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New Student Checklist

Prepare for your stay at Dal


Congratulations! It's official— you will be visiting Dal to study! You're a Dal student!

Now that you've been accepted to study at Dalhousie, you have an important check list of things you must do. The following check list will help guide your preparations for coming to Dalhousie.

Before you arrive

Apply for a study permit or TRV

Study Permit

In order to study in Canada for more than six months, you must apply for a Study Permit at the nearest Canadian visa office in your home country.

In addition to the study permit, you may be also required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) which gives students permission to enter Canada. It is only required for citizens of certain nationalities. Please check the list of countries and territories whose citizens require an entry visa.

If you are studying in Canada for less than 6 months AND choose not to apply for a study permit you will have to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Many students who plan to study in Canada for less than six (6) months do not apply for study permits,  they simply apply for a visa or an eTA. But we encourage all visiting students to apply for a study permit for the following reasons:

  • It allows you to work part-time in Canada.  A part-time job can be a great source of income while abroad.
  • It is easy to extend if you want to stay in Canada longer.  Some students love it here so much they want to stay longer.  This could be you! It is much easier and less expensive to apply for a study permit before you begin studying in Canada, than after.
  • It allows you to access cell phone plans and other utilities much easier.  If you are simply a visitor to Canada you may not have access to alot of great utility plans and other business options that students with study permits can take advantage of. 

Study Permit

A study permit gives students permission to undertake academic study in Canada and is required for students in programs that are longer than six months in duration. However, CIC recommends that "even if you do not need a study permit, it is a good idea to apply for a permit before you come to Canada." In addition, having a study permit will allow you to work on campus if you wish to do so. For detailed information on the study permit application process and the documents required, please visit the IRCC website

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

To apply for a temporary resident visa, visit the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada website to access the application form, an application guide, costs, and further instructions on how to apply. Applications for TRVs must be processed outside of Canada. You must also consult the Canadian Visa Office serving your country or region of residence as each office may have its own requirements.

When applying for a study permit and/or TRV, processing time can take several months, therefore apply early. To know how long it will take for your application to be processed, visit the CIC website for current application processing times.

 

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Citizens of my country need an eTA. How should I apply?

Step 1: Gather supporting documents:
    Valid passport
    Credit card
    Email address (that you regularly review)

Step 2: Got to Canada.ca/eTA and click on Apply online for an eTA

Step 3: Answer the eligibility questionnaire. Answer all the questions that follow.  

Step 4: Pay the eTA application fee of $7 CAD online with a credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express).  Please do not forget to print a receipt.

Note: If you apply for a study permit on or after August 1st 2015, you will automatically be issued an eTA along with your permit.

When should I apply?
Apply for an eTA a month in advance of the date you plan on travelling to Canada.

How long will my eTA be valid?
You eTA will be vaild for up to 5 years or until the expiry of your passport (whichever comes first)

You can verify the status and expiration of your eTA by using the Check eTA status tool. To do this, you will need the eTA number noted on the email confirmation and details from the passport you used to apply for your eTA.

Tips for your application


Apply Early

Once you have received an acceptance letter from Dalhousie University and secured financial assistance, you should begin the process of applying for your study permit and or visa immediately. Processing times can take several months.

Applying to “Study”

The primary focus of your application is your intent to study in Canada. Do not recommend mentioning other long term interests.

Keep yor medical receipt/certificate

You may be required to do a medical exam as part of your application. Keep a copy of the medical reciept/certifcate. You may need it for future immigration applications. Bring this receipt with you when you travel to Canada.

Bring the letter from visa office with you

The Canadian visa office will issue a letter confirming the approval (included in the package sent back to you). This letter is not your Study Permit. Show this letter to immigration officials when you enter Canada. You will then be issued a Study Permit.

 

Set up your Dal email account

After you pay your admissions deposit, you can set up your email (allow one or two days for your payment to be received). 

Step 1: Know your Banner number  

Your Dal ID begins with B00 and appears in the top right hand corner of your acceptance letter. It is the primary way we identify you as a student.

Step 2: Activate your Net ID

Your Net ID is a unique username that you will use to login to Dalhousie’s online services.

