Newly admitted students

STEP 1

First things first

Confirm your personal information

Undergraduate students

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 not identical, email the admissions office immediately with the corrections and your student number to obtain new documents so you can receive your visa and study permit.


Graduate students

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 not identical, contact your academic unit.

Respond to your offer of admission

Undergraduate students

You must accept or decline your offer of admission no later than the date indicated in your uoZone account.

Follow the instructions in the “Response” tab on the top of the page in uoZone.


Graduate students

To respond to your offer of admission, access your admission file online. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to the Students page.
  2. In the uoZone box, click Login.
  3. Type your uoAccess ID.
  4. Type your password.
  5. Click Login.
Apply for immigration documents

Visa, study permit and Electronic Travel Authorization

Start the necessary steps to obtain your study permit  and Electronic Travel Authorization. Check the list of Canadian visa offices to find the one that serves your country or region.

NOTE:
InformationThe processing time for a visa and/or study permit is much shorter if you apply online. Begin your application as soon as you receive an offer of admission to ensure that you can be on campus for the start of the term.

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. We suggest you visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. The CIC Call Centre can also answer questions, in English or French, about CIC services and programs, or applications in progress (1-888-242- 2100). You can also email the CIC Call Centre with questions.


Learn how to bring dependants with you to Canada

Dependants include your spouse or common-law partner, dependant children under 19, your spouse or common-law partner’s dependant children, and dependant children of a dependant child.

Learn more about applying to sponsor your spouse, partner or children or family sponsorship online.

Enrol with the Access Service (if applicable)

If you have a disability, enrol with the Access Service (by mid-June if you are arriving in September or by mid-December if you are arriving in January) to avoid delays in implementing your academic accommodations.

To better prepare for your university studies, take part in the Access Service’s Transition Program during the summer as well as the entire academic year. This program introduces you to the postsecondary learning environment, to smooth the academic transition from high school to university.

Learn more about the Access Service, including its services and enrolment process, and the documents you need to submit along with your request for academic accommodations.

STEP 2

Gearing up

Know the important dates and deadlines

Get to know the important dates and deadlines related to your academic program, including the start and end date of every term, the deadlines for enrolment and payment of tuition fees, exam periods, convocation dates, statutory holidays, breaks and special events for both undergraduate and graduate students. Throughout your degree, it will be your responsibility to know the deadlines and submit your documents and assignments on time.

Apply for housing

On-campus housing

The University guarantees housing for one year to newly admitted first year undergraduate students who meet the housing guarantee criteria. Please note that on-campus residences are primarily for first-year students. However, some areas are designated for upper year students.

Additionally, the Friel and Rideau residences, located off-campus steps away from the lively ByWard Market, offer individual studios, and suites to share. They are included in the first-year guarantee. The University also owns houses in the Sandy Hill neighborhood, bordering the campus.

How to apply for residence

  • If you qualify for guaranteed housing: Please note that a $700 deposit is required by June 1. Housing is not guaranteed after that date. The guarantee is only available to newly admitted students starting studies in the fall term. However, students admitted for the winter term can apply through the Housing portal in uoZone as well.
  • If you don't qualify for guaranteed housing: Even if you are not guaranteed a place in residence, you are welcome to apply on the Housing Portal via uoZone. As cancellations occur, rooms may become available to applicants without a housing guarantee. The Housing Service will contact you using your uOttawa.ca email address.

    Learn more about the Housing Service online.

Off-campus housing

If you choose off-campus housing, here are some tips to follow:

  • On your first visit to the campus, go to the Housing Resource Centre for guidance and advice. It is located at 100 Thomas More, Room 102 (613-562-5621 or offcamp1@uOttawa.ca).
  • Before you start contacting landlords, visit the off campus housing page. Many other options are listed on the student housing billboard. See how rent prices compare with the average monthly rents in the area.
  • Many students live in the Sandy Hill neighborhood, adjacent to the University of Ottawa. Some houses located on the edge of the campus are owned and managed by the University. Contact the Housing Resource Centre for more information, and use the Housing Portal (via uoZone) to apply.
  • 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 this. You can either book a room in residence for an affordable short stay, or look for a hostel or hotel near the University. Reserving a room in a hostel or hotel will also give you time to search for housing.
Join our Facebook groups and follow the International Office on social media

uOttawa Bureau International Office Facebook group

The uOttawa Bureau International Office Facebook group is a great place to network with other students and find the following:

  • frequently asked questions
  • items for sale (used textbooks, furniture, etc.)
  • rooms and apartments for rent
  • social and cultural activities hosted by the International Office
  • events on campus and around the Ottawa/Gatineau region
  • workshops
  • much more

Every term, we create a Facebook group for each new cohort of international students. You will receive an invitation by email in May if you are starting in the Fall term (September) and in November if you are starting in the Winter term (January). 


uOttawa Bureau International Office Facebook page

You can also follow the uOttawa Bureau International Office Page on Facebook. We post:

  • our twice-monthly newsletter for international students
  • our workshops
  • our socio-cultural activities
  • important information for international students
  • much more

Follow us on Instagram @uOExperience

Like posting pictures on Instagram? Follow us on Instagram @uoexperience or tag us in your pictures by adding #uoexperience to your list of hashtags!


We also invite you to connect with uOttawa on various social media.

Course enrolment

If you have specific problems with course enrolment, namely knowing about class sequence and exceptions contact your faculty.

Undergraduate students

Prepare for course enrolment

In Canada, you choose your own courses based on your program’s course sequence. It is very important to prepare your course selection before the enrolment period.

Important
InformationTo enrol in courses, click the “Applications” tab in uoZone and click “Enrol.” Remember to enrol for fall AND winter courses at the same time. Courses can fill up quickly!

Here are some suggestions to prepare for enrolment:

Note:
InformationCheck if there are any conditions in your offer of admission that will affect your course enrolment.
Enrol in your courses
  • Follor the “How to enrol in a class tutorial,” on the ‘’Enrol’’ application page.
  • If you have technical questions about enrolment, contact the Enrolment Help Centre. It is open from May to July.
  • If you have academic-related questions, contact your faculty.

Graduate students

Prepare for course enrolment

In Canada, you must choose your own courses. Prepare your course selection the fall AND winter terms before the enrolment period.

Enrol in your courses

You must complete course enrolment yourself by clicking the Applications tab in uoZone and clicking “Enrol.”

  • For detailed instructions, see the “How to Enrol in a Class” tutorial on the “Enrol” application page (You will find your student number and password for uoZone in your admission file).
  • If you experience difficulties, contact your academic unit to speak to an adviser.
Register for international orientation

The International Office organizes orientation sessions for international students before the Fall, Winter and Spring/Summer terms each year. Participation is mandatory.

The orientation features social and cultural activities as well as important and useful information sessions. There are many social activities to meet people from your own country as well as other international students, while getting to know the campus and city. We discuss cultural norms in Canada, to ease your transition and address your expectations.

We also offer an introduction to our intercultural communication workshops. There are several presentations by campus services to help you during your first few months of university, including information on administrative tasks, services offered, insurance, medical and emergency information, and Canadian academic culture.

Many staff members participate in orientation. The international mentors also welcome you, talk about their experiences as upper year international students and answer your questions. Some cultural clubs and student associations are present to meet you as well.

Learn more and register for international orientation.

Register for the Airport Welcome Service

To simplify your arrival, we will have a table at Ottawa International Airport to welcome you. During a specific period of time at the end of August, we will distribute free bus tickets, guide you through your next steps and answer questions about the campus or the city.

Register for the Airport Welcome Service 

* Please note that this service is only offered to students arriving for the Fall term.

Register for your faculty information session

Undergraduate students

Register for your mandatory faculty information session.


Graduate students

If you are a graduate student, you will receive, or have already received, separate instructions from your academic unit.


Student Academic Success Service

The Student Academic Success Service (SASS) also offers orientation sessions, where you’ll be able to get information about SASS services and meet mentors.


English Intensive Program (EIP)

If you have been admitted to the English Intensive Program (EIP), you must also attend EIP integration week sessions and activities designed to help you become familiar with your new environment.

Pay your tuition fees

It is important to plan a budget that includes your tuition fees as well as food, rent, books, transportation and other living expenses. The Financial Aid and Awards Service has an estimated cost of university studies chart. On average, you should budget more than $30,000 a year to cover all expenses.

Tuition and incidental fees*

Undergraduate
  • Non-exempt international student
    •  $26,300 to $35,400
  • International student with a differential tuition fee exemption
    • $7,100 to $10,700
Master’s and diploma, PhD
  • Non-exempt international student
    • $21,500 to $25,500
  • International student with a differential tuition fee exemption
    • $10,200 to $15,500

*You can calculate your tuition fees according to your faculty.

** Available to some international students.


Payment of tuition fees

Once you have enrolled in a minimum of four courses (for undergraduate students) or six units (credits) (for graduate students, depending on your program) per term, your account will automatically show the total owing for your academic year as a full-time international student.

Your tuition fees will show on your statement of accounts and e-bills (which you can access through uoZone), either in early August or a few the days after you enrol (if you enrol later).

Note :
InformationPlease note the last day to pay tuition fees for the Fall and Winter terms without late payment fees.

Methods of payment

You should pay your tuition fees through Western Union Business Solutions’ bank to-bank transfer. This allows you to pay tuition fees (which are billed in Canadian dollars) securely in the currency of your choice.  Learn more about Western Union Business Solutions.

Learn more about payment of fees.

Attention :
InformationSince your student account is NOT a bank account, you can’t withdraw funds remaining in it. Remaining funds are transferred back to the bank account from which they were originally sent.
Note:
InformationIf you do not pay your tuition and UHIP (health insurance) fees, you will be asked to withdraw from your program.

The Board of Governors reserves the right to change tuition fees, ancillary fees and refund regulations without notice.

STEP 3

Preparing for your departure

Make travel arrangements

Book your tickets to Ottawa

You may be able to book a direct flight from your country to Ottawa. However, most international flights will land in Toronto or Montreal. If so, you can then travel to Ottawa by bus, train or car.


Money

We do not recommend that you carry more than the equivalent of 500 USD 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 CAD or USD (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.

Departure checklist

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
  • offer of admission 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 applicable)
  • your children’s school records (if your children are accompanying you)
  • medical and immunization records
  • home country or international driver’s licence (if applicable)
  • driving insurance records (a letter stating the number of years you have been insured, andyour insurance record - if applicable)
  • electrical equipment you may need (note that voltage in Canada is 110 volts, 60Hz; you may require adapters)
  • a bilingual dictionary
Pack your luggage

Climate and clothes

In Ottawa, there are four distinct seasons, each with a different climate.

Spring arrives in April, with warm weather and plenty of rain

  • You will need an umbrella, raincoat and rubber boots.

Summer starts in June

  • You will need a pair of comfortable walking shoes and clothes suitable for warm, humid weather.

Fall arrives in September

  • There is usually plenty of rain in the forecast.

Winter begins around the middle of November with the first snowfall

  • You will need a very warm jacket, gloves or mittens, a scarf and winter hat, winter boots and other warm clothing.
  • We recommend that you buy outdoor winter clothing, such as coats and boots, in Canada, since they are manufactured to meet Canadian weather standards.  We will provide advice on clothing in your orientation session at the beginning of the term. There will also be a workshop on winter offered by the International Office.

It is very important that you wear clothing that is appropriate to the weather, especially in winter. 

STEP 4

Arriving in ottawa and settling in

Get to the campus
Get to the campus
Disclaimer :
Information

Please note that the information below is subject to change. These are suggestions to help you get to the campus from the airport, train or bus central station in Ottawa, or to get to Ottawa from Montreal or Toronto.

**OC Transpo (local public transit) routes’ numbers, schedules and names of bus stops are subject to change. To confirm your itinerary, use the OC Transpo Travel Planner.

Arrival in Ottawa

From the Ottawa International Airport

  • By taxi
    You can take a taxi from the airport to the University campus. It will cost you approximately $35.
  • By bus
    For under $5, you can take OC Transpo bus Number 97 Bayshore, and get off at LAURIER station. See OC Transpo for information on schedules and updated bus routes.

    There are also shuttle 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 Ottawa train station

  • By taxi
    You can take a taxi from the train station to the University’s campus. It will cost you approximately $15.
  • By bus
    If you arrive by train at the Ottawa train station, take OC Transpo route 96 Terry Fox and get off at LAURIER station (approximately a ten-minute ride). See OC Transpo for information on schedules and updated bus routes.

From the Ottawa bus station

  • By taxi
    You can take a taxi from the train station to the University’s campus. It will cost you approximately $15.
  • By bus
    If you arrive by bus at Ottawa Central Station, located at 265 Catherine Street West, take OC Transpo route 7 St-Laurent (eastbound), ask for a transfer ticket and get off at Bank and Slater. Turn right on Slater, take OC Transpo route 94 Millenium and get off at LAURIER station (approximately a 20-minute ride). Check the OC Transpo website for information on schedules and updated bus routes.
Arrival at Montreal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

Reach Ottawa by bus (Greyhound)

Please note that there are some bus departures directly from the Montreal Airport (Pierre-Elliot Trudeau) to Ottawa. There are also buses from the airport and the Montreal central bus station that will bring you directly to the campus (Laurier Ave.). Bus tickets prices vary between $20 and $40. See the Greyhound bus schedule.

If you need to get to the Montreal central bus station, the 747 bus line service runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, between the Montreal-Trudeau airport and downtown Montreal (corner of Berri and Sainte-Catherine — Berri-UQAM metro station). Fares can be purchased from the automatic dispensers on the international arrivals level.

Learn more about routes, fares and nearby hotels in Montreal.


Reach Ottawa by train (Via Rail)

A free minibus service is available between the VIA station in Dorval and Montreal–Trudeau Airport.  To take the shuttle, call 514-633-0975. The shuttle is located on the arrivals level. Approximate travel time is 10 minutes. Train tickets prices vary between $30 and $60. For more information, visit Via Rail or call 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245).

Arrival at Toronto Pearson International Airport

Reach Ottawa by bus

A number of companies offer bus and shuttle services to and from Toronto Pearson International Airport. Find routes to destinations throughout Ontario (ex: Greyhound Canada to Ottawa). Tickets prices to get to Ottawa from Toronto vary between $50 and $100.

Learn more about shuttle and bus services from Toronto Pearson International Airport.


Reach Ottawa by train (Via Rail)

There is a train station near Toronto Pearson International Airport. Train tickets vary between $45 and $100. To book a ticket to  Ottawa, see Via Rail Canada or call 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245).

Take part in Welcome Week

Welcome Week begins just before fall classes. It was created to help you transition to university life. It includes information sessions, campus tours, resources and fun activities to start you off on the right foot! Don’t miss this chance to get to know other new students on campus.

Note
InformationYour professors will start holding class during this week as well. You must attend your first classes to receive your syllabus (course outline) which include the list of assignments, list of required textbooks and other important information.
  • 101 Week — For undergraduate students: The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) has planned a number of exciting activities for your 101 Week. Learn more about 101 Week.
  • Graduate Students Association (GSAED): The Graduate Students’ Association (GSAED) hosts a welcome week for new and returning graduate students. Visit the GSAED website for a schedule of all the events.
Pick up your uOttawa card (student card)

New students can apply for their first uOttawa card online, but replacement cards must be obtained for in person. We strongly encourage you to order your card online. To pick up your card, bring a valid piece of photo identification to one of these locations:

  • InfoService, Tabaret Hall, Room 129
  • (During Welcome Week) Tabaret Hall, Room 112 (known as Huguette Labelle Hall).
Pick up your transit pass

A student transit pass, known as the U-Pass, is included in your tuition fees. To pick up your pass, bring your uOttawa student card to the “couch lounge” on Level 0 of the Jock Turcot University Centre, 85 University Street. Your U-Pass allows you to take public transit anywhere in Ottawa or Gatineau for eight months (from September to April). The U-Pass is compulsory for full-time students living in the Ottawa and Gatineau region.

