Degrees obtained from the University of Ottawa are recognized worldwide and graduates enjoy successful and prosperous careers. All academic programs offered by the University are regularly reviewed to ensure the highest quality standards. Designated Learning Institution Number (DLI#): O19397188593
Step 1: Discover
Why study at uOttawa?
uOttawa at a glance
- The largest English-French bilingual university in the world—you can study in English, French or both.
- Among the 10 most research-intensive universities in Canada and ranked as one of the top 200 universities in the world.
- 10 faculties offering more than 450 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs to some 40,000 students from across Canada and 150 countries.
Welcome to Canada
The United Nations has repeatedly named Canada one of the 10 best countries in the world in which to live. Canada is proud of its multicultural character and has both a tradition and a policy of encouraging cultural diversity. This openness means that whatever your origin, religion or nationality, you can easily integrate in Canada.
Studying in Canada makes financial sense. The cost of education and living is reasonable when compared to many other countries, and the quality of education is outstanding. Moreover, degrees and diplomas from Canadian postsecondary institutions are widely recognized and respected for the high level of education they represent.
City of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is located in the province of Ontario on the border with the province of Quebec, in central Canada. Its location, 350 kilometres east of Toronto, 200 kilometres west of Montreal, and just a short 90-minute flight from New York or Boston, makes travel to other centres easy. The National Capital Region has a population of over one million. It is the country’s fourth-largest city and one of Canada’s most bilingual communities—nearly half a million people speak both English and French.
And Ottawa isn’t just a government town. It’s a high-tech city, a tourist city, a big-time sports city, and a university city. Make yourself at home!
Many students dream of studying abroad for an academic session or even a full year. The University of Ottawa allows international students to participate in international student exchange programs, except in their home country.
Choose from a variety of exciting locations at nearly 250 universities in 45 countries around the world. You could receive a mobility scholarship of up to $2,000, depending on your destination and the duration of your studies or internship abroad.
Alternate between work and study!
Take your academic training to the next level by engaging in paid, professional, career-related, employment opportunities specific to your discipline. By taking part in the CO-OP program, you can both work and study. Your work terms, which last four months, allow you to explore different work environments and career options in your field. They alternate with study sessions. You have a valuable learning experience while fulfilling your four-year degree requirements. Your impressive resumé will help you secure work after you graduate.
CO-OP is an excellent way to finance your studies while developing your professional skills in Canada.
Student Academic Success Service (SASS)
Here are a few of the many services at your disposal through SASS:
- Orientation and University 101 programs
- Student Mentoring
- Academic Writing Help Centre
- Counselling and personal development services
- Career Mentorship/Services
- Access Services
Study in English, French or both
All courses at the University of Ottawa are given in either English or French, or in both languages. To gain admission, you must therefore demonstrate proficiency in either one of these languages. You are not required to speak both languages to study at uOttawa.
Visit the Language requirements page to find out if you need to take a language test.
Improve your English and/or French
Students also have many opportunities to improve their skills in English (ESL) and French (FLS).
Depending on the undergraduate program of study, a bachelor's or undergraduate degree usually takes four years to complete. An honours degree is generally a prerequisite for admission to graduate studies. Depending on the graduate program of study, a master's degree usually requires at least one or two years of full-time study (after an honours degree). A doctoral degree, or PhD, requires at least three or four years of additional full-time study.
Most courses at the University of Ottawa are given in English, French or both languages. Therefore, you must master one of the two official languages to be admitted.
Immigration (Study permits, visas)
For all immigration questions we invite you to visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website (CIC). The CIC Call Centre can also answer questions, in English and French, about CIC services and programs, or applications in process inside Canada (1-888-242-2100). Students may also e-mail the Call Centre with questions.
Students can benefit from a wide range of dining options, from fresh and healthy home-style meals to franchise favourites. You can find information about meal plans on the uOttawa card website, including which meal plan is best for you.
University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) is a compulsory insurance plan for international students (and their dependants) that covers medical and hospital expenses during your stay in Canada and standard medical visits. It also helps you obtain certain medical devices, as needed, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, etc. Please visit our Newly Admitted Students page for more information about UHIP.
