Ukrainians’ big ambitions in Canada or the Canadian way of life
History which changed my life
My story begins With
I am a girl that moved from Ukraine to Canada, is a quite conscious age in my 21, to study and work in Canada. I was a time when my life changed from a complete certainty to unknown uncertainty. I want to share my experience that I gained from my day-to-date life in Canada and I want to share my achievements and defeats so far that you can take into account during your preparation phase moving to Canada and during your actual living in Canada.
My life credo
Once you start stepping out of your comfort zone, it gets easier over time.
My credo is if you are going out of the comfort zone you will think quicker and more productive than if you are within your comfort zone. Focus on your goals and do not pay attention at distractions that are around you.
I got to Canada my first time in 2014 year when I first came to Canada to study as a student at English school. I made a decision to study in Canada, shortly before English school, around five months before my first trip to Canada. I tried to pass TOEFL test in Ukraine but my results were unacceptable to be approved to Canadian education institutions. My English level was not perfect and far from ideal level. Nevertheless, I found the way to pass the test inside Canada through English-language school. The name of the school is International Language Academy (ILAC) school. The most popular school for students like me who could not pass the English test back home or students who came to Toronto from around the world to increase their level of English. ILAC school
located in downtown just one minute walking to the Yonge and Bloor subway station. I was my first time in Canada. I remembered my first day in Canada as it was today. First impressions were the following. Twelve hours of a long fly, hot, and a strong fear of an immigration officer at the border. Separation from people that I love and a new page of my life.
What you need to prepare and know prior coming to Canada
1. English test TOEFL or IELTS is one of the first think you will need to do in Ukraine. If you get enough marks to can send your documents directly to colleges and universities that you are interested in. If you can not pass a TOEFL or IELTS test minimum score you can apply to English school. There a lot of English schools in Toronto or at any other big Canadian city, so you can choose which one is better for you.
Small reference about minimum requirements
TOEFL minimum score to be approved to diploma program in colleges is 80 computer-based TOEFL minimum 20 in each band (listening, reading, speaking, and reading). For postgraduate program (one-year program) 84 for computer-based TOEFL with minimum 21 in each band. IELTS academic test requirements for diploma program score 6.0, minimum in 5.5 in each skill band. For postgraduate program 6.5, 6.0 minimum for each part. Note the information apply to colleges. Universities have different entrance requirements for international students. Regularly it is higher requirements than for colleges. I found that University minimum score for TOEFL is 100 with 22 in a writing section. For IELTS academic test minimum requirement for overall band 6,5 with a not less than 6 in each section.
Ways to study English at home read it in my next post.
2. Sufficient funds on your account. You will need to open an account in a bank where you will add a stable monthly amount of money at least six months before submission to the student visa. You need to show to the Canadian embassy that you have prepared your budget prior before coming to Canada. Your budget will consist of tuition fees depending on the program you choose. Average international students for college tuition fee is 14 thousand CAD dollars per two semesters. One semester is around 3,5 month together with three weeks of school break between semesters. Depending on your length of program you will need to adjust your budget. The biggest expenses are tuition fee and accommodation.
A condo that you will share with the other girl or a boy from my personal experience is the best option. I have not heard from anyone anything good about homestay experience. I have lived in a homestay with 55 years old Canadian lady and it was my worst experience. I simply could not leave the dishes not washed at any time of a day morning evening or night. I have everything to clean right after every meal. The behavior of the lady was pedantic regarding cleanliness. In addition, she will leave me and my neighbors, two others international students from Brazil and Japan, hungry to just economized money on our food. Nevertheless, when I paid for English school the food was included in pay cheque. However, in reality, I and other students got only one meal and it was pretty the same every day. Right now I realized that it was such a good experience learning what Canadian culture is like from inside. There are so many good people around me so please do not perceptive it as I am biased to that lady. It just my personal experience. I hope to will get way more better experience that I did.
I payed for homestay pretty the same what I can pay for sharing condo with the girl.
Why I chose Canada read in my next postings.
3. Be ready to change your life and constantly learn new things. Money side is the first step to move in another country. Nevertheless, psychological part of such changes is also what you will need to consider when you are making a decision for yourself if you are ready to go. You will need to learn something new in college or university classes, at the store, and sometimes it will be challenging experience from different angles such as culture, language, and values. I found it that my first week was the most challenging week when I was speaking English all day long and taking a long English test at English school and it is everything after a long 12 hours trip. I had two parts of the test speaking part and writing part. Right after assessment I was enrolled to the Academic Pathway Program. The good thing is that after completion of the program I was automatically enrolled to the college. It takes me three month to compete the program but my marks was good to end the school earlier that others students.
I recommend you if you want to move to Canada start to think about that ahead of time at least two or maybe three years to plan your budget and steps to go over in Canada to be successful in North America society. What do I mean by North American society it is a completely different set of culture, values, and education system.