Pre-arrival Guide for Undergraduate Students - Calgary Campus

Pre-arrival Guide

For International Undergraduate Students Preparing to Study at the University of Lethbridge Calgary Campus

Dear Student,

Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Lethbridge (uLethbridge).  My name is Imarú Baquero, and I am the Manager of International Student Services.  It is my pleasure, along with our International Student Advisors and our International Student Specialist for the Calgary campus to provide support and assistance to international students.

This guide was developed to provide you with information regarding coming to Canada and your application for a Canadian study permit. You will find answers to most of your questions here, so please read this guide thoroughly! If you still have questions, please email us at and we will do our best to help.

The University of Lethbridge has about 600 international students from over 90 countries.  As of September 2020, our full-time enrolment is approximately 8,984 students.  The University offers a wide range of recreational, cultural, social, and educational activities in addition to its academic programs.

The main campus of the University of Lethbridge is located in Lethbridge, Alberta, a very friendly and safe town.  It is approximately 220 kilometres (about a 2-hour drive) south of Calgary, Alberta, where the Calgary Campus is located.

The International Centre is located at the Main Campus. However, our services are available to all Calgary Campus students. Please reach out to us to seek advice, obtain information on campus activities, and learn about workshops and events organized for you.  We send a newsletter called International Mail to provide you with important information, and to keep in touch.  Your International Student Specialist based in the Calgary campus, is available to help you with anything you need!

Please let us know if we can assist you before your departure.



Imarú Baquero
Manager, International Student Services
University of Lethbridge

Applying for your Study Permit

Apply immediately for a study permit. Application processing times vary, but it is recommended to apply for your study permit as soon as possible upon receiving a Letter of Acceptance.

Your “Letter of Acceptance – Use for applying for Canadian Study Permit” is the only document you need from the university in order to apply for your study permit.

You can find our detailed instructions on how to begin your application process here.

If you require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada, you do not have to submit a separate application or pay additional fees. It will be issued by the officer at the same time as your study permit authorization.

As a uLethbridge student, you are responsible for your own registration. It is important that you do this as early as possible in your registration window, because classes can fill up.

  • Find more information about your registration window on the Bridge.
  • As a new international student, you should register for three or four courses in your first term, so that you can adjust to the academic demands of the university and your new life in Canada.
  • Find your Program Planning Guide. If you are a second degree student, your Program Planning Guide was sent to you with your offer of admission.
  • Follow the Registrar’s Office guide to registration for students in undergraduate programs. It may be a lot of reading, but this information will help you now, and throughout your studies at uLethbridge.

*To maintain your registration, you must send us a copy of your Letter of Introduction by the Study Permit Submission Deadline: September 1 for Fall admission and January 2 for Spring admission.*

Calgary Campus New Student Registration Workshops

Before each term the uLethbridge Calgary Campus hosts “New Student Registration Workshops”. Email invitations regarding these workshops are sent out to all new students who have accepted the university’s offer of admission. These workshops take place in the weeks before classes begin, are approximately 45 minutes long, and are led by an Academic Advisor. They are designed to provide new Calgary Campus students with the tools and information needed to feel confident in the course registration and program planning process at the university.

It is strongly recommended for all new students to attend one of the New Student Registration Workshops at their earliest convenience.  Benefits of attending include:

  • Being provided with your individual, Advisor-audited, Program Planning Guide (PPG) which outlines your specific course requirements (as per your academic background) and will essentially serve as your “checklist to graduation”
  • Having an Advisor review your registration choices for your first term to verify that you have chosen wisely
  • Having the opportunity to ask any program or registration-related questions directly to the Advisor who will be running the workshop

Further details regarding dates and times will be provided in the email invitations which will be sent out by the Calgary Campus office closer to the beginning of the semester.

Once you have received approval of your study permit, notify the International Centre immediately.  Email us at and include your full name and University of Lethbridge ID number. Please provide a scanned copy of your Letter of Introduction (stating approval of your study permit), and temporary resident visa (TRV) (if applicable).

The uLethbridge Calgary Campus does not have on-campus accommodations.  All non-local students who are in need of living accommodations within the City of Calgary while they pursue their studies with uLethbridge are encouraged to research various public websites which are dedicated to local housing and rental listings, which include but are not limited to:

Living accommodations that are within or surrounding the Calgary downtown core will typically be a bit more expensive than places that are further out. A good rule of thumb when searching for a new Calgary residence would be to find one that is not only financially feasible but one that is also both close to public transit and within reasonable travel distance from a grocery store.

Choosing a Neighbourhood

There are many things to consider when looking for a place to live.  How will you get around?  Do you want to live within walking distance to campus?  How close is the nearest bus stop?  How close is it to conveniences like grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and banks?