For the Fall session, you must send your application by April 1 and all supporting documentation by April 30. For the Winter session, you must send you application by November 1 and all supporting documentation by November 30. Some programs have earlier deadlines; therefore, see the deadlines for your program of interest and prepare your application accordingly.
Application deadlines vary depending on the program of studies. Please consult the Graduate programs of study page.
When we evaluate your application, we may grant you advanced standing if you have a special secondary school background, if you have studied in a lycée or if you have taken courses in another postsecondary setting, such as a college, CEGEP or other university.
From the beginning of September until the end of April, full-time students will have unlimited access to OC Transpo Services. The U-Pass is a gateway to the City of Ottawa, as it provides access to the entire OC Transpo network during the eight-month academic year.
Preparing a budget
It is important to plan a budget in order to make sure that you can cover all the costs related to your university life. Here is a budget example including many expenses that you will have to assume
|Tuition and incidental fees*||Non-exempt international student||International student with a tuition fees differential exemption|
|Undergraduate (2 sessions per academic year)||$24,500 – $30,900||$7,000 –$10,400|
|Master’s and diploma, PhD (3 sessions per academic year)||$12,000 - $13,000||$6,000 - $8,000|
*You can use the search engine on the university fees page for the exact calculation of your tuition according to your faculty
|Arts, Health Sciences, Science, Social Sciences||$800|
|Civil Law, Telfer School of Management,
|Arts, Health Sciences, Science, Social Sciences, Civil Law, Telfer School of Management,
|Traditional residence||$5,267 – $7,507|
|Apartment-style residence||$9,027 – $10,873|
|Suite or studio||$5,739 – $8,391|
|Off-campus apartment (shared)||$5,000 and more|
|uOttawa meal plan (including Flex Dollars)||$2,500 – $4,300|
|Clothing, social activities, miscellaneous items||$1,500|
|Communications (telephone and internet)||$1,200|
Amounts are based on fees for the 2015-2016 academic year (September to April) and are subject to change.
Step 2: Apply
3+2 or 3+1+2
Combined Programs (3+2 or 3+1+2)
Discover the testimonial of an international 3+2 student (transcript available here)
Students complete years one to three of a four-year undergraduate program at their home university (or years one and two in the case of a three-year undergraduate program).
Students submit an application for admission to a master’s program at the University of Ottawa. Admissible students with an excellent academic record will receive a conditional offer from the University of Ottawa. The student must successfully complete the last year of the undergraduate program, which is done at the University of Ottawa. The courses for this year are selected jointly by the two universities prior to the institutions signing the agreement creating the combined program.
Students complete two full-time sessions at the University of Ottawa, where they will complete the courses required to receive their undergraduate degree. In some cases, these courses can count towards a qualifying year or as a preparatory year for a master’s program. In other cases, students can get permission to take one or two courses at the master’s level. These courses can then count towards the student’s undergraduate and master’s degree requirements if both partner universities agree. Students pay their tuition fees for the two sessions to the University of Ottawa. Diplomas are awarded by the home university.
Students are accepted into a master’s program if they have completed their courses at the University of Ottawa and are awarded their degree by their home university.
- In the 3+2 option, students begin the master’s program in either May or September. Typically, students can complete their master’s program in three additional sessions (12 months). A master’s degree at the University of Ottawa must be completed within a maximum of four years. Students must be registered full time for the entire program and pay their tuition fees to the University of Ottawa. Students are awarded their master’s degree by the University of Ottawa.
- In the 3+1+2 option, students begin the master’s program in either May or September as well. Typically, students can complete their master’s program in six additional sessions (24 months). A master’s degree at the University of Ottawa must be completed within a maximum of four years. Students must be registered full time for the entire program and pay their tuition fees to the University of Ottawa. Students are awarded their master’s degree by the University of Ottawa.
