A student’s guide for moving to Ottawa for university


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So, you’ve graduating high school soon, and are planning on moving to Ottawa for university? In that case, get ready for an exciting adventure in Canada’s capital city! As you prepare for this significant transition, it’s also important to have all the necessary information to ensure a smooth move. As one of the most reliable movers Ottawa area has to offer, we know how important it is to start your student life in Ottawa with a positive moving experience. Meanwhile, we’ll also guide you through settling down in Ottawa as a student, and share helpful tips to navigate this process. everything you need to know when moving to Ottawa to study!

Things you should keep in mind before you come to Ottawa to study

If you’re only starting your university, it means you’ll spend at least a few years living in Ottawa. That’s why you should learn many things about the city, from weather considerations to cost of living, transportation options, and cultural diversity. Here are just a few things you should remember before you start calling Ottawa your new home:

Weather might be different in Ottawa

If long distance movers Ottawa are helping you move to the capital from afar, you might not be accustomed to the local weather. That being said, remember that Ottawa’s weather is known for its seasonal variations. Winters can be cold and snowy, with temperatures dropping below freezing. So, make sure to pack warm clothing, including a good winter coat, boots, hats, scarves, and gloves. In contrast, summers in Ottawa are usually warm and sunny, so don’t forget to bring lightweight clothing and sunscreen. Moreover, keep in mind that layering your clothing is key to adapting to Ottawa’s ever-changing weather patterns.

A student well prepared for winter in Ottawa
If you’re not used to winter, make sure to pack enough warm clothes

Make a financial plan to account for the cost of living in Ottawa

Understanding the cost of living in Ottawa is essential for effective budgeting, and that’s especially important for students. While it may not be the cheapest city in Canada, Ottawa offers reasonable living costs compared to other major cities. Rent prices vary depending on the location and the type of accommodation. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from $1,200 to $1,800 per month. Grocery expenses are relatively affordable, and transportation costs, including public transit, are reasonably priced.

A girl making a plan for movin to Ottawa for university
Take your time to research the cost of living in Ottawa as a student

To find cheaper accommodations, consider exploring areas slightly outside the downtown core. Alternatively, you could also seek shared housing options or student dormitories. However, don’t forget to include moving costs into your financial plan either, as they can set you back a lot during your first month in Ottawa. To save money, look for some of the more affordable movers Ottawa has, but don’t fall for a lowball moving offer either!

Transportation options available in Ottawa

When it comes to getting around Ottawa, the city offers an efficient public transportation system. Buses and the light rail transit system, called the O-Train, connect various parts of the city, including the university campuses. Students often benefit from discounted transit passes, so be sure to inquire about student rates. Ottawa is also cyclist-friendly, with an extensive network of cycling lanes and bike-sharing programs. If you prefer having a car, joining a car-sharing service can be a cost-effective and convenient option for occasional use.

You’ll love Ottawa’s cultural diversity!

One of the highlights of moving to Ottawa for university is the city’s remarkable cultural diversity. Ottawa is a melting pot of cultures, with vibrant communities from all around the world. For example, when exploring Ottawa’s neighborhoods, you’ll find unique cultural enclaves that offer a glimpse into different parts of the world. Chinatown is a bustling hub where you can savor authentic Asian cuisine, shop for exotic ingredients, and participate in cultural festivals. Little Italy welcomes you with its charming streets lined with trattorias and gelato shops, giving you a taste of Italy’s culinary delights. Meanwhile, the ByWard Market, one of Ottawa’s oldest neighborhoods, is a vibrant gathering place where you can experience a blend of international flavors.

Diverse students in campus
After moving to Ottawa for university, you’ll meet new friends from different backgrounds

In addition to the diverse neighborhoods, Ottawa is a bilingual city where both English and French are official languages. So, while living here, you could take advantage of language exchange programs, conversation groups, and language courses offered at universities. That way, you’ll enhance your vocabulary and connect with people from various backgrounds. Finally, developing your language skills during your time in Ottawa can help you expand your career prospects in the future!

How to prepare for moving to Ottawa for university the right way?

Every move requires careful preparation, and moving to go to university in a different city is no different. Keeping that in mind, here’s what you need to do to start your student life in Ottawa properly:

Carefully research your academic options and make a plan

Before you pack your bags, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research on higher education institutions and programs in Ottawa. Luckily, Ottawa has some of the best universities in Ontario province, so your search shouldn’t be too hard! Consider factors such as program reputation, curriculum, campus facilities, and student support services. There are plenty of facilities to choose from, but the University of Ottawa and Carleton University are the most popular ones.

Once you’ve made your choice, start preparing right away and set a timeline for your move. It’s very important to keep track of all the application deadlines, housing registration dates, and any other important dates. However, in all that rush, don’t forget to arrange the timeline for the actual moving day, and book movers on time!

