Arriving in Canada 2 to 4 weeks before the beginning of your classes is ideal. You will need to organize your accommodation, purchase all the necessary household articles for your move and open a bank account.
This cosmopolitan city has a European flair. Montréal is also the business and culture central of the province of Québec. It is considered as the second Fracophone city in the world after Paris. Welcoming and jovial, its many ethinic communities, innovative trends and artistic edge will have you loving this city.
At the airport, you have many exchange offices that will allow you to convert your money into Canadian currency. We do however strongly recommend you arrive with travel cheques in case these offices are closed when you arrive. It is also recommended to travel with cash for any emergency expense.
American money is accepted in many Canadian businesses. However, take note that some merchants will charge up to 15% more on top of the taxes for the exchange rate. Because of this, we recommend you change your American money into Canadian currency as well.
Keep in mind that it is best to keep all your cash, travelers cheques and important documents on board with you and not in your check in luggage. Each year we have students who loose their luggage and are stranded with no documents or cash. Avoid this situation all together.
If you transfer funds into a Canadian bank account, your money will automatically be exchanged into the Canadian dollar. The rates you are charged when you make bank fund transfers are the best on the market, generally. The rates do however vary from bank to bank. Note that any currency that is not displayed on the market will not be bought by any Canadian bank.
Here is a universal converter for your convenience: http://www.xe.com/
Canada has everything you'll need. You'll find specialty grocery stores with foods from around the world at reasonable prices. However, for your everyday comfort, it is recommended to take your personal belongings.
Don't forget to bring the following important documents:
Canada uses the nominal tension of 110 volts with an alternating current of 60 cycles. If your country has a different voltage, be sure to get an adapter for your electronic devices. Be sure to inquire what are the best solutions for you. Here is a website link that may help:
*Adaptors allow to plug electronic travel devices in foren sockets while converters convert electrical tension.
Most airlines have strict regulations regarding cargo and carry-on luggage. Please refer directly to your airline for complete details.
If you are landing from abroad, you can arrange for someone to come and pick you up at the airport and drive you to your accommodation. Contact the admissions to benefit of this service.
If you haven't found an apartment yet, reserving a hotel room prior to your departure is ideal. In Montreal, it is best to reserve a hotel room before hand, especially if you are arriving during the summer season.
The price to place a local call on a public phone is $0.50. In Montreal there are two regional codes, 514 et le 438, both preceded by a (1) if you're dialing outside of the city. To get a mobile or landline, there are mane options. To make the best choice for your needs, it is best to do some research before you go to compare prices and special service packages.
All students coming from abroad must obtain health insurance. The ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires the College to ensure that insurance companies offer you adequate coverage. The College will include the cost of the insurance coverage. Health insurance is mandatory.
Upon arrival, you must come to the admissions office to obtain your insurance certificate, an information leaflet and claim forms.
Exception: Students of French nationality obtain their health insurance before they leave. Please inquire at the bureau de la Sécurité sociale.