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New International Students


International Student Handbooks

These handbooks include lots of important information, including pre-departure checklists, to help you with your transition to life in Canada and at the University of Guelph.


Pre-Arrival Communications

Welcome Emails

Fall Admission: In June we will send you an email to welcome you to the University. This email will highlight some important International Student Experience programs 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 November.

Email Communication

Check your University of Guelph email address (@uoguelph.ca) regularly. After the initial welcome email, all communication from International Student Experience 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 Semester start: START International for students starting classes in the Fall Semester 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 Semester start: START International normally takes place the Sunday before the first day of classes.

For further information visit 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.

For Fall 2022, Campus Move-in Days are September 2nd - 4th. However, students who are registered for the START International Orientation are allowed to move into residence free of charge starting on August 29, which is the day before the orientation program begins. If you are registered for START International and are arriving on August 29th, you do not need to submit the Early Arrival Request Form because we will let the Residence office know that you are moving in early. Please note that you must sign in at the registration desk for START International on every day of the orientation in order to not be charged extra for residence.

If you are attending START International and if you plan to arrive and move-in before August 29, you will be considered an early arrival and will be billed $35 every night until August 29 (the day before START International Orientation begins), and you must submit the Early Arrival Request form.

Please see the move-in information above and plan your flight accordingly. If you plan to fly home for the winter break, residence closes for the holiday break on Saturday, December 17, 2022 and will re-open for Winter 2023 on Saturday, January 7th, 2023.

You may participate in START International whenever your flight arrives, even if it is in the middle of the orientation week, as long as you have registered. Please see above for early move-in information.

No, START International 2022 is free. However, not all meals are provided (details will be released to START International registrants in the digital program closer to the orientation), and students should budget $10-$15 per meal

Although cafeteria options are limited at the end of August, they will fully reopen in September. There are also many off-campus options nearby.

For information on how to get to Guelph from the airport, refer to this page. For information on public transit in Guelph, refer to this page. Please note that your bus pass for the Fall 2022 semester will not be active until September 1st, thus you will have to pay for bus fare if you are arriving before September. For information on how to pay, see the Guelph Transit website.


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 or 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 enrolment, 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 Student Centre at indigenous.student@uoguelph.ca