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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Students must be 17 years old and have a minimum IELTS of 5.0.

For specific program admissions requirements please visit: 

Students are responsible for finding and securing their own accommodations.The Real Institute does not provide accommodations for students.

Options for accommodations include:

For more information about accommodation options and resources please contact Philip Shea,

*Homestays require a one time placement fee of $175.

ESL Foundation Students

Students enrolled in the ESL Foundation Program are covered by the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP, opens in new window) which is included in your tuition fees.

This plan covers medical services such as seeing a doctor, hospital stays and treatment, physical examinations, and emergency services. The cost of UHIP is included in your tuition fees. Your coverage begins on September 1st and lasts until August 31st of the following year.

You are automatically enrolled in UHIP, and will receive confirmation of enrollment upon your arrival in Canada. You are encouraged to use the on-campus Ryerson Medical Centre, located in West Kerr Hall (KHW181).

For more information contact:
Phone: (416) 979-5000, ext 6655
Email:, opens in new window or, opens in new window

In addition you are enrolled in the RSU Members’ Health and Dental Plan, external link, opens in new window. This extended insurance package includes a comprehensive set of health and dental benefits that exceed standard provincial health programs such as OHIP. Your coverage begins on September 1 and lasts until August 31 of the following year.

For more information please contact:

In person: SCC Lobby (Student Campus Centre)
Phone: (416) 979-5255, ext 2311
Email:, opens in new window

Short Term Programs

Health insurance is provided by, external link, opens in new window.

GuardMe Includes:

  • A health plan with comprehensive medical coverage
  • 24-hour access to a mental health counselling service 
  • Emergency treatment of new and acute concerns
  • Full use of the Ryerson medical clinic.

Basic health insurance fees are compulsory and are included in your tuition fees. However, you may wish to secure additional health coverage for prescription drugs, dental, etc.

Please note GuardMe is only for emergency medical care. Not covered are general visits, annual physicals, allergy/flu shots, and any tests or referrals for no-emergent or pre-existing conditions.

  1. Submit your Short Term Progam application form
  2. A student number will be generated by the Real Institute and sent to you
  3. If you pay through Western Union Business Solutions, go to the website Western Union, please choose "Real Institute" under "Level of Study"
  4. Enter your personal information, student number, the amount of Canadian Dollars to pay, select the payment currency (if your local currency does not appear as an option, please select an alternative currency or CAD option)
  5. Take the payment confirmation page to your local bank, your bank will transfer the funds to Western Union Business Solutions
  6. Once your payment and application is processed by the Real Institute, you will receive a Letter of Acceptance which you may need to obtain your visa (if required)

The ICent app provides information about pre-arrival, arrival and day to day life in Toronto. The Real Institute will send you an email prior to the start of your program with information on how to download and create an account. 

We hope that you will find this online tool helpful in your adjustment to life in Toronto and as a student at the Real Institute.

Visit the Real Institute Instagram page, external link, opens in new window to see all of our events and special occasions.

Immigration Documents

It is the students responsibility to ensure receipt of Canadian immigration documents after course registration. Please see Immigration Support, opens in new window for more information.

If you do not receive your immigration documentation in time for the ESL Foundation Program start date your full tuition can be transferred to any other session within one year of the original registration.

Please submit written notice 5 days before the start date to, opens in new window.

If you must cancel your registration because Canada Immigration has denied your visa or study permit, your full tuition will be refunded if you notify us at, opens in new window, 5 days prior to the start date of your program and include the original letter issued by the Canadian Embassy/High Commission confirming that the visa and/or study permit was denied.

Visa and Study Permits

Ryerson University’s Designated Learning Institution (DLI) Number is: O19395677651. (Note the first alpha-numeric is “O” as in Ontario).

When you apply for immigration documents at a Canadian visa offices abroad It is your responsibility to register for Real Institute courses in sufficient time to apply for and receive your Canadian immigration documents.

If you are studying for less than six months:

  1. Determine what documentation you need, external link, electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or Temporary Residency Visa (TRV)?

If you need a eTA apply here, external link.

If you need a TRV, create a MyCIC, external link, fill out the electronic application form, pay the application fee of $100 CDN and upload your supporting documents.

If you are studying for more than six months:

It is required to apply for a Study Permit. Find out more here

It is mandatory that all students are present on the first day of classes. If you are unable to arrive on time, please notify, opens in new window.

Bringing a small amount of Canadian money is the best way to pay for the initial expenses that you will have upon arrival in Toronto. Four hundred dollars in cash should be adequate for your first few days.

Canada’s currency is based on dollars and cents. Credit cards (VISA and Mastercard) are accepted for most purchases. Many stores and restaurants also accept debit cards (Interac). These bank cards allow you to pay for goods and services directly from your bank account. Some international debit cards are accepted. Ask your home bank if your card is valid in Canada before leaving your home country, and be sure you know your daily withdrawal limit.

Debit and credit cards are a popular way of making purchases in Canada. If possible, it is advised to obtain a credit card in your home country, as it is sometimes difficult for an international student to obtain one in Canada. Nonetheless, you should speak with a representative at your new bank in Canada about what options for Canadian credit cards are available to you.

A common way for recent arrivals to obtain a Canadian credit card is to give a sum of money to the issuing bank as a way to guarantee that you can repay any debt incurred. This money is held in trust, until you establish a satisfactory credit history, at which time, it is returned to you, with interest.

Banks in Canada

  • CIBC
  • Scotiabank
  • RBC
  • BMO
  • TD Canada Trust
  • HSBC
  • PC Financial 
  • Citibank
  • Back of China

To open a bank account, take a valid passport as well as Ryerson student ID card or your Study Permit document (in the case of Student ID not being available yet) to the bank or credit union of your choice.

A non-refundable application fee of $150. If applicable, Homestay registration fee of $175 is also non-refundable.

All Courses except for the ESL Foundation program adhere to the following refund schedule.

  • 100% tuition refund up to 5 calendar days before the course start date
  • 75% tuition refund between 1 and 4 calendar days before the course start date
  • No refund after the course start date

Refund payments are made to the original payers only. Refunds are not transferable. 

Course fees will be returned via Western Union. Banking fees and foreign exchange fluctuations will result in a lower amount being refunded. 

To withdrawal from the Real Institute courses please make a request via email,, opens in new window, five days prior to the start date.

Students learning English in Canada, are not permitted to work as you are not currently enrolled in a degree program.

Learn more here about study permits and off-campus work, external link, opens in new window.