International Office
Telephone: 613-236-1393
Ext. 2200
Quick Links
Print Print this page

Pre-arrival guide


Before leaving

Budget guide

It is important to plan a budget to make sure you can cover all the costs related to your university life.

Guide for your budget:

Example of tuition fees 2017–2018

  Undergraduate –
2 sessions per academic year
 Graduate studies –
3 sessions per academic year

Tuition fees – 
International student

$12,884.24 $18,593.82 – $19,522.35

Tuition fees –
Canadian student or

International student
studying in French

$5,124.82 $8,195.79

Other mandatory fees

University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
(compulsory for international students)
 $612  $612
 U-Pass: public transit  $404.92 $607.38


You must budget, on average, an additional CAN $15,000 to $20,000 for your rent, books, transportation and other living expenses.

Other living expenses

  8 months 12 months
University Residence $7,580 $11,280
Off-campus apartment
(shared and unfurnished, $625 to $840/ month)
$5,000 – $7,520 $7,500 – $11,280
Food $2,560 $3,840
Clothing, social activities, miscellaneous items $1,500 $1,500
Telephone and internet $400 to 760 $600 to 1 140
Textbooks and supplies $1,200 $1,200
Average total   *living in University Residence $13,240 $18,420

What to bring?

Make sure you bring the following items with you as you prepare to come to Canada:

  • valid passport and study permit
  • letter of introduction and acceptance from the Canadian Embassy
  • original copy of your acceptance/admission letter from Saint Paul University
  • original transcripts or school certificates
  • photo ID (picture identification)
  • proof of available funds (bank statement)
  • credit cards
  • marriage certificate, if your spouse is accompanying you
  • your children's school records, if your children are accompanying you
  • medical and immunization records (for your family members and you)
  • driver's licence or international driver's licence
  • driving insurance records
  • electrical equipment you may need (note that voltage in Canada is 110 volts, 60Hz; you may require a transformer)

For more information about city services, weather and others topics of interest for your stay, visit the City of Ottawa website.


Arrival in Ottawa

Initial financial needs

Bring sufficient funds in travellers cheques to cover living expenses during your first month. For a single student, the first month's expenses (excluding tuition fees) may be as high as CAN $2,500 to pay for such things as transportation, temporary accommodation, food, rental deposits, textbooks and other school supplies.

If you arrive in Canada with CAN $10,000 or more (cash, cheques, travellers cheques, etc.), you must declare it to a border services officer. For more details, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website. Please note that we do not recommend that you carry more than CAN $500 in cash with you while travelling to Canada.


We recommend that you open a Canadian bank account upon your arrival in Ottawa.

To open an account, you will need to have personal identification.

Be sure to take 

  • your passport
  • your study permit
  • your university-issued student card

Opening a student bank account in Canada is free, but to activate the account, you will need to deposit a small amount of money. After opening an account, you will receive a bank debit card that will allow you to withdraw money at most automated bank teller machines; it will also be accepted at most stores to pay for your purchases.

Please note that it can be very difficult for an international student to obtain a credit card. We therefore recommend that you obtain a credit card in your home country.

The following is a list of the major Canadian banks with a link to their websites:


From the airport

You can take a taxi from the airport to Saint Paul University. It will cost you approximately CAN $40.00.