7 Things You Must See as an International Student in Western Canada
Canada is a popular and appealing place to study your postgraduate degree abroad. Not only does it have excellent universities and post-study work options, but it is home to many places of natural beauty.
If you’re heading off to the chilly north for your Masters or PhD, we’ve picked out the top seven things every international student should see in western Canada. If you’re heading to the east of Canada, we have a whole other list!
#1 Lake Louise
Known as the Jewel of the Rockies, Lake Louise is famous for its clear turquoise waters and surrounding mountains. In the summer months, go canoeing or kayaking to really explore the beauty this lake has to offer. In the winter, go cross-country skiing across the frozen lake or take a ride on the horse-drawn sleighs which trace the shorelines.
#2 Banff upper hot springs
Elsewhere in Banff National Park, you should definitely check out the local hot springs. Located on Sulphur Mountain, relax in the natural heated waters while witnessing stunning views of the Cascade Mountain. If hiking is more your thing, you can also head further up Sulphur Mountain for even more spectacular views.
#3 Icefields Parkway
Once you’ve explored what Banff has to offer, make sure to take the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National Park, Alberta. This 232km long road follows the Continental Divide through mountain peaks, icefields and sweeping valleys. Make a stop at the Columbia Icefield to get a closer look at the ancient glaciers. If you’re brave enough, you can also walk the Icefield Skywalk over the Sunwapta Valley.
#4 Granville Island Public Market
British Columbia is another province with lots to offer. Just off the shore of Vancouver is Granville Island which hosts an indoor market open seven days a week. Head here to find local food and produce, handcrafted goods and unique gifts.
#5 Whales off Vancouver
If you’re in Vancouver for a little while, make sure to keep an eye out for the local whale population. Orcas and humpbacks frequent the waters, along with porpoises, sealions, seals and bald eagles. Between April and October is the best time for marine wildlife spotting.
#6 Wapta Falls
Following the water further inland, head to Yoho National Park to view the beautiful Wapta Falls. These waterfalls are part of the Kicking Horse River and span 18 meters high and 107 meters wide. But don’t worry, the hike to the waterfall is an easy one, estimated at one to three hours with minimal elevation.
Lastly, and most certainly not least, you can’t leave Canada without seeing a bear. The country has over 60% of the world’s bear population. The three main species are the grizzly, black bear and polar bear, but there are also many subspecies.
Of course, we don’t condone you walking into the wilderness and meeting one of these great beasts face to face. Instead, keep and eye out on your road trips, join a bear watching tour or visit a local sanctuary.
There are many other things western Canada has to offer. Whether you like local culture, road trips or hiking the wilderness, you’ll find plenty of things to keep you occupied during your free time.
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