Health and safety tips when staying in Canada

Canadian universities pay extreme attention to the safety of their students on campus. As an international student, you will have access to various points of contacts for any kind of emergency. Do not worry, 24-hour security is provided at most campuses.

Contact your university security service

Almost all campuses in Canada have a special body to ensure the safety of their international students. So, as the first step, check if your school offers one and keep the security officer’s number saved in your phone.

Various universities and schools also offer services like shuttles and security escorts to drop you to your accommodation or stations after hours. Some go a step further and have their own mobile apps with a direct line for students to get in touch with the security. Also, there is CCTV surveillance and security that work round the clock on the premises.

If, at any point of time, you feel unsafe in and around your campus or accommodation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your college authorities.

Remember, most universities and colleges also provide with health insurance to international students. Discuss with your IDP counsellor for the details regarding your health insurance options in Canada.

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. Always, report a crime however big or small it may be. In Canada, interpreters are available in case you are not able to explain in English.

It’s important to stay alert

Navigate safe

  • Take some time to study the routes in Canada properly. Get familiar with the area and check the latest maps for directions.
  • Canadian laws may differ from your home country. So, learn them beforehand to avoid breaking them unintentionally.

When outdoors

  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable at any point of time, leave the place or inform someone you trust.
  • Avoid travelling alone especially during the night. Pre-book a taxi or have your friend drop you.
  • Walk on well-lit streets, preferably in a group.  Carry sufficient emergency cash.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.

Protect your money and documents

As an international student, you must keep all your documents safe with you at all times. Your passport, identification, visa papers, and immigration forms should always be kept in safe place. If you prefer to use cash, keep it in various places instead of a single location. It is always a better option to use a card rather than cash.

Do not carry your passport when you go out exploring. If you do not have a permanent place to live, contact your university’s international support team to get you campus storage facilities.

Stay connected

Always keep your friends and family updated on your whereabouts at all times. Here is how you can always remain connected:

  • Get a local number.
  • Share your number with friends, family, the university office and your roommate.
  • Always keep your phone charged and on ringing when not in a classroom.
  • Whether you’re going to another town or to the nearest shopping mall, keep someone informed.
  • If you feel unsafe at any given time, share your live location with someone you trust.

Lastly, remember the Internet too can be dangerous. So be wise about how you conduct yourself both online and offline.