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New International Students

Pre-Arrival

Due to COVID-19 all arriving international students must ensure they are eligible to travel and are required to register with the University of Guelph's Mandatory Quarantine Program.


Get Prepared: A Guide for International Undergraduate Students Before You Arrive

Get Prepared: A Guide for International Graduate Students Before You Arrive.

These handbooks includes a lot of important information, including checklists for your depature.

  • Fall Admission: In June we will send you an email to welcome you to the University. This email will highlight some important programs within our office that you should be aware of, tips on how to get prepared for coming to Canada, how to connect with other students, and a Pre-Arrival Handbook.

  • Winter Admission: The information noted above will be sent to you in December.

Email Communication

Check your University of Guelph email address (@uoguelph.ca) regularly. After the initial welcome email, all communication from our office will be sent to your university email address. It is important to check this often to avoid missing out on important information and engagement opportunities at the university.

We encourage you to get in touch with us by emailing us at intl.student@uoguelph.ca after you have accepted your offer of admission and as you prepare to come to Guelph. We want to get to know you and make the process as seamless as it can be. Email us, even if it is just to introduce yourself.

Exchange Students

If you are an exchange student, you will receive all your information from Education Abroad Advisors at the Centre for International Programs. Please contact the Centre for International Programs if you have any questions (cip@uoguelph.ca).

Orientation

As an international student, you are not only coming to a new learning institution but an entirely new country. This means there is more to think about in terms of your transition to life at the University. The University of Guelph provides orientation specifically for international students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

START International

START International is a free orientation program for new international students, new permanent residents to Canada, new exchange students and out-of-country Canadians. The program will introduce you to the campus environment, the resources available to aid in your social and academic transition, and what you can expect from your University of Guelph experience. Attendance is highly recommended as the sessions will cover useful information on topics such as cultural adjustment, the Canadian university academic system, dressing for the seasons, health insurance and other support services that can help students make successful transitions.

Fall Semesters: The program is held in late August/early September (the week before classes begin for the fall semester, or the Wednesday before the weekend of Move-In Day). 

Winter Semesters: START International normally takes place the Sunday before the first day of classes.

For further information go to GryphLife - International Student Connections.

Graduate Student Orientation

This event provides the opportunity for all new graduate students to learn more about what it means to be a graduate student, receive tips on how to succeed in graduate school, become aware of services available on campus and meet other students. Orientation is typically held in the first week of the semester in which you begin your studies.

Make sure you stay tuned to your email, the Graduate Studies website and the Graduate Studies Facebook page for more details. Look out for information about this from your Graduate Program Assistant. Contact Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies for more information.

Housing

Several options are available for international students to live both on and off-campus. A residence room is guaranteed for first-year students who apply by the June 1st, 2021 deadline. It is the international student's responsibility to secure accommodation before they arrive.

Transportation From the Airport

Mandatory Quarantine Plan & Airport Pick-Up

Canada currently requires all travelers to quarantine for 14-days upon arrival. Note that for international student travelers who are fully vaccinated (received both doses) of one of the four Health Canada approved vaccines, some quarantine exemptions may apply. Quarantine exemptions are ultimately determined by the CBSA border agents upon arrival to Canada.

If you are registered with the Study Safe Corridor, your airport transfer is included to your quarantine hotel package. You will receive further information about the details of your airport pick-up from the Study Safe Corridor.

If the border officer determines you are exempt from the quarantine requirement upon your arrival and/or once you’ve cleared quarantine, you will need to arrange your own transportation.

There are many other ways to get to Guelph, so we encourage you to carefully read the following options.

Public Transportation

Public Transportation is a great way of getting to Guelph. We encourage you to plan your trip in advance and to get all the necessary directions before you arrive in Canada. We have outlined some instructions for getting to the University using various means of public transportation. Please note that accessibility, frequency, and schedules will vary depending on the time of day and may have changed due to COVID-19. Make sure to check the public transportation website for the most accurate information before you leave.

You can use Google Map, Rome2rio or Triplinx to help you plan your trip from Toronto or Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Guelph. Note that using public transit is a cheaper option but may require more time to get to Guelph.

Go Transit

Go Transit offers two means of travel: the Go Bus and Go Train.

  1. Go Bus

Total Cost: Approximately $17
Travel Time: 2.5 hours

  • Take Bus 7 (Airport Terminal) towards Southbound ($4 – exact change).
  • Disembark at City Centre Transit Terminal or Square One.
  • Walk to Square One GO Bus Terminal.
  • Purchase a ticket at a GO ticket vending machine or a customer service outlet for route Guelph/Mississauga westbound to Guelph ($12.75)
  • Take the Guelph/Mississauga Bus 29 to the University of Guelph.
  1. Go Train

Total Cost: Approximately $32
Travel Time: 2 hours
**Note: Trains are available in evenings during weekdays. Check
the Kitchener (30-31-33) schedule in advance.

  1. Take the UP Express Train from Terminal 1 or 3 at Pearson Airport towards Union Station ($12.35 – you can buy ticket online or at the machines).
  2. Disembark from the UP Express Union Station and follow the signs for the GO Train Platform.
  3. Purchase a ticket at a GO ticket vending machine or a customer service outlet for route Kitchener (Westbound towards Kitchener), destination Guelph ($16.15).
  4. Take the GO Train towards Kitchener (Destination: Guelph).
  5. Disembark at Guelph Central GO Station.
  6. Take a City of Guelph Transit bus to University Centre in Guelph (bus 5 - Gordon, or other buses that going to the UC). Prepare $4 – exact change for Guelph Transit.
  7. Be sure to ask the driver if you are not sure.

Private Transportation

For a more direct trip to the university or your final destination, you may use one of these services offered at the airport. Please be advised that these services are faster but much more expensive than using public transportation. Regardless of your method of travel, confirm your car and driver are those you requested prior to getting into a vehicle.

Red Car Service

This is the most popular option. Red Car offers a direct shuttle from the airport to Guelph. The minimum rate is $86 depending on the service selected. It is advisable to book online in advance. Visit the Red Car website for more information and to book your trip. You can use the code “UG student” to receive $15 off your first trip.

Uber

Uber is another popular option among students. While the rate from YYZ airport to Guelph varies, it is usually between $80-$110. One perk of using Uber is that you can book a car via the mobile app when you are ready to leave the airport, and it will arrive within a few minutes. You need to download the mobile Uber app and link a credit card to your account prior to booking an Uber.

Toronto Airport Taxis/Limo Services

You may also book a private taxi to Guelph from the airport. These taxis offer a flat rate between $116 and $150 depending on the company. A credit card is usually needed to book these prior to your arrival. Please note that these are private companies that may charge for additional luggage. Tipping your driver is also usually expected. If you wish to use this service, you can do an online search for "Toronto Airport Taxis". It is also possible to book a taxi at Toronto Airport, at either Terminal 1 or 3 at Arrivals Level.

Important Deadlines

Deadlines in Canada are strict and it is important that you do not miss any of them. Below is a list of some of the important dates and major deadlines to be aware of as an undergraduate/graduate student. Remember to check your University of Guelph email address to stay connected and informed about upcoming deadlines!

Native American Students

If you are Native American or Indigenous and possess a tribal enrollment, registration or status card, you are eligible to pay domestic tuition. The University of Guelph honors the Jay Treaty of 1794. Please contact the Indigenous Resource Centre (indigenous.student@uoguelph.ca) or visit the Indigenous Student Centre for more information.