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Plan For Your Arrival at UBC

Post by: Katrina Dan Zhao, UBC Vantage College Orientation Assistant
Arriving at a new country can be adventurous and fun, but it can also be scary. A lot must be done before and even after you arrive. So let’s get started!
First things first: have you applied for your study permit?
Your study permit is your entrance pass to Canada. Applying for a study permit can cost you a lot of time, so make sure you apply early! UBC International House offers immigration support for international students and you can check out their guide here.
Now: let's get packing!
UBC is located 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, one of the largest cities in Canada. You can pretty much buy everything you need here, so we’ve picked out a couple of essential things you shouldn’t leave without:
1. Immigration documents
You must have all your documents ready when entering a new country. This includes documents such as your acceptance letter, passport, TRV, your letter from the immigration office and more. Get the whole list here.
2. Clothing
Even though you can purchase most clothing items here in Vancouver, we still recommended you to bring enough clothing for at least the first two weeks with you! The less running around you need to do immediately, the better.
3. Electronic converters
Converters are handy tools which many people forget when travelling. Without a converter, your chargers/plugs might not work in Canada. Make sure to check whether you need a converter before arriving!
4. A small amount of cash
Canada Border Services Agency has a rule where travelers bringing more than CAD $10,000 must declare their possessions. If you are carrying excess cash with you, not only will it slow down your arrival process, but failure to report will be charged with a penalty up to CAD $5,000. Therefore, we recommend bringing a small amount of cash with you, and transfer your money after setting up your bank account at Vancouver.
5. Personal hygiene products
After hours of flight, you are probably going to be exhausted, and won’t have enough time to run to the stores and purchase shampoos and body wash. That's why you should bring a few small bottles of daily hygiene products, enough for the first couple of days here in the city.
6. Mementos from home
Do you have a blanket that you always sleep in at night? A family photo album? Bring it with you! Homesickness is one of the biggest struggles international students go through, and having comforting items from home will hopefully help ease those homesick blues.
7. Medication and prescription drugs
If you are on prescription drugs, bring at least a month’s worth of medication with you, and be sure to bring your prescription as well.
8. A positive attitude
We want you to arrive with a smile! You are just about to start a new chapter in your life, and we can’t wait to meet you.
... And you're ready to go! Start saying goodbye to your friends and family, it’s time to start your most exciting journey yet -  at UBC. See you in August!