How can Students manage their stay in Canada?

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In Canada, more than 50% are from other countries. Immigration Agency of Canada has granted study permits to more than 3 lakhs international students, an all-time high count. Considering these figures, finding a residential accommodation would be a major issue. York University housing in Toronto believes it is the top priority of an International Student’s checklist.

Thus, it is crucial to find a place which is close to school\Institution and is budget friendly. The situation is more alarming with COVID-19 scenario as one may find on-campus housing options more limited due to many shared dorms changed to single dorms or closed down, significantly reducing the capacity for students to live on campus.

Luckily, there are plenty of other housing options for international students, if one knows where to look. Following steps will prove quite helpful and result oriented to mitigate the adversity of the accommodation availability:

  1. Start off by determining a monthly budget:

The first decision to make when planning for accommodations is how much one can afford to pay per month as average rental prices are more in Canada’s big cities and less in smaller cities and towns. The rent price may range from $700 and $1,000 CAD per month, per room in a shared accommodation. To live on your own in a studio or one-bedroom apartment one has to pay over $1,200 CAD per month, depending on locality.

Utilities, transportation, food, and household furniture have to be all added on to this cost and must be included in the budget

  1. On-campus housing for international students:

Students can also find on-campus accommodation, equipped with basic furniture. As soon as one gets the acceptance letter, one should reach out to the university’s student housing office to learn how to apply. It is essential to pay an application fee. It consists of a shared dining hall with a paid meal plan.

An eight-month on-campus housing and meal plan may cost anywhere from $6,000 CAD to $16,000 CAD which on contacting university can be confirmed.

  1. Trying to find convenient options as below:

3.1 Off-campus housing

Off-campus living is preferred for more housing availability, to save money or for personal reasons. It also allows students to explore the city beyond university’s campus life.

One-bedroom apartments, shared apartments and shared houses are the most common types of off-campus rentals. Students usually need to sign a one-year lease.

Extra costs of utilities (e.g. heating, water, electricity, Wi-Fi), any furniture, parking costs, or other expenses may not be included so one must check before signing the lease to fit the budget accordingly.

Students can begin looking for an apartment or room on various rental sites or Facebook groups dedicated to student housing at specific universities or through your university’s international student department. Having friends or family living in the area of school may also be able to help in getting in touch with someone with a place that needs a roommate.

3.2     Living in a homestay with a host family

A homestay is in which students can stay with a host family in their home. Typically 1-3 meals are provided per day and one may find it helpful to have the host family introduce the city and make one feel more at home. Homestays may cost a little more but will ensure more study-time. These homestay networks have specific criteria for host families, so one can feel safe and secure in this placement and receive assistance at any time.

According to the Canada Homestay Network, the charges of the rent may vary between $600 and $1000 CAD per month. One may be charged by the night, rather than by month.

Similar to a homestay, you can find a stay in exchange for a service like cleaning or babysitting.

3.3      Short-term furnished rentals

This includes rentals with a shorter period of time (anywhere from a few days to a full four-month semester).

Short-term rentals can be found on Airbnb, Vrbo, Sublet.com and Kijiji and many other popular rental sites.

If you haven’t been able to find long-term accommodation for the school year, you can turn to short-term furnished rentals to find somewhere to stay while you search for a new place. It is a great idea to choose short-term rental in or near the neighbourhood you eventually plan to live in.  It can help you in getting familiar with transportation, food facilities and other options.

So, students can try any of the above options or connect with different networks like York University housing in Toronto and enjoy a comfortable accommodation.

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