What Are the Difficulties International Students Face in Canada?

Are you planning to study abroad? Are you planning to take a course in Canada? Well, over the past few years, Canada has been receiving an overwhelming number of students who enroll in colleges and universities to take different courses.

This has been triggered by the reputation of Canada that range from better education facilities to high chances of getting employed.

However, international students who study in Canada have been facing different challenges as opposed to what most of you might think. This article covers some of the major problems that these students face.

So, when you are there planning to take off to Canada for an educational errand, read carefully and find out what’s there.

It would also help you get prepared in advance so that you can overcome some of the problems. Remember, you are leaving your loved ones for years. What challenges do international students face?

Connecting with the New People

Student in Montreal

You’re in a foreign country, and you probably need to interact with new people and perhaps, make friends. Making friends in Canadian universities can be tricky even after a good number of months.

This problem can be triggered by a good number of aspects that you may have. For example, most of the students in Canada use French and English when communicating with one another.

If you have a language barrier then, making friends and socializing with the locals will actually be hard.

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.

Financial Problems

The list would be totally incomplete without mentioning this problem among students. This problem is not only faced by students studying in Canada but also by those who study in local universities in their mother countries. Everyone can attest that money is needed for students to survive in different learning institutions.

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 the prices of items. Poor planning can see a student using all the money poorly in paying rent, buying food, and other basics.

This mistake can be avoided by talking to a counselor about the finances but most students seek help when they are already facing difficulties. Another way of solving this problem is seeking financial advice when creating a bank account.


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 companies and individual employees are sometimes hesitant about 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.


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.

Culture Shock

Coping up with the different cultures in Canada can be very hard especially when you are new to the environment. 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 to socialize with the locals as much as possible and always be open to asking questions in case there are 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.

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.

Some students find it hard to tackle some academic-related stuff such as essays and mathematical exercises.

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. For example, when they are stuck with assignments, it is better to ask the professors and instructors to offer them further tutorials on the same.

If the professors or instructors are busy hence, they can’t help students, they may refer them to different resources where they can find useful information.

This means students shouldn’t shy away from the people that can help them to solve different academic problems.

Staying Active

Now that international students are exposed to new environments, they may find it challenging to stay active all through.

Some students are usually used to taking different activities that keep them fit and happy but when they travel to Canada for studies, they tend to spend most of the time in classes, completing assignments, or even studying for exams. Also, students may have to eat different meals that they are not used to. Such things make them unhappy and inactive since there is limited freedom.

The best way for students to recover happiness and stay active is through engaging in different activities that they used to do such as going to the gym or availing themselves in the recreational zones.


This problem is faced by some students who study internationally in Canada. Discrimination can be of different types. Many students immigrate to Canada for studies and there are many students across the whole of Canada who are from different regions and therefore, they are of a different race.

Students may face some kind of discrimination resulting from their race, accent, age, and more. A case that is common in Canadian universities and can be regarded as a kind of discrimination is the hardness of becoming part of the Canadian community.

Immigrant students are given different chances to do a lot of things but when it comes to helping each other, there is some kind of discrimination in the sense that the native Canadians don’t fully connect with the immigrant students.


The aforementioned difficulties are the major ones that most international students face in Canada. In reality, the problems or difficulties differ from one person to the other, and therefore they may be other minor problems that international students face in Canada that might not have been discussed here.

Studying abroad and specifically in Canada is a major dream for many people. Therefore, if you get the chance, make use of it to ensure that you get the best.

Again, if you want to study in Canada, don’t hesitate since most of these problems are only for a limited period, but most students enjoy it after they get used to the environment and after making good friends too.

Meanwhile, most of the difficulties that most international students face in Canada can be avoided only if the correct measures are taken.

One of the key ways to ensure that students don’t find themselves in difficulties is through interaction. Interaction with fellow students will help students get different counseling and information that will help them solve different problems.

Therefore, even if you are new, don’t be an introvert, make friends as much as you can.

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