• By: Allen Brown

Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Ottawa to Study?

You could be in for an exciting adventure if you’re moving to Canada’s capital city to study. However, it could be a significant transition which means it’s important to prepare. Once you’ve completed your college application, the following tips will help you navigate the rest of the process.   

Things to Remember Before You Start Calling Ottawa Your New Home

There are many things to learn about Ottawa if you’re going to be calling it home for the next few years. Here are some things to remember:

The Weather in Ottawa Might Be Different

If you’re moving to Ottawa from afar, you might find the climate in the city vastly different. Canada’s capital is known for its seasonal variations.

Winters can be cold and snowy, with temperatures dropping below freezing. Be prepared by packing warm clothing, including a good winter coat, boots, hats, gloves, and scarves. 

In complete contrast, the summer months are typically warm and sunny which means you’ll need some lightweight clothing and sunscreen. 

Make a Financial Plan

To budget effectively, it pays to understand the cost of living in Ottawa. It might not be the cheapest Canadian city, but it does offer reasonable living costs compared to other major cities. Rent prices vary depending on the location and type of accommodation. 

Grocery expenses are affordable, and transportation costs, including public transport, are reasonably priced. 

If you want to keep your accommodation costs as low as possible, consider exploring areas slightly outside the downtown area. Shared housing options or student dorms are also worth considering. 

What Transportation Options Are Available?

If you want to explore the area when you’re not busy studying, you’ll need to know how to get around. Luckily, the city offers excellent public transportation options. Various parts of the city, including the university campuses, are connected by buses and the light rail transit system, called the O-Train. 

You may be able to benefit from discounted transit passes, so remember to ask about student rates.

Ottawa is also very cycle-friendly and has an extensive network of cycling lanes and bike-sharing programs. 

Ottawa’s Remarkable Cultural Diversity

A big highlight of moving to Ottawa for college or university is the city’s remarkable cultural diversity. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with vibrant communities from all around the world. 

Chinatown is a bustling hub where you can enjoy authentic Asian cuisine, shop for exotic ingredients, and take part in cultural festivities. There’s also Little Italy where you can experience trattorias, gelato shops, and countless other Italian treats. 

Preparing For Your Move to Ottawa

Moving to a new city requires careful preparation. Here’s what you need to do:

Research Your Options and Plan

Before you pack your bags, conduct thorough research on higher education institutions and programs in Ottawa. The city has some of the best universities and colleges in Ontario province, so you shouldn’t struggle too much to find the right one. 

Take into consideration factors such as curriculum, program reputation, student support services, and campus facilities. 

Find Student Accommodation

Ottawa offers various options for student housing. On-campus residences are the way to go if you want to be at the heart of all the action. 

However, if you’re looking for more independence and flexibility, off-campus rentals are also popular for students. Depending on your budget, there will be apartments, townhouses, or shared houses to choose from. 

When you’ve found a suitable property, make sure to read the lease agreement carefully and understand the terms and conditions. Pay close attention to rent payment details, lease duration, and any additional costs or responsibilities. 

If you’re an international student, you might also consider homestay. You live with a local family while attending classes and it offers a unique cultural experience. 

Ottawa also has several cooperative housing options. They provide an affordable and community-oriented living experience. 

Packing Your Things

To avoid forgetting something, create yourself a checklist of essential items you must bring. Pack clothing suitable for Ottawa’s diverse weather conditions, but don’t forget to bring your own bedding, toiletries, study materials, and personal items. If you’re planning to prepare your own meals, bring kitchen utensils as well. 

Settling Down

First, set up a bank account to manage your finances efficiently. It also means you’ll have a local account for easy transactions and access to banking services. 

Remember to obtain a health card as this is essential for getting access to healthcare services in the province. 

If you want to meet new people and get more involved in the Ottawa community, it’s a good idea to join orientation events and clubs. 

Don’t Forget About Ottawa’s Many Attractions

Ottawa is brimming with activities and attractions that will enhance your university experience. Next time you’re taking a break from study, consider visiting Parliament Hill and be awe-struck by the seat of Canadian democracy.

Other options include one of the many world-class museums or green open spaces. There are also cultural festivals, outdoor markets, and recreational opportunities. 

Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/friend-student-graduate-young-2727307/