This page is regularly reviewed and updated and was last updated on June 15, 2020. If you copy or print information from this page, refer to the live content on the page for any updates when using the information in the future.
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
Step 1. Prepare your study permit and other documents
☑ Apply and receive approval for a study permit
▶ Apply early -- you must wait for your application to be approved before travelling to Canada
▶ If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the USA, you have the option of submitting your application upon your arrival at a Canadian Port of Entry (e.g. your airport of arrival or land crossing into Canada)
☑ Before travelling to Canada, ensure you have the following:
▶ a valid passport or travel document,
▶ a valid Temporary Resident Visa/TRV or Electronic Travel Authorization/eTA (if required),
▶ your SFU letter of acceptance,
▶ proof of funds o, and
☑ If you will arrive in Canada before the first day of the term (e.g. May 1, Sept 1, or Jan 1), please note that your medical insurance coverage through Guard.me@SFU and SFSS Studentcare will start on the first day of the term. Please contact an International Student Advisor to learn more about your options for early arrival coverage.
Step 2. Plan your arrival
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, upon arriving in Canada, most travelers are required to isolate for a period of 14 days. The Government of BC also requires that travelers complete a self isolation plan which includes arranging necessary supports (e.g. medication, food, etc.). Please be mindful of this when you are preparing to travel to Canada. To learn more click here.
☑ Check out the Vancouver International Airport website o to get a detailed overview of the airport arrival process
☑ Plan your route and transportation o from the airport to your destination
☑ Make electronic copies of important original documents. Leave a copy with family or friends as well
Step 3. Find housing
☑ Research housing options: on campus or off campus
▶ Consider making an advance appointment with an International Student Advisor to learn more about how to educate yourself in identifying potentional rental scams, which you may find while looking for off-campus housing.
☑ (If applicable) Apply for on-campus housing as soon as possible, spaces are limited
Step 4. Learn about SFU
☑ We are currently planning pre-arrival sessions for international students to address your questions and provide valuable information prior to the semester start. Stay tuned and look out for emails with details.
☑ Complete University Prep o. You will be sent an e-mail with an invitation to join the Canvas course. You will receive Co-Curricular Record o accreditation for completing this course. This course includes a module for international students.
▶ It's a free online course that will help you prepare for SFU and all the details you need to get started right during your first week, month, and term.
☑ Welcome Day o is for all new undergraduate students starting at SFU. At the event, you will be able to:
▶ meet your professors, classmates and the SFU staff who will help launch your time at SFU
▶ find out more about your program of study
▶ feel more prepared to begin your first term
☑ Sign up for the Global Connections Program o
▶ When you join the Global Connections Program, you can request to be matched with a Community Leader to support you and answer your questions one-on-one about all aspects of life at SFU. You will also be meeting other SFU students through various events, activities, and trips over the course of one term. See photos of our past events and programming on our Facebook and Instagram.
Burnaby Campus Tour
ARRIVING IN CANADA
Step 5. Arrive at the port of entry
☑ Review your immigration documents, such as your study permit, carefully upon receiving them at the airport or land border
▶ If you notice any errors on your or your family's immigration documents (e.g. name, personal information) request changes before you leave immigration
▶ Check the conditions/remarks relating to your work eligibility while you study. Ensure the details under the client information section are correct on the study permit issued to you
☑ If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the USA, you have the option of submitting your study permit application upon your arrival at a Canadian Port of Entry (e.g. your airport of arrival or land crossing into Canada)
AFTER YOU ARRIVE
Step 6. Plan your finances
☑ Open a bank account
☑ Check your financial aid options
Step 7. Ensure you have proper medical insurance coverage
As a new international student at SFU, you will be automatically enrolled in a 4-month primary medical insurance plan with guard.me@SFU for your first term of studies. This is to ensure you have valid coverage during the waiting period for public health insurance under the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP).
☑ Apply for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) o as soon as you arrive. Your coverage will begin two to three months after your arrival date in BC. If you will be residing in BC for six months or longer, it is mandatory for you to enroll yourself and any accompanying family members in BC MSP.
☑ If you have valid coverage with MSP, or you are outside of Canada during the Fall 2020 term, you can opt out from guard.me@SFU, before the opt-out deadline o. To opt out of guard.me@SFU, visit their website o after your first day of classes. Click the "Undergraduate Students" category and follow the opt-out instructions. You may be eligible for a partial refund of the guard.me@SFU fee if there is more than one month remaining in the term, and you have not used the plan.
☑ Make changes to your secondary insurance o if necessary (i.e. opt down to the basic plan, opt out with equivalent coverage, add family members) during the opt-out period for Studentcare.
For latest updates and specific information on COVID-19 including changes in medical insurance click here.
Step 8. Confirm your enrollment requirements and work eligibility
☑ Maintain enrollment requirements o as an international student
▶ Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires you to actively pursue your studies while at SFU. SFU is required to report on the enrollment status of international students twice a year.
▶ Your enrollment at SFU affects your ability to work, study, and stay in Canada. To help you comply with the conditions of your study permit, review the information in this section carefully and contact an International Student Advisor, Immigration Specialist if you have any questions.
☑ Determine your eligibility to work on campus o or off campus o
☑ Apply for a Social Insurance Number(SIN) o if you are eligible and planning to work in Canada.
▶ You must provide your SIN to your employer within three days of starting work.
▶ At the beginning of the Fall and Spring terms, Service Canada offers on-campus SIN clinics to help you apply for a SIN on campus. See upcoming sessions here.
Step 9. Get the most out of your time at SFU
☑ Follow ISS on Facebook o and Instagram o for the upcoming events, opportunities, and important reminders
☑ During the Fall 2020 term, we will be offering a number of virtual events and where you can connect with other SFU students. Stay informed about ISS plans by watching our Events and Programs o webpage.
☑ Read ISS Newsletter sent to your SFU Mail account to stay up-to-date on advising, immigration, medical, opportunities, and important reminders.
☑ Get involved o in your SFU community!
Step 10. Know your resources to support your transition
☑ The transition to life as an international student in a new country can be exciting, but isn't always easy. SFU has a number of supports available to you if you are struggling. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are having a difficult time at any stage of your SFU degree -- we're here to help.
☑ Adjusting to a new academic and social culture can be challenging. Read more about this topic o
SFU Health and Counselling Services o: Whether you're looking for assistance with managing school stress or understanding Canadian services, the Transition Case Manager is here to provide one-to-one support for international students
MySSP o: With My SSP, all graduate and undergraduate students will have access to immediate or ongoing, confidential support - accessible from anywhere in the world by phone or through the downloadable app.
Student Learning Commons: The Student Learning Commons provides expert and friendly help with academic writing, learning, and study strategies including English as an Additional Language (EAL) workshops — in an environment of collaboration, discussion, and peer learning.
SFSS Food Bank o: Facing hunger or serious financial pressures? Apply for and redeem a $25 food certificate up to 3 times per term.
SFU Career and Volunteer Services o: If you are not sure what you can do with your degree and want to learn career development strategies you can meet with a Career Education specialist for one-on-one support or attend group career workshops
Bursaries o: Bursaries are a supplemental source of funding for students with demonstrated financial need and available to international students.
Resources for LGBTQS+ students from International Pathways:
In partnership with SFSS Out On Campus, Health and Counselling Services is paying particular attention to the unique needs of LGBTQIA2S+ students. Click here to earn more o.