Congratulations! We look forward to your arrival!

These suggested steps will help you prepare for your arrival in Toronto and on campus.

Before you arrive in Toronto, there are some things you will need to prepare for – everything from organizing your travel documents to finding somewhere to live. Check out our Pre-Arrival Information and Next Steps Checklist (below) for details.

Services for international students:

Related information: Campus Tours

Contents

UHIP How does it work?
Study Permit How to apply for a Canadian study permit.
Housing Where you will live?
Academic Considerations Expectations, resources and services to support your academic transition.
Get Support from a Mentor Connect with a mentor before September 2018
U of T Campuses & The GTA Familiarity with the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and U of T Campuses.
Finances Tuition, Student Accounts and other financial considerations.
Working in Canada Eligibility and opportunities for working in Canada.
Next Steps Checklist Suggestions to help you prepare before you leave your home country and after you arrive in Canada.
Questions? Contact an International Transition Advisor to ease your transition

UHIP

YouTube: UHIP: How does it work? - University of Toronto Student Life ( 1 minute, 30 seconds ) 

Video Transcript: UHIP: How does it work? – University of Toronto Student Life 

  • As an international student at the University of Toronto, you’re automatically registered for the mandatory University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP).
  • Health care in Canada can be expensive, but UHIP will help cover the cost of medical services at clinics and hospitals, both on and off campus.
  • When you arrive in Canada, download your UHIP card and print it.
  • Remember to carry your UHIP card with you. If you need medical care, you’ll be asked to show a printed copy of the card every time. You’ll also need a claim form.
  • Some medical services are not covered by UHIP, so you’ll also be enrolled in the supplementary health insurance plan offered by your student union (unless you’re on an exchange program).
  • Charges for both plans will be posted to your ACORN account, and your UHIP coverage will begin on September 1. 
  • If you’re arriving in Canada between August 10 and September 1, you could be eligible for UHIP coverage during that time. If you arrive early, contact our UHIP office for more information about August coverage.
  • Your health is important! Learn more about your coverage at uoft.me/uhip

Study Permit

YouTube: How to Apply for a Canadian Study Permit - University of Toronto Student Life (1 minute, 56 seconds) 

Video Transcript: How to Apply for a Canadian Study Permit – University of Toronto Student Life 

  • Congratulations on your admission to the University of Toronto! To study in Canada, you’ll need to get a study permit, which is issued by the Canadian Government. Most international students also need a Temporary Residency Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization.
  • It’s your responsibility to make sure these documents are up-to-date and valid for the full duration of your studies in Canada. This includes being aware of the expiry dates, conditions, and/or restrictions of each document.
  • To get a study permit, you need to apply online or in-person at the closest Canadian Visa Application Centre in your country of legal residence.
  • Here’s what you’ll need for your application:
    1. your offer of admission or letter of acceptance from U of T
    2. proof that you have enough funds to pay for at least one year of tuition and living expenses
    3. a valid passport
    4. the study permit application form
    5. the application fee
  • Depending on the requirements of the office processing your application, you may also need a medical examination or additional documents.
  • Remember to submit your application as early as possible, or as soon as you receive your official offer of admission from U of T.
  • If your application is approved, you’ll receive a Study Permit Approval Letter and a visa or eTA if applicable. Show that letter when you get to Canada to receive the hard copy of your study permit.
  • If you’re already studying in Canada with a valid high school study permit, you must to get a new permit that’s valid for post-secondary study. This is true even if your high school permit is still valid.
  • If you’re a transfer student coming from another post-secondary institution in Canada, you may use the study permit you already have, as long as it’s still valid. You will need to update the institution name. To do this, submit a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) request through your online Immigration Canada account.
  • Your legal status is important. Learn more about study permits at uoft.me/immigration

Housing

As part of coming to U of T, you will need to think about where you will want to live and how to arrange it.  While many first-year undergraduate students live in one of the on-campus university residences, some first years and most upper-year undergraduate and graduate students live off campus in rental housing or with family. 

All of the information you will need to make decisions about your housing while at U of T can be found on the University’s Housing website. Here are a few preliminary things to consider:

 

First-Year undergraduate: 

If you qualify for the Residence Guarantee and are interested in living in residence, you must confirm your interest on My Res before March 31st, even if you have not yet been offered admission to the university, in order to be considered.

