5 Things You Need to Do in Your First Week in Canada

5 Things you need in your first week in Canada

Are you planning for a big move to Canada? We are so excited for you!

First week or month in Canada can be the most challenging time if you have never lived abroad before. Relax, we are here to help. There will be a few things that you will need right away when you arrive in Canada. The sooner you get these in place, the sooner you can rest easy! 

Stuff you need in your first week!

  1. Transit Pass

In order to get around, you will need a transit pass! Depending on the city you will be living in, there will be different types of transit pass at different fare rates starting with one-way tickets to monthly passes. Some schools provide transit cards to their students so make sure you check in with your school first – maybe you can save some money! 

  • Vancouver has a Compass card which you can use for buses, skytrain, and more.
  • Toronto has PRESTO which gives you access to streetcars, buses, subway and more.

You can also download a transit app to check bus & train schedules right on your phone! Check out the Transit app: https://transitapp.com/

  1. Phone Plan & SIM Card

Who can live without the internet these days! Get yourself a Canadian phone number and on to a data plan! Many service providers have special discounts for students. The three largest telecom providers are TELUS, Bell, Rogers.

You will need to make a decision whether you would like to go with a prepaid plan or a monthly plan. If you decide to go with a monthly plan, you will be asked to provide proof of your identification so make sure you have your passport, study permit, and other IDs ready to go. 

  1. Bank Account

You will need a Canadian bank account or credit card for your daily spending. Many banks have special programs and special offers specifically for international students. Check out offers for international students at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Scotiabank, CIBC, TD bank.

It’s recommended that you make an appointment with the bank of your choice at a branch near you and go in person to open a bank account. You will be asked to provide two pieces of identification such as passport, study permit, letter of acceptance.

  1. Government-issued photo ID

It’s recommended that you get a Canadian government-issued ID card for your daily use like opening a bank account, ordering alcoholic drinks, or other activities that you need to prove your identification. 

Identification cards vary province by province so we encourage you to do your own homework! 

  1. Social Insurance Number

If you intend to work part-time during your study or work after graduation, you will need a valid social insurance number (SIN), a 9 digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. When you get employed by an employer in Canada, you must provide them with your SIN number.

Learn how you can apply for SIN here.

Best of luck!