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Update: Ryerson University’s readiness plan to welcome international students

As was announced by the federal government earlier this fall, all post secondary institutions must have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their provincial government to be able to welcome international students.

Effective November 17th, Ryerson's readiness plan has been approved by the federal and provincial governments. 

In addition to Ryerson University’s approved COVID-19 readiness plan, international students must be eligible to enter Canada through possession of a valid study permit or letter of introduction issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). For more information related to travel to Canada please visit this webpage, external link. If you are unclear about your eligibility to enter Canada, please contact International Student Support at issask@ryerson.ca

Date: November 17, 2020

New Arrivals

You have made a big step by choosing to come to Canada, and ISS is here to guide and support you during your studies at Ryerson! Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at Ryerson.

Before You Arrive

There are many things to consider before you begin your studies in Canada. This pre-arrival checklist will help you get ready.
 

Important Notes: Please be aware that border restrictions remain in place. The Government of Canada has indicated that international students may enter Canada, external link if they are exempt from the travel restrictions AND:

  • They have a valid study permit, OR
  • They have been approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, OR
  • They are coming from the United States. 

In addition to the above criteria, your travel to Canada must be non-optional and non-discretionary, external link. This means that your purpose of travel to Canada is essential.

For additional information for international students related to immigration, please visit the Student Affairs COVID-19 Information and Updates page

Make sure you have proof that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions and that you’re travelling for a non-optional or non-discretionary purpose, external link. This means that your purpose of travel to Canada is essential.

When the border services officer greets you, they will look at several factors, including whether:

  • You’re already living in Canada
  • If you’re already living in Canada, your return is non-discretionary
  • You’re able to complete a 14-day self-isolation period as soon as you arrive at your final destination
  • You begin studying after you complete your self-isolation
  • You need to be in Canada for your program (for laboratories, workshops)
  • Pursuing your studies online is not an option at your school or not possible from your home country (due to internet restrictions or bandwidth limitation)

You must also bring:

  • a valid study permit, or
  • a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit, if you’re coming from the United States, or
  • a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, if you’re coming from any other country

IMPORTANT: If your studies will be conducted online for the Fall 2020 semester and you are seeking to return to Canada, please fill out the google formStatus Letter Request Form, external link and request "Confirmation of Enrolment - Support letter for traveling to Canada for students with a valid study permit or study permit approval issued on or before March 18, 2020”. This is intended as a support letter and does not guarantee your entry to Canada.

Before you travel, you can contact the Border Information Service, external link for more information.

A border services officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.

For additional information for international students related to immigration, please visit the Student Affairs COVID-19 Information and Updates page.

For additional information and updates for international students related to COVID-19, please visit the Student Affairs COVID-19 Information and Updates page and refer to the International Student Support section.

If you are exempt from the travel restrictions and are able to travel to Canada, please make copies of all your documents and make a list of all your valuable items just in case they get lost or stolen.

Your checklist should include:

  • Valid Passport
  • Letter of Introduction (approval letter for Study permit)
  • Visa/ eTA

Other Important Items:

  • Airline tickets
  • Credit cards
  • Emergency contact information
  • Medicines and prescriptions
  • Birth certificate (copy)
  • Transcripts and educational documents (extra copies)

If you are exempt from the travel restrictions and are able to travel to Canada, please make copies of all your documents and make a list of all your valuable items just in case they get lost or stolen.

  • Valid Passport
  • Letter of Introduction (approval letter for Study permit)
  • Visa/ eTA


Other Important Items:

  • Airline tickets
  • Credit cards
  • Emergency contact information
  • Medicines and prescriptions
  • Birth certificate (copy)
  • Transcripts and educational documents (extra copies)

Please make sure that you monitor yourself for any symptoms, external link and do not travel if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

When you meet the border services officer, you may have to show them:

  • This letter has your permit reference number, which is used to issue your study permit
  • If you have a valid eTA, it will be linked to the passport you used to apply for your study permit
  • Children under 18 should have valid identification with them. The documents a minor child needs to present depend on whether the child is travelling alone or with someone. Find out about the requirements for minor children at this link., external link
  • Disclose your funds of  CAD$10,000 or more
  • Self-isolation site contact information, including cell phone number for the driver
  • Ryerson International Student Support contact information (issask@ryerson.ca)Print out of Self-Isolation Plan

 

How to Prepare

Anyone entering Canada by air will be required to pass  health screening measures prior to boarding their flight and upon arrival in Canada. You must:

  • Have a plan to self-isolate for 14 days , external link when you arrive in Canada, even if you have no symptoms. Print a copy of the self-isolation plan to present to border officials upon arrival in Canada (a template has been created and provided for your guidance).
  • Download the ArriveCAN mobile App, external link or accessible web-based form, external link, or a paper form.  This is a mandatory step for anyone travelling to Canada.
  • Complete the pre-arrival forms on the app.
  • Consider your accommodation and food options during your isolation period. Avoid leaving your place of residence to shop for or pick-up food. 
  • Isolate yourself from others if you have COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19. If you start to feel worse, contact your health care provider or Telehealth (1-866-797-0000).

  • Keep a distance of at least two metres between yourself and others

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, and use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. 

After 14 days, you can stop isolating and you should continue to adhere to public health expectations, practices and protocols. 


