Pre-departure Information

Pre-departure Information

A VERY WARM WELCOME TO YOU!

THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICES AND PROGRAMS ABROAD AT BROCK UNIVERSITY IS HERE TO HELP YOU MAKE A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO YOUR NEW LIFE IN CANADA. PLEASE VISIT US WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT BROCK.

Pre-departure Brochure (pdf)

Study Permit

Once you have received your official Letter of Acceptance from Admissions, Brock University, you should begin procedures to obtain your Study Permit. You must apply for a Study Permit from the appropriate Canadian Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate (A Study Permit is not required if you will be studying in Canada for less than six months). Citizens of the United States may obtain a Study Permit at the border when they enter Canada, with their letter of acceptance, proof of citizenship and proof of funds:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-how-documents.asp

In Canada, a Study Permit is necessary for any non-resident person studying for a period longer than six months. Even if you plan on studying in Canada for less than six months, you may want to apply for a Study Permit in case you decide to extend your studies at a later date or would like to work on campus. This is especially useful for short term exchange students. For more informaiton on working in Canada as international students, check here.

You will receive your approval letter for your Study Permit from the Canadian embassy or consulate in charge of your area. Your actual Study Permit, however, will be printed for you by a Canadian Immigration officer when you enter Canada, at an airport or at a border crossing. When the officer gives you your Study Permit, look at it carefully to make sure that your personal information, such as your date of birth and the spelling of your name, are correct.

To see a sample of Study Permit

Study Permit sample - new version 2013

Temporary Resident Visa – TRV (Visitor’s Visa)

In addition to a Study Permit, citizens of certain countries require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada. To find out whether you require an entry visa, please refer to: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp

If you need visa to enter Canada, the same time you are applying for a Study Permit to Canada, then you will get the TRV as complimentary to your Study Permit. You don’t need to make a separate application for TRV than the application for your Study Permit.

If you are not applying for Study Permit because you will be only studying in Canada for less than 6 months, but you are a citizen of a country which requires a TRV to enter Canada, then you must apply for the TRV for your short term study in Canada.
If you don’t need a TRV to enter Canada but you will be studying in Canada for longer than 6 months, then you must apply for a Study Permit. But you will not need a TRV.

To see a sample of TRV

Arrival in Canada

Before you land in Canada the airline will provide you with a Canada Customs Declaration form (http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/forms-formulaires/e311-eng.pdf). The Canada Border Security Agency website provides information on this declaration form at: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/noncan-eng.html

On arrival at the airport, follow the signs for Arrivals to the Customs and Immigration area. The officer at the booth will want to see your passport and Study Permit Approval letter. The officer may ask you questions about the purpose of your visit to Canada and also what you are bringing into Canada. A Study Permit will be issued to you at this time. The following website provides information on arriving in Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/arriving.asp

Arrival by Air

Lester B. Pearson Airport (http://www.torontopearson.com), in Toronto, Ontario, is the closest Canadian airport to St. Catharines. It is 120 kilometers away and takes approximately one and a half hours to travel.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport (http://www.buffaloairport.com/) in the US is the closest airport to St. Catharines. It is 70 kms from St. Catharines. Upon arrival in Buffalo, New York, you would have to drive across the Canada/US border to get to Brock University.
Niagara Airbus shuttle offers transportation from Toronto and Buffalo airports to St. Catharines. Reservations and pricing information is available at: www.niagaraairbus.com

Things to bring with you in your hand luggage

Passport
Airline ticket
Visa Letter from the Canadian Embassy/High Commission
Letter of Admission
Address and telephone number of your arranged accommodation
Prescription medicines – any prescribed drugs you are taking. It is also advisable to carry a note from your doctor explaining why you are taking the medicine
Extra pair of prescription glasses (if you use them)

U.S. Visa

Brock University is only 15 kilometers away from the Canada/U.S. border. If you plan on visiting the U.S. soon after your arrival, we strongly advise you to apply for a U.S. visa in your home country before you leave for Canada. The American Consulate requires students to provide proof of ties outside the U.S. before they issue a visa (see: http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/denials/denials_1361.html). If you apply for a visa soon after arriving in Canada you have not had the time to establish ties in Canada and are therefore more likely to be refused a visa. For further information, please check the website for U.S. Visa Service at www.usvisa-info.com

Payment of fees

The University does not mail a statement to request payment. Students are financially responsible for all tuition and related fees associated with registered courses. To determine your account balance, you may access your Financial Account Information on-line through the portal (https://my.brocku.ca). Additional information is available at: http://www.brocku.ca/finance/students/undergraduate/making-payments

Currency and Sales Tax

Try to have at least $400 (Canadian or U.S.) in cash when you arrive for your immediate needs like food and transportation. Prices quoted in stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. are base prices; 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) will be added on when you pay for an item.

Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) in Canada

Accommodation

Arrival in St. Catharines

When you arrive at the University, you should come to the International Services & Programs Abroad office. Our Office is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 4:30 but closed 12:00 – 1:00 for lunch. We will help you to get started with your new life as a Brock student.
The first Monday in September is Labour Day, a national holiday. Many offices and shops will be closed on that day and bus service will be on a limited schedule, so it is best to arrive before Labour Day.

