Top 5 things to do in Canada especially for International Students…

Top 5 things to do in Canada especially for International Students…

If you have decided to move to Canada for your studies you’re probably wondering what there is to do and see as an international student. We explore the top five options.

Canada has proven to be a destination that attracts a lot of attention from international students. With the combination of high-quality educational institutions, multicultural society, and high quality of life, it’s no surprise. From the vibrant city of Toronto to the Rocky Mountains you won’t be short of things to do if you choose to study in Canada. However, there are definitely experiences you should add to your list as an international student. We take a look at the top five things to do in Canada.

Sample Canadian cuisine

One of the best ways to experience a culture is to sample the food that’s on offer. While Canada doesn’t have a huge variety of what can be called ‘national dishes/foods’ there are few that you should have a taste of. The first, and probably most well-known, is maple syrup. It is used as a topping, a glaze, and sauces.

You can try some of the more traditional ways it is eaten on top of waffles and pancakes and if you are a meat eater you may enjoy pork (especially bacon), beef, or chicken that has been marinated in the syrup. More than 70 percent of the world’s maple syrup comes from Canada and the maple tree enjoys an esteemed status in Canadian culture, with the leaf adorning the Canadian flag.

What may be considered an acquired taste is the Canadian dish poutine. It is thought to have been introduced almost 70 years ago in Quebec and it combines French fries, gravy (thick meat-derived sauce), and cheese curds. If you’re not familiar with cheese curds, they are produced during the process of making cheese. You can think of them as the early stage of the more traditional cheeses you may be familiar with, like cheddar.  The curds are small solid pieces of clotted milk with a springy texture. There are various ways poutine is eaten including accompanied by seafood and meat.

If you are more a fan of desserts or have a sweet tooth, then beaver tail could be the choice for you. The dough-based snack, shaped to resemble a beavertail, one of the official animals of Canada, is deep-fried and then has various toppings including fruit, chocolate, and sweets.  Don’t be afraid of venturing outside of your comfort zone and trying new things.  You could end up finding something you really enjoy.

Why not also take a look at some of the post-study work options in Canada.

Visit Niagara Falls

Now we know this may seem a little bit of a cliché, with a visit to Niagara Falls often making the bucket list of many visitors to Canada. However, it is well worth checking out. Located just south of Toronto on the border with the United States, Niagara Falls actually consists of three waterfalls known as American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Canadian Falls. It is a spectacular sight, with over 3,000 tons of water cascading over the edge every second and at some places, it is over 50 metres high.

There are quite a few activities that you can do at the falls, with one of the firm favorites being a boat ride or cruise close to the falls themselves. While it does command a bit more of a price tag, helicopter rides over the falls get some picturesque aerial views. Other activities surrounding the falls include ziplining, walking through the botanical gardens, food tours, hiking, and an amusement park. It’s a great weekend getaway and road trip if you’re studying in Ontario or Toronto at institutions including:

  • Conestoga College
  • Ryerson University
  • Carleton University
  • Centennial College
  • Mohawk College

Attend an ice hockey match

For a unique cultural experience and one that may get your adrenalin pumping, attending an ice hockey match is a must. Ice hockey can be described as more than a passion in Canada and is the number one sport in the country. Many have remarked that going to a hockey game is unforgettable with the competition on the rink coupled with the partisan support in the crowd sparking real energy. You could attend a university-level match, however, for the full experience, a game in the National Hockey League (NHL) is recommended.

Canada has seven teams in a professional league that spans both Canada and America. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in a key part of Canadian culture, watch professional athletes go through their paces, and taste some Canadian food. Some of the cities in Canada that are ice hockey crazy include Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. In fact, if you choose to study in and around Vancouver, on the west coast, you may be able to watch one of the countries most supported teams, the Vancouver Canucks. Some of the institutions you could attend in the area include:

  • Columbia College
  • University Canada West
  • University of Fraser Valley
  • Royal Roads University

Try a winter sport

Although some parts of Canada have milder winters, such as Vancouver and Calgary, for much of the country the mercury drops below zero in the winter months of the year, meaning ice and snow. Although it is quite cold, it’s not all bad news with the opportunity to try some new activities namely ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding. In many cities, you’ll be able to find ice rinks where you can rent some skates and learn the basics. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous there are some outdoor options, including frozen lakes, but this should always be approached with caution and careful consultation.

With Canada boasting the Rocky Mountains, you also won’t be short of destinations for skiing and snowboarding. This is particularly true of British Columbia in the west of the country, including the legendary Red Mountain and Revelstoke resorts. If you’re just starting you can try more local destinations or beginner’s classes. There are plenty of informal ways you can learn to ski or snowboard as well, with small snow-capped hills and mountains never that far away in winter.

Go hiking and camping

With an abundance of natural landscapes and wilderness to explore, Canada is often described as a hiker’s paradise. One of the best things about hiking and camping is that it doesn’t cost very much, which is perfect for a student budget, and it’s also very rewarding. One of the most recommended places in Canada is the Banff National Park, located in Alberta, northwest of the city of Calgary. The park is known for its picturesque, unspoiled landscapes that include mountains, lakes, rivers, and even thermal hot springs.

Apart from the great hiking trails, there is also kayaking, biking, and skiing you can take part in.  The national park is one of many offering a great opportunity to get outdoors. In the east of the country, you can also visit Algonquin Park known for its spectacular display of autumn leaves or the Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan located in the center of Canada. In fact, Saskatchewan also boasts several institutions including Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Now that you have some ideas of what kind of places you can go to and the activities you can partake in when studying take a look at what makes the country unique, the most popular degrees in Canada for international students, and why you might consider studying in Canada.

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