3+2 Lettres françaises
3+1+2 École supérieure d’affaires publiques et internationales (ESAPI)
Application for admission (deadline is December 1)
International Orientation (Mandatory)
Undergraduate Students (Bachelor)
The International Orientation for undergraduate international students will be held from August 31st to September 2nd 2016. More information, as well as the registration link, will follow in an email in August. Please make sure you are on campus on time to attend.
Graduate Students (Masters, PhD)
The International Orientation for graduate international students will be held from September 4th to the 5th 2016. More information, as well as the registration link, will follow in an email in August. Please make sure you are on campus on time to attend.
*If you are coming on exchange (1 or 2 semesters), you must attend your information session and not the International Orientation.
**If you have to complete the English Intensive Program (EIP), you must attend their Integration Week and not the International Orientation.
Airport Welcome Service
To make things easier for you, we will have a kiosk at the Ottawa International Airport where the Welcome Team can provide you with general information, directions to the campus (or elsewhere) and free local (OC Transpo) bus tickets.
The Welcome Team will be available from August 22 to September 5, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. More details and the registration link will follow in an e-mail in August.
What to do right now
Read your Offer of Admission very carefully!
Check your name
Ensure that the name in Document A (offer of admission) and Document B (International Student Acceptance Information) is your legal name (it MUST be identical to the name in your passport). If it is incorrect, you must immediately contact the Admissions Office by email or send a fax to +1-613-562-5104 with the corrections and your student number to obtain new documents for visa and study permit purposes.
Ensure that the name in your offer of admission (on every page) is your legal name (it MUST be identical to the name in your passport). If it is incorrect, please contact your academic unit directly.
Respond to your offer of admission
You must respond to your offer of admission no later than the date indicated in your InfoWeb account. Follow the instructions in the "Response" tab found along the top of the page on InfoWeb.
Please sign the answer sheet from your offer of admission. You can fax it, or scan it and attach it to an email, or mail it to your academic unit at the address indicated at the bottom of your offer of admission. You must do so no later than the date indicated in your offer of admission.
Apply for immigration documents
Visa and/or study permit
NOTE: The processing time for a visa and/or study permit is much shorter if you do apply for it online. You must take the necessary steps as soon as you receive an offer of admission to ensure that you can be on campus in time for the start of the session.
Please note that due to a significant change to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), educational institutions such as the University of Ottawa can no longer provide international students with immigration advice. As a result we invite you to visit the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The CIC Call Centre can also answer questions, in English or French, about CIC services and programs, or applications in process inside Canada (1-888-242-2100). Students may also now send an email to the Call Centre with questions.
What to do before you leave
Join our Facebook Group
The Bureau International Office Facebook group is a great place to network with other students and to find information such as:
- Frequently asked questions and answers
- Items for sale (used textbooks, furniture, etc…) and rooms for rent
- Social and cultural activities hosted by the International Office
- Special events on campus and around the Ottawa/Gatineau region
On Campus Housing
The University guarantees housing for one year to newly admitted first-year undergraduate students who satisfy the housing guarantee criteria. Please note that on-campus residences are occupied primarily by first-year students.
For those who qualify for guaranteed housing:
If you wish to live in residence, please apply as early as possible to increase your chances of obtaining your preferred type of residence. To reserve your spot and inform Housing Service of your preferences, please use the Housing Portal, which you can access through InfoWeb.
Make sure to apply before the deadline, otherwise you will no longer be guaranteed on-campus housing. You room assignment notification will be sent to your @uOttawa.ca email address. Please note: A deposit of 700CA$ is required.
For those who do not qualify for guaranteed housing:
Even if you are not guaranteed a place in residence, you can still submit an application via the Housing Portal. Be aware, however, that it will only be considered if students decline their offers, usually near the end of summer.
Many students live in close proximity to campus, and sometimes in neighborhoods densely populated by students. Please visit the Housing Resource Centre for more information.
If you’ve opted for off-campus housing, here are some tips to follow:
- Many students live in the Sandy Hill neighborhood, adjacent to the University of Ottawa. Some houses located at the fringe of the campus are owned and managed by the University. Contact the Resource Centre at email@example.com for more information, and use the Housing Portal (via uoZone or InfoWeb) to apply.