 Packing

In addition to regular packing requirements, please also arrange to travel with the following:

  • Prepare your non-medical masks and face coverings, external link. These masks should: 
    • allow for easy breathing
    • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
    • maintain their shape after washing and drying
    • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
    • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
    • be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
    • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping
  • Pack your essential items, external link which include but are not limited to:
    • Certain categories of prescription medicine or special medical items should be carried together with a medical note signed by a physician certifying that you require the medication or the items for a medical condition.
    • Toiletries should also be carried in sufficient quantity for the entire visit unless their availability at the travel destination is assured. These will include items for dental care, eye care (including contact lenses), skin care and personal hygiene.

As per the Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act, , external linkyou are required to self-isolate for 14 days immediately upon arrival in Canada. This means that you must stay on your own in your room for 14 days and avoid contact with others. Your isolation site should provide you with food, clean linens every couple of days, a comfortable room and access to Wi-Fi.

This means:

  • Stay in your own room as much as possible and away from others. Do not leave your room unless there is a medical emergency (1-866-797-0000).
  • Keep your room well-ventilated and clean –open your window to let the air circulate.
  • Practice good hygiene
    • Wash your hands frequently with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when coughing or sneezing, or use a tissue. Avoid coughing into either your hands or into the air. Dispose of used tissues right away into a trash bin and immediately wash your hands.
    • Flush the toilet with the lid down.
    • Package up your garbage – empty garbage frequently and wash your hands immediately.
    • Refer to the COVID-19 laundry policy at your isolation site for having your clothes washed.
  • Stay connected to friends and family via text, email, Zoom, etc.
  • Monitor your physical and mental well-being. If you are not feeling well, use the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool to help determine if you need further assessment or testing. Contact your and quarantine provider immediately if you feel sick.


Please remember that self-isolation is a mandatory requirement of the Quarantine Act and not optional.

Following completion of your 14-day self-isolation period, if you have not presented any symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Confirm transportation arrangements to your permanent accommodation
  • Transfer to accommodation within your city of arrival/isolation following safe transport protocol
  • For the duration of your stay in Canada, please be mindful of and respect public health directives.
    • Continue to practice proper hygiene, including hand washing and use of hand sanitizer;
    • Use proper coughing and sneezing etiquette;
    • Practice physical distancing.

  

Getting Started at Ryerson Checklist

Post-quarantine, here is a checklist for setting up your student account, accessing your courses, and finding community.

Living On-campus

There are multiple room styles options between the residence buildings that you can choose from based on your preference. Learn more about on-campus housing


Off-Campus Housing

There are off-campus residences near the university. To learn about how to look for off-campus housing, you can visit the Off-Campus Housing website.


It is highly recommended that you secure housing prior to arriving in Toronto. While private housing may be found in Toronto after arrival, housing suitable for students is limited, particularly during the back-to-school period in late August and early September. The duration of a standard private residential lease is 1 year. Keep in mind that most landlords will require you to pay first and last month's rent up front.

 

Not sure what to prepare for or expect when you are living in Canada? EduCanada provides a variety of information that will help you get acquainted with Student Life in Canada, including tips before you arrive, a pre-departure checklist and making the most out of your stay while studying in Canada. For more information visit EduCanada, external link

  

Navigating Toronto and surrounding municipalities

How do I get to Ryerson University from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)?

Toronto Pearson is close to many public transit, external link routes which can take you several areas in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is responsible for providing public transit in the City of Toronto. As of July 2, 2020, face masks are mandatory for riding on the TTC. , external linkThe TTC serves this area with a grid network of:

  • four subway lines (train)
  • 11 streetcar routes; and
  • more than 140 bus routes


GO Transit

GO Transit is a network of train and bus lines that keep people moving around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

How do I pay to use the GO?

  1. Presto Card, external link
  2. Buy tickets online or at the GO station - For more information you can refer here, external link

Operators on the bus/streetcar/train do not sell fares or carry change.

  1. Exact cash
  2. Tokens: A fare is good for one continuous trip on the TTC, including transfers between routes.
  3. Presto card: Your PRESTO card works on transit agencies in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and Ottawa.
  4. Metropass: Metropass provides unlimited travel in a specific month on all regular TTC services. Extra fare required for Downtown Express routes or contracted routes operated by the TTC outside the City of Toronto.

There are two types of metropasses that you can purchase:

You can find out how much each Metropass costs, external link.

Newcomer programming at International Student Support guides current students who are new to Canada in their transition to studying at Ryerson and putting down roots in the Greater Toronto Area. Currently, we offer 

  • one-on-one settlement advising
  • Canadian citizenship workshops
  • resources to support students’ academics, pursue career goals and connect to the community.

While newcomer students may not share the same status, the common experience of settling in a new country and studying at Ryerson brings them together. International Student Support defines a newcomer student as an individual who has been in Canada for five years or less (1). Newcomer students may hold any of the following statuses (2) in Canada:

  • Permanent resident
  • Convention refugee/protected person
  • Refugee claimant
  • Canadian citizen (Naturalized, or recently returned citizen after an extended absence)
  • Temporary resident
  • Non status 

Additionally, International Student Support would be pleased to support students who self-identify as newcomers to Canada but do not fall under the criteria defined above.

  

Notes:

  1. Statistics Canada, external link uses the terms ‘newcomer’ and ‘recent immigrant’ interchangeably and define a newcomer as a landed immigrant who came to Canada up to five years prior to a given census year

Family Support

We are pleased to welcome international and newcomer students at all levels of study who will be accompanied by members of their family, such as a partner and/or children. The Family Support: Pre-Arrival Resource Guide provides you with valuable information to support you and your loved ones’ transition to life in Canada.