International & Exchange  Student CentreWestern International

International Student Handbook

When you arrive on campus, be sure to visit the International and Exchange Student Centre to pick up your full-length paper copy of the International Student Handbook as part of your Orientation Package.

The handbook includes information that you will find helpful once you arrive and throughout your time at Western. For example, there is information on where to buy inexpensive furniture, where to buy food (including food from your home country), understanding Canadian culture, etc.  Additional details on subjects such as health care, setting up a bank account, reporting income tax, and also immigration information, as well as a directory of the different resources at Western.

What's In the Handbook?

Table of Contents:

Emergency Numbers

Welcome to Western University Canada

  • International and Exchange Student Centre Programs and Services
  • International and Exchange Student Centre Staff

A Safe and Respectful Campus

  • Code of Student Conduct
  • Ontario Health and Safety Act

Getting Started

  • Checklist
  • Common Locations on Campus
  • Get Your Student Card
  • Photo Identification
  • Western Email Account


  • On-Campus Housing
  • Off-Campus Housing
  • Living Off-Campus
  • Other Resources for Students Living Off-Campus

Banking & Financial Assistance

  • How to Open a Bank Account
  • Choosing a Bank
  • Banks Close to Campus
  • Bank Machines on Campus
  • Canadian Currency
  • Financial Budgeting
  • Financial Assistance and Awards
  • Other Funding Sources
  • International Student Work Opportunities Program (ISWOP)

Health Care

  • Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
  • University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
  • Health Insurance for your Family
  • Other Health Care Coverage
  • Dental
  • Health Care Coverage for Temporary Workers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Health Care Providers

Telephone, Internet & Television

  • Landline Telephone
  • Overseas & Long-Distance Calls
  • Internet Phone 
  • Cell Phones (Mobile Phones)
  • Internet Phone 
  • Cell Phones (Mobile Phones)
  • Cell Phones (Mobile Phones)
  • Internet Access
  • Internet at Home
  • Internet Access On-Campus
  • Television


  • Bus Services
  • Student Bus Passes
  • Taxi Companies
  • Purple Bikes
  • Driving in Ontario
  • Car Insurance
  • Renting a Car
  • Long-Distance Travel
  • International Student Identification Card (ISIC)
  • Traveling by Bus, Train or Airplane

Academic Information

  • Academic Integrity (What is cheating and plagiarism?)
  • Resources for Undergraduate Students
  • Academic Courses
  • Degree Structure
  • Progression Requirements
  • Academic Counselling
  • Professors & Teaching Assistants
  • Resources for Graduate Students

Adjusting to a New Culture

  • Canadian Culture
  • Slang and Idiomatic Expressions
  • Cultural Adjustment and the Importance of Wellness
  • Wellness Strategies to Help you Adjust and Succeed
  • Student Clubs and Organizations
  • Friendships, Dating and Romantic Relationships
  • Sexual Health
  • Rules of Behaviour (Harassment and Sexual Assault)
  • Date Rape Drugs
  • Everything about Food
  • Eating On-Campus
  • Places to Eat On- and Off-Campus
  • Preparing Food
  • Canadian Climate
  • Survival Tips for Winter
  • Winter Clothing Essentials
  • Frostbite

Safety & Security

  • Campus Community Police Service
  • Blue Emergency Phones on Campus
  • London Police Service
  • Western Foot Patrol
  • Student Emergency Response Team (SERT)
  • Equity & Human Rights Services
  • Race Relations
  • Safety On-Campus
  • Safety Off-Campus

Get to Know London

  • The London Scene
  • Shopping
  • Grocery Shopping - Where to Buy Food
  • Variety Stores
  • Farmers Markets
  • Ethnic Food Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Parks
  • Museums & Galleries
  • Concerts & Sports Events

Immigration Information

  • International Students Currently in Canada
  • Extending Your Study Permit
  • Getting Documents from Western
  • Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
  • Working in Canada: Regulations
  • Work Permits
  • Once You Are Employed as a Worker: Your Rights
  • Job Searching in Canada
  • Spouses of International Students Working In Canada
  • Questions about Immigration Regulations
  • Applying for a Social Insurance Number
  • Reporting Income Tax
  • United States Visitor Visa
  • Embassies and Consulates in Canada

The International Family

  • Inviting Your Family to Canada
  • Spouses of International Students Working, Studying & Volunteering
  • Events and Services for Spouses
  • Children of International Students
  • Sending your Children to School
  • Child Care
  • Play Groups and Support Groups for Parents

Legal Matters

  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Canadian Law
  • Legal Services
  • Code of Student Conduct
  • Employment and Workplace Safety
  • Housing & Legal Issues
  • Liquor Laws, Drugs & Non-Smoking Legislation

Programs and Services at Western

  • The International and Exchange Student Centre
  • International Learning
  • Student Development Centre
  • SDC’s Psychological Services
  • SDC’s LGBT Support Program
  • SDC’s Indigenous Services
  • SDC’s Learning Skills Services
  • SDC’s Services for Students with Disabilities
  • SDC’s Volunteers In Progress(VIP) Program
  • SDC’s Writing Support Centre
  • Student Central: Office of the Registrar
  • Office of the Ombudsperson
  • Additional Services to Help You Succeed at Western
  • The Student Success Centre
  • Teaching Support Centre
  • USC’s Student Appeals Support Centre
  • USC’s EnviroWestern
  • USC’s Ally Western
  • USC’s I Know Someone
  • USC’s Ethnocultural Support Service
  • USC’s PrideWestern
  • USC’s Peer Support Centre
  • The Chaplains @ Western
  • Women’s Issues Network (WIN)
  • Western Libraries
  • The Pride Library
  • First Nations Library
  • USC’s Western Connections
  • USC’s Extra Curriculars
  • Health and Wellness
  • International Students and Wellness Website
  • Student Emergency Response Team (SERT)
  • USC Food Support Service
  • USC’s Registered Dietitian
  • Nutritional Information Services
  • Hope’s Garden Eating Disorder Support Groups
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Western Student Recreation Centre
  • Intramural Sports (IMS)
  • Alumni Hall
  • Thompson Recreation & Athletic Centre
  • TD Waterhouse Stadium
  • Mustang Athletics
  • Arts and Music at Western
  • Radio Western - CHRW 94.7 FM
  • The McIntosh Gallery
  • Don Wright Faculty of Music
  • Theatre Western
  • Western Film
  • How to Get Involved: Student Clubs and Organizations
  • University Students’ Council (USC)
  • Society of Graduate Students (SOGS)
  • The University Community Centre
  • Other Facilities, Programs, and Services in UCC

Important Dates

  • Official Holidays at Western
  • Academic Dates and Deadlines
  • Fall Reading Break and Reading Week
  • Daylight Savings Time

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