- Many other options are listed on the Student Housing Billboard. See how rent prices compare with the average monthly rents observed in the area.
- Unless you deal with the University, we recommend that you finalize your housing arrangements only once you have arrived in Ottawa. This will give you the chance to meet the landlords and visit the dwellings. You should plan an early arrival and set a few days aside for that task. Until August 30, you can book a room in residence for an affordable short stay. Reservations for a room in a hostel or hotel near the university will also give you time to search for housing accommodations.
- On your first visit to the campus, drop by the Housing Resource Centre for guidance and advice.
Be aware of the Academic Calendar
In one academic year, there are three sessions:
- Fall session: from September to December
- Winter session: from January to April
- Spring/Summer session: from May to August
There is a study break during the Fall and Winter semesters. Check the University calendar for important dates and deadlines.
Register for courses
If you have specific problems with course registration, please contact your faculty directly. Feel free to check out the registration FAQs.
1. Prepare for course registration
In Canada, you must choose your own courses. It is very important to prepare your course selection before the registration period.
IMPORTANT: You must complete course registration yourself using the online registration tool called Rabaska. Remember to register for fall AND winter courses at the same time. Courses can fill up quickly!
Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for this important step:
- Use the course registration tool kit to prepare for registration.
- Understand how the academic system works.
- Check the suggested course sequences for your program.
- Consult the list of courses offered.
- Use the course timetable tool.
- Check the date on which you can begin registering.
NOTE: Make sure to check through your InfoWeb account whether there are any conditions on your offer of admission that will affect your registration for courses.
2. Register for your courses
- Follow the Course registration tutorial
- If you are experiencing difficulties, you can contact the Registration Help Centre to speak with a registration advisor.
- If you have specific problems with course registration, please contact your faculty directly.
1. Prepare for course registration
In Canada, you must choose your own courses. It’s very important to prepare your course selection before the registration period for the fall AND winter sessions.
Use the registration guide, step by step, to help you prepare for this important step.
2. Register for your courses
You must register for your courses by using Rabaska through uoZone (You will find your student number and password for uoZone in your admission kit).
- Follow the Course registration tutorial.
- If you are experiencing difficulties, you can contact your academic unit to speak to an advisor.
- For any other specific question concerning your registration, please communicate with the Office of Graduate Programs of your Faculty.
Within 48 hours of registering for one or more courses, you will receive an email addressed to your personal email account explaining how to access your @uOttawa email account. It is your responsibility to check your university email account regularly. If you have trouble accessing any of your uOttawa accounts after this time has elapsed, fill out an online request for computing assistance. All emails from the University of Ottawa will be sent to your @uOttawa account.
On average, you should budget $12,000 a year to cover the cost of food, rent, books, transportation and other living expenses. Please check the section tuition fees and budget.
Initial funds when you arrive
We do not recommend that you carry more than $500 in cash with you while travelling to Canada. You may bring sufficient funds in traveler’s cheques (in U.S. or Canadian dollars) to cover living expenses during your first month; this may be as much as $2,500 to pay for transportation, temporary accommodation, food, rental deposits, textbooks and other school supplies.
NOTE: One of the first things to do upon your arrival in Ottawa is to open a bank account, if you wish to do so. Please visit the “Arrival in Ottawa” section of this guide for more information on how to open a Canadian bank account.
Payment of tuition
Once you have selected a minimum of four courses (for undergraduate students) or 6 credits (for graduate students, depending on your program) per session, your financial account will automatically show the total owing for your academic year as a full-time international student. Once you have registered for your courses, your tuition fees will show on “Your statement of accounts and e-bills” (which you can access through uoZone) in early August. Students who register after the beginning of August will have their student fees appear automatically.
Methods of payment: If you are an international student, you should pay your student fees through Western Union Business Solutions' bank-to-bank transfer. This option allows you to securely pay student fees (which are billed in Canadian dollars) in the currency of your choice. For more information, see the Western Union Business Solutions information sheet.
