New Student Checklist

Pile of UVic folders on a table

Starting at UVic is not just showing up in January. There are a number of tasks you need to complete before arriving and a number of tasks we recommend that you complete in order to enhance your success. We have compiled these tasks below for your convenience.

This checklist is intended for undergraduate students starting their UVic studies in May 2024. Graduate students can find additional additional information below. 

This checklist was revised and updated in February 2024.


As soon as possible

Apply for student loans and grants from the government, if required: If you need money to help pay for university, government loans and grants may be an option. >> Learn more

Submit your student ID photo: The UVic ONECard is your official identification card as a UVic student and also acts as a campus debit card, meal plan, library card and gym membership. We are asking everyone to submit a photo for your ONECard online as soon as you are registered and you will be emailed with further details on either 1) card pick-up or 2) your card being mailed to you. >> Submit your photo

Register for courses: Course registration for the Winter session opened back in June, so you're encouraged to register as soon as possible to have the best chance at getting in the courses you want. >> Learn more

Get to know your housing options: It is always better to start looking for housing sooner rather than later. There are some helpful off-campus resources that can connect you with available rental suites as well as other students looking for roommates.  >> Learn more

For International students only

Apply for a study permit: If you are an international student, you will need to obtain a study permit before beginning your studies in Canada. The application process for a study permit can take months, so we recommend starting the process as soon as possible. If you are already holding a valid study permit for another institution in Canada, you must notify Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of the change to your school. >> Apply for a study permit

Understand your academic enrollment status and immigration implications: If you are an international student, your enrollment status has a direct impact on your immigration status and work eligibility while in Canada. When you plan your course registration, keep in mind that to be eligible to work while studying in Canada, and to qualify for a post-graduation work permit after program completion, you must be enrolled full-time. >> Learn more


Before you arrive

Complete the online pre-arrival program: Start the school year knowing what to expect and with a plan for success. Our online pre-arrival program will provide you with the key information and strategies you need to thrive at UVic.  >> Complete the program

Check in with Academic Advising: Academic Advising can help you ensure you have registered for the appropriate courses for your major, help you understand your graduation requirements, and answer many course-related questions that you may have. All new students are encouraged to connect with Academic Advising.  >> Find an adviser

Familiarize yourself with all the available tools in your UVic Microsoft 365 account: As a UVic student, you will get a Microsoft 365 account, including Microsoft Teams for courses or clubs, OneDrive to store or share coursework, and a feature-packed email service. Learn how to access these services on the  University Systems website and download Office 365 apps (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more) to your devices at portal.office.com

Buy your textbooks: The UVic Bookstore carries all of the course materials you will need for your classes with the option to purchase new, used or digital texts when available. Course-specific textbook listings are available online approximately three weeks prior to the beginning of each term.  >> Visit the bookstore

Upgrade your gym membership: Work on your fitness goals and live active by upgrading your gym membership to include access to the CARSA Fitness Weight Centre or CARSA Climbing Centre (if you are in Victoria) or explore a virtual fitness membership. >> View membership options

For International students only

Learn about your health insurance coverage: For international students, the cost of health care in Canada is very high if you do not have health insurance. Having both primary and extended health insurance provides you with comprehensive coverage and ensures that medical issues will not cause financial difficulties or compromise your academic progress. While most domestic students and returning international students have access to primary insurance through a provincial health plan, most NEW international students will be enrolled in mandatory temporary medical insurance, the guard.me@UVic plan, to ensure they have coverage at the start of the term.  >> Learn more

Plan your travel to Canada: If you will be travelling to Canada from overseas, visit the Travelling to Canada section of the ICS website for step-by-step guidance on how to prepare for your arrival. >>Learn more


Your first week

Move in and get settled: Residence Move-In for new residents will take place on Friday January 5, 2024. You will receive detailed information from Residence via email before you get here, so stay tuned and check your email.  >> Learn more on the Residence Services website

If you are living on campus for both terms, you may keep your room keys and leave your belongings in your room during the winter closure. You are required to depart campus on or before the end of the final exam period in December, and may return starting January 5, 2024. Residents who are unable to return home during the closure may apply to remain on campus. The application form will be available on the website in late October. >>Learn more here

Obtain your ONECard: If you submitted your photo online, follow the instructions you were provided regarding card pick-up. Details about card pick-up are emailed to you when your photo is approved. If you haven't submitted your photo online already, either do so now or book an appointment to do so in person. >> Learn more

Enrol in the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP): If you are an international student who will study in British Columbia (BC) for more than six months, you must enrol in BC MSP upon arrival.  >> Apply for BC MSP

