September 7, 2022

Moving to Canada involves many changes and transitions. For a lot of newcomers, one of these transitions is taking on post-secondary study. If you plan to enroll in college in Canada, we want to help you prepare for success. With this in mind, here are eight important tips for adult newcomers attending college in Canada.  

Find a Course Schedule that Works for You 

One of the biggest ways to set yourself up for success is to ensure that your class schedule works for your and your family’s needs. This includes making time for class around other responsibilities like work and family. Chat with your advisor about the various options available to make this possible. Fortunately, there are usually evening, weekend and online classes that can provide greater flexibility for you.  

Plan Your Week in Advance 

Perhaps the most important aspect of succeeding in college for adult learners is having strong time management skills. Plan your week in advance. A great method to do this is to block out the most important things first, which allows you to set up enough time for studying and coursework. It also lets you alter your schedule weekly, providing more study time before exams or less when you have other responsibilities.  

Build Relationships with Your Professors 

It’s fairly easy for people to forget that professors are people too. The reality is that most professors enjoy getting to know students and assisting them. Many instructors will happily share study tips or inform you about additional resources to help with your learning. Take advantage of office hours set by professors, and feel free to request feedback about how you can improve your work. Professors will generally be glad to invest their time helping students who are committed to learning.  

Get to Know Your Fellow Students 

Another important resource to ease your transition to post-secondary school in Canada is your peers. You should strive to get to know at least one person in each of your classes. This gives you someone to turn to if you have trouble understanding a concept or if you have an emergency and have to miss a class. Getting to know your classmates is also helpful for creating study groups or for courses requiring group projects. Expanding your social network helps give you a broader support system in your educational pursuits.  

Strive to Work Ahead 

Are you someone that tends to procrastinate? Many students struggle with procrastination in school. However, working ahead can make you much more productive and less stressed by not having to rush to meet deadlines. Try to set up your schedule in a way that gives you time to complete assignments at least a few days before the deadline. You will find yourself pleasantly surprised with how this helps reduce the stress of going to college. It will also provide you with leeway in case a situation pops up that delays your ability to complete an assignment.  

Go To Class 

This seems like common sense; however, it can be tempting to skip class now and then in order to get something else done. However, students who attend class regularly will feel more comfortable with the material and improve their overall learning. While there are always situations where you may not be able to attend class, such as getting sick, strive to go to class regularly to help optimize your success as a student.  

Understand the School’s Resources 

Almost every college and university has resources that help students. These include tutoring centres, career centres, and other offices dedicated to student support. Be sure to find out which resources are available at your institution. These are often covered during an orientation session. However, you can also visit the college’s website or speak with your academic advisor if you need to access these services. Tutoring, in particular, is an excellent service to help you better your understanding of concepts.  

Set Goals 

A great method to help you succeed in your studies is setting goals. Your goals should be specific and realistic. For example, a good goal may be to score 10 points higher on the next exam or to study chemistry for at least 30 minutes each day this week. Be sure that your goals are reasonable and attainable. This will help you to stay motivated.  

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to attending college in Canada as a newcomer, there are many things that you can do to help facilitate your success. Keep these tips in mind as you begin or resume your post-secondary studies.  

At Achēv, our Newcomer Services offer a wide range of services to help newcomers settle smoothly in Canada. Our Newcomer Information Centres are located across the Greater Toronto Area, including Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville. Contact us today to register for our free newcomer services. 

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