International Student Life

Moving to a new country for university is not easy. There is a lot to prepare and more to do when you arrive. We’ve compiled a checklist of those steps just for you, and we have a team ready to assist you as your adust to a new life as a student in Canada.

International Student Advisors to support you

s-check Meet with your SFU International Advisor for support with applying for your study permit, visa, work permit, social insurance number, health insurance, and more

s-check Find out more about the immigration documents you need to prepare before you arrive

s-check Our tips on applying for your study permit and immigration documents

What you need to do to ensure your eligibility to study, work and stay in Canada. We have dedicated team of international student advisors who come from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds to help you get organized.

Getting ready

Have questions about getting set up in Canada as an SFU student and exploring your new community?

Academic Support

We can help you prepare for course enrollment, degree planning, academic success and life on campus.

We know university is a new experience for you. We  have supports available to ensure your academic success and help you get back on track if you encounter any challenges.

Topics in this section:

  • Student Services Academic Advisors
  • Department Academic Advisors
  • Back on Track

Learn more

Financial planning

Here are some ways we can help you manage your budget and ensure your costs for studying in Canada are covered.

The pursuit of higher education comes with its costs, but we’re here to remind you there are financial aid, supports, and resources that can help offset some of those costs. 

Topics in this section:

  • Undergraduate cost calculator
  • Entrance scholarships
  • MyFinances 101
  • Scholarships, bursaries, and awards
  • Paid opportunities

Learn more

Jobs in Canada

Looking to get work experience while you are studying in Canada? 

As an international student, there are a few restrictions on the type of employment you can have. However, we have many opportunities coordinated through the university to help you gain valuable skills and experience.

Housing options 

Where do you want to live while you study?

Residence and housing

You can apply to live on campus in Residence & Housing – be steps away from class, make friends who are also away from home, and connect with peers to provide each other with academic support.

Off campus housing

You can live in our surrounding communities and make lasting connections with locals, get Canadian work experience, and be close to a beach, the ocean, the mountains, a vibrant suburban neighbourhood, or our lively downtown.

Getting around

We’re here to help you get around, whether that means finding your class on campus or travelling throughout Metro Vancouver.

  • SFU students get a Translink U Pass to use one of the world's best transportation systems. All of Metro Vancouver will be easily accessible to you.
  • Designated bicycle routes make travel around Metro Vancouver easier for cyclists and e-bike riders. We have tips for buying and riding a bike.
  • We have our very own app, SFU Snap, to help you explore campus, find classrooms, and get the latest Translink bus and Skytrain schedule

Staying healthy

No matter where you come from, you have access to our world recognized high-quality primary healthcare. How else do we keep you healthy?

Extended care coverge

SFU students get affordable extended care coverage for everything from medication, dental care, vision and physiotherapy.

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SFU Health and Counselling

Access to on-campus health supports, including medical clinics, vaccinations, counselling, and wellness support through SFU Health & Counselling.

Learn more

Staying Safe

Canada is recognized as one of the safest countries in the world, and SFU students have additional services to keep them safe.

Safe walk program

Our Safe Walk program is available should you ever feel the need for personal security when walking on campus alone or at night.

Learn more

Safety guides

Some people may try to take advantage of students unfamiliar with local culture and customs as they use transit or seek housing and other necessities. We have safety guides to help you avoid these scams and ensure you have a safe experience on campus.

learn more

Online safety

We provide training courses on how to stay safe online while avoiding phishing and other scams.

Learn more

Emergency contacts

All three SFU campuses have emergency contacts available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

learn more

Getting settled

We know studying in a new country is a big transition, which is why we have several programs and events to assist your transition to life at SFU. They are great ways to learn about university, and they are also a lot of fun. In addition to these resources, SFU Health & Counselling has a support team available to help students from international pathways ease their transition into SFU.

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We have several programs and events to assist your transition to life at SFU.

And there's more!

Student clubs

Clubs are an excellent way to develop skills, network and build lasting friendships. If you have an idea for a new club, you can even start your own.

Browse student clubs

Fitness & Recreation

Stay active and join group fitness programs, clubs and intramurals. Make use of facilities like the fitness centre, aquatic centre, climbing wall, full-sized field and more!

Visit SFU Recreation


Volunteer to help your new university community and gain work experience doing something you care about!

Browse volunteer options

Meal plans

Enjoy meal plans at our new Dining Commons, where it’s all-you-care-to-eat, seven days a week

Check out meal plans

Banking and phone calls

Check out our guides for help opening an account at a Canadian bank or connecting to a Canadian phone plan!


The Multifaith Centre is an engaged community that enables you to express and practice your beliefs, and offers a safe space to learn about other faiths.

Visit Multifaith Centre

We have many more resources available to help you thrive in your new life as a university student in Canada.