To activate your Net ID:

  • Go to my.dal.ca. Click ‘New User?’ and follow the instructions.
  • Click ‘Activate my NetID’ and follow the instructions.

Register a password reset email:

  • This will help you recover your password if you forget it during your time at Dalhousie.
  • Click ‘New User?’ and follow the instructions.

Step 3: Use your Dal email

Now that you have your Net ID and password, you can access your Dalhousie email account by logging into MyDal and clicking on "Outlook" in the top menu.

IMPORTANT: Your Dal email is where all official university information is sent, including details about orientation, residence, tuition fees, health plan, and more! Your profs will likely use it a fair bit for class info as well. Make sure you check it regularly!

To learn more about you Dal email, visit the Email webpage. Here is where you'll learn how to create a personalized dal.ca email address (with your name instead of a bunch of numbers!). 

Selecting and registering for classes

As an international exchange student, your process for selecting classes is very different to other students. 


When you applied to Dal, you filled out a course selection form. Have this form handy when you start to officially register. Class registration can seem complicated, but it's important to do it as soon as possible.

Need help registering for your classes online? Watch our step-by-step instructional video

Registering for Classes

Registration for classes will depend on the type of exchange program you are in (see below).

Department-Specific Exchange Programs: Contact the administrator of your particular program for assistance with class registration.

University-Wide Exchange Programs: Complete a Class Selection Form [PDF 262k]

Exchange students submit their first Class Request Form when they apply to Dalhousie University. Use this form for all subsequent requests. Please consult the Academic Timetable to fill this form out properly. Submit your completed Class Selection Form to the International Centre.

Available space in a class

The Enrolment Information column shows the maximum number of students admissible to the class, current enrolment, and how many spaces are remaining.

Obtaining Class Overrides

Overrides allow non-Dalhousie students to register for second-, third-, and fourth-year classes. The International Centre must obtain overrides from instructors for you to be eligible to register for classes. We will contact you when we receive the overrides. You can register for a particular class once an override has been granted. Classes will fill up even if you have an override; please register as soon as you can after you get the notice that the override has been completed.

Select Registration under Web for Students.

Choose classes you want to take:

1. Click Add/Drop Classes, Select Term, then Submit. Make sure to always select Fall, Winter, or Summer.

2. Enter the CRN for the classes you want to register for. The classes you've chosen will be listed on the screen under the Current Schedule heading.

3. If a class you are registering for has a lab or tutorial component, make sure you register for both the class and the lab/tutorial at the same time.

View Your Schedule

When you have completed the registration process, you should review your schedule.

1. Go back to the main Web for Students page.

2. Select Registration, then select “Student Schedule by Day & Time.” When you select the term (Fall, Winter, or Summer), your schedule will be displayed.

3. For more details about the classes you have registered for, go to the Student Detail Schedule under Registration.

It is your responsibility to ensure that there are no schedule conflicts. If a conflict exists, the conflicting class will not appear on your schedule but below it on the web page. It is very important to check your schedule after you register to ensure there are no conflicts. If all your classes show on the schedule, and there are no course names listed below it, you are ready to go!

Find a place to live

Residence

University is more than a learning experience – it’s a living experience! Residence is a great way to make friends and get involved in the Dal student community. If English is not your first language, on-campus housing provides a relaxed and friendly environment in which you can develop your language skills.

Students choose from a variety of different styles of residence – all are conveniently located and offer meal plans. Learn more about Dalhousie residences.

Applying to residence

  • Have your Net ID and password ready
  • Login to Dal Online. Click on ‘Web for Students’
  • Complete the online ‘Residence Application’
  • Room assignments will be emailed to your Dal email as they are processed.

NOTE: If you are coming to Dalhousie on exchange for the fall term only (September–December), unfortunately there is no space available in residence during this period - see off-campus housing options. Students who come to Dalhousie for the winter term only (January–April) or for a full academic year (September–April) may inquire with the Residence office directly about availability.

Off-campus housing

Find your home away from home. There are many off-campus housing options within walking distance or along bus routes and meal plans are also available to non-residence students if you choose to live off-campus. View listings on Dalhousie's Off-Campus Living website, which can also help with your search and provide tips to prepare you for off-campus living.

Register for Orientation

Orientation is the best way to get all the information you need to know about life at Dal and in Halifax and meet other international students.

