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Before You Arrive

Two student volunteers during Welcome Week at a Campus Map booth on Gould Street

In April 2022, Ryerson University changed its name to Toronto Metropolitan University. Our new name better reflects our values and promises a future filled with possibilities, and will be implemented in a phased approach. Learn more about our next chapter.

If you have a disability (visible or invisible, permanent or temporary) that affects your academic functioning, you can access Toronto Metropolitan University’s Academic Accommodation Support (AAS) office during your exchange for support and services. This includes having singular or multiple disabilities such as learning disabilities, sensory impairments, acquired brain injuries, ADHD, and mental health, medical, and mobility issues. 

  • The AAS office works confidentially with incoming exchange students

  • You can register as soon as you have your TMU student ID and email address set up (after you receive your formal Offer of Admission to the exchange program).

  • Once you have documentation ready to submit (documentation should confirm the diagnosis and indicate functional impacts on the student when in school/class), you must choose and complete one of the Intake forms (the Intake form is an online google form completed by the student) which will prompt you to confidentially submit and upload your documentation to AAS.

  • We recommend that you start the registration process before traveling to Toronto so that if needed, you can request any additional documentation required from your home doctor, therapist, home university, etc.

  • You will need to provide information and documentation in English. Your home university may be able to support you to access translation services.

  • The start of each term (in particular August and September) are busier for the Academic Accommodation Support team, so please start the process as early as possible!

For more information and additional support with the registration process please contact aasintake1@ryerson.ca. Online appointments are available.

To enter Canada as an exchange student, you may require documentation that can be obtained through an online application or from a Visa Office located in a Canadian Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission in your home country or elsewhere. 

The application process and time varies depending on your home country. The Government of Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship website, external link provides information on what documentation you may need. Some common documents required for exchange students are:

  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) - An electronic travel authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement that is electronically linked to a visa-exempt individual’s passport. It is issued up to a maximum period of five years, or upon passport expiry, whichever comes first. For more information, including on who needs an eTA, please visit the eTA section of International Student Support’s Immigration web page’s eTA tab.
  • Study Permit - If you are studying in Canada for more than 6 months, you are required to hold a study permit. You must apply for and be approved for a study permit before you arrive. You cannot apply for an initial study permit from within Canada. For more information, including on how to apply for a study permit, please visit the Study Permit section of International Student Support’s Immigration web page’s Study Permit tab. Note that if you do not classify as a fully vaccinated traveller , external linkto Canada, you may require a study permit for short-term study as well (6 months and less). However, be advised that to access campus you need to follow the university’s vaccination requirements (see While in Canada section). 
  • Temporary Resident VISA (TRV) - Students from certain countries require a TRV to enter Canada. A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is also referred to as an “entry visa” or a “visitor’s visa”. It is a sticker placed in your passport and provides different authorization than a study permit. For more information, including on who needs a TRV, please visit the TRV section of International Student Support’s Immigration web page’s Temporary Resident VISA (TRV) tab.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you acquire the appropriate documentation to enter and study in Canada for your exchange experience. You should determine and acquire the necessary documentation well in advance of leaving your home country.

If you have any questions, or require further assistance with any visa/immigration related questions, email Toronto Metropolitan University's International Student Support office at issask@ryerson.ca. You can also reach ISS by phone at 416-979-5000 ext. 6655.

Border Measures due to COVID-19

 NOTICE: Entry requirements are subject to change without notice. It is your responsibility to verify the information below and stay up to date with the most recent requirements by checking the COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders website, external link on a regular basis. The information below was last updated: May 6, 2022.

On April 6th, the Government of Canada announced additional border measures related to international travel, external link due to COVID-19.  These changes include but are not limited to:

  • All travellers (including those fully vaccinated) arriving by air will be subject to randomized testing upon arrival.
  • You must submit a quarantine plan even if you are a fully vaccinated traveller. This is because your eligibility to be exempt from quarantine will be determined at the border.
    • If you do not meet the requirements of a fully vaccinated traveller, you will be either denied entry into Canada, required to quarantine for 14 days, or required to quarantine until you depart Canada.
    • To assess your quarantine plan’s suitability, please use the following testing tool., external link
  • Starting April 1, 2022, pre-entry tests are no longer required for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada by land, air or water. You must still use ArriveCAN within 72 hours before your arrival to Canada.
  • For up to date information regarding entry requirements and restrictions for foreign nationals from specific destinations visit the Travel, Testing and Borders page, external link of the Government of Canada.

We have updated the information below to reflect the new entry requirements. Please read through it carefully AND visit the government website, external link regularly to ensure that you are meeting the necessary requirements to enter Canada. 

In the case of contradictions between any materials presented on the website, and government resources; Government resources take precedence, as they remain the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 measures.

Use the “Verify If You Can Travel To Canada” Tool (Please use this!)

The Government of Canada has created a tool to help individuals figure out if they can travel to Canada.  Simply complete the steps listed on the Find out if you can enter Canada website, external link. This tool will let you know if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller or not. 

As entry requirements change, you should use this tool regularly to verify if you can travel to Canada.

Fully Vaccinated Travellers

 NOTICE: Entry requirements are subject to change without notice. It is your responsibility to verify the information below and stay up to date with the most recent requirements by checking the COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders website, external link on a regular basis. The information below was last updated: May 6, 2022.

If you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, external link according to the federal government definition, you must also meet these requirements to enter Canada: 

  • Have and submit a suitable quarantine plan into the ArriveCan app prior to your departure. You may be asked to explain your quarantine plan at the border. See the section below on Quarantine Plan Required for Entry into Canada
  • Submit proof of your vaccination, your trip information, and a health screening in the ArriveCan app within 72 hours before your arrival in Canada
  • Complete other requirements, external link as outlined by the Government of Canada

For detailed information on other requirements you must follow if you qualify as a vaccinated traveller, please read through and regularly check the COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada, external link

Travellers Who Do Not Qualify As Fully Vaccinated

 NOTICE: Entry requirements are subject to change without notice. It is your responsibility to verify the information below and stay up to date with the most recent requirements by checking the COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders website, external link on a regular basis. The information below was last updated: May 6, 2022.

If you do not qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, external link according to the federal government definition, you may still be able to enter Canada. However, you would generally be required to: 

  • Have a valid study permit, a letter of acceptance from Toronto Metropolitan University, and provide proof of finances for your stay in Canada
  • Provide proof of a COVID-19 negative molecular test result taken within 72 hours of your scheduled departure time of your last direct flight to Canada OR proof of a previous positive test result taken between 11 and 180 days , external linkprior to your arrival
  • Submit your trip information and a health screening in the ArrivaCan app prior to your departure
  • Submit your quarantine plan into the ArriveCan app prior to your departure. You may be asked to explain your plan at the border. See the section below on Quarantine Plan Required for Entry into Canada
  • Take an arrival test when you arrive, external link. You can schedule your arrival test in advance. You are not required to pay for the arrival test
  • Quarantine in a designated quarantine facility or other suitable location while you await the result of your on arrival test
  • Complete other requirements as outlined by the Government of Canada

For a full list of the specific requirements if you do not qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, please complete the questions on the Find out if you can enter Canada website, external link

If you do not qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller,  you should consider arriving within a timeframe that allows you to complete your quarantine requirements in time for you to attend in-person classes.

Quarantine Plan Required for Entry Into Canada

 NOTICE: Entry requirements are subject to change without notice. It is your responsibility to verify the information below and stay up to date with the most recent requirements by checking the COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders website, external link on a regular basis. The information below was last updated: May 6, 2022.

You must submit a suitable quarantine plan into the ArriveCAN app, external link before you leave for Canada. 

For information on the regulations around quarantine, please read through the Planning your quarantine, external link section of the Government of Canada’s Quarantine or Isolation webpage. 

Before leaving, make sure to use the Assess Your Quarantine Plan, external link tool that has been developed by the Government of Canada to test if your quarantine plan meets the government of Canada’s requirements. 

Note: When using the tool, private student residences or homestays (i.e. Non-Toronto Metropolitan University residences and accommodation), such as Neil Wyzck, Campus Commons, Harrington House, among others, do not fall under the category of “student residences at a designated learning institution”. You should, instead, select the building type that most closely aligns with the residence. For example, for a student residence like Harrington House, you would choose “Apartment or condo”. For a homestay in a private residence, you would choose “House or cabin”. 

