Admitted students: What Should I Do Before Arriving?
The information below pertains to exchange students coming to U of T through the exchange program hosted by Centre for International Experience (CIE). It is not intended for degree-seeking international students, transfer students, or students from any other program at U of T.
Preparing for your exchange
Before you arrive in Toronto, the following five essential steps will help you prepare for life at the University.
All exchange students
Complete the Confirmation and Terms on the Mobility Online portal to confirm your acceptance for the student exchange program at U of T by the date indicated on your admission package.
Failure to do so may jeopardize your exchange at U of T.
You should apply for the appropriate immigration document for your exchange. You can find more information about study permit/entry visa on the CIE Immigration page.
If you have questions about applying for a study permit, contact the International Student Immigration Advising team at email@example.com. Please include your full name, student ID number (e.g., 100…), and identify yourself as an exchange student.
Once you are admitted, you are welcome to complete the on-campus residence application, most exchange students will live off campus during their exchange as on-campus housing is in high demand.
The Housing Office created a specific website for exchange students who are looking for off-campus housing.
If you have any questions relating to housing, please contact the Housing Office. Make sure that you include your full name, student number, and identify yourself as an exchange student,
Course enrolment procedures and timelines vary by campus and faculty. Details about course enrolment will be emailed to you a few months prior to the start of your exchange at U of T. Course enrolment for BOTH the fall and winter terms begins in the summer of the upcoming academic year. Here are some ways you can prepare for course enrollment:
- Refer to faculty course calendars/timetables to find information on U of T course offerings.
- Refer to our course enrolment guide (for undergraduate students only) for details on how to read a U of T course code and select suitable courses. If you’re a graduate student, the coordinator of your host department will provide you with U of T course information.
- The inbound exchange office administers course enrollment, but we cannot guarantee your enrollment in any course. The final decision rests with the department offering the course and depends on your prior academic background as well as availability.
PLEASE NOTE: You will NOT be automatically enrolled in the courses you included in your exchange application, as that list is only used for application assessment purposes.
If you require academic or other accommodations during your exchange term at the University of Toronto, there is support available on all three campuses. It is helpful to register at the appropriate office before you arrive at U of T as you may be asked to provide accommodation documentation from your home institution. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need guidance in seeking out accommodation:
What to do after you arrive at U of T
After you arrive at U of T for your exchange, be sure to complete the following five steps.
There are a few different ways to get to U of T from the airport depending on your campus. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the cheapest option at around $3.35 per trip (prices change often, so check the TTC website for updated information).
You will likely be arriving in Toronto through Pearson International Airport, and the fastest route to get from there to downtown is the UP Express.
The UP train gets you from Pearson to Toronto’s Union Station (the central transit station of the city) in 25 minutes.
Your TCard identifies you as a U of T student. To get your TCard, follow the instructions on the How to Get Your First TCard page. You will need to provide the following documents to obtain your TCard:
- Study permit
- A copy of your admission letter
Before you obtain your TCard, please ensure that you have enabled your JOINid first, received a Secret Activation Key (SAK) to activate your UTORid, and set up your mail.utoronto.ca email account. Your UTORid allows you to sign in on many university systems, including campus Wi-Fi.
If you need any help with your UTORid/TCard activation or Secret Activation Key (SAK), contact the TCard Office.
If you do not have active Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage (or coverage from another Canadian province), you are required to purchase the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) while studying at U of T.
UHIP is a health insurance plan for all exchange and international students enrolled in an Ontario university. It helps to cover the cost of medical services, such as hospital and doctor visits, should you become ill while on exchange. Please familiarize yourself with your UHIP plan coverage as most dental care, prescription drugs, eye care, and various kinds of therapies are not covered by UHIP.
Exchange students are NOT eligible for U of T supplementary insurance plans. For additional coverage, we recommend that you purchase travel health insurance before you arrive.
In 2023/2024, UHIP fees are $63 per month. This rate is subject to change for upcoming years.
Example: If you are on exchange for either the fall or winter term, your UHIP fees will be $252 ($63 x 4 months).
When you first log in to ACORN to view your fees, you may notice that you have been charged for 12 months coverage. This is because fees are automatically calculated for the full calendar year. These fees will be adjusted to match the amount of time you will be studying at U of T. Do not pay the fee until it has been adjusted.
You will need to show your UHIP card and fill out a claim form every time you use health care services, so be sure to register online, print your card and carry it with you at all times. (Claim forms are not required at the U of T Health and Wellness Centre).
Make the payment
Payment is due by the 15th of the first month that you are at U of T. You can refer to the payment options on the Student Accounts website.
The inbound exchange office on every campus will host an orientation session to welcome you to the university and provide you with important information and resources for your exchange. You will receive an email from the inbound exchange coordinator of your campus with more information about orientation sessions close to the start of your term.