New International Student Checklist

For international students, moving to a brand-new country is a major life-changing journey. While this is an exciting opportunity, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about the idea of studying abroad, don’t worry – we get it.

Before you arrive on campus, here is what you need to study in Canada.

A Letter of Acceptance 

Congratulations on your admission to Canada International Royal Arts College. Make sure you print the acceptance letter out. When you apply for your study permit, you will need to show Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) “proof of acceptance”.

Government IDs

A passport is essential to travel internationally. Before you book your one-way ticket to Canada, double check your passport’s expiration date. It needs to be valid for the duration of your study period as your study permit cannot be issued beyond the validity of your passport. 

If you have other official government identification from your home country, you should also bring it or a photocopy of it. This can include:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Birth certificate
Study Permit

In order to study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Canadian study permit. To apply for a study permit, you need to show proof of acceptance, proof of identity, and proof of financial support. We recommend students to apply online on the CIC Website

Check the processing times in advance so you will know when is the best time to apply. 

To apply online, you will need a credit/ debit card and a scanner/ phone camera to create electronic copies of your supporting documents. The Canadian embassy in your country will provide specific information about which documents you need to provide, and this can vary depending on your location. 

Funds for Living Expenses

When it comes to your finances, it is essential that you have money that is accessible for the duration of your studies. In order to be approved for your study permit, you will need to show proof of financial support. It is basically documentation that proves you can support yourself while you’re living in Canada. International students studying in British Columbia are required to prove a minimum amount of $10,000.

You can prove your funds with:

  • proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, if you’ve transferred money to Canada
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
  • proof of a student or education loan from a bank
  • your bank statements for the past 4 months
  • a bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
  • proof you paid tuition and housing fees
  • proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program
Medical Records and Prescriptions

Depending on which country you are from, you might be required to pass a medical examination before studying and living in Canada. These are typically your medical, dental, and vaccination records which you can request from your doctor and dentist. 

You should also visit your doctor for a full medical check-up prior to leaving and to ensure you have all the necessary shots. Lastly, you should stock up on your medications. Foreign prescriptions are not always available in Canada.

Tech Supplies

It is common for students to use a laptop for studying and completing assignments and a smartphone for keeping in touch with friends and family. If you are bringing tech from your home country, make sure it is compatible with Canadian outlets and voltages. 

Accommodations and Housing

CIRA College doesn’t offer any dormitory, however, there are many options when it comes to finding accommodation. If you are looking for a budget-conscious option, homestays are convenient and affordable. We are partnering with Vanmates, and if you decide to find accommodation through Vanmates, please contact us at least one month prior to your arrival date.

You can find accommodation on these websites: 

Emergency Contact List 

Create a list of emergency contacts (parents, siblings, guardians, local friends and relatives) and email it to your roommates and friends so they know how to get a hold of you. 

Medical Service Plan (MSP)

All international students in Canada must have health insurance. MSP stands for Medical Services Plan and it is British Columbia’s public health insurance plan. Canada offers high-quality healthcare. The medical services are clean, safe, and easy to access. In most cases, you will not have to pay at the time you seek medical care when you show your BC Services Card. Provincial health insurance covers health basics, but does not cover dental care, vision care, and more specific health concerns, depending on your province. 

You can find more information at

A Cell Phone Plan

If you already have a cell phone, you will need to get a Canadian cell phone plan. Cell phone plan prices will vary, depending on what services are covered in your plan. Most plans include a data package; a 5GB data plan plus calling and texting can be anywhere from $40-100 CAD per month. Common Canadian phone plan providers include RogersBellTelusFidoVirgin, and Koodo

Winter Attires 

If you live somewhere sunny, Canada’s winter temperatures may be a shock to you. When Winter arrives, the temperature can drop to an average of -6°C. You can purchase winter essentials (coats, hats, gloves, warm socks) when you arrive. 

  • Gloves, hat, and scarf
  • Long pants
  • Thin long-sleeve shirts to layer under sweaters
  • Warm sleepwear
  • Waterproof boots
  • Thick socks
  • A quality winter jacket
  • A rain jacket and umbrella in rainier cities

Scholarship Available

Registration is now open!