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What are the health and support services available in Canada?

Here’s a lowdown on the support services available for you!

It can be a little challenging to cope with the changes in your environment when you move to Canada for the first time. With a new set of customs and norms, acclimatizing into the culture takes some time, and you may need some assistance to absorb it all smoothly. But if you struggle to adjust, or feel alienated or unhealthy, there are a range of support services available to help you out.

In case you get hassled at any point, you can reach out to:

Campus support services

Dedicated to support international students via various orientations and programs. These may include supportive and educational workshops, cultural celebrations and academic support. Sometimes, they also help with student accommodation and employment/internship opportunities.

Student associations on campus

Most institutions have their own student associations, which help international students manage their various activities along with academics. Some universities also have a dedicated international student associations to offer unbiased support to students from another country.

For instance, the University of Calgary has a Newcomers & International Students’ Committee that ensures all inter-cultural students have a voice in front of both the Graduate Students Association and the university’s administration.

Student associations off campus

There are various student associations outside of campus that work for the welfare of national and international students. For instance, the Canadian Federation of Students and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations are two great resources to reach out to in case of any assistance.

Support for students with disabilities

Most universities and institutions offer special support to international students with disabilities, but it is best to communicate the same at the time of application to discuss if any special arrangements need to be made for you.

If you are studying in Ontario, you can also make use of communability, a social networking website for post-secondary students with disabilities across the province.


Make sure you have a health insurance

Remember, most universities and colleges also provide with health insurance facilities to international students. Discuss with your IDP counsellor for the details regarding your health insurance options in Canada.
We recommend you to get registered with a local doctor or a medical centre located in your campus on arrival.

In an emergency

If you happen to face any emergency, call the toll free number 911. This is a common number that can be used for fire, police or ambulance. In Canada, interpreters are available in case you are not able to explain in English.

A great way to come prepared to face various challenges of settling into a new country is by attending one of our pre-departure sessions, which are help free of cost of our students. Just walk into any of your nearest IDP office to know more about the same. 

*Source: https://www.neads.ca/en/about/media/index.php?id=682

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