions.
Then, there are the services provided by Go Transit, York Region Transit, and the Toronto Transit Commission – all of which offer maximum mobility for everyone in the city.
Wide Accommodation Choices
Rent in this part of Canada ranges from C$500 to C$4,000 a month. Whether you wish to save on accommodation costs or want to live in style by choosing one of the most expensive condos in Toronto, there is something for you.
You can look into a bunch of house listing websites, such as Precondo, Kijiji, or Craigslist to find the right accommodation. Just make sure to choose a place that is easily accessible from your chosen university so you can save further on transportation. This will also help you in managing your schedules and avoiding unnecessary stress.
When checking out houses or condos for rent, it is advisable to have a friend accompany you for safety purposes. Do not give out your bank details or other personal information to a landlord that you have not properly vetted.
Cost of Living and Studying
International students will have to pay higher education fees compared to the residents, but there are options for a wide range of budgets. Expect to pay around C$11,000 to C$60,000 per year. This will, of course, depend on the university and course you choose.
As for the cost of living, you’ll have to factor in your rent, food, and transportation expenses. It is also advisable to obtain health insurance. Note that some universities have made health insurance a mandatory requirement. Considering all of that, your monthly living costs in Toronto can run from C$700 to C$5,000 depending on where you decide to live and your lifestyle choices.
Health insurance, by the way, costs around C$600 to C$900 a year. Food and beverages can range from C$40 to C$100 depending on how often you eat out and grab specialty coffee.
How to Ensure a Smooth Move to Toronto
You can apply online for a student visa or permit for Canada. Alternatively, you can mail your application papers to the embassy nearest you. The requirements will vary depending on which country you are coming from, so best check with your embassy or enlist the aid of a reliable visa processing agency.
You might also want to visit Toronto short holiday before you finalize your decision to move. See if the city’s weather patterns, environment, cuisine, and other essential factors are indeed fit for your international study needs.