Begin Your Adventure with these Study Aboard Tips

Begin Your Adventure with these Study Aboard Tips

Hello! It’s Thuy :) It has been almost a year since I graduated from CIS to continue my studies in Canada. It was also my first foreign experience :). Overall, it has been a very memorable year and I was asked if I could write an article and share some study tips and/or Canadian experiences with you. I hope some of my information useful.

For school:

Organizing your time

When you are in college or university, the semester ends quickly and you will be lost if you do not organize your time and make a plan. I have noted some numbers I think you should pay attention to so that you can have a picture of how fast things can move. I have talked to some of my friends at Ryerson, Guelph, Seneca, York and U of T to gather these figures for you.

  • 4 months per each semester.
  • 6 or up to 8 subjects: per semester.
  • 1 class per week for each subject.
  • 16 weeks: 16 classes for each of your chosen subjects (including holidays if there are any).
  • 1 to 2 chapters covered within the class time. 2-3 hours: the average class time.

This information plus the expectation of the course and the grading criteria will be discussed on the first day of school. Additionally, you might also get your first project explained and have to choose your group members on the same day. Therefore, DO NOT miss your first class.

Tips on choosing your group members: choose to be in different groups of different people for each project if you can. This way, by the end of first school year, you will know who you want to work with  the following year as the courses getting more specialised and I guess ,“harder"? Our academic advisor at George Brown College also suggested that if you want to make a good team or a good group, you should know your strengths and weaknesses. Then, find members whose weaknesses are your strengths and vice versa. This way, you can help each other become better. You can apply this idea to your daily life too.

Besides school:

If you are afraid of future opportunities to find jobs, I suggest that when you come to Canada,  try to volunteer when you are free, or find yourself a part-time job. Some senior students I know get a pretty decent job offerings when they are volunteering. Of course, it takes time and commitment as well as good performance to have the offer because there will be other people also looking for the same opportunities. And a part-time job will help you a lot to build your Canadian work experience as well as teaching you to be responsible, managing and prioritizing your time. Regardless of whether or not you  recognize this now, these skills can be built over time, so be patient and try your best at everything you do.

If you love sports, don't hesitate to join an intramural sport, try out for extramural activities or even tryout for varsity team. Try it anyway even if you are afraid. I tried out for a volleyball extramural team, thought that I would not be chosen but turned out I was! I am part of the Huskies and we have had such a great time together.

Winter here can feel pretty lonely and empty sometimes, therefore, keep in touch with your friends and acquaintances so that you guys can watch out for each other when you get a little bit melancholy. Remember, please, take good care of yourself.

PS before coming to Canada or anywhere in the world, learn to cook and excel at some of your favorite dishes while you are still at home. I believe that being able to cook and share your food has a special power to help you connect with other people --- and, even better when you are good at it!