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


UHIP How does it work?
Study permit How to apply for a Canadian study permit
Housing Where will you live?
Academic considerations Expectations, resources and services to support your academic transition
Get support from a mentor Connect with a mentor before September 2019
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


  • International students at the University of Toronto are automatically enrolled in two separate healthcare plans:
    1. Your basic healthcare plan, UHIP
    2. Your Supplementary Healthcare Plan (exchange students are not enrolled in the supplementary healthcare plan)
  • Healthcare in Canada can be expensive, but your basic healthcare plan (UHIP) will help cover the cost of medical services at clinics and hospitals such as doctors visits, emergency visits, blood tests, x-rays and more. It is important to have your UHIP card with you at all times.
  • When you arrive in Canada, visit to access your UHIP card online.
  • Your second plan, the Supplementary Healthcare Plan, helps with the costs of medical services that are not covered by UHIP.  For example, prescription drugs and dental services are only covered by your Supplementary Healthcare Plan. You can find more information about the Supplementary Healthcare Plan at
  • Charges for the two plans will be posted separately to your ACORN account.
  • If you arrive in Canada between August 10 and September 1, you may be eligible for UHIP coverage during that time. If you arrive early, contact our UHIP office for more information about health coverage.
  • Your health is important! Learn more about your coverage at

Study permit

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to accept and process applications during the COVID-19 response. However, closures of some Visa Application Centres (VACs) and visa offices mean that applying in-person or by mail may be impossible at this time. It also means that application processing times are likely to be extended. Therefore, we strongly recommend you apply online if you can as soon as you have all the necessary documents prepared.

  • Congratulations on your admission to the University of Toronto! To study in Canada, you should 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, depending on your country of citizenship.
  • 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:
    • the letter of acceptance you have already received 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 visa office where you are from, you may also need a medical examination, biometrics and other documents or forms.
  • Remember to submit your application as early as possible, or as soon as you receive your official letter of acceptance 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 should get a new permit that’s valid for post-secondary study.
  • 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. Look for the link that says "transfer schools".
  • Your legal status is important. Learn more about study permits at


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:


Exchange students:

Exchange students can explore their housing options through off-campus residence-style accommodations and private property listings.  


First-year undergraduate students: 

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


First-year graduate students:

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. We recommend beginning your search 60 days in advance, as most rental listings typically appear 2 months (44-60 days) prior to the available 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 U of T. Apply now!

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 information 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.


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 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.

You may want to 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 and Co-Curricular Learning Network (CLNx) where you can find on-campus work, off-campus work, work-study, and volunteer positions. To access the CLNx 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


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.