Checklist for Undergraduate Students

After you have received Your Admission Letter...

1. Complete the International Student Online Orientation

Prepare for your U of A experience and complete the International Student Services Online Orientation.

Online Orientation consists of nine modules and is a self-paced e-Class, accessible through Bear Tracks with your CCID. Each module contains valuable information on the unique aspects of student life at the U of A.

2. Apply for On Campus Residence

Living on campus is a great option, and international students who prefer living in residence do so because of the convenient location. The organized program of activities helps students build new friendships and offers academic support. You can arrange housing before arriving in Edmonton.

Learn more here and apply now.

3. Apply for your study permit with your admission letter

Things to consider regarding a study permit:

  • A study permit is the document from the Canadian government that gives non-Canadians permission to study in Canada
  • You need a study permit if you plan to study for more than six months.
  • It is difficult to change your status once you are in Canada. If you might study in Canada for longer than six months, apply for a study permit.
  • To be able to work while you study, you need a valid study permit and to be registered full-time.
  • If your studies continue after your study permit expires, you will need to renew.

Apply Early

  • Your official letter of admission to UAlberta is posted in your Bear Tracks account. Download the letter and immediately begin the study permit application process after reviewing our Study Permit information.
  • You should not start your studies at UAlberta without the proper permit.


  • Are you an international student already living in Canada? Information is here.
  • Participating in a co-op or internship program? Find out what immigration documents you need on our Study Permit information site.

When your study permit is approved, the visa office will issue you a “letter of introduction” to say you are approved. This letter is not your study permit. Review the Travel to Canada information for more details. 

These resources may also be helpful.

4. Register for courses

If you are an undergraduate student starting your degree at the U of A, once you accept your admission offer, you need to pay your tuition deposit to secure your place and become eligible to register for your courses

  • Graduate, incoming exchange, and IVSP students are exempt from paying the tuition deposit.
  • Learn about registering in courses in Registration 101
  • You can find your course registration start date in your Bear Tracks account 
  • Check your Faculty website for program-specific course registration information. Faculty advisors are best suited to answer questions about your course enrolment, course requirements, and/or program progression.  

Additional Resources

5. Decide when to arrive in Alberta and book your travel

If you are studying at one of our Edmonton campuses, you should arrive in Edmonton before your classes begin. 

If you are living in a campus residence, check your move-in date under check in and pick up your keys section. Check your ualberta email regularly and follow the instructions to register for your move-in time. It is best to arrive before your first day of class so that you can move in the same day to take advantage of the many services that will be available. Flights are often delayed, so a same-day arrival and move-in plan is not recommended and often is not possible.

If you plan to live off-campus, it is recommended that you arrive a few days earlier to allow time to find a suitable place to live. Most rental agreements start on the 1st of each month, and it’s always good to be settled before classes begin.

Explore Edmonton’s housing options.


6. Arranging for money for the first few weeks

The best way to send money is to transfer funds from your bank at home to your Canadian bank. The option you select will depend on the amount of funds being transferred, service charges and the timelines of each option. Learn more about Banking.

When you arrive, we recommend that you have at least $100 Canadian in cash. A currency exchange service is usually available at the airport from 4:30 a.m. to midnight. We also recommend that you have enough money to cover at least your first month’s expenses, often around $3,000 for a single student. This is for costs such as paying an extra month’s rent as a security deposit, purchasing warm clothing, textbooks and supplies, furniture and household items. 

Before you Travel to Alberta...

1. Register for an online pre-departure session

Register for an online pre-departure session before departure. During this session, you'll receive essential information such as arrival times, packing essentials, housing options, and available assistance throughout your journey. Feel free to inquire about any questions you may have. Various session dates are offered for your convenience.

Register for Pre-Departure Session

2. Register for Orientation

Orientation prepares you for life as a U of A student in your new Canadian home. The U of A community offers online and in-person orientation experiences. When you register for orientation, you receive a personalized in-person orientation schedule of all the programs we recommend you attend.

Register for Orientation

3. Help your parents to register for a Parent Information Session

The U of A International Parent Info Session is an opportunity for parents and guardians to learn about the various campus services available to support their students throughout their time at the University of Alberta.

4. Understand Health Insurance Options

Arrange travel health insurance to cover the gap in coverage between when you leave your home country and are able to enroll for health insurance coverage in Canada.

