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Staying Health in Canada

Staying healthy while you study

The country's public healthcare system provides Canadian citizens and permanent residents access to health services, but the individual provinces decide whether temporary residents like international students receive the same benefits. It's likely that public or private health insurance plans may be needed to reduce waiting periods or exceptions.

In order to bring medication into Canada, it is advisable to carry a letter or prescription from your doctor, and double check the Government of Canada website to ensure extra requirements are met before leaving.

If case of any issues, get in touch with:

Campus support services

Various orientations and programs are dedicated to support international students, including but not limited to collaborative and educational workshops, cultural celebrations and academic support. Sometimes, student accommodation and employment/internship opportunities are also something they work on.

Student associations on campus

Most institutions possess their own student associations, enabling international students to manage their numerous activities along with their academics. Some universities also have a committed international student associations to volunteer impartial support to students from another country.

For instance, the University of Calgary has a Newcomers & International Students' Committee that warrants that all inter-cultural students can express their opinions in front of both the Graduate Students Association and the university's administration.

Student associations off campus

Various student associations situated off campus work for the welfare of national and international students. The Canadian Federation of Students and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations can be contacted in case of any assistance.

Support for students with disabilities

Most universities and institutions provide exclusive support to international students with disabilities, but in the event that special arrangements need to be made for you, a notification must be made at the time of the application.

'Commutability is a prominent website used widely in Ontario by post-secondary students with disabilities.

Finding a local doctor

If you're sick, your local doctor will be able to give you classified, basic healthcare, and also help mitigate future health issues. If need be, they may refer you to a specialist.

In order to find a local doctor, you may:

  • Ask someone you know
  • Get in touch an immigration support service
  • Contact a community health centre in your area to availability
  • Visit a walk-in medical clinic/facility.

Visiting a dentist

In order to find a dentist, you may search online or ask someone you know. It must be noted that dental care is not provided for free under government health insurance, so you might want to organize additional insurance to cover any dental costs.

What to do in an emergency

In the event that you require urgent medical help, you should call 911 or rush to the emergency department of your nearest hospital.

It's complimentary to call 911 and hospitals provide all emergency medical services free of cost. However, there may be a fee for the ambulance service based on which area you reside in.

You might also choose to wear a medical necklace or bracelet containing your medical information in the event that you have a significant medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or any allergies to medication.

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