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:
- St. George campus: Centre for International Experience
- Mississauga campus: International Centre
- Scarborough campus: International Student Centre
Related information: Campus Tours
Watch this brief YouTube video about the mandatory University Health Insurance Plan for international students.
- 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
Watch this brief YouTube video about how to apply for a Canadian study permit.
- 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:
- your offer of admission or letter of acceptance from U of T
- proof that you have enough funds to pay for at least one year of tuition and living expenses
- a valid passport
- the study permit application form
- 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
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 1 or 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.
Part of the academic culture at U of T is an expectation that students will be responsible for themselves in terms of getting the information they need and advocating for themselves. As such, asking a lot of questions is not only encouraged, it is expected in many contexts.
Your main source of information relating to academic advising, including course enrollment and course selection is your Registrar’s Office.
Are you a graduate student? Consult the School of Graduate Studies for any questions related to registration, awards, and student services. For academic matters related to your courses and degree program, contact your graduate unit or collaborative program.
You may find the academic culture at U of T to be different from your previous academic experiences in terms of teaching styles, learning styles, expectations, etc.
The University of Toronto offers many resources and services to support your academic transition and success, such as the Academic Success Centre and Writing Centres. You can meet with a Learning Strategist at the Academic Success Centre, or at your own Faculty or College, just ask!
You are encouraged to explore all these options to learn more about successful academic strategies right from the start! An International Transition Advisor can help guide you in this process.
Familiarity with the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and U of T Campuses
The University of Toronto has three campuses that are located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Each one has its own characteristics and environment. Explore U of T's three campuses here! You can also explore St. George, Mississauga and Scarborough Campus’ Student Life programs and services.
The GTA is very 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- Review the Pre-Arrival Information for International Students (above).
- Obtain a study permit and related immigration documents.
- Photocopy important documents (such as your passport and immigration papers). Remember to have the original documents with you at the border crossing and be prepared for Canadian airport customs.
- Consider your housing options.
- Pay your tuition fees. For more information about:
- Enrol in courses. See your Registrar’s website for specific information about your academic program.
- Sign up to be paired with a Peer Mentor.
- Create a realistic budget based on the cost of living in Toronto.
- Plan your transportation from the airport to campus.
- Learn about the academic culture at the University.
- Get familiar with living in the City of Toronto.
- Keep in mind that most University offices are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and many are closed on the Labour Day holiday in early September.
After You Arrive
- Visit the Airport Welcome Booth when you arrive at Pearson Airport.
- Learn about the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), and print your policy card.
- Get your U of T student card (TCard), activate your UTORid, and get connected to U of T wireless.
- Get familiar with phone plans.
- Visit the international centre at your campus:
- Attend orientation events for international students.
- Attend your College, Faculty, Program or special orientation events.
- Learn about health services for all students at U of T:
- Get to know your Registrar’s Office.
- Explore social media about student life at U of T: