Pre-Departure & arrival

After you accept your admission offer from MacEwan University and pay the confirmation deposit, you are officially a MacEwan University student. Now you can start looking after the many details that will make your international education adventure a success.

After you confirm admission

Your passport is your proof of citizenship. You are responsible for keeping it safe and ensuring it does not expire.

Apply for a new passport or ensure that your current passport will be valid for at least 6 months. Your immigration documents will not be issued past the expiry of your passport. Make sure you extend your passport before you apply for other immigration documents.

Learn more about valid passports and other travel documents you need to come to Canada on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

IRCC // Passports & travel documents

International students in Canada are required to have a study permit. If your program has a work-integrated learning component, such as a practicum or co-op, you may also require a co-op work permit.

International student specialists at the MacEwan International office can answer your questions about study permits, work permits, visas and other documentation.


Official information about immigration and student status is set by the Federal Government of Canada. Always check Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information on study permit applications.

IRCC // Study Permits

Choose courses, build your schedule and add, swap or drop classes using myStudentSystem. You are assigned an individual and unique enrolment appointment date for Fall and Winter terms. The earliest appointments are scheduled in March. Enrol in your classes as soon as possible after your enrolment date.

An academic advisor in your faculty/school can help you plan your program.

How to enrol

Faculty/School Advising

If you need help using myStudentSystem to enrol in your classes, an international student specialist at MacEwan International can help.

Contact us

Plan to arrive in Edmonton with enough time to settle into your new home, meet with MacEwan International staff and explore the campus and the city.

The academic schedule lets you know when classes begin. Book your flight and accommodations based on that date.


  • Book your flight to Canada.
  • Consider travel insurance.
  • Remember to check airline baggage restrictions before packing.

Before you arrive in Edmonton, it’s important to know where you are going to live. Explore your options.

If you need to book temporary accommodations between your arrival and move-in dates, book early.

Living in Edmonton // Housing & utilities

A month or two before you come to Edmonton, you and your family can meet MacEwan International staff at a pre-departure webinar. We will answer your questions and help you feel more prepared for your Canadian education experience. To participate, click on the link provided in the invitation email.

Review the pre-departure guide before your webinar.

Before you leave home

While some finance-related tasks will have to wait until after you arrive in Edmonton, you can do some planning before you leave home.

  • Decide on your banking arrangements.
  • Prepare a detailed budget that considers the cost of living in Edmonton and tuition, fees and costs for attending MacEwan University.
  • Have an emergency plan in place and extra money (cash and credit) in case of emergency.
  • Bring $200 to $300 in Canadian cash to cover expenses for your first few days or until you can open a Canadian bank account.
  • Organize your financial documents. You may need to provide evidence of adequate funds for customs and immigration officials.

Going to university abroad involves plenty of paperwork. To ensure a smooth start to your time in Canada, start gathering paperwork early.

Do not put original documents in your checked luggage; carry these documents with you at all times.

At the first Canadian city your flight stops in, you will meet with a customs and immigration official who will ask to see the documents you’ve gathered for entry into Canada:

  • A valid passport or travel document
  • A valid study permit or letter of introduction (study permit approval letter)
  • A temporary resident visa (TRV) or eTA (if required)

You may also be asked to show:

  • Proof that you have access to adequate funds for the duration of your stay
  • University documents
    • Your offer of admission/letter of acceptance from MacEwan University
    • Provincial Attestation Letter, if applicable.
    • Verification of Enrollment or Term Enrollment and Account Summary for the upcoming term
  • A valid medical exam, if applicable
  • Medical records and prescriptions
  • Any other relevant documents from your immigration application.

When you arrive at MacEwan University, you may be asked to provide:

  • Original transcripts, supporting admission documents and certified English translations of these documents

Although not required, we recommend that you bring:

  • An emergency contact list, with details on contacts in Edmonton and from home
  • Reference letters from employers and teachers, especially if you plan on working while you are going to university

When packing for your time abroad, remember that Edmonton’s climate may not be what you’re used to at home. In the summer, daytime temperatures range from 20 to 25°C; in the winter, temperatures can drop below -30°C.

If you live in Edmonton between November and May, you need warm clothes. Consider buying these clothes while you are here, rather than packing them. Winter clothing takes up a lot of room in luggage. You will need:

  • A winter jacket that is warm, windproof and water-resistant 
  • Boots with a deep tread and insulation to keep your feet protected from the cold and to stop you from slipping on the ice
  • Gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm
  • Hats and scarves to protect your face, neck and head from the cold 
  • Layers: Dressing with multiple layers (t-shirt, sweater, and jacket) is a good idea

Please review current travel information provided by the Government of Canada.

Book an appointment with an international student specialist to discuss your travel plans. You can ask questions at the weekly online drop-in session.

Contact us

On arrival in Canada/Edmonton

When you arrive at customs, a border services officer will examine your Declaration Card, identification and other travel documents. You may be asked a series of questions to determine your immigration status, the nature of any goods you are bringing with you, etc.

At the customs and immigration desk, show the officer the letter you received from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) when your study permit was approved. This letter lets the officer know to direct you to another room where you pick up the study permit. If your program has a work placement or practicum component in the first year, you should also ask the officer about issuing your co-op work permit together with your study permit.