Connect to the UVic Wi-Fi network: Make sure you can access the UVic Wi-Fi network on all your electronic devices using your NetLink ID and password. If you encounter any problems, visit the Computer Help Desk for support. >> Get connected

Join the UVic Global Community Programs: This initiative provides opportunities and creates space for international and domestic students to share perspectives, celebrate diversity, foster intercultural connections, and cultivate an inclusive and globally minded campus. Register to participate in the Global Community Mentorship or Conversation Partners Programs or attend the many events to build your community. All students are welcome! >> Learn more


After classes start

Pay your tuition and student fees: Fees can be paid via online banking, cheque, money order, or debit card. Credit cards are not accepted. International payments may be made via wire transfer or Western Union GlobalPay. The deadline for paying winter term fees is September 30. >> Learn more

Opt-out of the Mandatory Temporary Medical Insurance (MTMI) Plan: Most new international students are automatically enrolled in the Mandatory Temporary Medical Insurance (MTMI) Plan (guard.me@UVic) when they begin a program of study at UVic. Students who are eligible to opt out of the MTMI Plan must complete the opt-out process before the opt-out deadline. >> Opt out of MTMI

Learn more about resources for Indigenous Students: Self-identified Indigenous students are encouraged to come learn more about tailored campus supports, meet other Indigenous students and get answers to your questions about Indigenous programs and services. >> Learn more about the Office of Indigenous Academic & Community Engagement (IACE)

Apply for a work-study position: The UVic Work Study Program provides part-time, paid on-campus work experience for full-time students with demonstrated financial need. Positions are typically posted in early September. If you are an international student, please make sure you are eligible to work in Canada prior to starting a position. >> Learn more

Solidify your course schedule: While course registration opened in March, you are able to make changes to your schedule even after classes begin. Make sure you are familiar with deadlines to add and drop courses. If you are an international student, and have questions about how your course load impacts your status in Canada, contact an international student adviser. If you have questions or concerns about any courses, you are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor. >> View add/drop deadlines

Join a club: If you want to make friends and meet other students with similar interests, consider joining a UVSS club, Vikes sports club, course union or advocacy group!  You can learn more about these groups during Clubs and Course Union Days in the Student Union Building. >> Learn more

Join a UVic Vikes sports club: Get to know other students by joining a Vikes sports club! Vikes sports clubs are led by students, for students, in an active and social environment. There are a wide range of recreational and competitive opportunities that exist within the clubs, for all skill levels and interests. >> Learn more

Check in with your career educator: It’s never too early to explore where your degree can take you. Your dedicated career educator can help you explore what you love, what you’re great at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for. You can also access resources and support to search for and apply for jobs. >> Find your career educator

Learn about co-op: Most academic programs offer co-op as a way to gain paid, hands-on experience that supports your degree. You can join co-op starting in the summer of your first year. >> Find your co-op program

Book a student space: The Computer Help Desk has student projects rooms for group work, a digital media studio for media production (including podcasting!) and a virtual reality (VR) studio available for students to book. In the library, you’ll find bookable study rooms and tek books, which are private, enclosed booths that are perfect for online classes or virtual meetings.  


Graduate student resources:

Review your to-do list: After you've received your acceptance letter, visit the new graduate students checklist to ensure you're set up for your Graduate studies at UVic! >> View the checklist

Get to know your housing options: It is always better to start looking for housing sooner rather than later. There are some helpful off-campus resources that can connect you with available rental suites as well as other students looking for roommates. There are also a limited number of residence spaces available for graduate students wanting to live on campus. These spaces are determined by lottery. >> Learn more

Learn about the Faculty of Graduate Studies: The FGS has information and resources about funding opportunities, program requirements, available academic accommodations, and more. >> Learn more

Get to know your students' society: The UVic Graduate Students' Society (GSS) is a democratic non-profit organization run by a team of graduate student volunteers and GSS staff. The GSS provides services, advocacy and events specifically for graduate students. The GSS also operates The Grad House restaurant on campus and is on Instagram (@uvic_gss). >> Learn more

Familiarize yourself with your Health and Dental plan: The GSS Extended Health and Dental Insurance Plan provides extended health and dental coverage for all graduate students who are registered in at least three units of classes in September or January terms (including a thesis or dissertation) or in a graduate co-op program.The plan is intended to cover expenses not covered by the Medical Services Plan for BC residents (MSP) and other basic health care programs. >> Learn more

Get to know campus services: The GSS has created an alphabetized list of all the services available for graduate students on the UVic campus. >> Check out the list


Additional resources

Resources for students with disabilities:

Resources for international students:

Resources for students living on campus:

Resources for students of colour:

Resources for Indigenous students:

Resources for transfer students: