Study Abroad in Canada: A Useful Checklist for International Students

Published: April 18, 2024

Study Abroad in Canada: A Useful Checklist for International Students

Coming to study in Canada as an international student is a big step, but don't worry — this article will help you get started on your journey with confidence.

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

The best place to start is with your Canadian University or College admission offer. Be sure you've got your acceptance letter in hand from a designated learning institution (DLI). This is key to applying for your study permit, something you’ll need as an international student planning to study in Canada.[1]

Benefit from TD International Student GIC Program

2. Apply for a Study Permit

Has your acceptance letter arrived? Great! The next step is to apply for a study permit. Firstly, you should check the Canadian government’s guidelines to ensure you are eligible to study in Canada.[2]  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[3], passport, and evidence of financial support before initiating your application.[4] When you’re all set with your documents, you can apply online.[5]

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)[6], a swift pathway available to legal residents in one of the 14 specified countries. Accelerate your path to studying in Canada with this efficient choice.

Requirements to apply for a Study Permit using the SDS?

You must:

  • Live outside of Canada and be a legal resident of one of the designated countries.
  • Possess a letter of acceptance from a post-secondary DLI in Canada.
  • Have the minimum score required for one of the qualifying language tests.
  • Submit proof of an International Student GIC[7]

For more information, see an updated guide to applying for the SDS in 2024 here.

3. Get Health Insurance

For international students in Canada, having health insurance is a must. It's essential to get it before you arrive. Health insurance helps cover emergencies and unexpected medical costs, giving you peace of mind while you focus on your studies.[8]

International students should also check what health coverage is available in your intended province of study. Some provinces offer coverage, while others may need you to get private insurance or sign up for the health plan offered by your school.[9]

And here's a tip: It is helpful to learn about Canada's healthcare system, which provides universal coverage for all Canadians and permanent residents. Stay informed and stay healthy![10]

4. Make Copies of All Important Documents

Get set for your journey to Canada by gathering and copying 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. Be sure your journey begins well-prepared and head in the right direction.[11]

5. Find Suitable Housing

Before embarking on your Canadian study journey, ensure you find a suitable place to call home. Explore a range of options, from university residences to apartment rentals, and pick the style of accommodation that suits your needs and lifestyle best. Don't forget to plan and budget for accommodation costs, considering the location and type of housing that will be the right fit for you. Remember, your successful Canadian study experience begins with the right place to stay![12]

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 chequing 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.[13] TD provides a range of student banking options, tailored for international students including a no-monthly fee chequing account.[14] Make your financial journey in Canada as seamless as possible!

7. Open up an International Student GIC

A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) is an investment that ensures 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 fast-track your international study permit application through the SDS program. Be sure to choose a financial institution that provides an International Student GIC that aligns with the SDS criteria.[15]

Learn more about TD International Student Banking Package

8. Discover Canada!

Before your arrival, take the time to learn about Canada's culture, customs, and laws. Understanding these aspects can help you adjust to your new environment and make your transition smoother. 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 abroad 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.

Why Choose TD?

150 years helping Canadians:

TD has a proud history of delivering financial solutions to Canadians for more than 150 years. TD also brings a century of experience helping newcomers navigate the unique challenges of the Canadian banking system.

With over a thousand branches, a reputation for excellence in financial services, and the ability to also serve you in more than 80 different languages, TD has become one of the largest and most trusted banks in Canada, now serving 16 million Canadians.

TD offers online support and resources of interest to newcomers on topics such as banking basics, moving to Canada, credit score essentials, and more. TD is open longer hours for your convenience and has thousands of ATMs across Canada to help you take care of your everyday banking needs quickly and easily.

Ready to Bank?

Learn more about TD New to Canada Banking Package today.

Book an appointment to talk with a TD Personal Banking Associate about the TD New to Canada Banking Package. You can book online right away or visit the TD website to learn more.

Legal Disclaimer: Information provided by TD Bank Group and other sources in this article is believed to be accurate and reliable when placed on this site, but we cannot guarantee it is accurate or complete or current at all times. Information in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide financial, legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon in that regard. This information is not to be construed as a solicitation to buy. Products and services of the TD Bank Group are only offered in jurisdictions where they may be lawfully offered for sale. All products and services are subject to the terms of the applicable agreement. The information in this article is subject to change without notice.

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