Other Things to Consider

  • Is it close to a transit stop?
  • Does it have parking (if you will have a car)?
  • It is furnished or unfurnished? Furnished accommodations usually cost a bit more, but buying furniture and everything else you need for setting up a home can be very expensive. It’s common for shared accommodations to be partially furnished; for example, the kitchen and living room might be furnished, but you would need to furnish your bedroom.
  • Do you feel safe in the neighbourhood and in the residence?
  • Walking distance is relative – the weather will definitely be a factor. Be realistic about what is walkable in summer and in winter.
  • Are utilities like electricity, water and gas included in the rent?
  • Are cable and internet included in the rent?
  • Is it shared with other people? Are they also students? Will you share the same lifestyle?

Protecting Yourself as a Renter

Weather & Clothing

Calgary and southern Alberta have a varied climate. The summers are warm and dry with temperatures reaching highs of over 30°C and the winters reaching temperatures well below 0°C (sometimes as low as -30°C). Our wide range of temperatures and weather conditions can make packing a challenge. Be sure to bring warm clothing or be prepared to purchase some for the months of November through April. You will need a warm winter jacket, boots, gloves, a hat, sweaters, and other warm clothing. A light jacket with a hood is recommended for fall (September - November) and spring months (April - June). In general, people dress casually in Calgary. Jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, and a good pair of walking shoes tend to be the clothing items of choice for most uLethbridge students. In addition, you may wish to bring some formal clothing for special occasions. If you have traditional clothing or accessories you would like to wear to special events, bring those!


If you are bringing any electrical equipment, it should be compatible with Canadian voltage which is 110 volts, 60Hz. It is also possible to purchase adapters for electrical outlets.


Airlines will restrict the weight of the baggage that may accompany you on your flight and charge you heavily for excess. Please check with your airline for baggage allowance. You may want to ship some of your belongings to Canada rather than bring them all with you on the airplane.

Finally, be sure that you carry all of your necessary documents (Letter of Introduction for your study permit, valid passport, TRV, documents/papers used to obtain study permit, Letter of Acceptance from the University of Lethbridge) with you on the plane in a safe, secure place. Do not pack your documents in your suitcase, as officials will ask to see them when you arrive in Canada.

We recommend that you do not carry a lot of cash with you when you travel. Most stores, restaurants, and hotels accept major credit cards (VISA and MasterCard). You should bring enough money to cover your expenses during your first month of study: temporary accommodation, restaurant meals, textbooks, supplies, rental deposits, and utility hook-up fees.

Alternatively, you may bring a bank draft with you, and then deposit it in the bank of your choice when you arrive in Canada. Note that it might take from ten to thirty days for your bank draft to be processed.

You are encouraged to send money to you university student account using Western Union once you have received approval of your study permit application. Learn about payment options here.

If you enter Canada with $10,000 CAD or more (in any form – cash, cheques, bank drafts, traveller’s cheques), you must declare it to the Border Services Officer upon arrival.

In general, we recommend that you arrive about two weeks before the start of classes.  This will give you time to get settled and become familiar with your new home before New Student Orientation and the start of classes.

When planning your arrival for the Fall term, please note these dates:

  • New Student Orientation will typically take place in the last week of August. Email invitations will be sent out beginning 2 - 3 months prior to the start of classes.
  • Classes typically begin in the first week of September 
  • Most University offices and services, including the International Centre, will be closed on the first Monday of September for the Labour Day holiday. 

When planning your arrival for the Spring term, please notes these dates:

  • New Student Orientation will typically take place in the first week of January. Email invitations will be sent out beginning 2 - 3 months prior to the start of classes.
  • Classes typically begin in the first week of January.
  • All University offices and services, including the International Centre, will be closed between December 25 and January 1 inclusive each year. Many businesses are also closed on December 25, so plan your arrival accordingly.

Book your international flight to the Calgary International Airport (YYC) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  You will have to go through customs in whichever city you first arrive in Canada, so leave plenty of time for your connection.


The Calgary Campus is located, inside of Bow Valley College (BVC), which is situated on the eastern end of city’s downtown core, adjacent to the City Hall Train Station. BVC is comprised of two main campus buildings:

  • BVC South Campus address:  345 – 6th Ave, SE   Calgary, AB  T2G 4V1
  • BVC North Campus address:  332 – 6th Ave, SE   Calgary, AB  T2G 4V1

The Calgary Campus office is located on the 6th floor of the BVC South Campus building. Classes can take place in either the North Campus or the South Campus.

Calgary students who are planning on commuting to the campus:

  • By Vehicle: Please visit > “Parking Nearby” link (under the Student Quick Links section)
    • This will direct you to a PDF file which will display an aerial map view of the BVC area along with a listing of nearby public parking lots and their respective rates.
  • By Public Transit: All Calgary public bus routes will eventually drop passengers off at an established LRT train station. Once on the train, disembark at the “City Hall” train station in the downtown core. All LRT train lines (blue and red) have City Hall as a train line stop.

