Is Canada the safest study destination for your child?
It’s one of the biggest worries for every parent… How to ensure that your child is safe? Especially if they are studying in a foreign country.
In reality, there are no guarantees. But the good news is that, by sending your child to study in Canada, you’ll be sending them to an extremely safe country.
Whether your child decides to study in Canada, the UK, the USA or India, they will encounter daily risks wherever they go and whatever they do. Canada is known internationally as a safe, tolerant society which is home to people from over 140 countries. Studying with Navitas in Canada, your child will have the support of the Canadian community and of the local Indian community, regardless of which city they choose to study in. Despite this, international students should follow the same common sense safety precautions in Canada as they would anywhere in the world. Here are tips for keeping your child and their belongings safe:
Register with the Embassy/Consulate
It is a good idea to register your child’s presence in Canada with your country’s embassy or consulate.
In an Emergency
- Call 911 in any emergency situation, if you are in trouble or witness a crime. This is a central number for police, fire and ambulance throughout Canada. You do not need coins to dial 911 from a pay phone. If English is your second language, do not panic. Interpreters are available.
- If you are robbed, do not argue or fight. If you are assaulted, shout or blow a whistle to draw attention to your situation. Try to protect your body and distract the attacker so that you can escape. Call 911 immediately.
- If you are a victim of a crime, no matter how small, report it to the police.
- If you have a non-emergency issue or question for the police, visit or call the police station. Police in Canada are very professional and willing to assist you.
In the Community and on the Street
- Be cautious toward strangers, just as you would anywhere.
- Be aware of who and what is going on around you.
- Trust your instincts and leave uncomfortable situations.
- Some city areas may have higher crime rates than others. Ask advice for the best routes to take when going out.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
- Always walk on well-lit, busy streets at night. If possible, travel with a friend and avoid isolated areas, such as parks or alleys.
Most colleges and universities have campus security. This may include patrol cars, 24-hour telephone lines and well-lit areas where you can contact the campus security office. Some colleges and universities also offer an after-dark “walk home” service where qualified students will walk their peers home or to another location.
- Know your bus route and schedule before you leave.
- Do not hitchhike.
- Taxis are a good way to get home when it is late and dark. Keep a taxi company number handy in your wallet. Canadian taxis should all have running meters showing the cost of the ride. Taxi drivers will not expect to negotiate a price with you.
- Many public transportation systems also offer special assistance for those travelling alone at night.
- On the train, use the emergency phones on the platform or emergency button if you are ever harassed.
- Helmets are mandatory when riding a bike in Canada. At night, use front and rear bike lights and wear reflective clothing.
Canada is very prone to winter storms (including ice storms and blizzards). Reduce speed, be conscious of other drivers and pay attention. It's probably a good idea to carry an emergency kit in your car, in case you have no choice but to spend the night stuck in snow on the highway (yes, this does happen occasionally, especially in more isolated areas). If you are unfamiliar with winter driving and choose to visit Canada during the winter months, consider using another mode of transportation to travel within the country.
Alcohol and other Drugs
- The legal drinking age varies across the country, but is generally age 18 or 19.
- Arrange a ride home beforehand if you plan to drink alcohol. Do not accept a ride from a stranger in a bar.
- NEVER drink and drive. Doing so is not only dangerous and irresponsible, it is also a serious criminal offence.
- Know your drinking limit.
- Do not accept drinks from strangers or let your drink out of your sight. If you do leave it unattended, order a new drink. Drugs can be put into drinks when you are not paying attention.
- ’’Recreational’’ drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy are illegal and involve stiff penalties or prosecution for possession. Do not offer to carry or transport such drugs for others.
Street people will occasionally ask for money. If you want to help them, we suggest you contribute to a charity instead. There are many community agencies throughout Canada that help panhandlers by offering free meals, shelter, and counselling.
- When renting accommodation, deal directly with the landlord and pay the damage deposit directly to him or her.
- When possible, pay rent with a cheque to have proof of payment, and always ask for a receipt.
- Do not let people into apartment buildings if you do not know them. If you are not expecting a repairman, delivery person or salesperson wanting access, refer them to the building manager.
- Meet and get to know your neighbours.
- Keep your door locked, even when you are home.
You are unlikely to face health problems in Canada that you wouldn't face in any other western industrialized country. Furthermore, the health care system is one of the best on the planet, and is very effective and widely accessible.
Be aware that most Canadian provinces have banned all indoor smoking in public places and near entrances. Some bans include areas such as bus shelters and outdoor patios.