College in Atlantic Canada: 10 Helpful Links for International Students Before and After the Acceptance Letter


Deciding to leave your country and pursue higher education is a big step!

Whether you are applying to Cape Breton University (4 year programs) or Holland College (2 year programs),there are so many new avenues to navigate as an international student from the Caribbean. 

The question is where to start?! Here are a few links to get you started. 

Before the Acceptance Letter

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork! Language tests, visas and essays are all apart of the college application process for an international student. We’ve listed some basic resources below for you. 

1. Official BusinessThe Government of Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship Canada (CIC)Website – As an international student, no matter the country, you will spend a lot of time here.  This site is where you will apply for a study permit , a work permit (when necessary) and a travel visa or eTA for accompanying family members. 

2. Transcript Assessment WebsitesWorld Education Services (WES). Depending on your program, your future college or university may need to assess how the credentials you obtained outside of Canada compare  to theirs. Your school will tell you if this this is necessary. 

3. English ProficiencyInternational English Language Testing System (IELTS)– When applying to a program taught in English and English is not your first language, proof of English proficiency is necessary. For example, Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, requires an IELTS overall score of no less than 6.5 if english is not your mother tongue. 

Your institution will inform you of the score they  require. Other proficiency exams include TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). 

4.  Learning About CanadaEducanada, well, educates you about life in Canada. The site features a student life section, an international scholarship section and a work after graduation section.  

After the Acceptance Letter

Once you’ve been accepted and all immigration paperwork is squared away , you may start thinking about  travel and what life in your future home will be like. The links below are a great start.

5. Booking your tickets – Sites like are really helpful platforms for price comparisons.

6. International Foods at the Canadian BorderThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency – If your mom is like ours, she may try and send you with the entire contents of the kitchen cupboard. But, it would be wise to check and see if the sweet bread, frozen conch and beef patties  she is sending are border friendly. If they are not, border patrol will dispose of the goods and may even enforce a fine. See the list of things you can bring into Canada. 

7. Keeping Up with the WeatherEnvironment Canada– Maritime weather is like no other and when winter rolls around, you will want to know what outside feels like before stepping out . Environment Canada provides official weather forecasts, warnings and storm tracking for all of Canada.  You can type your east coast city or town in the ‘Access City‘ box (found at the top right of the website).  

8. Local NewsCBC News – This is one of the best ways to stay in tune with what is going on in your town, city or province. Each city has their own dedicated page, so specify your location from the dropdown list under the ‘Local’ tab.  Also, this is another great way to keep up with the local weather!

9. GroceriesAtlantic Superstore– If you don’t have a meal plan or you are opting for an apartment, chances are you will be needing groceries. Check Atlantic Superstore’s website for weekly discount flyers.  

10. Previously Used Appliances & Furniture– Kijiji is a great place for a used microwave or mini fridge. Check out this article on how international students can use it for other things like hair and tutoring services . 

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Kijiji: 11 Things A New International Student Should Know

You may have heard about Ebay or Craigslist , but have you heard about Kijiji?

Kijiji (which is Swahili for village), is Canada’s largest free classifieds website used for posting local ads. It allows people within a community to purchase and provide goods / services amongst each other.

After arriving in Atlantic Canada , it can be a useful  resource for any college student looking to supplement on-campus offerings or save a few dollars on a purchase.

We thought it would be helpful to provide some useful tips for potential first time Kijiji users  as well as list a few ways the website can be helpful.

Note: We always encourage students  to look into  university options first. With that said, we believe it is always a great idea  to be informed about everything a new city or town has to offer.

Kijiji: First-time User Info

1. Things Are Usually Sold As Is -The second hand economy is great, but remember things are generally sold as is. So ask lots of questions, request additional pictures- whatever you need to do  to  ensure you are getting what you want.  

2. Choose a Neutral Location for Meet Ups – Generally, we’ve found that people are  honest and kind. However, you still will want to be smart about your meet-up /transaction. Remember: Malls and coffee shops are great for meeting your seller and never provide credit card or banking information.  Kijiji produced a great video about remaining safe while meeting a buyer or seller.

3. Talk to A Local Canadian Friend – Still not too sure about what Kijiji is and how it can help ? Talk to your Canadian roommate or lab partner who is from your school’s town. Chances are they have used the platform  and can break down the do’s and don’ts for you.

4. Posting Your Own Ad is Pretty Easy –  Can’t find an on-campus buyer for your microwave? Kijiji makes it really simple to upload pictures and prices for all of your stuff.  They also have an app that makes posting and browsing even faster.

Kijiji: How Its Useful

5. Hair braiding and other hair services –As a Caribbean international student, its not always easy to find someone to take care of natural or processed hair in this neck of the woods. But there are hairdressers and braiders that advertise with Kjiji to reach their clientele. 

Be sure to take all the precautions discussed in our post when  meeting up.

6. Off campus housing- Kijiji provides a great list of student targeted housing options; from single rooms to apartments to houses. Check out their article on how to find a student apartment.

7. Furniture- Decided to move out of your campus residence and a brand new couch not in the budget? Kijiji has sofas and dining tables at every price point.

Tip: Check out Kijiji’s ‘Free Stuff’ tab under the ‘Buy & Sell’ menu option. Thank us later!

8. Appliances- There is no shortage of  microwaves and mini fridges listed on Kijiji. These can be oh so handy for those all-nighters in your dorm room .

9. Tutors– Colleges and universities usually have a well established tutoring system, so we suggest you start there. But, if for some reason you need more options, Kijiji is a great platform to search. From time to time you may come across past graduates offering their services on the site.

10. Textbooks – Students are constantly listing previously used textbooks. 

11. Car –If you live off campus, a car may be something you are considering. After ensuring that winter tires, annual safety inspections and general maintenance can fit within your budget, Kijiji is a great way to figure out your city’s vehicle market and narrow down general offerings.

Navigating a new place is never easy so we hope this helped!  Have you heard about Kijiji before? Let us know!

Stay Connected !

Keep up to date with school and scholarship information 

We’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave a review  too 

Find out when new student experiences and blog posts are released

CS2AC Session 1: Bahamian Student’s Journey Through Computer Engineering at University of New Brunswick

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CS2AC Session 1: Bahamian Student's Journey Through Computer Engineering at University of New Brunswick

On this session of  the Caribbean Students to Atlantic Canada Podcast we talk with Andy, a past Computer Engineering student at the University of New Brunswick. Andy takes us through his process of dorm set-up, cell phone acquisition and opening a Canadian bank account. He also dives into the details of his scholarship and  paid work co-op.

In this session you will learn:

  • Why Andy chose the University of New Brunswick
  • How he and his father navigated Fredericton upon landing
  • About what was needed to set up his first dorm room 
  • What steps he took in order to secure a scholarship
  • About  his paid UNB Co-operative work experience and how he used it to help pay school fees after completion (A co-op work experience combines what was learned in the classroom with job experience prior to completing one’s degree. )
  • His suggestions for students wanting to study computers and enter the technology industry
  • His advice for Caribbean students combating the snow


Things you can do now for classroom and career

Learn coding with Codeacademy

Store your projects on  Github

About the City

About Fredericton:  As a Caribbean student in Fredericton, you will not be disappointed while taking a break from the books!  Located along the Saint John river, there are lots of walking/ bike trails and museums. The small town atmosphere makes all feel welcomed. It is not uncommon for students to switch up the scene and hold meetings or study sessions in one of the many coffee shops around town. 


UNB Computer Engineering Program

UNB Engineering Co-op Education Program

 See Winter Gear here and here

Stores around Fredericton that may be useful: Walmart, Best Buy, Sobeys, Superstore

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