Newly admitted students

STEP 1

First things to do

Confirm your personal information

Undergraduate students

Ensure that your name in your offer of admission and in Document B (last page of your offer of admission) is your legal name (as it appears in your passport).

If there is any error, you must immediately contact the Admissions Office to mention the necessary corrections in order to obtain new documents for your visa and study permit application. Please include your student number in your request.  


Graduate students

Make sure that the name on your offer of admission (on each page) is your legal name (as it appears on your passport). If there is any error, please contact your academic unit.

Respond to your offer of admission

Undergraduate students

If you have not already done so, you must respond to the offer of admission by the deadline indicated in your offer of admission. Please accept your offer via your OUAC application. Please see the online tutorial (video) for more details.


Graduate students

You must accept your offer of admission by the deadline indicated. In order to accept your offer of admission, click on the program for which you have received an offer and want to accept in your uoZone account. Follow the instructions in the "Accept" tab below the link for the admission offer. If you have any questions, please contact your academic unit.

Apply for immigration documents

Visa, study permit and Electronic Travel Authorization

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has indicated on their website that Visa Application Centres (VACs) won’t accept or process paper applications for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit until further notice. You must apply for your study permit online.   

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, IRCC has special measures in place that are subject to change at any time. Please note that IRCC is responsible for evaluating your study permit application. We do not have any control over the decision or processing times as an educational institution and cannot consult them on your behalf.  

To help you with your application, you can view the recording of the information session How to apply for a study permit. If you have any questions, you can attend our weekly virtual sessions called "SOS Immigration" during which our immigration advisors answer questions related to temporary residence.


How to bring dependants with you to Canada

Certain family members may also be eligible to travel with you or reunite with you if you are already in Canada. Immediate family members who do not otherwise fall under the existing travel exemptions for students or workers need a written authorization from IRCC to travel to Canada. There are specific instructions on how to proceed depending on whether your family member has already applied for their visa or permit or have yet to submit their application. You may read more about requesting this authorization on the IRCC website.


Up-to-date information on the situation

Given the rapidly changing situation, we advise you to pay attention to the regularly updated information on our immigration Frequently Asked Questions page as well as the COVID-19 update for students of the University of Ottawa.

Enrol with Academic Accommodations

The University is committed to providing students with disabilities academic accommodation to allow them an equitable opportunity to fully access and participate in the learning environment with dignity, autonomy, and without impediment while preserving academic freedom, academic integrity, and academic standards.

If you have a disability, we encourage you to contact the Academic Accommodations Service  as soon as possible at adapt@uOttawa.ca.

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 of Ottawa 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.

The accommodation guarantee is valid until June 1 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Following this deadline, you can continue to apply to housing on campus, but the offers will be made on a first come first-served basis.

Housing Services has created a COVID-19 Residence Updates website to keep you informed about the plan for the 2021–2022 academic year. Visit the website to learn more about the University’s residences and the safety measures that are in place. If you are interested in residence, make sure to regularly check their important dates and deadlines for the most up-to-date information.

Learn more about  Housing Services to know about your options, both on and off-campus.


Off-campus housing

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

  • 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.
  • 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 units. You should plan an early arrival and set a few days aside for this.
  • Please contact the Off Campus Housing Office  at offcamp1@uOttawa.ca or by phone at 613-562-5621 for more information. They will be able to assist you in your search.
Course enrolment

In Canada, you must choose your courses yourself. It is very important to prepare your course selection before the enrolment period as courses can fill up quickly. Please verify the registration start date and time that apply to you.

The University will be following a hybrid model for the Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 terms. Please consult the FAQ COVID-19 for students for the latest updates and further information on this approach.

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!

Undergraduate students

Course enrolment is a fundamental step before each academic year. 

Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for this important step:

If you have specific issues related to course enrolment, please contact your faculty directly.

Note:
InformationCheck your offer of admission to see if you have any requirements or conditions on your file or if you need to take any make-up or language courses.

Graduate students

It is very important to prepare for course enrolment as it is a crucial step before each academic year.

Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for this important step:

  • Read your program description.
  • Check My Academic Requirements in uoZone to make sure you enrol for all the courses and activities you need to complete your program.
  • Check the class schedule for the courses you are interested in.
  • View the Enrolment Support Center's enrolment support tutorials and check out the frequently asked questions on their website.

If you need help with course enrolment, please contact us at mentorio@uOttawa.ca. We can assist you with basic technical questions. If you have questions about your program requirements and course selection, we encourage you to contact your academic unit.

Pay your tuition fees

It is important to plan a budget that includes your tuition, as well as your rent or residence, books, travel and other living expenses. Consult the Financial Aid and Awards Service to take a look at the table of university costs depending on your situation.

You can also estimate your tuition fees with our fee calculator.


Statement of account

Your statement of account will be available about one month prior to the start of courses. Only once you have enrolled for a minimum of twelves (12) units  (for undergraduate students) or three (3) units (for graduate students) per term, the total amount due for your term as a full-time international student will appear on your statement. Once you have completed your course enrolment,  your tuition fees will appear in the "Statement of Account" application (on uoZone).


InformationPlease verify the last day to pay tuition fees for the Fall and Winter terms without late payment fees

Methods of payment

International students now have two (2) options to pay their tuition fees and any other fees to the University from a bank account outside Canada:

  1. Western Union Business Solutions
    Your student number will be your account/bill number and the amount is payable to the University of Ottawa as a recipient.
  2. CIBC international student pay

For more information on the different payment methods, as well as the steps to follow for each method, please visit the link to the methods of payment.

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.

Register for uOrientation

Learn more about what to expect at the University of Ottawa by participating in diverse orientation activities. Meet campus experts and student guides who will walk you through everything you need to know before the academic year even begins.

Expect interactive activities that will introduce you to your faculty and student services, such as life in residence, the International Office, the Academic Support Unit, and much more!

Sign up for the activities that interest you and access the information and resources you need.

Fall term

New students joining us for the fall semester (September) will receive updates about uOrientation in their @uottawa and personal email address. If you are unable to attend the uOrientation, the sessions will be recorded and available for viewing later.

Winter term

If you are a newly admitted student joining us in the winter (January) session, please note that you will receive uOrientation updates by email at your @uottawa and your personal email address.

Join us on social media

Facebook page:

Follow us on our Facebook page: uOttawa Bureau International Office. You will find important information relevant to the international student community; our newsletter for the international student population; our information sessions; our socio-cultural activities, etc.


Facebook group:

The uOttawa International Office Facebook group is a great place to meet new people and find useful information such as: International Office socio-cultural activities; rooms and apartments for rent; items for sale; frequently asked questions; special events on campus and in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, etc.


Instagram:

Follow us on our account @uOttawa_International to keep up with our posts and stories! We share lots of tips and advice on how to improve your university experience, so don't delay and subscribe!

Small challenge: Share your experience at university as an international student with us by tagging us on your posts (@uOttawa_International) and adding #uointernational in the description!


Microsoft Teams:

Something new for you! From now on, you will have access to a private group specifically for your study year on MS Teams. This group will allow you to meet and network with other newly admitted international students. It will also allow you to receive important updates in a more accessible way. We will send you the invitation to this group on your @uottawa email. Keep an eye out!

In the meantime, to familiarize yourself with the application, we suggest you watch the Microsoft Teams training videos.

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

STEP 3

Preparing for your departure

Make your quarantine plan

If you are planning to come to Canada, please review the latest travel restrictions. If applicable, we encourage you to take the time to plan your quarantine.

Please see the Student Arrival and Quarantine webpage for all the information needed to prepare for your arrival.


Plan your budget

Good financial planning can help you avoid a financial crisis so you can focus on your studies and graduate with as little debt as possible. You shouldn’t wait until you’re living on your own for the first time to start learning about your new responsibilities as a student. Whether you’re moving into residence on campus or renting an apartment, whether you’re buying a meal plan or cooking for yourself, you’ll be forced to adapt to a whole new set of financial obligations and challenges. Here are some tips to help you develop a good financial plan, keep it up throughout your studies and prevent a financial crisis.

Please visit the Financial Planning page for essential budgeting tips.

Get your health insurance card

UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) is a compulsory insurance plan for international students (and their dependants).

