The winter can be wonderful. Many international students are excited when they see snow for the first time. There are fun winter sports do: skiing, skating and tobogganing. Everything is beautiful.
But the winter can be difficult, too. First, it is cold. The normal temperature in January is between ‑6° and ‑15°, but it is sometimes colder: ‑20° or ‑30°! If you add the wind-chill factor (it feels colder when the wind is blowing) it seems like ‑40° or colder. Fortunately, most buildings in Canada are designed for winter. They have double windows and lots of insulation to keep heat inside.
Second, it is dry. In cold weather, your skin dries out quickly. You can buy creams for your skin and a balm for your lips. You can buy a humidifier for your apartment, or boil some water to put steam in the air. It is important to drink a lot of water.
Third, in winter, the days are short. The sun comes up late and goes down early, especially in December. Some people feel sad or depressed in the winter. It is important to get out in the sun when you can. Many Canadians love winter sports. Try skiing or skating. Play in the snow! It is important to keep active in the winter. Organize an exercise programme in the gym.
The winter isn’t too bad if you have the right clothes. It is better to wear many layers of clothing. For example, wear an undershirt, a shirt and a sweater. It is warmer to wear layers, because air is trapped between your clothes. This helps to insulate you better. Also, it is easy to take off a layer if you are in a warm room. Always cover your head and neck. In cold weather, we lose 40% of our body heat through our head and neck. Natural fabrics like wool and cotton are warmer in winter.
Clothing: sweaters, heavy coats, long pants, long underwear, gloves, scarves, warm hats, toques, thick socks, boots