Thursday, February 22, 2018

Unpacking the Bags: The saga of looking for information

November 29, 2017 by Renata Silva, contributing writer

Every international student knows how difficult it is to get accurate legal information. The search for information is constant: at each new step taken we need to confirm that we’re doing everything within the law. There are rules for studying, working, having bank accounts, renewing visas… But where should someone look for all this information?

My first tip is to go to the official Canadian immigration and citizenship (CIC) website.

Unpacking the Bags is a column giving advice for international students appearing in every issue of Nexus.

The website can be a little confusing for some people because of the amount of information it contains. When I look for something there, I go to the help centre page and type in keywords about the information I need. The CIC site will then offer you some options for articles that may contain the information you need.

If your question is about your studies, the first place to contact is Camosun. I prefer to set a time with an advisor; usually, they have a good grasp on the relationship between the school and international students, since they deal with various cases regularly. But never go expecting them to tell you what decisions to make; they’re there so we can pick their brains for advice. Try to come up with specific and direct questions beforehand. When they give you an answer, I recommend you confirm it with another source, just to check it out. No one is perfect, and sometimes they might not know the answer, or the information they give could be a bit outdated. It never hurts to double check.

For information regarding international student work laws, one option is to search for Service Canada online. Service Canada is also where you can go for info on getting a social insurance number (SIN), which we all need to work in Canada.

The most important thing is to always research in advance. This process can be very tiring, but it can provide more tranquility to your routine in Canada. Don’t let legal issues make your experience here a bad one. Always remember that this is an amazing opportunity to get to know a different culture and acquire knowledge, and that’s our focus for now.

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