The University of Ottawa will automatically create your UHIP account once you enrol in 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 by watching the following videos:

Note: UHIP does not cover dental care or prescriptions.

Pack your luggage

Climate and clothes

There are four well-defined seasons in Ottawa, each with its own climatic characteristics.

  • Spring arrives in April. Birds appear and flowers bloom everywhere. During the spring, temperatures warm up, but showers are frequent. You will need an umbrella or raincoat.
  • Summer starts in June. You won't have to worry about the cold weather when you leave your house. With the beach, sunshine, and good weather, it's the perfect season for outdoor fun. You'll need a comfortable pair of shoes and clothes that are adapted to a warm and humid climate.
  • Fall begins in September. It is the transition season between summer and winter. The weather forecast will often predict cloudy weather; however, nature is eye catching during the fall. Between the falling leaves and the flamboyant colors, it is without a doubt the most beautiful of the 4 seasons.
  • Winter begins around mid-November with the first snowflakes and lasts until April. You will need a warm coat, gloves or mittens, a scarf and a hat, boots designed for snow, and other accessories for winter weather. We recommend that you buy your winter coat and boots in Canada, where you will find them specially designed for the Canadian climate. It is essential to have clothing that is appropriate for the weather, especially in the winter. The International Mentors have recorded a webinar to help you prepare for this iconic season in Canada!

If you would like to speak to a mentor directly for advice on how to best adapt to life in Canada and the climate, please book a virtual appointment.


Departure checklist

Given the current health emergency situation, it is important that you review the following information before your arrival in Canada:

STEP 4

Arriving in Ottawa and settling in

Apply for your Social Insurance Number

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is essential for accessing government services and it’s required if you want to work in Canada. You can apply online for your SIN number once you have arrived in Canada and you have proof of a Canadian residential address.

Service Canada is offering live online information sessions for international students to explain the application process as well as the importance of protecting your SIN.

Get your uOttawa student card

We strongly encourage you to apply for your first uOttawa card online. For security reasons, the University of Ottawa does not send uOttawa cards in the mail.

Once your application has been processed, an email will be sent to your uOttawa account with instructions on how to pick up your card. Do not order your card until you travel to Canada.

Valid pieces of photo identification will be required to collect your card.

Get your U-Pass
You must pick up your first U-Pass in person following the security health measures related to COVID-19.

Before picking up your U-Pass, check your student account to ensure you have been charged the U-Pass fees. If you opted into the program, the U-Pass will only be charged once you pick-up your U-Pass. Therefore, you must wait to receive the email informing you that you can pick-up your U-Pass.

Your U-Pass allows you to take public transit anywhere in Ottawa or Gatineau for eight months (from September to April) if you are for full-time students.

Students enrolled full-time during the spring/summer term may be eligible for a full-year U-Pass.

Note
Information
  • You can check if you qualify for a U-Pass exemption.
  • You may be exempted if you have no in-person classes.

Learn more about the U-Pass.

Buy your textbooks

Textbooks are essential resources for your courses. We suggest not buying your textbooks until your professor confirms the textbooks that are required in the course syllabus.

You can purchase most of your textbooks and other course materials at the University of Ottawa Bookstore, located in the University Centre. Some textbooks are available as e-books or through the rent-a-textbook program. However, you can also find many used books at the Free Store, the bookstores on and around campus and through various Facebook groups.

Textbooks and course packs (a bound collection of photocopied texts) may also be available at DocUcentre or other locations near the campus, for example Librairie du Soleil (in French only) or Rytec Printing. Professors will usually tell students on the first day of class which books and other materials they require and where to buy them.

Open a bank account

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

This video covers the fundamentals of banking in Canada (bank accounts, account opening, types of cards, international transfers, etc.) : Banking in Canada

In this video, the basics of Canadian credit will be covered (credit cards, credit card statements, importance and benefits of credit in Canada) : Credit in Canada

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.
  • Thrift shops
    A thrift shop sells slightly used clothing, furniture and other household items at a reduced price. The thrift store is a way to give these items a new life.

Ready, set, go!  After following all these steps you are ready to focus on your academic year! To excel in your studies it is important to take advantage of all the services and tools that are available to you at the university.

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