December 4, 2021

International students who have a burning desire to travel abroad for study face challenges ranging rom the weather to the language.

Amit Singh an international student from Nepal and Roseline Banks, a Nigerian studying at Prince Edward Island University, are doing well themselves despite their challenges as international students in Canada. As a child, Banks determined to leave her home country to study abroad, but her determination became reality when she landed in Canada as an international student.

“Weather is one of the challenges that I’m facing in Canada. If you consider the weather in Canada, it is so cold here. It is different from what we have in Nigeria,” said Banks.

Singh said he misses family in his home country.

“At first when I arrived in Canada, I felt like returning back to Nepal when I don’t have my wife and children with me,”

Many international students drink hot coffee and wear layers of clothes just to overcome Canada’s frosty temperatures.

“Sometimes I see the sun out there, but it is still cold, it is so deceiving, and I try as much as possible to wear the right clothing,” said Banks.

Some international students in Canada left their spouses and children in their home country to pursue their studies abroad. Singh, a married international student at Fanshawe College in London, left his wife and children in Nepal to pursue his study in Canada.

“Loneliness is another challenge that I face daily in Canada. You know I’m married, and my wife and children are back home in Nepal. It has not been so easy for me living here without them though we talk daily on the phone, it can’t just fill the space,” said Singh.

Roseline Banks said finance is another major challenge for international students in Canada.

“Finance is a major challenge we face here; you know we only work for just 20 hours a week and that cannot sustain me. My parents had to send money from Nigeria and if you consider the exchange rate it is disheartening,” said Banks.

Roseline Banks. Photo Credit Patrick Osadare
Amit Singh. Photo Submitted by Amit.

COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are another major challenge international students face. It is a global issue, but many internationals have to go through a rigorous process of doing PCR tests before they can travel to Canada. Those already in Canada cannot go to stores, restaurants to buy food, and other essential things for proper life.

“Life has been so tiring here, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic time. The only Nepalese restaurant in London has been closed due to the pandemic and going to other stores for shopping is not possible as all stores are locked,” said Singh.

Despite the challenges, international students see great value in their studies in Canada.

“Opportunity comes but once people say. I am sure studying in Canada will bring about better life and position for me in the nearest future,” said Banks. “Though we pay triple of what domestic students are paying, we cannot stop making good things happen in Canada.”

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