 

First-year graduate student:

Graduate House is U of T’s largest single student residence for graduate students enrolled in a full-time degree program. There is no residence guarantee for graduate students; however, applying as early as possible for on-campus accommodation gives you the best chance of being considered for a space.

 

 

Off-campus housing:  

While you will need to conduct your own off-campus housing search, the University’s Housing service can provide you with many useful tools and resources to make that process easier.  Once you decide to come to U of T, begin familiarizing yourself with the different types of housing, neighbourhoods, distances to campus and transit options, rental agreements and rental options.  While it is possible to begin your search for off-campus accommodation from your home country, you will likely find it easier to do once you arrive in Toronto.  Additionally, most rental listings do not go up much more than  2 months before the move-in date.

 

Temporary housing: 

You may want to consider booking temporary housing for your arrival in Toronto and while you conduct your off-campus accommodation search.  This can be done in advance; as soon as you know you will be coming to U of T.

 

Students with families: 

Are you planning to bring your family to Canada with you? Student Family Housing is a family-oriented residence reserved for U of T students in a full-time degree program with partners and/or children.

Academic Considerations

U of T's academic culture encourages independence and self-exporation: students are responsible for finding the information they need and for advocating for themselves. Asking questions is encouraged, and expected in many contexts.

For Graduate Students: 

Get Support from a Mentor

The University of Toronto offers many Mentorship Programs where you can be matched with an upper year UofT student (peer mentor), faculty or alumni. Many mentorship programs start over the summer so you can ask questions and get support before you arrive in Toronto. Find mentorship opportunities on the St. George Campus or ask your local campus Student Life office, department or faculty.

The Centre for International Experience’s iConnect International Mentorship Program will connect you with a mentor in the summer before you arrive to help ease your transition to Uoft. Apply to be matched with a mentor today!   

U of T Campuses & The Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

U of T Campuses: 

The University of Toronto has three unique campuses located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA): St. George (Downtown Toronto), Mississauga and Scarborough. Find additional infomation on all three campuses.

You can also explore student services and programs for each campus: 

 

Explore the GTA: 

The GTA is multicultural and diverse, which is not surprising considering that half of Toronto’s residents were born outside Canada. We encourage you to explore Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods and to get familiar with living in Toronto before you arrive.

You can learn about climate, shopping, transportation, events, etc. by checking out the Centre for International Experience and the City of Toronto websites.

Finances

One of your first financial concerns may relate to how and when to pay tuition fees. Take a look at the annual schedule of tuition fees and relevant information on the Student Accounts website, including instructions on how to pay tuition fees in Canadian funds from outside Canada.

If you are required to show proof of tuition payment/deposit as part of your study permit application process, you can e-mail the Student Accounts Office at info.studentaccount@utoronto.ca to request an estimate of the fees payable (based on the previous year’s fees). They can help you make a payment/deposit even if you have not registered for courses yet.

Take a look at our Money Matters page for more information on budgeting, Canadian banks, and other financial matters you may want to consider in preparation for living in Toronto. You may also consider working in Canada to help supplement your income, but be aware that amounts earned cannot fully fund your tuition.

If you are a graduate student, the School of Graduate Studies has detailed information on Financing Your Graduate Education

Working in Canada

As an international student with full-time registration status and a valid study permit, you will be eligible to work in Canada, with some conditions. Be sure to read all the details on our Working in Canada page.

The University of Toronto has Career Services to help you find work including the Career Learning Network (CLN) where you can find on-campus work, off-campus work, work-study, and volunteer positions. To access the CLN site, you will need an active UTORid and password.

T.A.s (graduate students with teaching assistantships) will likely find the Teaching Assistant’s Training Program a helpful pedagogical resource. 

Next Steps Checklist

These suggested next steps will help you prepare for your arrival in Toronto and on campus.

Before You Arrive

After You Arrive

Questions?

If you have any questions before you arrive about any of the information on this page, you can contact an international transition advisor who can help clarify information, provide more details or help put you in touch with the right person at U of T.

After you arrive, an international transition advisor can also help you adjust to university life and life in Canada. 

For students studying on the St. George campus, you can also ask any question relating to our Student Life Departments.