Please use this section to get settled, find support and take advantage of university services.
Get your cell phone and bank account
There is a broad range of costs for cell phones in Metro Vancouver. These links will help you get started with your research.
- SFU's Beedie School of Business has a page with some great key questions to ask before signing a contract, and some quick facts about how things work with selecting a mobile carrier in Canada.
- The Compare Cellular website compares costs of different cell phone plans across Canada — you can do a search for Vancouver only.
- The WhistleOut website also helps you compare cell phones and phone plans across Canada.
- If you already own a phone, WillMyPhoneWork.net will help you figure out if it will work with a local cell phone plan.
- OpenSignal.com is an open source tool for determining signal strength of various carriers based on location.
- There is a huge shift in the cellphone market coming in December 2017, as the telecom companies will no longer be able to lock phones. Read more: What the CRTC’s ban on carrier unlocking fees means for Canadians. Note: it is unclear if prices of cell phone plans will go up or down as a result of this change.
Note that there is free wifi for students on all SFU campuses. There are also many free wifi spots all around Metro Vancouver:
To open a bank account in Canada, you’ll need your passport, SFU Student ID card, proof of enrollment at SFU and documentation of your address in Canada (such as a phone bill or Residence contract). You may also need to provide your study permit as proof of your status in Canada. You may need to make an appointment before opening an account.
If you are based at the Burnaby campus, the bank on campus is Scotiabank, and they are able to open bank accounts for some international students who have not arrived in Canada yet. See their Let's Get You Started page. (Note: There are also bank machines on campus for other Canadian banks.)
Surrey and Vancouver Campuses
If you are based at the Surrey or Vancouver campuses, you have access to many Canadian banks and credit unions.
Please visit the International Student Advising page for information on banking institutions in Metro Vancouver.