Your in-Canada health insurance options will depend on whether you're studying in Alberta for a short time or a full degree. You do not need to enroll before you arrive in Alberta, but it should be one of your first tasks in your first two weeks in Alberta.

You will also be enrolled in the SU Health and Dental Plan, a supplementary health insurance plan. The fees will show on your Bear Tracks account and should be paid with your tuition fees. If you do not require this coverage, you must opt-out by the deadlines listed on the Studentcare website.

This supplemental insurance provides coverage for important services that are not covered by a basic healthcare plan, such as:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Dental care
  • Eye exams, eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Visits to physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and more.

Your Student Health & Dental Plan does not replace mandatory basic insurance but is good to have in addition to the mandatory insurance.

Note: Exchange students are not eligible for the SU Health & Dental Plan. View Health insurance information for exchange students.

5. Organize your finances and apply for Scholarships

Learn more about undergraduate program tuition, including fee payment options and important deadlines.

Your cost of living depends on a number of factors, including:

  • If you live in University or non-University housing
  • If you live alone or share with roommates
  • If you shop carefully and cook your own meals, or you frequently eat out.

Budget for your daily expenses and tuition

6. Pack for your trip

Learn what to bring with you and what you should wait to purchase after arriving in Alberta.

Gather Important Contacts

Be sure that you have a designated family member or guardian who is your emergency contact outside of Canada. This person’s information should be in your Bear Tracks account. 

If your emergency contact’s information changes, it is your responsibility to update your emergency contact’s information on Bear Tracks. If you have an emergency while at the U of A and cannot contact your family, university staff will contact your designated emergency contact.

Visit and bookmark for emergency procedures as well as regular updates in the event of an emergency on campus.

We also recommend you find the nearest consulate location and contact details for your country of citizenship. 

Free phone apps to download: 

Your First Week in Alberta...

1. Arriving in Canada

Learn what happens when you enter Canada at the port of entry. The port of entry can be the first international airport you land at or a land border crossing from the United States. If you've entered Canada through a different airport than the Edmonton airport, review that airport's website in advance for help with navigation and what to expect. 

Check out the video introducing Edmonton International Airport.

2. Participate in campus orientation activities and Week of Welcome

Once you arrive, don’t hesitate to visit campus to explore and figure things out. Come to the Campus Check-in Drop-in Orientation at the International Service Centre to get a welcome bag and useful information to start your life in Edmonton. No registration is required.

Learn more about Campus Check-in

During your first week, join the orientation activities that you have registered for. This is a great time to meet people and learn more about campus life.

Getting settled...

1. Finalize your accommodation

If you are living on campus, talk to your roommates about the best places to buy household goods. Check out our information about living off-campus here

It's important to know your rights and responsibilities and understand to what extent you are responsible for maintaining your rental property.

2. Arrange for your important identification documents

After you arrive, you should plan to pick up or apply for the following pieces of identification

Keep in mind:

  • Keep your documents secure.  
  • Save pictures of your passport, study permit (and visa, if relevant)
  • Keep insurance and rental agreements saved securely somewhere electronically for future reference. Put a reminder in your phone or calendar so you know when your documents expire in advance (eg. three months early). 
3. Open a Canadian bank account
Visit our Banking in Canada resources page for more information.
4. Get a Canadian cell phone plan

Set up a phone plan that works for you (you can find websites online or visit your local mall to compare plans) 

Once you have a Canadian cell phone number, be cautious of scam phone calls/texts. Do not share your personal information with people you cannot verify over the phone or email. To learn more, check out our “Be Advised” page.

5. Learn more about University Services

International Student and Visitor Services (ISVS) provides programs, services and events for international students, including exchange and visiting students. Our team of licensed immigration consultants and student advisors offers immigration advising and support to help you to succeed at the U of A.

The Student Service Centre is an excellent place to start when you have a question or need information about tuition, course registration and other issues related to your academic life.

Chat with current undergraduate students to learn more about their University of Alberta experiences. They can answer questions about daily life on campus. Note that they cannot answer questions about immigration. You should contact our international student advisors with study permit and other immigration questions.

If you are studying at Augustana Campus in Camrose, learn more about campus-specific services.

6. Connect with Community

Note: You will receive a weekly email to your email address with the subject International Students Digest. We encourage you to take the time to read these weekly messages, as the information may be important to you as an international student.


Connect with our regulated immigration advising team if you have any questions during the process. Find out how to contact them here.