Please visit the student fees web page for detailed information regarding International Student fees.
NOTE: Since your student account is NOT a bank account, it is impossible to withdraw any funds remaining in this account. All refunds will be transferred back to the bank account from which they were originally sent.
NOTE: International students who do not pay their tuition and UHIP fees will be asked to withdraw from their program.
The Board of Governors reserves the right to change tuition fees, ancillary fees and refund regulations without notice.
Health Insurance (UHIP)
UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) is a compulsory insurance plan for international students (and their dependants) that covers medical and hospital expenses and standard medical visits while in Canada. It also helps to obtain certain medical devices, as needed, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, etc. Please read the information about UHIP very carefully.
Join the Buddy Program
The Buddy Program is a volunteer-based program that fosters one-on-one relationships between Canadian students and international students at the University of Ottawa.
Why participate in the Buddy Program?
- Gain international experience and contacts
- Improve your language skills
- Build new friendships with Canadian students and other international students
- Participate in fun activities hosted by the International Office
- Learn more about different cultures
- Explore and discover the City of Ottawa
How do I register?
To participate in the Buddy Program, simply complete the online application form before July 31st, for the fall session, or November 15, for the winter session. If you send your application after the deadline, you could be matched in the second round if there are still volunteers left.
- Register as an upper-year domestic student (current student at uOttawa)
- Register as an International student
Once the deadline has passed, we try to match all those who have registered with buddies on the basis of their fields of study, interests and other preferences. You will be able to begin communicating with your buddy once you have received the confirmation email with their contact information.
If you have any additional questions about the Buddy Program, or if you are unable to complete the form online, please contact the Buddy Program coordinator.
We encourage you to invite your friends to participate in the Buddy Program!
Order your student card online
In addition to being used as your student identification, your uOttawa card can be used to quickly and conveniently pay for items at over 100 locations on campus. You can also use your card to borrow books from the library, access the gym, and book an appointment with an academic advisor. Visit the uOttawa Card website to order your card on line, or pick up your card in person when you arrive on campus. If you lose your card, you must pay a replacement fee of $25 (tax included).
What to bring with you
As you prepare to come to Canada, make sure you bring the following important items with you:
- letter of introduction and acceptance from the Canadian Embassy (if applicable)
- valid passport
- original copy of your admission letter from the University of Ottawa
- proof of available funds (Bank statement)
- photo ID (picture identification)
- original transcripts or school certificates
- credit cards (if applicable)
- marriage certificate if your spouse is accompanying you
- your children's school records if your children are accompanying you
- medical and immunization records
- driver's license or international driver's license
- driving insurance records (a letter stating the number of years you have been insured, and your insurance record)
- electrical equipment you may need (note that voltage in Canada is 110 volts, 60Hz; you may require an adapter)
- a bilingual dictionary
- if you will be a resident on campus, your arrival card
Remember: We do not recommend that you carry more than $500 in cash with you while travelling to Canada. You may bring sufficient funds in traveller's cheques (in U.S. or Canadian dollars) to cover living expenses during your first month. This may be as much as $2,500 CDN (excluding tuition fees) to pay for such things as transportation, temporary accommodation, food, rental deposits, textbooks and other school supplies. You can also exchange money at the airport, if necessary.
Climate and clothes
Ottawa's climate is characterized by four distinct seasons, with frequent temperature changes.
Spring arrives in April, with warm weather and plenty of rain.
- Pack an umbrella, raincoat and waterproof boots if you have them.
- Temperatures drop below freezing on some nights.
Summer starts in June.
- Temperatures range from 15°C to 33°C (59°F to 95°F) with occasional rainfall.
- Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes and clothes suitable for warm, humid weather.
Fall arrives in September.
- Temperatures can drop below freezing on some nights and rise to 20°C (68°F) during the day.
- Plenty of rain is usually in the forecast.
Winter begins around the middle of November with the first snowfall, and lasts until the end of March or beginning of April.
- Temperatures range from –25°C to +5°C (-33°F to 41°F), averaging from -10°C to –5°C (14°F to 23°F).
