Preparation Needed to be an International Student in Canada from the Philippines

Studying abroad can be a life-changing and exciting experience. Canada is among the most popular destinations for international students, including those from the Philippines. If you are planning to be an international student in Canada, here are some tips to make your transition easier.

1. Research the schools: There are many schools and programs in Canada, so make sure you research your options thoroughly. Look for schools that offer programs that interest you and have a good reputation in your area of study.

2. Financing: Studying abroad can be expensive, so it's important to plan and budget accordingly. Look into scholarships and financial aid that may be available to international students, as well as other sources of funding like personal savings, part-time work or student loans.

3. Student Visa: As a student from the Philippines, you will require a student visa to study in Canada. Check the eligibility criteria and requirements for the student visa and make sure to apply well in advance.

4. Accommodation: Find out about the accommodation options available, both on and off campus. Look for options that fit your budget and preferences and choose a safe and comfortable place to live.

5. Culture shock: You might experience culture shock initially when you move to Canada, especially if it’s your first time living away from home. Be prepared to embrace the new culture, make new friends, and learn about Canadian customs and traditions.

6. Health Care: Purchase a health insurance plan that covers international students. This will help you get medical care when you need it and avoid high medical bills.

7. Stay connected to your roots: You might miss your family and friends back home, so it’s important to stay connected to them. Use technology to stay in touch and maintain a support system to help you cope with homesickness.

Studying abroad in Canada can be an exciting and life-changing experience for international students. With planning, preparation and a willingness to embrace change, students from the Philippines can make the most of their time in Canada and gain valuable skills and experiences that will benefit them in the long term.

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DIY Home Solutions: Other Uses of Stretch Wrap

One man’s trash can be someone else’s treasure. Without having to get all stinky and rummaging through piles of rubbish, I came across another valuable find: stretch wrap. Yes, it’s that unassuming sheet of plastic film – sometimes called stretch film – which companies like Kite Packaging use to keep pallet loads stable enough to transport from one place to another.

Now, who would’ve thought that stretch wrap can be used for purposes other than packaging? Here are some ways on how you can use stretch wrap around the house:

1. Dust-proofing items

• If that old blender is simply gathering dust inside your kitchen cabinet, you’d do better to stash it 
   away for the meantime, until you find someone to pass it on to.
• A stack of books will look better organized when grouped together by size using stretch wrap.
• When storing household items or trinkets which you seldom use, you can wrap them in stretch   
  wrap to keep dust – and even unwanted mites – at bay.

2. Weather-proofing furniture

If you have outdoor wood patio furniture, extreme weather is your worst enemy. When heavy downpour or a storm is imminent, you could cover your precious furniture in stretch wrap. This highly stretchable plastic film will cling to your wooden tables and chairs and protect them from the possible damage rain can bring.
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Looking Back

         Downtown bookstores have begun to stack piles of notebooks and paper pads and department stores have been selling backpacks and lunchboxes in colorful artworks with a variety of school supplies still in display. This familiar sight always brings me back to my early days of school.

        My father would wake me up at eight in the morning. I will timidly eat breakfast and he will give me a gentle and quick bath and get prepped up with my freshly ironed school uniform. He works at night so he will wait until the class ends at noon, fetch me and walk me home. This happened for almost a month when I started to learn how to write sensibly and read simple words. The month that followed became an ordeal for me however. He would no longer walk me to school and worse I had to go to class without him waiting for me outside and walking me home when class ends. A mix of fear and panic is so inevitable that I literally cried everyday. Eventually, I was able to forget these feelings when I started to meet new friends and learn a lot of new and interesting things. I became at ease with myself and with my new environment. After barely three months, I have learned to walk to school alone and go home by myself.