Yes! New Student Orientation (NSO) is the best way to start of your studies.  At NSO, you'll learn what is expected of you as a uLethbridge student, meet with faculty and staff, become familiar with campus resources and, of course, meet other students new to uLethbridge!

  • New Student Orientation for the Fall term will typically take place in the last week of August.
  • New Student Orientation for the Spring term will typically take place in the first week of January.

New Student Orientation is free to attend!  Some highlights of NSO will include:

  • Campus tours
  • Getting photos taken for student ID cards
  • Learning how to order textbooks
  • Meeting Calgary faculty, staff, and other new students
  • Available student services and others

Email invitations for NSO are normally sent to all new Calgary students starting as early as 2-3 months before the start of classes.  Details regarding their itinerary and location will be provided in the invitations.

EDUCATION COSTS (in Canadian dollars):

Tuition and Fees (Fall 2022/Spring 2023 includes 8 or 12 months health and dental coverage)

Number of Courses

Fall 2022 (Payable by Oct. 1)
Spring 2023 (Payable by Feb. 1)

Three Courses (9 credit hours)


Four Courses (12 credit hours)


Five Courses (15 credit hours)



Sample Monthly Budget for a Single Student (off campus monthly living costs)

Rent and Utilities




Personal Expenses/Clothing


Local Transportation


Basic Health Insurance3


Total Living cost per month


1 Based on shared accommodations, varies according to location

2 Calgary Monthly Adult Transit Pass

3 Alberta Health Care provided at no cost for those 18 and older with a study permit valid for at least one year

You should estimate around $200 - 250 per course on Textbooks and Supplies.

If you require a copy of this information for your study permit application, please request it by emailing us.

All University students must have basic health insurance. When you get to Calgary and you have established where you will be living, go to a Registry Agent to register for the Alberta Health Care Insurance plan, the province of Alberta's basic health insurance.  Alberta Health Care will cover the cost of your doctor's bills, hospital bills, surgery and medical tests. There is no cost for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.

The following documents will be required for the Alberta Health Care registration to be processed:

  • Passport
  • Study permit
  • Proof of Alberta residence (such as your lease agreement, a bill with your address, etc.)

ULSU Health and Dental Plan

In addition to Alberta Health Care, you will be automatically enrolled in an extended health insurance plan called the Student Union Health and Dental Plan.  The premiums for this health insurance plan are included in your tuition and fees. This plan help pay for medical costs which are not covered by Alberta Health Care, such as ambulance rides, medication, dental work, eye care, etc.

Global Pay is the most convenient way to make payments for most students.

Tuition is due each semester.  Tuition and fees are due by October 1 for the Fall semester and February 1 for the Spring semester

If you are ever in a position where are unable to pay your full fees by the tuition payment deadline, please contact the International Student Advisors for advice.

For most programs the “Letter of Acceptance – Use for applying for Canadian Study Permit” should indicate two possible start dates for your studies. If you look in Box 26 of the Letter of Acceptance (Length of program), you will see two terms listed if this applies to your program.

When you apply for your study permit, ensure you use the start date that will give you the time necessary to have your application approved. If, for example, you receive your offer of admission in November, and it will take longer than a month to process your study permit application for the Spring term, then when you apply for your permit, use the Fall term as your start date. If you have questions about this, contact us at:

If you are not able to begin your studies at the University for either term in which your offer was valid, you will need to reapply for admission.

When you are traveling to Canada be sure to carry all of the following information with you. Do not pack it in your suitcase.

  • Valid Passport
  • Letter of Introduction approving Study Permit application (issued by Canadian visa office)
  • Temporary Resident Visa or eTA (if required; not to be confused with your Study Permit)
  • Original Letter of Acceptance from the University of Lethbridge
  • Proof of funds available (e.g.: bank draft, transfer, tuition receipt, letter of credit, or other proof)

Also be sure to carry a change of clothes, any medication, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, or other important items in your carry-on bag, in case your luggage is delayed. This is common in international travel.

At the Port of Entry

At the Canadian Port of Entry, you will be required to show the Canada Border Services Officer your Letter of Introduction. When the officer issues your study permit, check that your name is spelled correctly and that the biographical details (birth date, country of citizenship, etc.) are accurate.

If you plan to work on or off-campus, tell the Border Services Officer. You must ensure that one of the following remarks is listed on your study permit before leaving the immigration area of the airport:

  • May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies
  • May work 20 hrs off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

These remarks must be present on your study permit in order to apply for a Social Insurance Number, which you will need to work in Canada.

  • Clothes
  • Towels
  • Alarm clock
  • Winter jacket
  • Winter boots
  • Winter gloves and hat
  • Sweaters and other warm clothing
  • Jacket
  • Backpack
  • Camera/Cellphone/Tablet/Laptop
  • Medicine and prescriptions
  • Contact list
  • Traditional dress from your country
  • Traditional music or instrument that you play
  • Items from your country that can be used in displays and presentations
  • Your country flag