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Pre-Arrival Checklist for International Students


  1. You must inform the IEC of your arrival date, so that we can ensure that:
  • health insurance can be put in place, starting September 1st for the Fall intake and January 1st for the Winter intake.  Please arrange your own health insurance if you arrive in Canada prior to the dates mentioned. 
  • Please send a copy of your flight itinerary to so that we can confirm details.
  1.  Download and read the Welcome Letter. Students who wish to access our safe arrivals service must complete the Student Services Application form and return it to the IEC, before December 20th, for arrival in early January.   The College will be closed from Decmber 22nd to January 1st inclusive, and we will be unable to respond to service requests during that period.
  2. The following documents must be obtained in your home country BEFORE YOU ENTER CANADA:
  • Valid Passport
  • Study Permit
  • Canadian Visa
  • Letter of Acceptance from Confederation College
  1. Make photocopies of these documents, leave a copy with your family and bring others for your records (and store in a place different from the originals).
  2. More details on entering Canada as an international student can be found at the “Study in  Canada” website.
  1. Your acceptance may be “conditional”, which means Confederation College still needs more information before you can enroll in your program. Check the LoA for any conditions, and make sure these are fulfilled, so that an unconditional LoA can be issued. You can only apply for a study permit with an unconditional offer letter.
  • If your country has diplomatic representation in Canada, ( embassy or other diplomatic offices), you may wish to register with them.
  • You have several accommodation options in Thunder Bay:
    • On-campus residence and homestay accommodations full up very quickly. Please apply for these well in advance of your arrival.
    • Confederation College does not assist with off-campus accommodation.
  • If you are bringing a mobile or cell phone, you can purchase a SIM card in Canada

OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS to bring with you:


General Items
  • Immunization and Medical Records (translated into English) – bring the original and a copy.
    • Be sure to check your LoA for any program-specific requirements.
  • Identification other than your passport.
  • Prescription medications – bring an adequate supply and a prescription that clearly states the generic and trade names of the medication. You may kind that prescription medication is more expensive in Canada than in your home country.  Health insurance in Canada does NOT cover costs related to a pre-existing condition.
  • Credit Card (life is much easier for you if you have a credit card on arrival, as most commercial transactions in Canada are done with a credit card).
  • Reference letters from your employer, if you had a job prior to coming to Canada.
  • If you are bringing a mobile or cell phone, you can purchase a SIM card in Canada.
  • Driver’s license/international driver’s license and driving insurance record (if you have one).
  • Remember to leave photocopies of your passport identification page, identification cards, flight itinerary, contact details and other important documentation with friends and family.
  • Our winters generally range between 8° C to -22° C, but can be as low as -35° C AND summers generally range between 20-30 °C
    • Winter clothing is best purchased in Thunder Bay.  We can suggest local shops with the best prices. If you are arriving in winter, do wear your warmest clothing, but plan to purchase winter boots and jackets on arrival. Dressing in layers, rather than one or two heavy items is also the best approach to keeping warm and comfortable. This will be covered during Orientation sessions.
    • Summer days are typically long and warm with temperatures between 20-30 °C, but evenings still tend to be cool – to enjoy the summer season, bring your typical summer clothing, and don’t forget a light jacket.
  • People in Thunder Bay enjoy the outdoors, so don’t forget to pack running shoes. There are lots of great indoor and outdoor recreational and fitness opportunities and the College is surrounded by recreation trails. 
Electrical Appliances

Electrical systems in Canada operate at 110 volts and 60 Hz. Most appliances have a three-pin plug although some have two-pin standard North American plugs. Electric Power Around the World Information.

  • If you are bringing a laptop, digital camera or other electrical equipment, make sure you have the correct adaptor for Canada’s electrical outlets.
  • An adaptor/converter for your existing electrical appliances is easily purchased in most large (if necessary)electronic and computer outlets.

Canada Customs

  • Make a list of all the goods you are bringing into Canada, including vehicles (for US students). If any of the items have a serial number (electronics), be sure to record those numbers. Mark all items on your list with approximate monetary values. 
  • Do not bring any food into Canada; it is illegal to bring fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy products, plants or animals into Canada.
  • You also need to note, if you are having any goods shipped to you in Canada.
  • Review current Canadian customs regulations at Canada Border Services Agency.