Canada is currently one of the hottest destinations for both tourism and immigration. Thousands of people move to Canada every year from all over the world. It is also home to many international students who apply for permanent residency in Canada after finishing their studies. There is a misconception that Canada is same as USA but that’s not true. Both the countries share same border but living environment, rules and regulations are different in both countries.
If you are moving to Canada permanently, there are a few things you must know about this second largest country of the world. See below useful guide which will give you an overview of this amazing country.
- Canada is multicultural country
Canada has always welcomed immigrants from all over the world. Once you step in Canada, you’ll see mix of culture here that’ll make you feel like home. Along with the immigrants, Canada is home to millions of international students who later turn into Canadians after finishing their studies. That’s the magic of Canada; once you enter this country, you fall in love with every bit of it.
- Healthcare is accessible for everyone
Every province in Canada has its own healthcare plan. Canadians are provided with free healthcare but newly moved people need to buy health insurance until they are eligible to receive public health insurance card. There are various types of healthcare insurance provided by companies in all the provinces. Make sure to contact them and choose the best suited insurance for your health.
- Driving license in Canada
You must have your international license with you when you move to Canada but that might not give you complete rights to drive a car there. If you are from the specific country as listed, you might exchange your foreign license with a valid Canadian license. Make sure to see the requirements of the province you are moving to in order to avoid any inconvenience. Here I’d also like to mention that each province of Canada has different rules regarding driving license. What works for British Columbia might not work in Quebec and vice versa.
- Giving tips is common
Giving tips to waiters might not be common in Australia but it is in Canada. In Canada, waiters usually earn wage of $8 to $10 an hour which might not be enough to live a decent life. If the service of the waiters and bartenders is excellent, make sure to give some tip to them. The standard tip should be 15% or 20% of your total bill (depending on the service) or $1 per drink.
- Smoking in public is prohibited
In Canada, you cannot smoke everywhere. Smoking is prohibited in restaurants, offices, hospitals and many such buildings. There are also many public places that won’t allow you to smoke. You can only smoke in your own personal space such as your home or some outdoors including parks.
- It’s a bilingual country
Canada’s official languages are French and English. Both the languages are not spoken widely, but majority of the Canadians are able to speak in both French and English particularly in Quebec. If you are able to speak in French, that’s a plus. But if you can’t, don’t worry as you don’t need to talk in French unless you are visiting Quebec or some old towns and villages in Canada.
- You’ll find Tim Hortons everywhere
Just like Starbucks in USA, there is Tim Hortons on every corner in Canada. It’s Canada’s largest franchise that is known for its delicious coffee and donuts. Tim Hortons is the most famous food chain in Canada with over 4000 stores all over the country. If you are someone who cannot start your day without a cup of coffee, don’t worry. Tim Hortons is there to satisfy your coffee cravings.
- The weather is not always snowy
We have this misconception that Canada is always frozen. It’s not true at all. Canada experiences all the four seasons throughout the year. Some areas can get very snowy in winter but in places like Vancouver or Southern Ontario, winter season is not too harsh. Don’t stress if you are not a winter person. With proper clothing and gears, you can definitely survive cold weather in Canada.
- Canadians are extremely friendly
When we move to a new country, one of the major things that bother us is; people. How are the people in that country going to behave? Will they be friendly? And the list goes on. If you have such fears, don’t stress too much. Canadians are one of the friendliest nations in the world. They are known for their politeness and helping nature. They’ll make sure to help you in any way they can which is amazing for a person like you who has just moved there.
In the end, if you still have any fears or face any issue, don’t hesitate to ask. Locals are there to make sure you that you feel comfortable in Canada. Socialize with people more in first few months and you’ll feel connected.