When you arrive in Canada, you should have access to at least enough money for your immediate needs (e.g., food and accommodation for your first week). We do not recommend carrying a large amount of cash, but having enough money for a pay phone call, a few meals and/or a taxi ride will make your trip more comfortable.
Before you come to Canada, we recommend that you:
- exchange your local currency for Canadian dollars in the form of traveler’s cheques or bank drafts so that you can access money when you arrive.
- learn your government’s regulations regarding currency restrictions and transfers of funds. Some governments limit the amount of money that can be taken out of the country and require special documentation before the money can be released.
- ask your home bank if you can use your bank card (debit card) to withdraw money in Canada. If a PLUS, Cirrus or Maestro symbol is on the back of your card, you may withdraw money from bank machines (ATMs) with the same symbol. ATMs provide convenience, but keep in mind that they will charge a transaction fee to your account each time you withdraw money.
Expenses to Expect When You Arrive:
- Temporary accommodation (e.g., a hotel) if you arrive early or have not yet found a place to live
- Any outstanding tuition fees
- Initial purchases for your new home (towels, bedding, toiletries, etc.)
- International calling card to call home
- If you will be living off-campus:
- Reference to approximate estimations of tuition fees and living expenses for undergraduate students and graduate students
Bringing Your Family:
If you plan on bringing your family with you, you should budget approximately $4000 for the first family member and $3000 for each additional family member, per year.