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Author: dkarachun

Let’s do the groceries…

Let’s do the groceries…

Hello, my friends! I hope you are adjusting and feeling comfortable in Canada. Today I am going to tell you about where it is better to shop and how to save money while you are doing your groceries.

According to the research average Canadian family of four spends around 700$ on food per month. As I am a student and I do not have too much time to cook, I spend around 100-150$ on my groceries. But it depends on when and where to shop.

There are many supermarkets in Canada, that differ in price and target a different audience. As for me, the best store is Walmart. You can find anything you want there ( food, clothes, furniture, things for house, pharmacy, electronics, etc.) This huge store is

Food and Vegetables

located in every city. The prices are very affordable and they have a lot of sales all the time. I also like NoFrills, Food Basics, and FreshCo  (they have all kinds of fruit and vegetables, a lot of Asian and Indian food).

Zehrs and Sobeys are quite expensive, high-end stores. They have all kinds of cheese and meet. So if you are planning fancy dinner, go for groceries there.

Dollarama is like a candy store for a child. You can find there all necessary things for you, your house and your school for 1$, 2$, 3$.

Tip: Every week there is a flyer with all the sales that is going on in stores. So I will tell you how it works. You don’t need to go from shop to shop buying things that are on sale. You can just take your flyer to any shop, take anything that on sale, and show the flyer. The cashier will adjust all the prices from other supermarkets, in case it is better price. So you can save money and time!

 

When can I start?

When can I start?

If you are an international student and you want to study in Ontario, you must have enough money to live and pay bills while studying. You are also able to work while studying. If you plan on working temporarily in Ontario, you will need a work permit. You can apply for the work permit before coming to Canada as well as inside the country.

Once you received your documents that allow you to work you need to do 3 important steps: 

  1. Every country has its own resume standards. No matter from which country you are, your resume HAS to be made in a Canadian way. From my own experience, I can tell you that it is very, very, very important! Here you can find some tips how to create your Canadian-style resume.
  2. Indeed and Job Bank are the most popular websites to find a job. You can start applying before arriving in Canada. By the way, recommendations are extremely important for employers. When I arrived I didn’t have any recommendations at all. I was applying everywhere and then I got the chance. I was working very hard to impress my manager. When I was interviewed for a position at Marriott hotel, the HR manager called all my previous employers for recommendations.
  3. You got the job… Congratulations!!! But…. You have to open a bank account for direct deposit and apply for SIN number. You won’t be able to start working without Social Insurance Number.  To get this number you need only your passport and study/work permit. Service Canada will help you with all documents.

I know it will be very hard, but never give up, never be discourage. You just need one lucky break. Be confident, be persistent, and work very hard for your name!

Helpful tips for you

Helpful tips for you

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 sweet home

Home sweet home

“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.

How to get to your new home

How to get to your new 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Be safe!

Welcome to Canada

Welcome to Canada

There are many different reasons why people move to another country. Either it can be your own decision or you are forced by circumstances. No matter what the reason is, you have to pack your bags, book tickets, and leave… We are different, but we all have one thing in common. We all want to make our dreams come true. This what pushes us to do such a big step in our lives. Canada is a land of opportunities and has grabbed #1 spot in the list of most liveable countries according to Global News.

I am an ambitious person and risk taker. I studied English and Spanish translation at Kiev National University and then I decided that I want to continue my education in Canada. It was very difficult for me to leave my hometown and move to a completely different country with its own culture and traditions.I was accepted to Niagara College for International Business Management. It was a one year program and I received my certificate in June 2016. Currently, I am enrolled in Public Relations program and live in Niagara Falls.

I would like to share the difficulties, challenges, and experience that I gained in these two years through my blog. I also hope that it will inspire and motivate future students from all over the world. In my future posts I will elaborate on different topics that will make your everyday life easier and more comfortable in Canada.