During orientation, you will have a chance to:

  • explore the campus
  • meet the International Centre staff
  • learn about Dal's services and resources
  • learn how to get involved in clubs, teams, and other groups
  • meet other students and make new friends

You must attend the International Student Orientation.  To register, click here!

Review the Orientation Schedule

Read below for a full schedule of International Orientation events

Exchange and Visiting Students Schedule

Friday January 5

Time Event Description Location Please note
All Day Residence Move in Move in to your residence room, your first home in Canada Various Residence buildings  
3-4pm Welcome Reception The International Centre welcomes you to Dalhousie Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue

 

Saturday January 6

Time Event Description Location Please note
9-9:30am Registration Check-in Let us know you are here and check in with your DalCard Lobby, Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue Bring your DalCard (Student Id Card)
9:30-10:00am Official Welcome Meet the university staff members who will support you during your academic journey Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue Family members and Friends are welcome to attend
10-10:30 Meet and Greet Meet other new students in a fun activity Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue  
10:30am-11:30pm Exchange Student Essentials This session will help you understand the culture of a Canadian university classroom. Learn what to expect from classes and what your professors will expect from you.  Current Dalhousie students will give you advice to help you have a successful start.  Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue Bring your favourite note-taking device (notebook, phone, tablet) to record important information
11:30am-12:00pm Friend Finder Take a break and have fun with your new friends. There is also a chance to win prizes. Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue  
12:00-12:30pm Academic Regulations for university students To be a successful student you must follow regulations of Canada's university system.  In this session you will learn what those regulations and rules are, and the best strategies to follow them Room 1028, Kenneth Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Avenue Bring your favourite note-taking device (notebook, phone, tablet) to record important information
12:30-1:30pm Lunch Enjoy a delicious lunch LeMarchant Place Atrium, 1246 Lemarchant Street Lunch tickets are only available to students who attend the Dalhousie Essentials session earlier in the day 
1:30-2:30pm The Dal Life At this session you will learn where to go for help with your questions and how to have healthy fun in Halifax  Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue  
2:30-3:30pm Studely Campus Tour Student leaders will take you around campus so you can learn where   Meet in the atrium, Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue Attendees will have a chance to win 1 of 3 $100 CAD Gift Cards from Best Buy.
7:00pm Movie Night Join us for an evening movie @ the International Centre.  We will bring the popcorn and you just bring yourself! International Centre, LeMarchant Place Atrium, 1246 Lemarchant Street  

 

 

Arriving in Halifax

Arriving at the airport and getting to campus

Welcome to Nova Scotia, Canada!

The moment you have been waiting for is finally here! Your plane has landed at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and you can't wait to get to your new home. Once you have made your way through Canadian Immigrations and Customs (where you will get your study permit).

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO AT THE AIRPORT

Get your Study Permit at Canadian Immigration

When you arrive at the airport in Canada, you will pass through Canadian Immigration. Tell the immigration officer that you are coming to Canada to study and present to the officer the following documents.

  • Letter of Introduction from the Canadian Consulate or High Commission:
    This is the letter you receive from the visa office if you applied, and have been approved, for a study permit. It is sometimes called the letter of introduction or introductory letter. Officially, it is called the Port of Entry (POE) Introduction Letter.
  • Valid passport, with Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)/entry visa (if required).
  • An original or copy of your letter of acceptance from Dalhousie University.
  • Evidence of financial support (proof of funds documents)
  • Letters of reference or other documents recommended by the Canadian embassy, consulate, or high commission.
  • Record of Health Immunizations (if required)

Keep all these items in your carry-on luggage, as well as cash, traveller’s cheques, and other valuable documents with you. Do not put them in your checked baggage.

Respond to all questions the immigration officer asks you with clear, simple answers. Service is available in English and French. If you do not fully understand the questions, ask for an interpreter. They are available in many languages.

After the officer processes your information, they will give you a Study Permit (a piece of brown paper that is often stapled to your passport).

DO NOT leave the airport or border until you have a Study Permit issued by an immigration officer.

You should check your permit for errors before leaving the immigration officer. It is much easier to have the Officer fix them immediately, than to try to get them fixed later.

