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### Mastering Adjustment: International Students Overcome Initial Housing Challenges Abroad

ApoorvaTripathi journeyed to Canada to pursue her program in Health Care Administration and Service Management at Conestoga College in Kitchener City, located in the Ontario province. Originally from Delhi, her aspiration was to establish a thriving career in the healthcare industry. Despite initial challenges, Apoorva secured employment in Canada, where she has resided for the past two years.

Expressing her excitement about studying abroad and embracing a diverse, discrimination-free environment, Apoorva welcomed the opportunity to engage in a new educational framework enriched with practical exposure. To realize her aspirations, she diligently prepared for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination through various online platforms, eschewing formal coaching. Her admission to Conestoga College in 2021 was based on her IELTS scores. While the visa process proceeded smoothly, adjusting to the Canadian lifestyle posed its own set of challenges.

In terms of finances and the escalating value of the Canadian dollar, Apoorva opted for a student education loan and supplemented her income with a part-time job, leveraging the Canadian government’s allowance of 20 hours of work per week for students. While her stay in the college residence was pleasant, the quest for affordable housing in Ontario presented difficulties due to the soaring rental prices. Apoorva advises prospective students to consider exploring other provinces within Canada to address this housing challenge.

Apoorva also cautions students about potential scams resulting from a lack of awareness among international students regarding leases and other documentation, emphasizing the importance of attending scam-related workshops organized by colleges.

The aftermath of COVID witnessed a surge in prices across various sectors in Canada, leading to financial hardships for students, with reported cases of distress due to challenges in meeting college fee deadlines amidst limited part-time job opportunities. Apoorva underscores the necessity for students to be emotionally prepared to combat homesickness and cultural adjustments when venturing into a foreign land.

Emphasizing the pursuit of a successful career, Apoorva highlights the abundant opportunities in the medical field for students, advocating for proactive job hunting strategies through continuous exploration of job portals and persistent resume submissions. She underscores the critical role of well-crafted resumes and cover letters in navigating the competitive and merit-based job market.

Navigating initial obstacles and academic disparities in Canada, Apoorva underscores the importance of proper citation practices and academic integrity in project reports and exams, with colleges offering workshops to enhance students’ writing skills and uphold academic standards. While colleges extend support and guidance, students are encouraged to take the initiative in their job search efforts.

Preparing Indian students for the enduring winter climate in Canada, Apoorva acknowledges the harsh weather conditions lasting over six months, advising newcomers to exhibit patience and resilience in acclimatizing to the environment. Reflecting on her diverse experiences as an international student in Canada, Apoorva encourages students to maintain optimism and perseverance amidst challenges, urging them to stay focused on their dreams despite the adversities faced abroad.