Canadian Students Entering NYCC
Canadians are great. That said, prepare yourself for three years of needling for being our mild-mannered, hockey-loving, snow-tolerant, eh-dropping neighbors to the north. Being from just south of the border, I have no clue about the trials and tribulations of crossing over. So I recruited a friend from the Canadian Chiropractic Club on campus (it’s like a support group), and he is here with a supplementary set of tips based on his first year as a student in the US of A:
Q: I have a phone from my contract in Canada. Can I bring it to the USA; what do I need to do?
A: Many people have this type of scenario. The first step is locating your IMEI, a unique identifier of your phone. On iPhones this is found by opening up the phone application and typing *#06#. You then call your current provider and give the number…From $50-$80 CDN you will have a phone that will work on any American carrier.
Q: What phone company has the best coverage in Seneca Falls?
A: VERIZON! Hands down…Although it is expensive, the coverage is great, and rates are much more reasonable if you have your own unlocked hardware. There are also 2 Verizon shops within 20 minutes of the school (Seneca Falls, and Auburn NY)
2044 U.S. 20, Seneca Falls, NY 13148
Q: Is the Wi-Fi on campus strong enough to allow me to received iMessages, emails or other data items to my phone?
A: This is a two-fold answer. For students living in the dorms, the Wi-Fi has recently been updated to support more users with increased bandwidth. Typically speaking you should have no problem connecting to Wi-Fi and sending all your messages from there. On campus in the lectures hall however, the service heavily depends on the number of users. Some days it’s great and other days it isn’t. You can probably get by with a 1GB data plan if you are smart about Wi-Fi usage.
Q: How does health insurance work while I am at school, what options do I have?
A: As a Canadian, this is a pretty touchy subject. There are a few things to keep in mind while looking at insurance. Firstly, part of tuition gives you access to a medical doctor on campus for non-emergencies. He is located in the campus health center and has various part time hours over the week. Aside from that, it is wise to transfer OHIP (if you are from Ontario) to the out of country status. This can be done online by filling out a form and sending it. Another option that many people exercise is 3rd part insurance. Companies like CAA and Blue Cross offer insurance that will cover you specifically for the USA and have plans that are month to month or annual. A combination of these three things is sure to give you piece of mind.
Q: What is drivers insurance like in the USA?
A: Typically speaking, drivers insurance is much cheaper, especially for young males. The import process must occur first as you need a USA driver’s license and USA plates on your car. In the above question about importing vehicles, there is some explanation. Geico seems to be the cheapest company at the moment will all prices under $100USD/ month. One thing to watch out for with purchasing US items is the fluctuation in exchange rate. September of 2014, the exchange rate was $1.08, and September of 2015, it is now $1.35. Because this is not a fixed Canadian cost, the actually cost to you will vary each month. https://www.geico.com/
Q: Am I able to import my vehicle? Why would I want to do this?
A: The answer to this question varies quite a bit depending on your current situation. One scenario includes an individual who wants to purchase USA insurance for their car, which in some cases is less than the Canadian counterpart. Typically speaking, USA insurance ranges from $50 USD to $110 USD/ month. With the varying exchange rate hovering around 1.30 on the dollar, this will still likely save you money. In order to purchase American insurance, you need a social security number, which can be obtained by getting an offer of employment from the school. You can then go to your local dealership in your home town, ask for an export form, and then bring all the required documentation to the border. At some point they will give you additional paperwork that you take to a DMV near Seneca Falls and get new plates and driver’s license. At this point in time you must have American insurance secured! For further information, don’t be afraid to ask!
Q: Should I get an American credit card?
A: This is a definite yes. Although the major 6 banks of Canada offer VISA that can be used in the USA, there is a serious number of added costs if you are using their typical credit cards. One great solution is to get a USA credit card from your Canadian bank where you are borrowing your student loan from, which will give you a way to access those funds. You can make a purchase in the USA with your USA Visa (from your Canadian bank), and then log onto your online banking, and pay the debt off with you student loan. This is much better than using a straight Canadian non-international card which will charge you the interest rate of the day, plus 3% typically for a foreign transaction.
Q: Is OSAP available for me while I am at NYCC?
A: Yes! OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) is available at 0% interest during your time at NYCC. Since there are 46 study weeks in a year at NYCC. A student is eligible typically for $9600 CDN per year. There is one catch though. If you are a student who was accepted early(less than 4 years of undergraduate), then you may run into a problem. OSAP considers a student to be a dependent until they are 4 years out of high school. That said, if you do not fall into that category, then your parents financials will be assessed alongside yours, which may make it considerably more difficult. One way around this is to become emancipated. This will relieve you from the 4 year rule and allows you to apply for OSAP right away. This is all completed online, with the exception of some forms that you need to mail in. The online service portal is very good at explaining this.
For any other questions, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post below.
Good luck, and welcome to NYCC!
4th Trimester SGA President