If you are a student who expects to work during your time in Canada, it is very important to check for conditions that include the words “may work” or “may accept employment.” If your study permit does not include those words, please tell the immigration officer who issued your permit, as all post-secondary students should include such conditions.

Declare your personal items at Canadian Customs

When you arrive at the airport, you will have to declare your personal items with the Canadian Border Services Agency

Prepare a list of all the goods you are bringing into Canada in advance (e.g., clothing, electronics, etc.) including vehicles. Be prepared to show your list to the Canada Border Services Agent. Make two copies of the list. You can bring in other non-consumable goods (e.g., clothing, electronics, etc., BUT NOT food items from your home country) after your initial arrival, but you must report these goods to the Canada Border Services Agency. They will require a refundable deposit.

 

GETTING TO DALHOUSIE FROM THE AIRPORT

When you arrive

Attend Orientation January 5 - 6, 2018

Please plan to attend all of the following events.

Exchange and Visiting Students Schedule

Friday January 5

Time Event Description Location Please note
All Day Residence Move in Move in to your residence room, your first home in Canada Various Residence buildings  
3-4pm Welcome Reception The International Centre welcomes you to Dalhousie Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue

 

Saturday January 6

Time Event Description Location Please note
9-9:30am Registration Check-in Let us know you are here and check in with your DalCard Lobby, Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue Bring your DalCard (Student Id Card)
9:30-10:00am Official Welcome Meet the university staff members who will support you during your academic journey Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue Family members and Friends are welcome to attend
10-10:30 Meet and Greet Meet other new students in a fun activity Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue  
10:30am-11:30pm Exchange Student Essentials This session will help you understand the culture of a Canadian university classroom. Learn what to expect from classes and what your professors will expect from you.  Current Dalhousie students will give you advice to help you have a successful start.  Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue Bring your favourite note-taking device (notebook, phone, tablet) to record important information
11:30am-12:00pm Friend Finder Take a break and have fun with your new friends. There is also a chance to win prizes. Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue  
12:00-12:30pm Academic Regulations for university students To be a successful student you must follow regulations of Canada's university system.  In this session you will learn what those regulations and rules are, and the best strategies to follow them Room 1028, Kenneth Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Avenue Bring your favourite note-taking device (notebook, phone, tablet) to record important information
12:30-1:30pm Lunch Enjoy a delicious lunch LeMarchant Place Atrium, 1246 Lemarchant Street Lunch tickets are only available to students who attend the Dalhousie Essentials session earlier in the day 
1:30-2:30pm The Dal Life At this session you will learn where to go for help with your questions and how to have healthy fun in Halifax  Ondaatje Auditorium (Aud-2), Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue  
2:30-3:30pm Studely Campus Tour Student leaders will take you around campus so you can learn where   Meet in the atrium, Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, 6135 University Avenue Attendees will have a chance to win 1 of 3 $100 CAD Gift Cards from Best Buy.
7:00pm Movie Night Join us for an evening movie @ the International Centre.  We will bring the popcorn and you just bring yourself! International Centre, LeMarchant Place Atrium, 1246 Lemarchant Street  

 

 

Pay your university fees

Exchange students

Your tuition fees are paid to your home university. There are some fees you will be responsible for paying during your time at Dalhousie. Please see Student Fees at Dal for more details.

Study Abroad students

You are responsible for paying all your tuition fees to Dalhousie University.

You can access your account statement through DalOnline, under Web for Students and Student Records. Your account statement will include your list of payments. You will be able to see your full list of payments a week or two after the beginning of each term.

Outstanding balances must be paid by late September (fall term) or January (winter term) to avoid interest and related fees.

Fee payment instructions can be found on the Money Matters website.

Get your DalCard (university ID card) and Upass (transit pass)

DalCard

Your DalCard is more than your official Student ID Card – it’s a debit card, library card, gym pass, key to residence and bus pass! You can go to pick up your DalCard at the DalCard Office

If you submit your DalCard phonto online and register for orientation you can pick up your DalCard at the International Centre on Monday August 29 or Wednesday August 31 (10am-12pm). 

Note: You must present one piece of government issued photo ID such as a driver's license or passport to pick-up your DalCard.

