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New International Students

International Student Pre-Arrival Guides

These guides 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 pre-arrival supports 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 Guide.

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

Email Communication

Check your University of Guelph email address ( regularly. After the initial welcome email, all communication from the university 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 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.

Important note: You will be prompted to set up Multifactor Authentication (MFA) the first time you access your "" email account. We strongly recommend the use of the Microsoft Authenticator App as your default authentication method. We do not recommend using only your phone number as an authentication method as you may not be able to access this number at all times (for example while traveling). During the MFA set-up process, make sure to uncheck the check box that says "Allow my organization to manage my device". Instead, please choose, "No, sign in to this app only". 

If you have already set up MFA with your phone number, we strongly recommend that you switch to using the Microsoft Authenticator App by following these step-by-step instructions.

If you are experiencing issues with your email, or single sign on, you can visit the IT Help website

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 (


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, health insurance, professional development, and other support services that can help students make successful transitions.

Fall Semester start: START International Orientation 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 Tuesday 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 2023, Campus Move-in Days are August 31 to September 2. However, students who are registered for the START International Orientation are allowed to move into residence free of charge starting on August 28, which is the day before the orientation program begins. If you are registered for START International and are arriving on August 28, 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 28, you will be considered an early arrival and will be billed $35 every night until August 28 (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, make sure you check when the residence closes on Student Housing Website.

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 2023 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. Please see this webpage for more information about food options.

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 2023 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, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian Students

The University of Guelph honours the Jay Treaty of 1794. If you possess a Native American, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian citizenship document from tribes that are state or federally recognized, or an Indian Status card from the government of Canada, you will be eligible for domestic tuition. Documentation must be presented to qualify. Undergraduate students submit the documentation to Enrolment Services. Graduate students submit the documentation to Graduate & Postdoctoral Program Services. Please contact Global Pre-Arrival Support Advisor and the Indigenous Student Advisor to ensure that you are connected to the supports available to you.