May 18, 2023
Studying in Winnipeg

What It’s Like To Be An International Student in Winnipeg

You may be wondering, “why should I study in Winnipeg, Manitoba?” While there are many great cities across Canada that international students have to choose from, Winnipeg offers something special.

It’s been called one of the best little cities in the country! From outdoor nature activities to a vibrant downtown, many outdoor festivals and the beauty of four seasons — there’s something for everyone in Winnipeg. So here’s a look at what it’s like to be an international student in Winnipeg. Give this post a read, and you’ll know exactly what to expect when you arrive!

All About Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Winnipeg is the 7th largest city in Canada with a population of approx. 800,000 people. There are four distinct seasons in Winnipeg and the climate ranges drastically from lows dropping to -30°C/-22°F in the Winter and tropical highs hitting +30°C/+86°F in the Summer months. While Spring and Fall are shorter seasons, they have more moderate temperatures and are great times to enjoy the many outdoor activities Winnipeg has to offer!

Winnipeg is located in the Central Standard Time Zone (CST) and the primary languages are French and English; the two official languages of Canada. When you come to Winnipeg, you’ll notice all street signs and official government signage are written in both French and English.

The currency used in Winnipeg is the Canadian Dollar. When making a purchase in Winnipeg, you can expect to pay an additional 7% retail tax as well as an additional 5% goods and services tax.

Internet access is easily accessible across Winnipeg with free wifi available in most public places, including your university or college. However, you will be expected to pay for internet at your place of residence.

The legal age for consumption of alcohol, cannabis and gambling in Winnipeg is 18 years of age. There are strict laws surrounding these acts to keep you and all other residents safe.

Want to know more about the great city of Winnipeg? Here’s a few fun facts about Winnipeg!

5 Things You’ll Experience As An International Student In Winnipeg

1. Never having to commute more than 20-30 minutes to get somewhere.

Everything is relatively close by in Winnipeg because of the city’s small size. It’s easy to commute from residential areas to downtown where many college and university campuses are.

Public transportation is widely accessible too! Winnipeg Transit public buses are inexpensive to take and run daily with multiple routes to choose from. There’s also taxis and Ubers available to book.

If biking or walking is your thing, that’s a transportation option too in Winnipeg. There’s many bike lanes and trails throughout the city. If you’re really adventurous, you can even commute in the Winter months by skating The Forks River Trail.

2. A low cost of living, a great thing for students!

Winnipeg is one of the most affordable cities to live in within all of Canada. From tuition prices to cost of rent to groceries; studying in Winnipeg is certainly affordable for students. As an international student, you should have some additional money to be able to enjoy some of the great entertainment Winnipeg has to offer, like the hundreds of amazing restaurants.

3. Very cold Winters and very hot Summers.

It’s true, Winnipeg has some extreme weather. But as the saying goes, “the coldest places are home to the warmest people.” When you come to Winnipeg to study, be prepared to have a range of clothing options.

From November - March, warm winter gear is a must. Before you arrive, be sure to purchase a winter jacket, hat (or as Canadian’s call it, a “toque”), mitts and even snow pants.

However in the Summer months, the weather is quite the opposite. You can expect to wear a t-shirt and shorts most days! Plus, there’s hundreds of lakes surrounding Winnipeg that are within driving distance, making for a perfect Summer road trip.

4. Easy access to Immigration Pathways for students who want to stay after their studies

If you really like Winnipeg after your studies are done, you’ll be happy to hear that the Manitoba Provincial Government offers many incentives to help international students obtain permanent residency and/or work permits.

For example, the Provincial Nominee Program assists international students with the skills needed in the local labor market, such as those learning in PACE’s industry-aligned programs. This is a great option if you know what field you want to enter post graduation.

There’s also many Canada-wide national policies available to help international students  transition from a study permit to a work permit.

5. A strong sense of community that will welcome you with open arms.

As you’ll see on the Manitoba license plates, the slogan for the province is “Friendly Manitoba.” And you’ll definitely notice that it rings true! You will quickly notice, the residents of Winnipeg are quick to smile, wave and say hello to strangers.

The population is also diverse, with new Canadians from around the world. If you’re feeling a little homesick, it will be no problem for you to find and easily join a Cultural Association from your home country.

What To Do As An International Student In Winnipeg

Though Winnipeg is a small city, there’s lots to do and see. Plus, Winnipeg has a large network of international students studying here from around the world, so you’re sure to easily find a new group of friends you’ll connect with.

Here’s some ideas of what to do as an international student in Winnipeg:

  • Enjoy weekend studying at the local coffee shops that offer a great ambience.
  • Attend or even volunteer at one of the many festivals that happen year round in the city, like the French festival, Festival du Voyageur.
  • Take advantage of the great discounts students receive at museums and get in for cheap
  • Join a club at your university or college.
  • Learn about the history of the city by attending a guided tour at The Forks or The Exchange District.

For more information on studying in Canada, check out this great post from our partner school, Robertson College.

What To Do Next If You Want To Study As An International Student In Canada

Does Winnipeg sound like the right city for you? If so, Learning Flow makes studying in Canada simple. We can offer you personalized support when you need it. We can help find the right school for you by connecting you with one of our Winnipeg partner schools.

So, here’s what to do next if you want to study as an international student in Canada:

  1. Contact us using our online contact form. You’ll hear from us within 24 hours or less.
  2. When we connect via phone/email, let us know what exactly you need support with to become an international student.
  3. We’ll offer you personalized support. From completing your admission documents, to securing financing we’re here to help.

Check out our other blogs for more information about easily becoming an international student in Canada with Learning Flow’s help.

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