Personal experience is the most credible source of information. I am happy to share my experience with you, and I hope it will help you to fight any difficulties you can face in Canada.
I would like to give you some piece of information for your consideration. It is very important, especially, for future students of Niagara College.
Niagara College consists of three campuses that are located in different towns. Niagara Falls, Welland, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. These towns are not very big and not very far from each other. The campus you are going to study at depends on your program. If you are planning to work outside the campus, you should consider living in St. Catharines or Niagara Falls. There are a lot of job opportunities for students. And you know there is always “but”… The bus system functions extremely well, BUT it takes time to get to another town.
My first program was International Business Management. This program was at Niagara-on-the-Lake campus (NOTL campus), so I chose to stay at NOTL residence. When I arrived I got to know that the program was transferred to Niagara Falls campus. I had no choice than to take a bus. It used to take me almost one hour to get to my campus from the residence. One month later I moved to Niagara Falls and it was walking distant to college. My second program is at Welland campus and now I spend 1,5 hours to reach the campus.
Also, you should know that there is no bus service between towns after 8 p.m., on Sundays, and state holidays. So, take into account that if you work and study, you would have evening or weekends shifts. There will be no way you can get home except taxi or if you have your own vehicle.
If you have any questions, you are welcome ask. I would be happy to answer all of them!
“Home is a shelter from storms-all sorts of storms.” William J. Bennett
As an international student you have three options where you can stay during your studies:
- Residence There are a lot of advantages of living on campus. You don’t need to worry about cooking, traveling to far to your classes or your safety and security, You will have access to numerous campus resources and huge cultural diversity.
- Homestay It might be a little bit more expensive then residence. It is the best variant for very young students. The host family will help you to adjust to new culture and experience life like a local. You will improve your language skills much faster. But you have to follow family’s rules and adjust to their food.
- Apartment According to my opinion, it is the best option if you are moving to Canada not alone. It is quite difficult for newcomers to rent an apartment. All the apartments or houses are for minimum one-year rent. That is why the owner wants to be sure that you are financially stable and trustworthy. Here you can find houses and apartments depending on the city you are moving to.
When I first came to Canada, I stayed at the Niagara College Residence. It was beautiful and cozy room. As soon as I arrived I notified the superintendent that I am going to move out at the end of the month. You have to give a notice 28 days before. One month for me was enough to find a new place. Now I am leaving in the apartment with my friend, and it is our HOME.
Today I am going to tell you about transportation. The transportation system in Ontario is well established and organized. You will never wait for a bus or taxi. If you are coming to Ontario, you will land at Toronto Pearson International Airport. You have 3 options to get to your final destination:
- The easiest and less stressful way for students is to ask for a pickup from college. Even if you spend hours at passport control at the airport or your flight is late, you don’t need to worry, that you will be left at the airport. The driver will be patiently waiting for you until you show up. The price varies depending on the college. Here you can find the price and a pickup request for Niagara College students.
- Another way is to take a taxi on a spot at the airport. The price will be higher, but, in case you are coming with somebody, it is better. You can split the bill and you can fit up to 3 people. You can take airport taxi or Uber. The estimated price you can calculate here.
- And for the most adventurous souls, the public transport is the best variant. If you are good at navigation and you are not shy to ask for help, it won’t be as difficult as you think. The route is following: at your terminal you should take Airport Rocket bus number 192=>it will bring you to the Kipling metro station. The bus goes every 15-20 minutes and you pay 3$ for the bus, it also includes a metro ticket. But please notice, you can’t use debit/credit cards to pay for the bus, and the driver won’t be able to give you change for 100$ bill. Toronto underground system is very easy. It has only 2 lines that connect the whole city. You need to go to St. George station where you will switch the line and go to Dundas station. You will arrive at downtown, where Toronto Coach Terminal is located. From this terminal, you can go anywhere in Canada as well as to the USA. The ticket to your city, that you are going, if it is not Toronto, you can buy at the terminal. There are 3 main bus companies: Megabus, Greyhound and Go Transit that make your trip fast and comfortable.