6 Steps to Prepare for Studying in Canada, at Cape Breton University [3min read]

We’re so happy that you’ve chosen CBU as your post-secondary home away from home, and we’re looking forward to meeting you when you arrive on-campus! We recognize that preparing to move to a new country is both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time, so we’ve put together this blog and printable checklist to help ease your worries and best prepare you for the transition. Continue reading to learn six steps you should take before arriving in Canada to study.

Step 1- Apply for an international passport and Canadian visa and/or study permit

You have your CBU acceptance letter (congratulations!), but now what? It’s time to apply for an international passport, if you don’t have one already. And if you do have one, make sure to double check that it won’t expire while you’re studying in Canada.
Next, you’ll have to apply for a Canadian visa and study permit. For more information on this process, visit the Government of Canada website. If you have any questions after reviewing the website, feel free to contact our staff at the International Student & Study Abroad Centre. Pro-Tip: Apply as early as possible.

Step 2- Purchase a Plane Ticket

Every step of this journey will add more excitement, but having your plane ticket purchased is one step that truly makes it all feel real. And on top of building on the excitement of moving to a new country, booking flights in advance can also potentially save you some money. So, we suggest looking for a flight as soon as possible, and to do so from a reputable airline to avoid any potential scams.

Step 3- Book Your Accommodations

Securing a place to stay prior to leaving your home country is an absolute must if you’re looking for a smooth transition to Canadian life. You want to ensure you have a safe and comfortable place to stay upon landing in a new country. CBU students can choose to live either on or off campus, and we’re here if you need help with whatever decision is right for you. If you’re looking to live on residence, view our campus residence, and if you’re looking to live off campus, view our off-campus housing portal.

Step 4- Make an Advising Appointment

As a first-year CBU student, you’ll need to make an appointment with an Academic Advisor before registering for your classes. Some students wait until they arrive in Cape Breton to visit the First-Year Advising Centre, while others prefer to receive their advising through email so they can register for courses sooner, rather than later. The choice is yours, but first-year courses can fill up quickly, so registering earlier is usually better.

Step 5- Research Your Destination

Based off of popular culture items like movies,TV shows or news media, it’s likely you have some sort of expectations of what life in Canada will be like. But, Canada is a large country and our culture, lifestyle and climate can differ greatly from province to province, or community to community. So, before leaving your home country, we recommend researching not only Canadian life, but also life in Cape Breton. This includes our four seasons of weather, culture, diet, and more.

Step 6- Start Packing

Now that you’ve researched what life will be like on Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia, Canada, it’s time to start packing. First and foremost, begin by packing your personal identification, required documents for studying in Canada, any medications you may need, and extra cash for any unexpected situations along the way. Next, pack clothing that’s appropriate for each of the seasons you’ll be studying with us. Aside from that, pack a few favourite things to make your new home-away-from-home more comfortable.
To finalize your packing efforts, be sure to check out what items are not allowed in Canada.

And as a final, but unofficial step, we recommend downloading and perhaps printing this pre-arrival checklist to keep your planning efforts in check throughout this exciting time.

Oh and one more thing, if you are joining us from another post-secondary institution, make sure you apply for a transfer credit assessment. You may be able to gain credit from your previous academic studies. 

See you soon!