You should be prepared to answer the following questions with clear details and information if asked by the Border Services Agent: 

  • Name
  • Reason for coming to Canada
  • Where you will be quarantining (address and accommodation name)
  • How you will be travelling to your quarantine location
  • How you will get basic necessities such as water, food, etc. without leaving your quarantine location (e.g. food delivery apps, family friends, room service, etc). 
  • Any other important details they should know about

We recommend that you have this information typed out on a one-page sheet so that it’s easy for the Border Services Agents to read if they have any questions. 

Make sure to regularly check requirements directly on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders website, external link. The information provided above can change and you are responsible for ensuring that you stay up to date on all immigration and entry requirements.

Important Notes:

  • While COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required in order to access campus, community members are asked to keep their vaccination status in the RyersonSafe app up to date. 
  • Keeping track of the vaccination status of all of our community members will allow the university to shift back to requiring vaccination to attend campus quickly and easily, should it become necessary. Please note that your ability to continue to participate in academic, work and  other activities at the university may be impacted if the requirement for mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 is reintroduced, based on the updated information you provide about your vaccination status.
  • Airline Requirements: Your airline may have additional Covid-19 requirements that you must meet prior to boarding. Check with your airline directly for further information.

 NOTICE: Entry requirements are subject to change without notice. It is your responsibility to verify the information below and stay up to date with the most recent requirements by checking the COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders website, external link on a regular basis. This information was last updated: May 6, 2022.

It is your responsibility to arrange your own living accommodations while at Toronto Metropolitan University.

On-Campus Housing

Full-Year Students (Sept to May) can apply to live in an on-campus residence. However, space is limited and acceptance is not guaranteed. On-campus housing costs range from $1600 - $2600 CAD per month. The deadline to apply is June 7th.

Housing in Toronto is expensive and short-term housing is difficult to secure. We encourage students to budget a minimum of $850 CAD per month. However, students regularly pay anywhere from $1000 - $2800 CAD per month. Please make sure you have the financial resources in place to support your housing costs during your exchange. Students interested in applying can learn more about available room styles and how to apply on the On-Campus Housing Office website.

Off-Campus Housing

Alternatively, Toronto Metropolitan University’s Off-Campus Housing Office (OCHO) can support you in your search for housing. They provide resources and information on finding both short-term housing (i.e. housing for less than 12 months) and long-term housing (housing for 12 months or more). 

The first hurdle that many newcomers experience is the search for housing. Toronto is currently going through a housing crisis - there is a shortage of affordable housing in the city. As such, it can be difficult to locate short-term (i.e. less than 12 months) housing options that are both affordable and easily accessible by transit.

The Off-Campus Housing office has put together a comprehensive guide on google docFinding A Place to Live, external link in Toronto. They have information and resources for google doclong-term housing options, external link, as well as for google docshort-term housing, external link (search for “Short-term housing” in the document to quickly locate this section).  

Types of Housing Options Available: 

1. Student housing service:

These are private organizations that act like university residences and cater mainly to students. They will often charge services and registrations fees and ask for a deposit, which they are allowed to do. 

Their main benefits are that: 

  • They may offer short-term leases (a rental contract for less than a year)
  • Have furnished rentals
  • Offer other amenities like laundry, internet and activities

Their cons are that: 

  • They can be expensive
  • They can be difficult to get into

2. Homestays:

You live with a family in Toronto. Some homestays include the option of paying for meals. A place to start includes Homadorma, external link, Casa Toronto, or Canada Homestay Network. 

Their main benefits are that: 

  • They may offer short-term leases (a rental contract for less than a year)
  • Have furnished rentals
  • Offer other amenities like laundry, internet 
  • You have a family in Toronto that can show you around and help you get settled. You have a deeper cultural experience. 

Their cons are that: 

  • You get a room, not a full apartment.
  • There are not many homestays in downtown Toronto. You may need to take public transit for 30 minutes to get to school. 

3. Find a short-term rental or sublet a room/apartment directly from someone on the private market.

The benefits are:

  • You may have roommates
  • You have more control over your space/location/distance to campus

The cons are that: 

  • This is the most difficult option
  • There are lots of scams
  • There are very few sublets for only 4 months
  • It can be expensive
  • You may have to provide your own furnishings, cooking materials, etc. 
  • It is very competitive! Sublets go quickly.
You can find more information about these different types of housing options in the short-term housing section of the google docFinding a Place to Live, external link guide (search for "Short-term housing" in the document to quickly locate this information). 

