I came to Canada as a post-graduate student in 2014. Let me walk you through my journey! A new and different study environment was one of the first challenges I faced here. I was initially hesitant of meeting and getting along with new people coming from different parts of the world. However, understanding the new educational system was easy, the only thing I had to ensure was that I do not plagiarize any assignment that was assigned to me.
Learning – Never copy someone else’s work as the norms are strict.
As far as people are concerned, I knew it will be easy to find people from one’s own country and same culture as there were many international students joining the same class. What I would recommend is that make sure you get along and work with people from different countries on assignments, group projects, and other school activities. This will help you understand different languages, work style, and work culture; which in turn will help you adjust in Canadian work environment.
Learning – Get along with people from all parts of the world. Do not restrict yourself to people from your own country/community.
I did two “1 year post graduate courses” from Canada and both my courses were co-op courses. Finding a good co-op is not an easy task. Although, all the hard work, stress, and time I spent on finding both my co-op jobs helped me a lot in finding my first job after finishing my education. Firstly, these co-ops were my first Canadian jobs in the field of my studies and Secondly, these helped me to understand how to create a resume, go through the interview process and most importantly how to make connections to find a job. So, it’s good to have a course with a co-op or work semester.
Note: Co-ops are courses combined with internships, wherein you get industry exposure.
Learning: Try to opt for co-op courses rather than a course which does not guarantee internship. Be very careful in choosing the right course for yourself.
Moreover, networking is the key to finding a job in Canada. I would highly recommend connecting with as many people as possible like students from different courses, professors, and employers. My first job was completely a result of networking – “I contacted an employer which my professor had referred to and then that employer forwarded my resume to another employer who invited me for an interview which resulted in a full-time job.”
As far as searching a job is concerned, it is not guaranteed that you will find a job in your desired field/sector. Try to have a broad mindset and apply for all kinds of jobs that you think you can do justice to. Honestly speaking, the job I am currently doing, I never thought I would ever like it or would be able to do justice to it. But after resuming my job, I can easily say it is the most interesting job and I am really enjoying my work life.
I also recommend that you have a monthly budget so that you can manage your expenses. Lastly, enjoy your life in Canada – make new friends, visit different places, go on vacations and road trips – as Canada is a beautiful and welcoming country.