Your study permit should have the following condition so you can apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and work: 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.

Review your study permit carefully to ensure that all of the details are accurate. If you find a mistake, ask the officer to fix the error. The procedure for changing details after this point can be very time consuming.

The Edmonton International Airport is about 30 kilometres outside the city of Edmonton. There are a few ways you can get from the airport to your home.


An affordable ride from the airport or hotel is always available 24/7 with Greater Edmonton Taxi Service. Look for Yellow Cab on the curb at the airport. For more information on booking a taxi, please visit

Public transit

For $5, you can take public transit, Bus 747, from the airport to the Century Park bus and light rail transit (LRT) terminal in south Edmonton. At the terminal, you need to buy another ticket to take a bus or the train to your destination. Choose the Metro LRT line and get off at the MacEwan stop if you are coming directly to campus or to the university residence. You may not want to choose this option if you have more luggage than you can easily carry.


Pick up

If you know someone in Edmonton who will be picking you up at the airport, the passenger pick-up area is located on the lower ramp on the Arrivals level.


After arrival

Our staff and volunteers look forward to meeting you. On the first business day after you arrive in Edmonton, go to the appropriate international office:

Undergraduate students and preparatory program students

International professional development students

  • Go to the School of Continuing Education office. Bring your original transcripts, supporting documents and certified English translations of these documents with you.
  • Check all the conditions printed on your study permit. If you have questions, bring copies of your immigration documents to the MacEwan International office.

Update your address in myStudentSystem so that documents can be mailed to your new home in Edmonton and so you can apply for Alberta Health Care.

Using myStudentSystem

It is mandatory for all international students to have medical insurance. Without proper coverage, medical costs can be very expensive. Apply for Alberta Health Care or private heath care insurance as soon as you arrive in Canada.

Health and safety

Shortly after arriving in Edmonton, you should open a bank account. A representative from the bank you choose will describe available services and help you decide which account best meets your needs.

money and banking

MacEwan University is located in the heart of Edmonton, close to the Royal Alberta Museum, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Rogers Place, live music venues, festival venues and the beautiful North Saskatchewan River valley. As well as exploring campus and the neighbourhood, check out other parts of our lovely city, too.

Getting around

Before classes start

The MacEwan Card is the official student identification and library card. Get your card from the library before classes start.

You can search for your textbooks online. To find the correct textbooks, you must know the courses and sections you are enrolled in. You can see which sections you are enrolled in on myStudentSystem.

You can purchase your books online or buy them at the bookstore on campus.

The U-Pass is provided by the Students' Association of MacEwan University (SAMU). It gives you access to Edmonton, Strathcona County, St. Albert, Leduc, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, and Beaumont transit services for every term you are registered in at least one credited in-person or hybrid class.

You can add the U-Pass to a new or existing Arc Card each term using myStudentSystem.

Not all students are eligible for the U-Pass

Students who are taking all classes online or those who are in non-credit classes are not eligible for the U-pass.

Learn more about the U-Pass and the Arc Card from SAMU.


You may register and pay for your locker online.

  1. Choose your locker and make note of the building and locker number. Any empty locker without a "Reserved" sticker is available.
  2. Place a lock on it. Do not leave your locker without a lock at any time. If you remove your lock, the locker is considered vacated and will become available for another student.
  3. Register and pay for your locker online on the day that you begin using it. Only credit cards are accepted for payment. Locker fees are charged per term and are non-refundable.


Find locker fees under "Other Fees" in the Academic Calendar. MacEwan reviews and approves all fees annually.


The items in lockers that are unregistered or unpaid for may be discarded or donated. It is your responsibility to remove your lock and the contents of your locker at the end of the registration period.

MacEwan University is not responsible for items stored in lockers.

New student orientation

Visit for details on new student and parent orientations, as well as welcome events on campus at the start of term.

International student orientation

An orientation tailored specifically for new international students takes place during the first week of classes. All new international students receive an invitation.

Program events

Individual programs may also hold events for new and returning students. Watch your MacEwan University email for an invitation.

Access and Disability Resources welcome event

Access and Disability Resources (ADR) hosts an annual Welcome Event in the Fall term, approximately a week prior to the start of classes. Learn tips and strategies from other students on how to transition to ADR services at MacEwan University and meet members of the ADR team.

Find out what you owe

Find your account balance or access your Term Enrollment and Account Summary in myStudentSystem. If you adjust your enrolment, these amounts are adjusted overnight.

Using myStudentSystem

Make a payment

You can make a secure payment on your account through myStudentSystem. If you prefer not to pay online, there are several other ways to make a payment.

If you are paying by student loan, don't pay twice! MacEwan University requests that your tuition be sent to us directly from your student loan. You only need to make a payment if your loan funding does not cover the entire amount of your tuition or if you are only receiving grants. Check the "View my loans" link in myStudentSystem to see how much money will be paid to the university from your loans.


You must pay your outstanding tuition and fees before the payment deadline listed in the academic schedule.

If you do not pay your fees by the deadline, you are assessed monthly interest charges, have a registration hold placed on your student record and are at risk of being withdrawn from classes.

We’re here to help
Talk to an international student specialist online or in-person. Visit the MacEwan International office, book an appointment or attend an online drop-in session.