Two people talking and laughing together.

Life in Canada

As you embark on your educational journey at Georgian College, you’re not just stepping into a classroom; you’re entering a country renowned for its warmth, diversity, and opportunities. To ensure a smooth transition, we’re happy to offer some helpful advice to get you started on this exciting new chapter.

Mobile phones

A smartphone screen with icons of apps

Bring your mobile phone and purchase a sim card in Canada

Sim cards are available from many providers throughout the city, including at the airport. Popular companies like Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido and Virgin Mobile offer both sim cards and cell phones if needed.

Check if your phone is compatibleGeorgian College Chevron

If you plan on bringing your mobile phone with you to Canada, it’s important to ensure that it will work on the local mobile networks. Here are the steps to check if your phone is compatible:

  • 1. Go to
  • Choose your phone brand and model.
  • 3. Select Canada as the country.
  • You can select any of the major carriers (Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido, and Virgin Mobile) under Carriers.
  • Click on Search.
  • The results will display which networks your phone can work with.

Many stores, restaurants, and businesses in Canada, including all Georgian College campuses, offer free Wi-Fi. By connecting to these networks, you can use the data features on your smartphone without using your data plan.


A group of people in winter boots, snow suits, goggles and gloves, sitting in snow tubes with their arms up in the air at Snow Valley

Clothing recommendations by season

There is no strict dress code at Georgian, so feel free to bring clothing that suits your personal style. However, keep in mind the changing seasons and varying weather conditions in Canada.

  • Summer – Lightweight clothing and sun protection is ideal as temperatures can often be above 30 degrees.
  • Spring and fall – It’s useful to have sweaters and light waterproof jackets for cooler and rainy days.
  • Winter – Heavy jackets, scarves, gloves, hats and waterproof boots are essential. Layering is common as it can be cold outside but warmer indoors.
Selecting winter clothingGeorgian College Chevron

Ensuring you are well-prepared for the cold weather in Canada is essential to stay warm and comfortable throughout the winter season. Embracing the beauty of winter becomes easier when you are bundled up in cozy layers. So, remember to dress appropriately and stay snug as you explore and experience the wonders of the Canadian winter.

  • Scarves – Opt for a thick, insulating material such as wool or fleece. Look for scarves that are long enough to wrap around your neck and cover your face if needed.
  • Hats – Choose a hat that fully covers your ears and head to protect against cold winds. Look for hats made from warm materials like wool or thermal fleece.
  • Gloves/mittens – Look for gloves or mittens that are lined with a warm and insulating material like fleece or thermal insulation. Consider gloves with touchscreen-compatible fingertips, allowing you to use your smartphone without removing them. Look for waterproof or water-resistant gloves if you’ll be exposed to snow or rain.
  • Winter coat – When selecting a coat, prioritize good insulation (goose down or synthetic) to keep you warm in freezing temperatures. Look for a coat that is both windproof and water-resistant or waterproof, providing protection against harsh and wet weather conditions.
  • Boots – Pick waterproof or water-resistant boots to keep your feet dry in snowy or wet conditions. Look for boots with good traction to prevent slipping on icy surfaces. Consider boots with insulation and a warm lining to keep your feet cozy in cold temperatures.

Remember to prioritize quality, durability and proper fit when selecting your winter clothing items to ensure they effectively protect you from the cold weather. Additionally, layering your clothing and wearing thermal socks and thermal base layers can provide extra warmth and comfort during the winter season.

Drinking water

A person with blonde hair and blue eyes, drinking water out of a glass with ice cubes

Enjoy safe drinking water

Ontario has implemented an award-winning system to safeguard the quality of its drinking water.

As a result, when you turn on your tap, you can rest assured that your drinking water is one of the most secure in the world. This simply means that you can freely drink water from the tap in your home without any concerns.

Adapters and converters

A white dual electrical outlet/socket on a white tile backsplash, with a black plug

Power plugs and sockets

In Canada, the power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. The standard voltage is 120 V, and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

If you are bringing any electronic devices with you, it is likely that you will need a voltage converter to prevent damage. Consider obtaining a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter.

Currency and cost of living

Canadian bills ($100, $50, $20, $10 and $5) and coins (loonie, toonie, quarter, dime, nickel)

Cost of living in Canada

The average cost of living for an international student in Ontario can vary depending on various factors such as the city or town of residence, lifestyle choices, and personal preferences.

Visit our international finance and fees webpage to learn more about approximate costs for your living expenses.

Canadian currency

While Canadian cash isn’t necessary, having some on hand can be useful as a backup in case of any issues with your bank cards.

Familiarize yourself with Canadian currency through the Government of Canada website.

Banking and finances

Individual putting their bank card into an ATM.

Bank accounts

If you’re a student in Canada looking for a chequing account for your daily expenses, there are five common banks that offer this service. While the features of these accounts are similar, there may be some slight variations between banks.

Explore banking options in CanadaGeorgian College Chevron

Learn more about the options available to you and the
requirements for opening an account:

Some banks even offer appointment booking to reduce your wait time at the branch. Take some time to explore the websites and choose the bank that meets your needs best.

Budgeting for students

It’s important for you to learn how to budget your money every month in order to have sufficient funds for your living expenses. Georgian provides useful tips and tricks to help you get started on this journey. Additionally, explore various awards, scholarships and bursaries that can assist in covering your expenses.

Working in Canada

Two people working in a coffeeshop and making drinks.

Earn while you learn

Yes, international students can work in Canada!

Learn more about working in Canada will studying, on-campus jobs, co-op programs and working after graduation.

Additional resources and support

A student wearing a blue Georgian College backpack with two students waving and walking towards them

Join our online community

Stay connected and stay informed by visiting the International section on the MyGCLife platform and following us on our social media.

By joining you’ll gain access to valuable resources, stay up to date with the latest news and events, and receive important information relevant to your student journey.

Want to learn more?

Georgian Canada


Whether you’re an applicant interested in studying at Georgian, an international student in need of guidance, or an individual looking to explore opportunities abroad, don’t hesitate to reach out to our International Education and Development office. We’re here to support you throughout your academic journey!

Contact information

Segal International Centre
C279, Barrie Campus

Send us a message