On- or off-campus: Choosing your accommodations
As an international student looking to study in Canada, securing admissions and a study visa is just the beginning. The first challenge is securing accommodations while you’re still in your home country. While many postgraduate students look at securing off-campus accommodations, undergraduate students look to secure on-campus accommodations. This is because it gives them access to various opportunities. Whether it’s participating in student clubs or indulging in on-campus dining services, there are many reasons to choose on-campus.
With the rise in demand for a Canadian diploma, international students have to secure on-campus housing three to four months before their first semester. Universities have a formal contract process whereby students must go through a formal application process. Through this, students choose from a variety of options and sign a binding contract for the academic year. Despite filling out applications ahead of time, some students are placed on a waitlist. As a result, they must find alternative options of housing such as off-campus housing or home-stay options.
Read all about how to find student accommodations in Canada in this blog!
As a international “freshman” or first-year student, living on campus for the first year enriches the overall academic experience. Making life-long friendships, studying late at the library and participating in intramural residence competitions are just some of the benefits of living on-campus. Laura Farley, Residence Manager at Concordia University, took up several initiatives to spruce up their orientation week as most international students arrive on campus on their own. According to MacLeans, they greeted new residents with midnight breakfast, bubble soccer and IKEA excursions. This is just one example of a university taking special care of its on-campus residents, thereby motivating international students to secure on-campus slots at the earliest.
While it’s possible living off campus is cheaper and gives one independence, international students should consider living on campus. At least for the first year! It reduces the stress of finding housing in a new country and provides a peace of mind like no other. All in all, living on campus truly broadens one’s perspective towards experiences outside of the academic circle.