Are you an international student who will be starting your first term at York University? Welcome to campus! Starting postsecondary studies marks an exciting change in your life: not only will you be learning about your chosen subjects and making new friends, but you’ll also be exploring life in another country. To ease your transition to university life abroad, the #YUBlog has created the following guide to York U for international students. Read below for tips about preparing for your arrival in Canada and key resources to use when you arrive.
Success tip: The York International website is your first stop for any questions you may have about your arrival in Canada or campus life. York International supports all visiting international students with a range of topics, including academics, English as a Second Language, immigration information, health insurance, finances and more.
1. Plan Your Arrival & Prepare Immigration Documentation
If you’ve already accepted your offer of admission to York U by the deadline specified in your letter? Then congratulations! Your journey to university has begun. If you haven’t yet, be sure to do so by the deadline specified in your letter. Once you have accepted your offer using your MyFile account, you can start the process of obtaining a study permit and entry visa to Canada in order to book your flight for the fall term. It’s a good idea to review York International’s Pre-Arrival Checklist for step-by-step information about required immigration documentation and preparing for your move to Canada. You may also want to read the previous #YUBlog post “International Student Guide, Part 1: Advance Preparations” for more information.
Success tip: International students are encouraged to register for the Pre-Arrival Online Workshops hosted by the Global Connections team at York U. This team of multilingual and multicultural senior international students lead online information sessions that cover topics such as housing, eating on campus and transit in Toronto.
2. Connect with York U
Once you have started the process of obtaining your immigration documents, you can connect with York U online to prepare for student life. To begin, you will need to create your Passport York account. Passport York is the primary method of online authentication at York U, and you will use this tool for everything from viewing your Grade Report to accessing your student financial account. To create your Passport York account, log in to the Manage My Services page using the reference number that you received with your offer of admission as your username and your date of birth for your password (YYYYMMDD). Once logged in, the site will give you instructions about changing your password.
Once you have a Passport York account, you may use York U’s YU START New Student Transition program to connect with the wider York community, learn about key support services and chat with fellow classmates, faculty members and student services staff. Many international students will also use YU START to enrol in courses depending on your faculty, program and whether you have transfer credits. Other international students will have access to YU START after enrolling in courses. To see if your program requires you to complete the YU START online enrolment tutorial prior to enrolling in your courses, please check the YU START PDF.
3. Look into Housing
One of the next steps for international students studying at York U is to find housing. If you are currently searching for suitable housing options, check the York U Housing Services website for information about on-campus housing and resources for students living off-campus. If you are interested in living on campus, you can explore York U’s residences and take a virtual tour of each building.
Success tip: First-year students who are admitted for the Fall session directly from a full-time secondary school program are guaranteed a spot in a York U residence if you apply by June 1, 2018.
If you want to live off-campus, take a look at the Housing Services Resources website to find resources for student renters. You should also know that Ontario has a standard lease for new renters to ensure that your lease is fair and compliant with regulations. You may find rentals off-campus by using various websites: please note that you should not send a landlord your deposit for an apartment without seeing the rental in person.
4. Register for Orientation & Take a Tour
Get to know the York U community and meet new people by registering for the International Student Orientation! Orientation usually includes a half-day visit to your faculty or program, so visit your faculty website for more information about your Academic Orientation. During York U’s International Student Orientation, you will learn where to access essential information about health and safety initiatives at York, the University Health Insurance Plan and how to meet international peers.
Once you arrive at York U in September, it may also be helpful to take a tour of the campus with a current student. Taking a tour is a great way to find the buildings where your classes will be held, the locations of learning and support services and most importantly, the restaurants and cafes!
5. Get Involved
Finally, one of the best ways to prepare for York University life is to find out how you can get involved with the University community. Explore the YU Connect website for a directory of all student clubs and organizations at York U and bookmark the York University Events Calendar for a list of upcoming social, cultural and athletic events.
Additionally, international students can attend the Coffee Break Sessions hosted by the Global Connections team on Tuesday and Thursday, 2pm to 4pm at the Global Cafe in 244 York Lanes where international students can meet each other and chat with York International staff. You can also join the Global Peer Program to connect with upper-year peer mentors who can help you navigate campus life at York U.
We can’t wait to meet you when you arrive at York U: in the meantime, take a look at the Global Community on Video YouTube channel and follow @YorkUStudents on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about life as a York U student.
International Students Starting the Summer 2018 Term
If you are an international student starting your studies at York University for the Summer 2018 term, you’re likely aware that the start date for this session has been delayed due to the labour disruption. It’s important to note that summer courses for SU and S1 will begin on May 22, 2018 (with the exception of courses that have received exemption from Senate Executive). Summer course offerings have been reduced as a result of the labour disruption. At this time, S2 Term course offerings are unavailable. You can find an updated list of summer term dates and approved exceptions to those dates online at registrar.yorku.ca/enrol/dates/su18.
Students are advised the check York U’s Labour Update website frequently for new information regarding the Summer 2018 term. If you have questions about the delayed Summer 2018 term start date, including inquiries about study permits, housing, programming for international students and more, you should contact York International for assistance. Please note that the revised summer session dates will not affect your study permit.
Share your tips and resources for international students by commenting below or tweeting us @YorkUStudents.