B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
Bethan on top of Sulphur Mountain

An International Student’s Guide To Travelling Canada

Written by
Bethan Bates
and
and
September 7, 2022
An International Student’s Guide To Travelling Canada
Bethan on top of Sulphur Mountain

I moved to Canada as an exchange student and as excited as I was to put off entering the workforce for another year and experience a new type of education system, I was also very much in it for the travel opportunities, as I imagine many international students are. Over the past nine months I have learnt a lot about travelling, especially travelling solo, so I am here to share some tips about tourism and how to be a respectful traveller.

Firstly, take advantage of STAT holidays and other long weekends. Being a student is busy and it may seem like reading week and the major holidays are your only opportunities to travel, but there is lots to explore in a couple of days. A popular weekend destination is Niagara Falls, this icon of the Canadian landscape is accessible from Peterborough entirely by public transport through the GO Transit buses and trains; a two or three day trip is plenty to see what Niagara has to offer. Even Ottawa, Montreal, and Winnipeg are close enough to see in a few days. And of course Toronto is just a couple of hours away with plenty to see.

Next, know where to splash and where to save. I always save on accommodation by staying in hostels, remember you are only needing this space to sleep so don’t splash out on a hotel, but I do tend to pay extra for the female-only dormitory. On the other hand, I splash out for transit, on my recent trip to Vancouver I bought a Compass Card (similar to a Presto card or Oyster card), which allowed me to travel as much as I needed on all public transport.

Take advantage of local cuisine and culture. As Canada is so large there is lots of variation in local attractions, foods, and cultural events. The Maritimes are popular for their fish and seafood due to their ocean-side location as well as PEI’s famous Cow’s Ice Cream. Or if you venture up north into the Territories then you may want to try seal meat, a traditional Inuit dish. Since moving to Canada I have become a real fan of hockey so I took advantage of some cheap seats in Vancouver to see the Canucks play twice during my visit!

Finally, take risks (safely) and enjoy this opportunity. For me coming to Canada was the most independent and nerve wracking thing I have ever done. Leaving the safety of my family behind and risking being thousands of miles from home with no guarantees I would have a good time. But I can safely say that nine months later this was the best decision I’ve ever made. And since arriving I have taken plenty more risks, such as zip-lining at Niagara Falls, going to the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff, and travelling thousands of miles on my own. 

So to finish up I’ll leave you with my ranking of the some cities I have visited since coming and a little recommendation of the things you can’t miss.

  1. Banff, AB: Canada’s first national park has so much to offer and I would consider it all to be unmissable, but Sulphur Mountain is an indescribable experience.
  2. Montreal, QC: Another city where I can barely choose my favourite part but I have to go with the classic of recommending a visit to Old Montreal and its gorgeous cobblestone streets.
  3. Vancouver, BC: On the gorgeous west coast Vancouver is a thriving and bustling city with plenty to do downtown, but I’d say you have to head to Stanley Park and take a tour in the horse-drawn carriages.
  4. Ottawa, ON: As the capital of Canada Ottawa has plenty to see. As a museum fanatic I spent a lot of  time learning about the history of Canada and I particularly enjoyed the Canadian War Museum. One thing you cannot miss is the Rideau Canal, especially in the winter when it is perfect for skating!
  5. Kingston, ON: Once Canada’s capital Kingston sits directly on Lake Ontario and is home to the 1000 Islands, the highlight of my trip was the Haunted Walk through one of Canada’s most haunted cities.
  6. Toronto, ON: A staple of the Canadian tourist experience Toronto has something for everyone, but your visit would not be complete without a trip up the CN Tower and a chance to look out over the city.
  7. Winnipeg, MB: Located in one of the first official provinces of Canada Winnipeg is an oft overlooked destination, this trip would not have been the same without a visit to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Although I cannot forget the Forks Market with the best curry I’ve ever eaten, I still dream of it all these months later.
B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
Written By
Sponsored
B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish

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