Please use this section to get settled, find support and take advantage of university services.
US and International Students
If you're coming to Canada from another country, you will have a few additional tasks.
The International Services for Students website is a great resource to help you learn about visa regulations, housing, banking, transportation, schooling & childcare, and much more.
Study permits & visas
- Apply for your study permit and any permits for accompanying family members. Please visit the International Student Advising page to learn more about bringing your family to Canada.
- If you plan to visit or stop over in another country en route to Canada, you should check with that country’s Embassy/Consulate to find out which documents you and your family will need.
- If you are planning to transit through the United States, the U.S. has suspended its policy of allowing travelers to pass through U.S. airports in transit to foreign destinations without a visa if they would otherwise require a visa to enter the U.S. This change has no effect upon Canadian citizens nor upon those who qualify to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. Before you book your flight to Canada, you should ensure that you have the proper documents. Check with the United States Embassy or Consulate closest to you.
- Ensure you have mandatory medical insurance for yourself and any accompanying family members for your first term in Canada.
- To help you plan your arrival to Vancouver, note any important dates, including residence move-in dates, orientation dates, and employment contract start dates (if applicable).
Find Tips for Adjusting to a New Culture
- SFU's International Student Advising office provides tips on surviving and thriving in North America and strategies for dealing with culture shock.
- Register for grad orientation. One of the tips is to meet up with fellow international students for support, and at Orientation, you will encounter hundreds of fellow international graduate students.
Learn about Academic Cultural Expectations in Canada
- Some international graduate students have observed significant differences between the concept of intellectual property in their cultures and in North American academia. Learn about expectations regarding academic integrity at SFU by taking the Library's online plagiarism tutorial and familiarizing yourself with relevant SFU policies.
- Read Communication Strategies for International Graduate Students and Mentoring Graduate Students Across Cultures (two free e-guides from the University of Western Ontario with helpful tips on "surviving and thriving in Canadian Academia")
- Read Recognizing the Five Stages of Academic Culture Shock (part 1) and Five Practical Tips to Help You Beat Academic Culture Shock (part 2) (a great article on "How to Survive Your First Year of Graduate School" written by Nanda Dimitrov in University Affairs magazine, November, 2008)
Important Info for Delays/Deferrals
- If you are having trouble obtaining your study permit or facing other delays, please see deferrals and postponing your arrival