Problems Faced by International Students in Canada

Canada is renowned for its diverse culture, world-class education, and welcoming atmosphere, making it a top choice for international students. However, the journey of studying abroad is not without its challenges. There are lots of problems faced by newly admitted international students to different Canada Universities being it their first time in the country.

Problems Faced by International Students in Canada

As much as you will love it in Canada as an international student, you will face challenges getting started, especially if it’s your first time being in the country. Below are problems faced by international students in Canada.

Problems Faced by International Students in Canada

Studying abroad means leaving your home, family, and friends for a new country, it certainly won’t be an easy journey. Expect to face issues ranging from: 

Cultural Adjustment

Issue: Moving to a different country and getting used to its way of life can feel like a lot to handle. If you are from another part of the world (maybe a different continent) to study in Canada, you will find it hard to adjust to the norms here.

Firstly, the language spoken in Canada will differ from what you are used to. This can make it tricky to communicate and understand what people are saying.

Secondly, the customs, or how people do things, may be unfamiliar. For example, how people greet each other or celebrate events might be different, and you may find it hard to adjust.

Lastly, social norms, which are the expected behaviors in a society, can be a challenge. What is considered polite or acceptable in Canada might not be the same as in your home country. This can lead to some confusion or discomfort.

Solution: You should actively engage with the local community, participate in cultural events, and join clubs or groups to foster connections. Language exchange programs and cultural workshops can also be valuable in easing the transition.

Academic pressure

Issue: How students are taught and evaluated in Canada may differ from what you are used to in your home. This difference can create a sense of pressure or worry about doing well in your studies, which we call academic stress.

In Canada, the education system involves various teaching methods, grading systems, or expectations that are new to you. For instance, the emphasis on class participation, research projects, or exams will differ. This unfamiliarity can make it challenging to feel confident in your academic performance.

Solution: Before arriving, you need to familiarize yourself with the Canadian education system. Seek guidance from academic advisors, attend workshops on study skills. Also build a support network with fellow students to share experiences and strategies.

Financial Strain

Issue: The financial demand of studying in Canada can be a big challenge. There are several costs you need to think about, you have tuition fees (the money paid for classes). Also more other like living expenses (like rent, food, and transportation), and unexpected costs that might pop up.

Tuition fees are the costs associated with attending classes, which can be quite high. Living expenses cover the everyday costs of living in a new place, such as rent for accommodation, buying food, and getting around. On top of these, there might be unexpected costs—things you didn’t plan for, like medical expenses or sudden emergencies.

Solution: To survive, you need to develop a realistic budget, explore scholarship opportunities to help reduce the cost, and consider part-time employment to earn more money.


Issue: When you’re far away from your home and family, it’s common to feel a deep longing or sadness, which we call homesickness. This feeling can have a big impact on your mental health and how you feel overall.

Homesickness might make you miss the familiar things from your home country – like the people, the food, or the way of life. This sense of longing can sometimes lead to feelings of loneliness or sadness.

Solution: To avoid this, stay connected with family and friends through regular communication, utilize campus counselling services, and build a social support system. 

Additionally, you can engage in activities you enjoy and explore your new surroundings.

Navigating the healthcare system

Issue: Navigating the Canadian healthcare system can be confusing for you. If you are not familiar with the system, you may witness delays in getting medical assistance.

Solution: You should familiarize yourself with the healthcare services available on and off campus, obtain health insurance, and attend orientation sessions to understand the procedures and how things work for students in Canada.

Social Isolation

Issue: You may sometimes feel alone or separated from others because of a few reasons. One of these reasons is cultural differences – things like customs, traditions, or ways of doing things that might be unfamiliar. This can make it a bit challenging for you to connect with people from the new culture.

Solution: You need to participate in social events actively, join student organizations, and attend networking opportunities. Seek out language exchange programs to improve language skills and build friendships with both international and local students.

While studying in Canada offers an enriching experience, it won’t hurt for you to know the potential challenges you may face and proactively seek solutions.

If you are an international student in Canada, follow the tips here to improve your study experience. Start by embracing cultural diversity, developing strong support networks, and staying in touch with friends and family back home.

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