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How to Choose a Bachelor’s Degree in Canada

If it’s time to begin your search for a bachelor’s degree, but you’re unsure of what you’d like to study, then keep reading. Canada is home to some of the most academically renowned colleges and universities in the world. These institutions’ display of scholarly excellence, in combination with the vibrant student life they provide, makes it easy to understand why they’re two of the most popular study abroad destinations for international students. Here, we’ll explore some of the major factors to consider when choosing a bachelor’s degree in Canada to help you make your most informed choice.

Career Prospects

When choosing a bachelor’s degree in Canada, it’s essential to look for a program that will help you enter a specific career after graduation. Ensure you are aligning your interests with your future goals and setting yourself up to succeed in a field where careers are in-demand. Questions you may want to ask yourself to pinpoint a career that appeals to you include:

  • What would my level of job satisfaction be in this role?
  • What does career progression look like in this field?
  • What is the salary and earning potential of this career?
  • Will I have a high level of job security in this role?
  • Will this career put me in a good position to retire in the future?

Answering these questions can help you narrow down your list of career options. Depending on the career you choose to pursue after you graduate, you can narrow down your program search accordingly.

Course Duration

Bachelor’s degree programs in Canada typically take three to four years of full-time study to complete. 

The first two years of your degree will usually include commonly required courses, such as history, math, literature, science, and communications. This helps students develop a broad understanding across different subject areas, as well as hone their research and communication skills. After completing these introductory courses, some students may reconsider their program of study and change their declared major. Changing your program can impact the time it takes to complete your degree, typically adding an additional year of study. 

Course duration can become a major cost factor for students. The longer that an international student’s program is, the more they’ll have to spend on tuition, rent, and daily living expenses. This makes accelerated bachelor’s degrees an attractive option if you’re looking to minimize costs. Not every university in Canada offers its students the opportunity to take accelerated bachelor’s degrees, but many do. If you’re open to an accelerated academic schedule and excited to start your career as soon as possible, consider a bachelor’s degree at a school that will help you fast-track your studies.

 

mount-royal-2

Courtesy of Mount Royal University.

Work Experience

Many Canadian educational institutions offer students the chance to gain hands-on experience through an internship, co-op placement, or work experience. While these three terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences. However, each provides students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to practical work experiences. 

International students can also apply to Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP), which allows eligible applicants to work and live in Canada for up to three years. 

Canada is currently open to international students, and most academic institutions are accepting applications for January, May, and September 2022 intakes. Due to COVID-19, there’s been an influx of applications from students wanting to study abroad, and many colleges and universities have already hit capacity for January. Apply as soon as possible to secure your spot.

4 Ways International Students Can Adjust to the New Culture

If you’re an international student starting your study abroad journey, you might be curious about potential cultural differences and what adapting to a new culture might be like. Experiencing cultural differences can help you to understand other cultures and develop a valuable, global outlook. However, adjusting to a new culture won’t happen overnight, which is why we’ve put together our top four tips for making this transition a smooth one for you.

Adjusting to a new culture while studying abroad can be stressful at times. Exercising is a great way to stimulate the release of dopamine which can help to reduce stress. Hitting the gym, practicing yoga, or joining one of your school’s intramural teams are all effective outlets to relieve stress. 

You can also join a student club on campus or discover new hobbies that encourage socializing with others. 

1. Reduce Stress

Adjusting to a new culture while studying abroad can be stressful at times. Exercising is a great way to stimulate the release of dopamine which can help to reduce stress. Hitting the gym, practicing yoga, or joining one of your school’s intramural teams are all effective outlets to relieve stress. 

You can also join a student club on campus or discover new hobbies that encourage socializing with others. 

You can also consider implementing the following tips into your daily routine to help reduce stress:

  • Follow online workout routines on YouTube
  • Join student clubs online (many schools have moved these groups to platforms like Facebook)
  • Listen to music
  • Learn how to cook new meals by watching online tutorials

2. Keep an Open-Mind

Never underestimate the power of perspective. When interacting with people in your new host country, ensure you keep an open mind. Consider how their culture and background influence their behaviour. This is critical when integrating yourself into a new environment. It allows you to put yourself in their shoes and gain perspective on things that may not initially make sense to you. Moving to a new country and adapting to a new culture doesn’t mean you have to alter your customs and values. But just as you want your classmates to understand and embrace your differences, you should aim to do the same.

3. Be Curious and Ask Questions

When adapting to a new culture, it’s natural that you will have many questions and be curious about your surroundings. Whether you want to know where the best hiking spots and breakfast joints are, or you’re wondering what a particular phrase means—don’t be shy about asking questions or seeking help when you need it. You’ll find that people are eager to share their knowledge with others.

4. Seek Support from Other International Students

During your study abroad journey, you’ll be surrounded by other international students who might also be sharing similar experiences as they adjust to a new culture. Chatting about the local culture and ways to adjust to it can help you better understand your new country and its residents. 

Many universities and colleges offer mentoring programs that match upper-year international students with first-year students from the same country. This allows the incoming student to learn about their host country’s culture, ask questions, and meet new friends. Most colleges and universities also offer international student clubs. These clubs typically host a number of gatherings both in person and virtually throughout the school year, allowing international students to form a community. 

Check your school resources to see if it offers one of these programs or clubs.

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