In the Know: Arrival Checklist

UVic Global Community Newsletter: August 26, 2019

In the Know: Advice for international students is a section of the UVic Global Community Newsletter that includes valuable information and important dates for undergraduate and graduate international students in the following categories: degree-seeking, incoming exchange, and incoming study abroad/visiting.

Arrival Checklist for International Students

If you are a new international student, welcome to the University of Victoria (UVic)!

The International Student Services (ISS) team is dedicated to helping you optimize your UVic experience. Consider us your local consultants for all things new and different.

When you arrive on campus, please visit the ISS to pick up your welcome package and meet the ISS team. We are located on the second floor of University Centre in room B272. Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00am to 4:30pm.  

In the meantime, please take a moment to review the following arrival checklist. It contains important information that will help you prepare for a successful start at UVic.

1. Check your Canadian immigration documents.

As an international student, you are a temporary resident of Canada. This means your status in Canada has restrictions and will eventually expire.

Be aware of the restrictions and the expiry date associated with your temporary resident status in Canada.

Make sure all personal information is correct on your documents and make sure you understand the meaning of any conditions or remarks.

2. Learn about your health insurance.

The cost of health care in Canada is very high for those who do not have health insurance.

Without coverage, you could be denied treatment or pay thousands of dollars each day for medical services.

As a result, in order to ensure medical issues do not cause financial difficulty or compromise academic progress, all UVic students are required to have comprehensive coverage for the entire duration of their studies.

Instructions for setting up comprehensive coverage are available on our website.

3. Find housing.

Hopefully by now you have already found a place to live. If not, please read the Living Off Campus in Victoria handout for helpful suggestions.

Tenancies are most successful when landlords and tenants fully understand their legal rights and responsibilities.

Use the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) website and the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC) website to familiarize yourself with the legal rights and responsibilities for tenants and landlords in British Columbia (BC).

4. Get your identification cards.

Visit the ONECard office in University Centre to get your official UVic photo identification card.

Please also read the Identification Cards handout to learn more.

5. Open a bank account.

Please read the Banking handout for a list of the major banks in Victoria, things to consider when choosing a financial institution, and information about opening an account.

6. Set up a mobile phone account.

Please read the Mobile Phones handout for a list of the major mobile phone service providers in Victoria and things to consider when comparing service providers and plans.

7. Discover your employment options.

You may be eligible to work in Canada as an international student, but your studies must always be your first priority.

Please be sure to confirm your eligibility and any associated restrictions BEFORE starting to work in Canada, and NEVER work without the proper authorization.

More information is available on our website.

8. Connect with your campus.

Learn about the many services and resources that are available to support you in achieving your personal, academic, and career goals.

Take part in orientation programs, including the International Student Welcome event, which will be hosted by the ISS team on Thursday, August 29.

Please bring your passport, Canadian immigration documents, and Victoria mailing address to the International Student Welcome event. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. 

9. Explore Victoria.

The Tourism Victoria Visitor Centre can help you discover all that this wonderful city has to offer.

Please also read the Shopping in Victoria handout for information about local shopping options.

10. Learn about Canada.

There are many things to learn about Canada.

You may find it helpful to visit the Government of Canada website for some facts and insights about this large and diverse country.

Please also read the Safety handout and the Culture Shock handout to learn tips for staying healthy, happy, and safe while studying at UVic and living in Canada.

If you have questions about any of these topics, please visit or contact the ISS team at the International Student Centre. We look forward to welcoming you and supporting your transition to UVic.

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