Practical Information

Arrival in Canada

Once you land in Canada, you will be given a Canada Border Services Agency Declaration Card to complete. Sometimes, they provide this card while you are still on your flight. Be sure to complete it honestly and truthfully.

Make sure you carry proper identification to assist in confirming your legal right or authorization to enter Canada. Also, ensure that you have all your important documents on hand especially:

  • Your passport
  • Your Letter of Admissions/Acceptance from Seneca
  • Copy of proof of funds (bank statements, traveller’s cheques)

It is strongly advised that you carry photocopies of all your official documents in a place separate from the originals. If you lose your passport or other documents, you will have copies to assist you in replacing the lost ones. Also, leave copies of your documents with family members at home.

For more information, Visit the Canada Border Services Agency website

Study Permit

Anyone who is planning to study in Canada for longer than six months is required to have a study permit. You are advised to plan ahead as processing time vary for each country. For more information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to apply for your study permit.


Depending on your preferences, you can choose on- and off-campus housing options.

Health Insurance

Exchange students must purchase Seneca’s health insurance upon arrival. The insurance is mandatory for all international students.

The cost of your per-semester health insurance fee is provided in your Letter of Acceptance. It includes services such as hospital and doctor services in Ontario, diagnostic laboratory and X-ray services, eye examinations, emergency services and medically necessary dental care. The plan provides for doctors services and hospital ward accommodation. The plan also includes prescribed drugs, paramedical services (physiotherapist, psychologist and much more) and emergency out-of-province/country coverage (limited).

Learn more about the health insurance coverage

Managing Finances

One of the great advantages of participating on a student exchange is that you pay tuition at your home institution while attending classes at Seneca. As an exchange student at Seneca, you will have access to all the services available to full-time Seneca students.

As you are responsible for covering other costs associated with your studies and stay in Toronto, we highly recommend you prepare a budget prior to your arrival in Toronto.

Here are some things to think about to help get you started:

  • Airfare
  • Mandatory international health insurance fee of $400 CAD
  • Meals (learn about Seneca meal plans)
  • Visa applications
  • Living expenses
  • Course materials and textbooks
  • Accommodation and utility bills (if applicable)  
  • Trips and tours you may want to plan while in Canada
  • Local transportation pass (public transit)
  • Clothing and other personal items
  • School supplies
  • Phone calls
  • Field trips (if applicable)
  • Entertainment
  • Unforeseen expenses (medical care, emergency transportation, disasters, legal or diplomatic costs, etc.)

Note: Employment of exchange students in Canada is restricted. Students without study permits are not eligible to work in Canada.

Learn more about managing your finances

Log in to My.Seneca

All exchange students are provided with a Seneca email account. To set up your Seneca email account and learn how to access our online services visit Check your Seneca email regularly so that you do not miss any important information.

Questions? Contact Service Desk.

Service Desk 416.491.5050 ext. 22129

Free Airport Pickup

Seneca offers free airport pickup to all international students in their first semester. Requests for an airport pickup must be made 72 hours in advance of the flight arriving in Toronto. Please complete the Request Airport Pickup form. Our Seneca International staff will reply to you by email with a confirmation. 

Packing Checklist

Refer the Packing Checklist (PDF) to learn about what you need to pack for your arrival in Toronto.

When to Arrive

The best time to arrive in Canada is at least one week before your class and orientation begins. This will allow you time to relax as well as to learn about Toronto transit and your Seneca campus.

Tips to keep in mind:

  • It is best to arrive on a weekday, Monday through Friday, between the working hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • For those arriving for the fall term, the first Monday in September is a national holiday and all colleges, government and banks are closed.
  • For those arriving for the winter term, please note the college closes near the end of each calendar year for holidays and re-opens in the new year. Please visit Important Dates section for the exact schedule. 

Seneca Mobile Apps

Stay connected with us and download our Seneca App on your mobile devices.

Getting Around

Public transit is a great option to help you see the city and get to your place of accommodation and to our campuses. Depending on where your accommodation is, you may need to use a variety of transit services to get to campus.

Transportation options, parking and shuttle bus services available at Seneca will make the commute to your campus easy and comfortable.

Arrival at Seneca

On your first day at Seneca, the following will help you transition smoothly: 

Submit a copy of your travel documents

Exchange students must submit a copy of their Study Permit/Visa/Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to the International Mobility Coordinator ( within the first 10 days of the start of the semester.

Submit an Address in Canada Form

You must submit an Address in Canada form to the International Admissions Office. Seneca requires your new address and should always have your current local Ontario address on file.

Purchase your books

During your first week of class, you will receive course outlines that list the books you need for each of your classes. Some students may receive a booklist beforehand, depending on their program. Generally, it is best to wait until you have been to your first class before purchasing your books.

Pay for your student health insurance plan

All international students will have to purchase mandatory health insurance. More information, visit international student health insurance web page.

Orientation Sessions

We have many activities to help you get ready for studying at Seneca.

  1. Watch our Orientation Videos
  2. Attend a mandatory Exchange Student Orientation. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow exchange students as well as Seneca faculty and staff. More information about the Exchange Student Orientation will be sent to you by email. 
  3. Attend a mandatory International Student Orientation. This orientation takes place before the beginning of classes and provides vital information on the services, activities and resources available on campus.

Seneca OneCard

The OneCard is the official Seneca identification card. It is also a chip-enabled convenience card with a number of features. Use it to pay for parking plans, meal plans, photocopying and printing. The OneCard is also required to use services such as the campus shuttle bus service and Seneca’s libraries.

Obtain your Seneca ID from the OneCard office at your campus

Medical Centre

Seneca Medical Centre offers health services and provides a list of hospitals and walk-in clinics near our major campuses.

Student Activities

Seneca’s International Student Services department plans monthly activities for our International students.

Additionally, during the first two weeks of classes, we have scheduled activities to help you make the most out of your Seneca experience. For more information on the events and activities happening at your campus, please visit the events web page. 

SMILE Mentoring

Student Mentoring in Life & Education (SMILE) is a unique mentoring program designed to help you make the most of college life. SMILE offers you the chance to connect with a senior student in your program area who can support you in your transition to Seneca. 

Additional Resources

Helping you succeed means being there when you need us and making sure you have everything you need for a great experience. We are here for you at every step of your educational journey so you can make the most of your time at Seneca. We have resources  available for you during your time at Seneca.