Please use this section to get settled, find support and take advantage of university services.
US and International Students
As an international or US student, you will have a number of additional tasks to get yourself settled in Canada.
International Services for Students has a helpful checklist on their website to get you started.
- Open a Canadian bank account. You will need your passport, study permit, proof of address, and a confirmation of enrollment letter from SFU (downloadable from your student account)
- If you are receiving any award funding from SFU, you will need to provide your direct deposit information to the Dean of Graduate Studies office in order to get paid. See payment schedule.
- If you are being employed as a TA or RA, your department may also request that you complete another direct deposit form from SFU payroll.
- See banking info: International Services for Students
- See map of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) on the Burnaby campus
- Apply for a Social Insurance Number if you will be a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Research Assistant (RA) in your first term.
- Learn more about Canadian income taxes and how they will apply to you
- Apply for a work permit for your accompanying spouse or common-law partner (if applicable).
- Learn about employment options for graduate students. For information on work permits for international students, please see the Citizenship & Immigration Canada website. More detailed information is available on the SFU International Services for Students website.
- Many countries have a Consulate Office in Vancouver. Some countries require their citizens to register at the local consulate (or embassy in Ottawa) and other countries only recommend it. We recommend you contact your local consulate office to see if a reporting requirement exists. See Foreign Representatives in Canada
Relationships and Expectations
- Introduce yourself to the important people in your graduate program — the Graduate Program Chair of your Department, your prospective supervisor, and your Graduate Program Assistant.
- Establish expectations/guidelines for your interactions with your supervisor (see helpful tips from SFU's Ombudsperson).
- Find out what courses you need to take and what milestones are ahead of you (see Managing Your Progress)
- 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)
- Understanding Canadians
When You Arrive Checklist
- Attend Fall Orientation
- Attend events in "Month of Orientation"
- US and International Students
- Get to know Metro Vancouver
- Get to know SFU
- Apply for scholarships and awards
- Enroll in classes and pay tuition
- Get your student card
- Get your cell phone and bank account
- Update your personal information in the Student Information System
- Get your U-Pass for public transit
- Get your campus parking pass
- Do you need a book locker?
- Meet people