You’ll also need to find student accommodation

Don’t worry about finding the perfect place to stay after moving to Ottawa for university, as Ottawa offers various options for student housing. If you want to be in the heart of all the student events and happenings, on-campus residences are the way to go. The University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and Algonquin College all offer on-campus residences for students. If you move there, you’ll have easy access to campus facilities, libraries, extracurricular activities, and plenty of amenities as well.

Friends in dormitory
From dormitories to cooperative housing, Ottawa has it all to make your student life as enjoyable as possible!

If you prefer more independence and flexibility, off-campus rentals are another popular option for students in Ottawa. You can choose from apartments, townhouses, or shared houses, depending on your budget and preferences. Websites like Kijiji, PadMapper, and local rental listings provide a wealth of options to explore. But in any case, when you find potential rental properties, make sure to read lease agreements carefully. Understand the terms and conditions, including rent payment details, lease duration, and any additional costs or responsibilities. Also, take note of important clauses such as maintenance responsibilities and rules regarding guests or pets.

Homestays and cooperative housing might also be good options for you

If you’re an international student moving to Ottawa for university, you can also consider homestay. This type of housing program offers a unique cultural experience, allowing you to live with a local family while attending classes. Organizations like Canada Homestay Network provide opportunities to stay with welcoming host families in Ottawa. This option not only provides a comfortable place to live but also allows you to immerse yourself in Canadian culture, practice English or French language skills, and gain a deeper understanding of the local way of life.

Moreover, Ottawa also has several cooperative housing options that provide an affordable and community-oriented living experience. Residents in cooperative housing actively participate in decision-making processes and contribute to the maintenance and management of the cooperative. One of the most popular cooperatives is the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC), so make sure to check them out!

Pack your things for moving to Ottawa for university

When you’re moving away from home, possibly for the first time, your mind might be on many things at the same time. To avoid forgetting something, create a checklist of essential items you’ll need to bring to Ottawa. As we already mentioned, pack clothing suitable for Ottawa’s diverse weather conditions. However, you should also pay attention to bringing your own bedding, toiletries, study materials, and personal items. If you also want to prepare your own meals, bring kitchen utensils as well!

A student moving to Ottawa
After you pack your things, your Ottawa adventure can start!

It’s possible that not all items you want to take will fit in your new accommodation. If you don’t want to part with some of them, think about renting one of the storage units for students, at least temporarily. Then, pack all the rest, but organize and label your boxes to simplify the unpacking process.

Settling down in Ottawa as a university student

Once local movers Ottawa help you relocate, there are several important tasks to complete to help you settle into your new city. First, set up a bank account to manage your finances efficiently. This will ensure that you have a local account for easy transactions and access to banking services. Additionally, obtaining a health card is essential as it provides you with access to healthcare services in the province.

Students learning together after moving to Ottawa for university
If you join some student groups, settling down after moving to Ottawa for university will be much easier!

Also, you should familiarize yourself with the public transportation system, including bus routes and the O-Train, to navigate the city with ease. If you want to meet new people and get involved in the Ottawa community, it’s a great idea to join university orientation events and clubs. This will also help you fully immerse yourself in the university experience and enjoy the vibrant city of Ottawa the right way.

Other important things for young people moving to Ottawa for university

Remember that Ottawa relocation services are not the only ones that will make your transition to student life in Ottawa easier. Namely, universities in Ottawa offer a range of support services to help students thrive academically and emotionally. So, take advantage of counseling services, academic support programs, and career guidance. If you’re struggling with coursework or facing personal challenges, don’t hesitate to seek help!

Also, no matter how healthy you may be, it’s still important to register with a family doctor to ensure your well-being. Just in case, familiarize yourself with walk-in clinics for non-emergency healthcare needs. Even though Ottawa is generally a safe city, it’s still essential to prioritize personal safety. Be aware of your surroundings, follow common-sense precautions, and acquaint yourself with emergency services.

Exploring Ottawa’s attractions is another important aspect of a student’s life

Ottawa is brimming with attractions and activities that will enhance your university experience. You could visit Parliament Hill and be awe-struck by the seat of Canadian democracy. Or perhaps, you could explore world-class museums, such as the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy Ottawa’s natural beauty either, from the picturesque Rideau Canal to the expansive Gatineau Park. Finally, take advantage of cultural festivals, outdoor markets, and recreational opportunities that make Ottawa a vibrant and dynamic city!

In conclusion, moving to Ottawa for university is an exciting adventure that requires careful planning and preparation. From understanding the weather and cost of living to organizing your move and settling into the city, there are important factors to consider. Embrace the opportunity to explore Ottawa’s cultural diversity, immerse yourself in English and French languages, and make the most of the city’s attractions and activities. In the end, make sure to also enjoy the opportunities that Ottawa offers, connect with fellow students, and make lifelong memories. Your university experience in Ottawa awaits, so make it memorable!

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