UPass

If you’re a full-time student in Halifax, a Metro Transit UPass is included in your tuition. The UPass is a sticker placed on your DalCard and will act as your bus pass until April 30, 2017. For more information about the UPass, visit dal.ca/upass.

Accept or waive your health insurance

As an international student, you must get both the Health and Dental Plan AND the International Student Health Plan. 

If you start school in September, you are automatically billed and enrolled in both. 

If you start school in January or May, you are only enrolled in the International Student Health Plan and so you must opt-in to the Health and Dental Plan. 

For more information, visit the Student VIP website or contact the DSU Health Plan office

Health and Dental Plan

The DSU Health and Dental Plan provides coverage for medical, dental, travel, accident, vision and many other services and perks. 

International Student Health Plan

The DSU International Student Health Plan provides international students with basic health insurance coverage such as doctor and hospital visits. This plan is different from the DSU Health and Dental Plan above. The DSU International Student Health Plan is required unless you carry MSI or equivalent insurance.

Already have health insurance?

If you already have comparable health & dental coverage, you may be able to opt-out. Opt-out deadlines are strict so please visit the StudentVIP website for more information. 

Pick up your DSU health plan card

Pick-up your health insurance card/s from the DSU Health Plan Office, located on the 3rd floor of the Student Union Building

After you get settled in

Open a bank account

Below is a list of banks in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Visit their website to learn more about student banking.

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Halifax and Truro

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Halifax and   Truro

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

Halifax and Truro

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Halifax and Truro

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

Halifax and Truro

When choosing a bank, don't forget to ask about:

  • Unlimited banking versus charges after a number of transactions and/or fees associated with the account
  • Access to a credit card that is pre-approved and preferably unsecured (i.e. does not require monies deposited to the credit card)
  • Additional incentives e.g. points card for movies, etc.

Get a cell phone

Cell phone plans can vary amongst providers.  It is a good idea for you to explore your options before signing a contract.  Here is a list of the main cell phone companies.

Tips for choosing a cell phone provider

  • Ask about extra charges
  • Find out the cost of cancelling your plan 
  • Ask about the benefits and the downsides of contacts versus pay-as-you-go options

Setting up your cell phone

Visit your chosen cellphone service provider and present:

  • Photo Identification - either a Passport or Driver’s License
  • Second piece of identification - either a credit card, Social Insurance Number card, or bank cheque

Note to American citizens and permanent residents of the USA:

Verizon Wireless and AT&T provide a nationwide plus Canada plan that makes it easy to call home and anywhere in Canada (and the US) at no extra charge, eliminating long distance charges and the need for calling cards.  Visit the Verizon wireless website (www.verizonwireless.com) or AT&T website (www.att.com) for more details.

Set up the internet

If you live in residence, you will have access to high-speed Internet, which includes both ethernet and wireless connected. 

If you live off-campus, Internet providers  in Nova Scotia to consider include: 

See our Helpful Tips for how to connect to Wi-Fi on campus

HELPFUL TIPS!
HelpfulTips-icon_242x242

Find out everything you need to know about campus with our helpful tips guide for new students

Meet our Study Abroad & Exchange team!

Study Abroad Advisor

 

Gillian MacDonald

Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor 

Gillian's best piece of advice for exchange students? Take the leap! The world is a beautiful place to explore. 

Gillian grew up in Nova Scotia, but has travelled the globe and lived in many special places. It was leaving the province to go explore the world that has helped her to realize just how truly special Nova Scotia is and she is happy to be living in the area again after many years away from home. 

She has a passion for group facilitation and activities, meaningful and heartfelt discussions over coffee, and loves sharing all that the city of Halifax has to offer. Playing games, gardening, book club and movies, as well as drinking cappuccinos on Monday morning and baking the perfect cookie are some of the things that put a smile on her face. 

Gillian can be reached at: gillian.macdonald@dal.ca

Study Abroad and Exchange Assistant - Inbound

Tara Mody

Study Abroad and Exchange Assistant (Inbound)

The Study Abroad and Exchange Assistant can be reached at inboundexchange@dal.ca  

Study Abroad and Exchange Assistant - Outbound

Delainey Wescott

Study Abroad and Exchange Assistant (Inbound)

The Study Abroad and Exchange Assistant can be reached at outboundexchange@dal.ca