Check list upon arrival

  • Check-in at International Services, International Centre, IC 210.
  • Sign up for UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) at the International Centre
  • Get your Student ID Card at the Brock Card Office, Guernsey Market, ST-100 Level. Bring your Brock admission letter
  • Sign up/swipe card for a meal plan (if needed) at the Brock Card Office
  • Bus Pass Sticker. Available at the Vendor Fair, normally runs on the Tuesday and Wednesday after September 1. You could also get it later at BUSU office. Without the sticker, you could normally use your Brock ID card as bus pass to ride buses for free for the first 2-3 weeks of September
  • Attend the International Student Orientation
  • Open a Bank Account. Bring your Brock admission offer letter and any 2 pieces of government ID (Valid Passport , Driver’s license (could be Canadian Driver's license or other country's Driver's license) or Study Permit)

Scotiabank is the only bank available on-campus, however, all banks are located downtown St.Catharines, or at the shopping malls for easy convenience.

Note: Once text books are removed from their packaging, they are non-refundable. To ensure you have the correct material, wait until you have attended the first class in that subject.

Campus building codes

Campus map

Undergraduate Registration

Registration for undergraduate courses is done over the Internet. The Office of the Registrar will send you information about registration. Also, please refer to the Registrar’s website (www.brocku.ca/registrar) for important dates regarding course registration and timetables. If you need assistance to register, please contact the Office of International Services & Programs Abroad.

Graduate Studies

Please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website at: www.brocku.ca/gradstudies for detailed information about registration, funding, scholarship opportunities, workshops and events, and all other important information about your graduate studies at Brock.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies is proud of their close interaction between graduate faculty and graduate students. Graduate students at Brock are part of a vibrant research community that focuses on involvement, engagement and productivity. Workshops, social events and informative sessions are offered throughout the year.

Medical coverage

Spouses and families

Driving in Canada

If you intend to drive in Canada, you should obtain an international driver’s license in your country before coming to Canada. It will be valid for 90 days. After that, you will have to apply for an Ontario driver’s licence. For more information, check Ontario Driver's Licence website.

GSA (Graduate Students’ Association)

Graduate Students at Brock are part of a vibrant research community that focuses on involvement, engagement and productivity. We are proud of our close interaction between graduate faculty and graduate students. Workshops, social events and informative sessions are offered throughout the year. Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website at: www.brocku.ca/graduate-students-association  for more information.

BUSU (Brock University Students’ Union)

Be it your student experience, quality of life as a student, or anything else related to academics, education, or your experience transitioning to or from university, BUSU is here to help you. For more information, please visit www.busu.net

BrockGuide Program

The BrockGuide Program is designed to help you, after you are accepted by Brock and before you come to Canada, by matching you up with a Brock student who would become your peer partner to help you to be well prepared on coming to study at Brock. You can register for the BrockGuide Program online.

Food in St. Catharines, Niagara

If you like particular foods, St. Catharines has many stores that offer a variety of foods and spices from around the world. If it is not available in St. Catharines, it will be in Toronto! You can save yourself the trouble of carrying it with you. Check our website for more shopping and entertainment information

Electricity

If you plan on bringing electrical appliances, keep in mind that electricity in Canada is 110 volts, 50Hz.

Weather

In St. Catharines, you will enjoy four seasons, so you will need clothes to suit the climate changes. For information about the weather, please refer to Environment Canada’s website at: www.weatheroffice.com

Celebration of Nations!

This festival of cultures is a wonderful success each year. Students are invited to share their cultures with others through music, food, clothing and artifacts during this celebration of the international community here at Brock University. We encourage all international students to take part and to bring items from home to showcase and share with fellow students and faculty.


Office Information

John Kaethler, Director, john.kaethler@brocku.ca
Christina Bosilo, Manager, International Learning Programs, cbosilo@brocku.ca
Arthur Chen, Manager, International Student Services, arthur.chen@brocku.ca
Koreen McCullough, Exchange & Study Abroad Advisor, kmccullough@brocku.ca
Jeanette Davis, Office Administrator, jdavis@brocku.ca
Elna Mayberry, UHIP assistant and Office Receptionist, emayberry@brocku.ca

International Centre, IC 210
Open Monday to Friday,
8:30 a.m. to 12 noon and
1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Office is closed for lunch from 12 noon to 1:00 pm.
Telephone number during office hours: 1 (905) 688-5550, ext.4785
Emergency telephone number – Campus Security – 1. 905.688.5550, ext. 3200

Keep in touch with us!

Email: internationaloffice@brocku.ca
Website: http://www.brocku.ca/international-services
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/intlservices
Facebook group for international students at Brock: http://www.facebook.com/groups/356657894378937/
Campus Map: http://brocku.ca/facilitiesmgmt/CAMPUS-MAP-LRG.htm

We look forward to meeting you on your arrival!

Useful websites:

Canadian Government – information on Canada: www.canada.gc.ca
Currency Converter: www.xe.com/ucc/
Canadian news: www.cbc.ca
Time Zone Website: www.worldtimezone.com/
City of St. Catharines: www.stcatharines.ca