Settling in Canada: A Helpful Checklist for International Students

Settling in Canada: A Helpful Checklist for International Students

Moving to Canada as an international student is a big step to take. Still, sometimes overwhelming, but you don’t have to worry —this article will give you the confidence you need to begin your journey.

Before you arrive in Canada, there are a few things you can do to help make everything go smoothly.

Here is a useful checklist before you arrive in Canada as an international student.

1. Secure Your Admission Offer

You should begin by getting your Canadian University or College admission offer. Be sure you’ve got your acceptance letter in hand from a designated learning institution (DLI). This letter is important for applying for your study visa, which you need as an international student to study in Canada.

2. Apply for a Study Visa

Once you have gotten your acceptance letter, the next step is to apply for a study Visa. Firstly, you should check the Canadian government’s guidelines to ensure you are eligible to study in Canada.

If everything is in order, you’ll need to collect all the required documents, including your admission letter, an attestation letter from the province or territory where you plan to study, a passport, and evidence of financial support before initiating your application. When you’re all set with your documents, you can apply online.

Need to fast-track the permit process? Simply do it online. You can get your permit faster by applying online through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), a swift pathway available to accelerate your path to studying in Canada.

Requirements to apply for a Study Permit using the SDS?

You must:

i) Live outside Canada and be a legal resident of one of the designated countries which include Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam.

ii) Possess a letter of acceptance from a post-secondary DLI in Canada.

iii) Have the minimum score required for one of the qualifying language tests.

iv) Submit proof of an International Student GIC

3. Get Health Insurance

If you’re coming to study in Canada from another country, it’s really important to have health insurance. You need to get it sorted out before you arrive.

Health insurance helps pay for any medical emergencies or surprise bills, so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re focusing on your studies.

Before you come, make sure to find out what health coverage is available in the province where you’ll be studying.

Some provinces will cover you, but others might require you to get private insurance or join the health plan offered by your school.

4. Make Copies of All Important Documents

Prepare for your trip to Canada by gathering and making copies of all essential documents. Pack your passport, acceptance letter, travel and health insurance details, bank statements with proof of funds, and vaccination records.

For added security, store digital copies to guard against loss or theft. Start your journey with everything you need and go the right way.

5. Find Suitable Housing

Before leaving to study in Canada, make sure you find a good place to live. Look at different options like university housing or renting an apartment, and choose the type of place that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Also, plan and budget for how much you can spend on housing, thinking about where you want to live and what kind of place you want. Remember, finding the right place to live is important for having a good experience while studying in Canada!

6. Select a Canadian Bank

Kickstart your Canadian journey by opening a bank account at a Canadian bank — an important step for international students. You can open checking or savings accounts and get access to many optional services.

Take the time to explore various options available comparing rates, fees, and student discounts to find the perfect fit for your needs.

7. Open up an International Student GIC

A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) is an investment option that guarantees your financial security and helps you pay for your studies and living expenses in Canada.

By opening up an International Student GIC, not only can you support your financial needs, but you can also help speed up your international study visa application through the SDS program.

Be sure to choose a financial institution that provides an International Student GIC that aligns with the SDS criteria.

8. Discover Canada!

Before leaving to study in Canada, take the time to learn about Canada’s culture, customs, and laws. Knowing these things will help you fit in better and make your move easier.

Research Canada’s culture online, attend orientation sessions provided by your educational institution or connect with fellow international students for advice and support.


Embarking on the adventure of studying in Canada as an international student brings exciting opportunities. While it may seem like a lot to prepare for, fear not! Following this useful checklist can help you make the transition easy.

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