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From acceptance to attendance: what to do after you've been accepted

You've been accepted to school in Canada - congratulations! Believe it or not, the work is not over yet. The transition from acceptance to attendance takes a little bit of planning.

What documentation do you need, where are you going to live, and what courses do you take? The following checklist is designed to get you started on the right track.


  1. Ensure you have the proper documentation for your study permit application:
    1. proof of acceptance from a Canadian educational institution;
    2. proof of identity;
    3. proof of ability to pay tuition, living expenses and return transportation, and
    4. a letter of explanation detailing reasons for the application. Information on the letter and other required documentation can be found at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-how-documents.asp.


  2. Apply for a study permit from the nearest Canadian visa office. You may also need a temporary resident visa depending on your country of origin. Information on the application process and requirements can be found at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-how.asp.

  4. International students from certain countries must undergo a medical examination. The list of these countries can be found at: http://www.cic.gc.ca./english/information/medical/dcl.asp. This should be completed as soon as possible, as a medical exam can add more than three months to your application's processing time. Instructions will be sent from a visa officer.

  6. Apply for residence. Most big colleges and universities in Canada guarantee on-campus housing for at least first year. If you are looking for a place off-campus, visit www.Places4Students.com to find vacancies near your school.

  8. Register for courses. Most schools will send you information on how to select your courses online or with an advisor upon your arrival in Canada. Consider taking English or French language, or Canadian Studies courses as electives. This will give you a jump-start on familiarizing yourself with your surroundings!

  10. Register for orientation. Most Canadian colleges and universities offer orientation for new and international students. The University of Alberta offers a three-day orientation program for international students, and the University of Victoria pairs returning students as buddies with new international students. These programs will allow you to meet new people and find out about international student services.

The most important aspect of the pre-departure process is time. Plan ahead, and, if possible, make a timeline to complete these steps. Contact the international student office at your school for help with steps 4, 5 and 6. For information on steps 1, 2 and 3, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada at www.cic.gc.ca, or contact the nearest Canadian visa office.

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