General Tips and Information: 

  • Costs: The cost of housing in the City of Toronto is expensive. You can check out the google docestimated living costs in the Finding a Place guide, external link. Presently, we are seeing bachelor/studio condo units within a 20-minute walk of Toronto Metropolitan University starting at $1,600 CAD per month. The minimum we generally advise students to budget for is $800 CAD per month, split with roommates.
  • Scams: There are alot of scams in Toronto! Make sure to google docreview the tips on avoiding scams, external link.
  • When to look: You should start searching for housing 44 to 60 days prior to your intended move-in date. 
  • Viewing the apartment: It may be difficult to rent housing if you’re not able to see the unit and talk to the landlord in-person. Some students choose to come to Toronto a month early to find housing.They will often rent an Airbnb, hostel, hotel room, etc. for a month so that they can find short-term housing in person. 
  • Leases: In Toronto, the majority of housing available to rent is on a 12-month lease. If you are looking for short-term housing (i.e. you’re planning to stay less than 12 months), we advise against signing a 12-month lease. A lease is a legally binding agreement, so you are not just able to move out early when you want. If you do, you will likely be held responsible for paying rent for the rest of the lease and may face legal action.  For more information, read through the Choosing to Not Renew Your Lease section on the OCHO website. 
  • Locations: You may be able to find cheaper housing in more suburban neighbourhoods like Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough. However, be prepared to commute up to an hour to get to campus. 
  • Confirm your commute: Google Maps can be helpful to check the distance of your rental to campus. You can use the Toronto Metropolitan University Student Learning Centre, external link as a reference point on campus, as your classes will be within a 5-minute walk of this building. Search within 3 kms of campus to keep your walk within 30 minutes

If you have any questions, or need any support for housing both before and after you arrive, you should get in touch with the Off-Campus Housing Office by emailing offcamp@ryerson.ca

Incoming exchange students at Toronto Metropolitan University can also access mental health resources, such as one-on-one or group counselling, through Toronto Metropolitan University’s Centre for Student Development and Counselling (CSDC) when you are on campus.

The services offered by the CSDC are available to all students, regardless of if you have a previous or existing mental health condition.

All exchange students are required to have Toronto Metropolitan University’s mandatory health insurance, also known as University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). You should review UHIP’s coverage, external link and, if necessary, purchase additional health insurance to cover services that are not covered by UHIP, such as dental care, prescription drugs, etc.

UHIP is the University Health Insurance Plan, a plan that provides health coverage in various circumstances, including but not limited to hospital services, physician services, x-rays, and annual exams. For detailed information regarding UHIP plan details, what is covered, and what is not covered refer to the UHIP Plan website, external link.

Prior to receiving medical services in Ontario, Canada you must provide valid proof of health coverage. By presenting proof of UHIP coverage, in the form of an electronic card. Upon presenting this proof, you will be able to access Canadian doctor’s offices, clinics, or hospitals.

In order to access your UHIP card, students are able to download the Sun Life App, following the instructions on the Health & Wellness section of the International Student Services website. 

Information you can find on the Health & Wellness page  includes: 

  • Enrollment & Electronic UHIP Card
  • UHIP Claims
  • Preferred Provider Network of Hospitals
  • Healthcare Provider On Campus
  • Premium (Fees)

You will need pay and register for UHIP when you arrive. UHIP will only cover you as of the start of term, so make sure to purchase travel and health insurance to cover the time period from your departure from your home country to your arrival at Toronto Metropolitan University, as well as the time period for your return home.  

UHIP fees will be charged online, through the Toronto Metropolitan University Administrative management Self Service (RAMSS). In order to provide payment, please visit the How to Pay Your Fees page available on the Toronto Metropolitan University website.

Exchange students can visit the International Student Support Office (ISS) to receive their UHIP Card or email uhip@ryerson.ca for more information. The ISS office is located in POD 50A opposite the One Card office on 350 Victoria Street

Some Additional resources that may be helpful include: 

You should also review UHIP’s coverage, external link, opens in new window and, if necessary, purchase additional health insurance to cover services that are not covered by UHIP, such as dental care, prescription drugs, etc.

Cost of UHIP for the 2021/2022 year: 

One-Semester Enrolment = $252.00 CAD

Full-Year Enrolment = $504.00 CAD

If you have any specific concerns about the UHIP coverage, or require information and support unique to your own case, please reach out to: uhip@ryerson.ca.

For detailed information and resources on what to bring with you to Canada, check out the Before You Arrive - What to Bring section of our Living in Toronto Guide