If you are an international student migrating to a new country, the constant question is what to take and what to leave. When you are moving out you have to confine all that you have to 2 bags and start a new life in an all-new place.
The real question for international students is – What are the most important things to pack? None of us want to be missing out on things we don’t get in Canada, or have to pay twice/thrice the money. But there is a slight misconception to this that we all realize once we have landed in Canada. Most things were available for almost a similar price in dollar stores or thrift stores.
Let’s look at what are the things you really need to get or can avoid getting when coming to Canada.
#1 Clothes: As soon as we think of Canada, the first thing that crosses our mind is the cold winter months. The mistake people make is buying thick jackets and woolen sweaters. As long as you are not in a country that has similar weather conditions to Canada, it is a waste of money. If you are arriving in winters, it is best to get something to sustain the weather until you buy your winter gear here. Pack your most comfortable clothes and do not forget your formal wear.
#2 Kitchen items: People from India mostly get pressure cookers, non-stick Kadai, Tawa, tea pan etc. Honestly, you get all of these for more or less the same price available in many stores across Canada. Do not overload your bag with spices and noodle packets. Everything is available in Indian stores that are present across the country.
#3 Electronic Items: It is advisable not to get any electronic items. They do not function well due to voltage variation. A must take is a Universal Travel Adapter to charge your phones/laptops.
#4 Toiletries: You will hear from your seniors/ friends about getting excessive toiletries. The reason for this is they are comparatively expensive in Canada. But let’s remember that we are moving to a country where everything is relatively a little expensive. Buy a couple of them if you are very particular about your brand that is not available in Canada.
#5 First-aid medicine: If you are under medication, then pack your prescribed medicines along with the doctor’s prescription. It is advisable to put the prescription in your handbag to show it to the immigration officer, in case required. Avoid getting common medicines again as you can purchase over the counter medicines for cough, cold, fever, etc.
In your hand luggage…
The important documents required to show at Immigration counter – Passport, TRV, Port of entry letter, boarding pass, college enrolment letter, proof of tuition payment. Do carry some liquid cash, your electronic gadgets, SOS medicines, a warm jacket if you are arriving in winter.
Most of the items are easily accessible and available for approximately the same price in Canada. While you can get what you like if there is enough space, you really need not worry about losing out on anything. You can purchase books, kitchen items, hangers, lunch box, cleaning supplies, and bed linen at Dollar stores/thrift stores across the city.
Many of us international students made a mistake of paying for extra weight luggage at airports. We later realized we could have used that money to buy new things and still end up saving a few pennies. I have also heard stories from students who ended up paying 70 CAD for a calculator and regretted not getting it from India; only to realize later that an affordable one was available at a dollar store.
For international students it is all about finding the right things at the right place in Canada instead of having a panicky situation with the luggage at the airport. Avoid over-stuffing your luggage with items that you didn’t have to pack in the first place.
Charitha Vasudevan is a student at Lambton College and is passionate about Digital Marketing. Follow her on LinkedIn – Charitha Vasudevan