- Bring a very warm jacket, gloves or mittens, scarf and hat for the winter months, and other warm sportswear.
It is very important that you wear clothing that is appropriate to the weather, especially in winter. We recommend that you buy outdoor winter clothing, such as coats and boots, in Canada, since these are manufactured to meet Canadian weather standards. We will provide advice on clothing in your Orientation Session at the beginning of the semester. There will also be a winter workshop.
Buying clothes in Canada
The following is a list of price ranges for new clothing in Canada:
- Shirt, blouse: $25-$60
- Trousers, jeans: $40-$80
- Dress: $70-$170
- Men's suit: $150-$350
- Winter sweater: $50-$90
- Rain coat: $60-$210
- Winter coat: $75-$300
- Shoes: $40-$120
- Winter boots: $85-$225
Find temporary accommodation
Here is a list of hostels and hotels located close to campus should you need short-term accommodation when you arrive:
HI – Ottawa Hostel
YMCA - Shenkman Residence
Ottawa Backpackers Inn
Novotel Ottawa (hotel)
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
Register for the International Orientation
The International Office organizes orientation sessions for international students in early September, January and April each year. Participation is mandatory.
The orientation features of social and cultural activities as well as important and useful information sessions. There are many social activities where you will meet people from your own country, as well as other international students, while getting to know the campus and city. We will discuss cultural norms in Canada in order to ease your transition and manage your expectations about the country. We also offer an introduction to our intercultural communication workshops. There are several presentations given by different services on campus to help you during your first few months of university, including information on administrative tasks, services offered on campus, insurance, medical and emergency information, and the Canadian academic culture.
Many staff members participate in the orientation to help your transition and answer any questions you may have. The team of international mentors will also welcome you, talk about their experiences as upper year international students and answer your questions. Some cultural clubs and student associations will be present to meet you as well.
Please visit our website for more information on orientation, including dates, time, location and how to register.
Arrival in Ottawa
Getting to campus
From the airport
You can take a taxi from the airport to the University campus. It will cost you approximately $35.
For under $5, you can take OC Transpo bus Number 97, and get off at CAMPUS station. Please check the OC Transpo website for information on schedules. There are also “Airport Limousine Buses” that go downtown several times an hour and stop at the main hotels. The Novotel Hotel is the closest to the University. The cost for the limousine bus service is approximately $10.
From the train station
You can take a taxi from the train station to the University’s campus. It will cost you approximately $10.
If you arrive by train at the Ottawa train station, take the OC Transpo bus number 95 Fallowfield (westbound) and get off at CAMPUS station (approximately a ten-minute ride).
From the bus station
You can take a taxi from the train station to the University’s campus. It will cost you approximately $10.
If you arrive by bus at the Central Bus station, located at 265 Catherine Street West, take OC Transpo bus number 101 St-Laurent (eastbound), ask for a transfer ticket, and disembark at Hurdman Station. Take OC Transpo bus number 95 (westbound) and disembark at CAMPUS station (approximately a 20-minute ride).
Please check the OC Transpo website for more information on bus schedules.
Attend international orientation
Please follow this link for more information on orientation, including dates, times, location and how to register.
Attend your faculty information session
Register for your mandatory faculty information session.
If you are at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, you will receive, or have already received, separate instructions from your faculty.
Participate in Welcome Week
Welcome Week begins just before classes begin in the fall session and was created to help students transition to university life. It includes information sessions, campus tours, resources and fun activities to start you off on the right foot!
101 Week (SFUO) – For Undergraduate Students
The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) has planned a number of exciting activities for your 101 Week. Find out more by visiting the 101 Week site.
Graduate Students’ Association (GSAED)
The Graduate Students’ Association (GSAED) hosts a welcome week especially created for new and returning graduate students. Visit the GSAED Welcome Week site for a schedule of all the events.
