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Pre-Departure Guide for Undergraduate Students

Pre-Departure Guide

For International Undergraduate Students Preparing to Study in Canada at the University of Lethbridge

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, Karis Dykstra and Claire Brodrick 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 more than 600 international students from over 65 countries.  Our full-time enrolment is approximately 8,500 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.

The International Centre is located in the lower level of the Students’ Union Building, Room SU060. Please feel free to stop by anytime. It is a convenient place for you to meet other students from around the world, seek advice, obtain information on campus activities, and learn about workshops and events organized for you.

I look forward to welcoming you to our campus soon! 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 August 1 for the Fall term or November 15 for the Spring term.**


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).

Weather & Clothing

Lethbridge has 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 Lethbridge. 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 on special events for international students, bringing it would be great.


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 your university student account using Western Union once you have received approval of you study permit. You can find out 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 2019 term, please note these dates:

  • New Student Orientation will take place on September 2 & 3.
  • Classes begin on September 4.
  • Most University offices and services, including the International Centre, will be closed on September 2, 2019 for the Labour Day holiday. 

When planning your arrival for the Spring 2020 term, please notes these dates:

  • New Student Orientation will be on January 3, 2020.
  • Classes begin on January 6, 2020.
  • All University offices and services, including the International Centre, will be closed between December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020 inclusive. Most businesses are closed on December 25, so plan your arrival accordingly.

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 Fall 2019 will take place on September 2 & 3, 2019.
  • New Student Orientation for Spring 2020 will be on January 3, 2020.

New Student Orientation is free to attend!

For Calgary Campus, the New Student Orientation dates may be different from those above.  Watch your uLethbridge email for an invitation to Calgary Campus NSO!

Education Costs (in Canadian dollars):

The Board of Governors reserves the right to change fees and deposits as deemed necessary without prior notice.*For a detailed breakdown of the tuition and fees at the University of Lethbridge, please refer to the University Calendar.  

Estimated Tuition and Fees

(Fall 2019 includes 12 months extended medical/dental plan of $279.39)

(Spring 2020 includes 8 months extended medical/dental of $185.85)


Number of Courses

Fall 2019

(Payable by Oct 1/19)

Spring 2020

(Payable by Feb 1/20)

Three Courses



Four Courses



Five Courses



Estimated Monthly Living Expenses (in Canadian dollars):



Off Campus

Monthly Living Costs

On Campus

Monthly Living Costs

Rent and Utilities

$  5501

$  7252


$  300

$  4153

Personal Expenses and Clothing

$  300

$  300

Local Transportation (Transit Pass) 4

$   0

$  05


$   150 per course

$  150 per course

Basic Health Insurance6

$    0

$  0

Total Living Cost per Month

$   1,350

$   1,590

1 Based on shared accommodation. 2 Based on four bedroom suite. 3 Based on commuter meal plan. 4 Included in tuition and fees. 5 Students living on-campus have the option to opt-out.  6 Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan is provided at no extra cost.

If you required 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 the University, drop by the Health Centre (SU020) and learn how 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, 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 helps you 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 for Fall 2019 are due by October 1, 2019.  Tuition and fees for Spring 2020 are due by February 1, 2020.

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