Students registered full time for the Spring-Summer term might be eligible for a U-Pass.

Note
Information
  • If you live in the province of Quebec, your U-Pass is included in your tuition.
  • You can check, however, if you qualify for a U-Pass exemption.

Learn more about the U-Pass.

Register for sports

Recreational

Stay active and in good health while at university by taking part in recreational activities on campus. Sports Servicesoffers various group fitness classes and services.


Intramural

Intramural programs offer you the chance to play your favourite sports with other students on a regular basis in competitive and recreational leagues. Sports include basketball, dodgeball, flag football, Ultimate, hockey, soccer and volleyball. Learn more about intramural sports, including how to register.


Competitive

Each year over 350 student-athletes compete on varsity teams representing the University of Ottawa. If you would like to join a Gee-Gees varsity team, you need to contact the coach of the team you would like to try out for. Fill out the Recruiting questionnaire or contact the coach.

Buy your textbooks

Textbooks are essential resources for your courses. We suggest you not buying your textbooks before your professor gives you the course syllabus with the textbooks listed.

You can buy brand new or used textbooks, or even rent textbooks, from the University of Ottawa bookstore and Agora bookstore.

You can also find Facebook ads for used textbooks.

Note
InformationThere are e-books available for almost all courses. E-books are cheaper than hard copy textbooks.
Get your health insurance card

UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) is a compulsory insurance plan for international students (and their dependants), exchange students, visiting students, guest professors/ researchers, Canadians returning from abroad, and new Canadian residents who have not yet obtained coverage through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), or the plan of their province of residence.

The University of Ottawa will automatically create your UHIP account once you register for your courses and pay your fees.

Learn more about health insurance and UHIP benefits, including how to print your UHIP card and register your dependants.

Important
InformationUHIP does not cover dental care or prescriptions.
Bring funds for when you arrive

We recommend that you not carry more than $500 in cash while travelling to Canada. You can bring traveller’s cheques (in U.S. or Canadian dollars) to cover living expenses during your first month, which can be as much as $2,500,including transportation, temporary accommodation, food, rental deposits, textbooks and other school supplies.

Open a bank account

If you wish to have a bank account in Canada, we recommend that you open one when you arrive in Ottawa.

Opening a student bank account in Canada is free and simple. There are several banks close to the University. Find out what type of account best suits your needs. To open an account, you will need personal identification. Bring your passport, study permit (if applicable) and University-issued student card.

To activate your account, make a small deposit. After opening an account, you will receive a bank debit card that allows you to withdraw money at most automated bank teller machines and is 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. If you wish to have one, apply in your home country.

Below is a list of the major Canadian banks:

Purchase a cell phone plan

Below are some cell phone providers with stores near our campus.

In order to get a service (plan, SIM card, phone, etc.) you will need to bring your passport, study permit and credit card (if you have one).

Furnish your place

Furnishing your home is easier than ever before. There are places with a huge choice of items.

  • Free Store
    Your one-stop campus shop to drop off stuff you don’t want anymore and pick up things you do want for free. Everything is free! Common items include clothing, footwear, towels and blankets, office supplies, kitchenware, electronics, lamps, textbooks and novels.
  • IKEA Ottawa
    IKEA has a wide range of items for your bedroom, bathroom, dining, living room and kitchen. It also provides delivery and assembly services.
  • Walmart
    Walmart has many items for furnishing your place. It also offers delivery.
  • Canadian Tire
    Canadian Tire offers a selection of national and retail brands, including sporting goods, hardware, electronics, housewares, garden and patio, and auto accessories.
  • Dollarama
    Dollarama is a leading dollar store operator in Canada. For small household items, Dollarama is a convenient and economical option.
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