Opening a student bank account in Canada is a free and simple process. There are several banks close to the University. Make sure you find out what type of account is best suited to your needs. To open an account, you will need to have personal identification. Be sure to bring your passport, study permit (if applicable) and university-issued student card. To activate the account, you will need to deposit a small amount of money. After opening an account, you will receive a bank debit card that will allow you to withdraw money at most automated bank teller machines and will be accepted at most stores to pay for your purchases.
Please note that it can be very difficult for an international student to obtain a credit card. We therefore recommend that you obtain a credit card in your home country.
Below is a list of the major Canadian banks:
- TD Bank Financial Group
- RBC Royal Bank
- National Bank of Canada
- BMO Bank of Montreal
Pick up your student card
You must pick up your student card at one of the locations and dates mentioned below. A valid piece of photo identification is required to pick up your uOttawa card:
- InfoService, Tabaret Hall, Room 129
- During the back-to-school period, go to Huguette Labelle Hall located in Tabaret Hall, Room 112
Pick up your U-Pass
To pick up your U-Pass, which is a student public transit pass, bring your uOttawa student card to the couch lounge in the basement of the Jock Turcot University Centre, 85 University Street. This pass will allow you to take public transit anywhere in Ottawa or Gatineau for 8 months (from September to April). Your U-Pass fee is already included in your student fees and is compulsory for students living in the Ottawa region.
NOTE: If you live in the province of Quebec, you are not eligible for the U-Pass program. You must ask for an exemption before the deadline.
The University of Ottawa will automatically create your UHIP account once you register for your courses and have paid your fees. Subscription to the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is mandatory and is a condition of registration in your program. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet any outstanding conditions indicated in your offer of admission in order to maintain your admission and registration at the University of Ottawa, including proof of mandatory UHIP coverage and payment in full for the entire period of coverage. For more information, please visit the UHIP website or contact the International Office by email.
International students may consult any family doctor in Ontario*, but are encouraged to make use of the University of Ottawa Health Services Clinic located at 100 Marie Curie, Suite 300, Third Floor (telephone 613-564-3950). The staff members at the health clinic are familiar with the needs of international students and will bill the plan administrator directly for all eligible UHIP expenses, without additional fees.
The Health Services Clinic offers a variety of services. The Clinic is staffed by full-time physicians and nurses, nutrition and stress management counsellors, and also immunotherapy, sports medicine, physiotherapy, gynaecological, radiology, laboratory, and pharmacy services.
*Please note that certain doctors charge more than the rates paid by UHIP.
The University also has its own campus pharmacy, which is located on the main floor of the same building as the Health Clinic, at 100 Marie Curie, telephone 613-563-4000. Please note that prescriptions and medication are not covered by UHIP.
Print your UHIP card
Obtaining your UHIP card
Your card is usually available on line two weeks after your UHIP payment has been processed. However, please note that your payment will only be processed a few weeks before the beginning of the academic session. For example, if you make your payment in July and are scheduled to start university in September, your card should be available at the end of August.
You need to create your online profile in order to print your UHIP card.
However, you will only be able to create your online profile online once SunLife has received and processed your payment, which can take about two weeks. During this period, you will not be able to create your profile or print your UHIP card.
To create your profile, to print your card or for the mobile app, please go to this section,
Important differences between the UHIP card and the Access ID card
Example of the UHIP card
|This is an example of a UHIP card. Please print your card online for proof of UHIP coverage to be used at medical clinics and hospitals .|
Example of the Access ID card
|This is an example of a SunLife Access ID card. This is not a proof of health coverage, and it is only your Access ID used to print your UHIP card.|
Visit the Free Store
The Free Store is a centralized point where students can drop off stuff they no longer want or need and pick up items they do want or need, for FREE. Essentially, this is a “store” where everything is free. Some common items are clothing, office supplies, kitchen ware, electronics, textbooks, etc.
Please visit the uOttawa Free Store website for more information.