        This first experience taught me that life is a series of holding- on and letting- go. I learned this from my father who first held me and walked me to school because he is somebody whom I can trust and be protected with. His hands have a strong and assuring grasp in them which remind me that support is always there when needed most especially when life is always started with new beginnings. However, I have known that the path laid before me is not meant to be traveled this way forever. There is always the 'letting- go' aspect of it. It started with the experience of going to school and walking back home all by myself  that allowed me to accept this reality. Because of necessity fueled by an instinct to survive, I have mastered myself to overcome fear and stand up with the pain and adversity. Life, as they always speak about, is like a sea of uncertainty and our parents are our paddles that steer our ship off the shore through the waves and the wind. A journey is about to be started and slowly they will let go and allow us to face the harsh winds and enormous waves wherein lessons are learned making the heart strong and the mind sharp that the our cups are slowly filled with valuable treasures.

        The deeper knowledge of  the uncertain and the foreboding of being left alone force us to mentally prepare ourselves by assuming responsible and mature roles. Though it may seem that going to school is just a ritual of preparation for independence, we are bound to imitate independence and fortify it when we are finally thrown and tested into the real world of grown- ups. We may become uneasy, doubtful and hesitant but when we learn how face challenging situations we begin to take flight independently. The only thing that matters is how we live up our lives that the hands that took care of us will never despair.

        Summer is over and schools has opened days ago. New sailors have started to embark on a new journey bringing only with them ambition and inspiration. I can see a great deal of myself in them. Those were the days that the only thing I can think of right now is smile on how innocent I was, on how young and dependent I was. Things have changed a lot and I believe I have learned so much.

This article was contributed by Julius Juarez on June 19,2010. I just saw this today in my email while cleaning my inbox. This post is so timely and it just made me miss my dearest friend so much. We lost him to meningitis last March 2015. 

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Toyota FJ Cruiser

Many SUVs are meant for the soccer mom or construction workers and really do not play to the young, cool, and hip crowd. You might be able to get a used Hummer for a decent price, but it's a monster of an SUV, and what do you do with it? Then there's the Land Rover LR4 which is cool and still has a great stylish feel, but it is not too fresh. Another SUV out there, the Range Rover Evoque, looks cool, stylish, and elegant, but lacks the rough and tough durability and horse power that true SUVs have.

The answer to your problems comes from Toyota and has continued to exude the cool, tough, and stylish demeanor you expect from an SUV since 2006. The model is the FJ Cruiser. The current FJ Cruiser was modeled after Toyota's FJ40 SUV that was produced from 1960 to 1984 according to Wikipedia. Although the FJ Cruiser had a history, the current model remains quite stylish with its chrome accents and a white roof for all body colors. The roof rack adds to the ruggedness. Toyota FJ Cruiser special offers can be found at The best special offer available right now during the Toyota Time Sales Event is complimentary Toyota Care scheduled maintenance which includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The plan is for the first two years or up to 25,000 miles and should keep your FJ Cruiser running perfectly for those two years.
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The Versatility of Halloumi: Top Tips and Hints

Originating in Cyprus, halloumi is a cheese that’s traditionally made from sheep’s milk, although cow and goat milk is sometimes used in its manufacture for supermarkets. It’s unusual in that, due to its high melting point, it doesn’t melt when heated like you would expect a cheese to do. This means that it can be grilled and fried, adding intense flavour to a dish. As far as nutrition is concerned, 100g of halloumi provides 320 calories, while there are also reduced fat and ‘lighter’ options available for the diet-conscious.

Available from supermarkets who offer world cheeses and also independent suppliers of fresh and quality produce, such as Calnan Brothers online butchers, halloumi cheese is fairly easy to attain and makes a normally delicious dish, simply mouth-watering. Check that the cheese you purchase is made from sheep’s milk, and has Cyprus as the country of origin, for an authentic halloumi experience.

Whether you choose to grill it and serve it on its own as a delectable appetizer, or you opt to add it to a fresh salad on a summer’s afternoon, the versatility of this cheese knows no bounds.

• Make vegetable and halloumi stacks by slicing each vegetable and layering them to make towers with the cheese. Aubergine, courgette and peppers would work wonderfully for this.
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