Arrival and Orientation

Image of students dancing at orientationInternational Orientation

START International, the orientation program for new international and exchange students, is held in late August (the week before classes begin) for the Fall semester, and on the day before classes begin in January for the Winter semester.  (You will be informed of the exact dates in your acceptance e-mail.)  We highly recommend that you attend the orientation as the sessions will cover useful topics such as cultural adjustment, the Canadian university academic system, dressing for the cold weather, health insurance, and the various support services that are available to help students make a successful transition. It is also a good opportunity to meet the other exchange and international students through some fun social activities we have organized.  

When Should I Arrive?

If you will be participating in START International Orientation, we recommend that you arrive one or two days before the orientation begins.  If you are planning to look for off-campus housing, we recommend that you arrive at least 3-4 days before START International so that you have time to find a place to live. If you won’t be attending START International Orientation, it’s best to arrive at least a few days before the first day of classes in order to have time to get settled. More detailed information about the exact dates for moving into residence, START International, and the first day of classes will be given in the acceptance e-mail you will receive.

How do I Get From the Airport to Guelph?

The closest major airport to Guelph is Pearson International Airport in Toronto, and most exchange students fly to this airport.

There are a number of ways to get from Pearson International Airport to Guelph outlined on the Student Experience website, at the bottom under public transportation.

Where Can I Stay When I Arrive?

For students living in residence:

If you are registered for START International, the first day when you can move into your residence room with no extra charge will be the day before START International Orientation begins in the Fall semester, and on the Saturday before classes start in the Winter semester.  If you need to move into your residence room before those dates, you will be required to submit an application form in advance and will be charged an extra fee of $35 per night for the extra days which will be charged to your University of Guelph account.  More information about move-in dates and early move-in will be provided in your acceptance e-mail. 

For students planning to live off-campus:

If you wish to live off-campus, you will need to make arrangements for a place to stay until you have found permanent housing. It is not possible to stay in the University residences while you are looking for a place to live. The least expensive temporary accommodations are usually ‘Bed and Breakfast’ hotels - these are rooms in a private home and range in price from $60-$100/student per night (and include breakfast). For a list of temporary accommodations in Guelph, please e-mail your Education Abroad Advisor (email address).