Essential tips for success
Meet with a mentor at the International Student Success Centre
The majority of the international mentors who work at the International Student Success Centre are also international students and have gone through experiences similar to yours, and since they can relate to your experience, they can often provide very useful advice during your transition. They are your main resource on campus, linking you to all of the different services offered by the university. They are available to answer your questions on:
- Canadian culture
- Academic life
- Learning strategies
- Challenges you could face during your time at university
They also offer Intercultural Communication Workshops where international and Canadian students discuss and learn about their respective cultures in order to acquire intercultural skills. These workshops provide a great opportunity for you to meet other students and facilitate your integration on campus.
Meet with an academic advisor
Students who encounter specific problems when registering for their courses, or in satisfying academic requirements, must contact their faculty as soon as possible to schedule a meeting with an Academic Advisor.
We strongly recommend that students regularly meet with an Academic Advisor in their faculty or department as they progress through their studies. Academic Advisors play an important part in academic life; they can discuss course scheduling and program curriculum, and also make sure you are meeting all faculty and program requirements.
Advisors can help you by providing information on program requirements, changes in courses or programs, academic regulations, and any other academic success issues.
Minimum Grade Point Average
Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) to remain in good academic standing (a minimum CGPA of at least 3.5 for general bachelor's programs, and at least 4.5 in honour’s bachelor’s programs).
Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below the required minimum for their program may be allowed to reregister by their faculty, but will be on probation if they do so.
The probation is lifted when the student's cumulative grade point average reaches the required minimum for the program.
Students on probation whose cumulative grade point average remains below the minimum required for good standing after two full-time probationary sessions, or after 24 course credits if part-time, will be required to withdraw from the program or from the faculty.
Please refer to the official University of Ottawa academic regulations for more details.
Visit the Academic Writing Help Centre
The Academic Writing Help Centre exists to help students develop strategies and writing skills that will enable them to:
- Understand the requirements of academic writing
- Develop their argumentation skills
- Expand their critical thinking abilities
- Master the written language of their choice
Access the Centre’s online documentsfor more information on how to structure a paper, the writing process, grammar tools, and referencing.
The Centre can also help you to avoid academic fraud, including plagiarism. Last year, more than 100 University of Ottawa students were accused of plagiarism and received various sanctions, including expulsion from the University. To plagiarize is to borrow someone’s words or ideas without mentioning their name and/or without using quotation marks (“...”).
Download an information booklet on plagiarism to make sure that you do not commit academic fraud, even unintentionally.
Meet with a mentor from your Faculty
Student mentoring is a form of peer help that endeavours to maximize student success. Many faculty mentoring centres offer workshops on:
- Study skills
- Exam preparation
- Time management
- Stress management
- Study groups
- Effective reading
- Motivation and procrastination
- And much more…
The Graduate Student Mentoring Centre helps students to clarify goals, face challenges with more confidence, get back on track, develop effective study plans and stay motivated.
Get involved and meet new people
There are many ways to get involved on campus, but here are some that we think might interest you:
- Join a cultural club
- Participate in a socio-cultural activity organized by the International Office
- Attend an event hosted by the International House (notably the International Gala or International Week)
- Learn while helping the community with the Centre for Global and Community Engagement
For all things non-academic, visit the Community Life Service.
Join a gee-gees sports teams!
Stay active and in good health while at university by taking part in recreational activities or joining a Gee-Gees sports team.
Optional meal plans are available at the University of Ottawa. The different plans allow you to use your student card to make purchases at the cafeteria and at food service locations all over campus.
Please visit Food Services for more information.
Look beyond the campus!
The University is only minutes away from hundreds of restaurants.
- Grocery and convenience stores nearby let you cook at home.
- The ByWard Market is full of restaurants and specialty food shops. In the summer, you’ll even find vendors selling fresh fruit and vegetables.
Useful contacts on campus
Name of service
100 Marie Curie
100 Marie Curie
Guide for university of Ottawa students
This guide is for all members of the university community, and will provide with an overview of everything you should know.
- Canada Revenue Agency : Series - International Students and Income Tax
- UHIP cards are no longer available at the International Office. Please download and print your UHIP card two weeks after your payment has been made (only available as of late August).
- Join the Buddy Program, where international/exchange students are matched with Canadian students to help them settle in to their new surroundings.