Getting ready for Canada

By University of Waterloo Modified on May 07, 2019

Our top tips for preparing for your arrival in Canada.


You’ve accepted your offer of admission and you’re coming to a Canadian university. So, what’s next? Here are our tips on how to best prepare for your arrival.

Organize and apply for necessary documents
When coming to Canada there are many important documents to get in order so that everything goes smoothly once you land.

Study and work permits
If you’re not a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada, you must have a valid study permit for the post-secondary level. Although work permits and social insurance numbers aren’t required for studying in Canada, we recommend getting them so that you make use of opportunities such as co-op terms or a part-time job.

TRV, eTA, and passport
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), and of course, your passport are other documents to keep in mind. You may require all of these documents or you may only need your passport. It’s important todo your research to ensure you have all your documents in order for coming to Canada.

Learn about Canada
Once you get all the documents out of the way, you can spend some time doing more exciting things, like learning about Canada!

You may be surprised to learn that the way Canada and Canadians are portrayed in TV shows and on the internet is not always accurate. If you’re curious about what Canadians are really like, average temperatures during the year, or what holidays we celebrate, check out our University of Waterloo international student guide for information on Canadian culture.

If you know anyone who’s been to Canada before, connect with them! They can be a great resource for finding out what to expect and getting some tips to prepare.

Learn about your university and the city
Last but not least, learn about your university, such as ways you can get involved through clubs and campus activities. Joining groups can help you make friends and adjust more easily to your school and Canada.

Learning about the city where you’ll be studying can also be really exciting! Find out what types of things exist that you can do and see during your free time. Canada is known for landmarks like the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, and Rocky Mountains. Find out if your university is close to these and start planning a trip.

We hope this list helps you with preparing to come to Canada. Best of luck, happy packing, and safe travels!