Visiting International Student Programs
Thinking of visiting the University of Toronto for a semester or two? Explore the many study opportunities we offer and find a program that works for you!
- Visiting International Student Program (VISP): If you want to study at U of T for a semester or two but you’re not currently attending one of our exchange partner institutions, VISP is for you.
- International Visiting Graduate Student Research: For international graduate students who would like to conduct research at the U of T for a semester or full academic year.
- English Language Program: In-depth academic courses in English offered by the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.
- Inbound Exchange Program: For students who are attending one of our partner institutions and are interested in earning credits at U of T over a semester or a full academic year.
As an international student, you will need valid immigration documents to live and study in Canada.
It is your responsibility to make sure that all of your immigration and legal documents are maintained and up-to-date. CIE holds regular information sessions and workshops to help you understand your responsibilities. Please regularly check CIE's website for updated information and workshop dates.
Required documents to study in Canada
- A valid passport
- A Study Permit: If you want to study in Canada for more than six months (and are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident) you will need to get a Study Permit before you arrive here.
- A Temporary Resident Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): Depending on your country of origin, you may also need a Temporary Resident Visa (Entry Visa or aneTA) before entering Canada.
Working in Canada
Interested in working while you study? Read about the rules regarding work permits, off-campus work, income tax and your Social Insurance Number (SIN).
International students are encourage to think about filing applications for income taxes with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CRA has information on what your duties and responsibilities are in income tax filing, and the CIE offers supportive programming to help along the way. Many students believe they will get money back – which may or may not be true – depending on a many factors on your specific tax situation.
The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is a mandatory health insurance plan for all international and exchange students enrolled in an Ontario university. UHIP helps to cover the cost of hospital and medical services you may need to maintain your health while in Canada. You are automatically enrolled in UHIP, and the coverage charge will be listed on ROSI, your student account.
Everything you need to know about UHIP is available online at www.uhip.ca.
This section of the website provides additional information specifically for international students at the University of Toronto. Please note that our UHIP office does not provide or administer coverage for post-doctoral fellows or visiting scholars.
As an international student at U of T, you will encounter many new experiences and challenges. Our transition advisors are here to help you adjust to the University and life in Canada.
We can help you:
- Adjust to Canada – Learn how to form friendships in Canada, succeed in the U of T classroom, live in Toronto’s climate, or deal with feeling homesick.
- Build your new community – Get involved on- and off-campus, find groups and sign up for activities.
- Make a plan – Achieve your goals during your time here at the University of Toronto.
- Find help when you need it – Get access to helpful programs, services and information.
English Language Support
As an international student, you have access to language support programs and many other academic resources while you are here at U of T:
- English Communication Program (ECP) — Enhance your English communication skills through these non-academic series of classes offered by CIE.
- CIE Language Exchange – Meet other students, learn new languages and share your own.
- English Language Program – In-depth academic courses in English offered by the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.
- Writing Centres — Make an appointment with a writing instructor or visit the drop-in centre to improve your writing. Read more about Advice on Academic Writing.
- Academic Success Centre — Choose from a variety of lectures and workshops to help you improve the skills you need to succeed as a student.
- The Office of English Language and Writing Support — If you are a graduate student, the School of Graduate Studies offers individual consultations and a range of workshops and non-credit courses for both native and non-native speakers of English.
- Arts and Science English Language Learning Program — ELL supports all U of T undergraduates enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Science whose first language is not English (ESL or multilingual students), as well as native speakers seeking to improve their English language skills.
- Engineering Communication Program — Helps undergraduate engineers to build professional level communication skills.
MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
Are you a student from Sub-Saharan Africa who has demonstrated academic talent and a personal commitment to giving back to your country, but you face significant economic barriers to higher education? If so, we invite you to apply to the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.
If you are selected, you will receive a scholarship equivalent to the costs of attaining a Bachelor's degree, including travel, tuition, textbooks, housing, food and living expenses. You will also receive financial, academic, social and post-graduation support which will enable you to gain the experiences and skills you need to succeed.
For general information about The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, please visit The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program website. For more about how the program works at U of T, keep reading!
Before you arrive in Toronto, there are some things you will need to prepare for – everything from organizing your travel documents to finding somewhere to live. Check out our Pre-Arrival Guide and Next Steps Checklist for details.
Toronto Pearson International Airport
When you land at Toronto Pearson International Airport in August or September, our welcome booth and friendly staff will be there to greet you.
If you are a new student at U of T, then orientation is for you! Orientation is a great way to meet your new classmates and discover useful information about the University.
Orientation activities take place in the week or two leading up to the start of classes in early September. If you arrive in January you will find some orientation activities taking place, but on a smaller scale.
Wondering what “frosh” means?
A frosh is someone who is new to University. The word comes from the term “freshman,” which is more common in America. If you're a first-year student, then you're a frosh. You'll hear the word a lot during the week of Orientation activities, which is often called Frosh Week.
Living in Toronto
Looking for more general information about living in Toronto? The Toronto Wikipedia page is a good place to start exploring. The City of Toronto also has a helpful website about Living in Toronto for newcomers to the city.
You can also check out CIE’s Pre-Arrival Guide to help you prepare for your arrival at the University of Toronto.
Academic culture can vary greatly from one country to another, and many students need time to adjust to new rules and expectations. We can help you understand how things work at U of T.
Read through this page or talk to a CIE transition advisor about any classroom challenges you might be facing. Getting tips from someone who knows the system can be a big help. Find out more about academic support offered at U of T.