Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Packing For Your Trip: International Students

August 17, 2018 - 10:10

It’s less than two weeks until you arrive on campus!! We are looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the StFX campus.

The process of moving from one country to another can be one of the most stressful and yet exciting times ever. As we get closer to the start of school, what to pack and what to leave behind will be at the top of your priority list. As an International student, the luxury of having your parents drive you to school with every single item that you want is exactly that – a luxury not many get to have. The reality is, if you are flying, you will likely only be allowed to travel with two large suitcases and one hand-held piece of luggage. This means that you will have to be efficient and strategic in your packing, and here are a few tips for achieving that!

First, here is a list of important documents you should make sure to pack for your trip and which may need to be presented at Immigration:

  • Valid Passport with entry permission documents (Student visa)
  • Study Permit. Bring the letter from the Canadian Embassy if applicable
  • Original letter of acceptance from St Francis Xavier University
  • Evidence of financial support to prove you have enough funds to cover your tuition and living expenses (bank statements, tuition payment receipts, etc.)
  • Original transcripts or school certificates
  • Medical and immunization records if possible (copies)
  • Driver’s license or International Driver’s License (if you have one)
  • Prescription, doctor’s instructions or medicine with English translation if necessary
  1. Be patient and pack well in advance to ensure you are ready and have everything you need prior to your departure. It is a good idea to take photos of your documents and email them to yourself and/or make photocopies and leave them at home or with a family member. Should you lose your documents, replacing them would be much easier.
  2. Do not place anything of value in your checked luggage. Instead, keep it close-by and carry it with you at all times  (items such as money, jewelry, medication, and your passport should be in your hand luggage).
  3. The weather in Antigonish ranges from near-tropical summers of 28 degrees, to very cold winters as low as -15 degrees. You may need different kinds of clothing to stay comfortable all year round. It is very important that you wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather, especially in winter. Refer to our post on surviving winter as an international student for more tips! Some items you may prefer to purchase upon arrival in Canada due to size and weight:
    • Pillows, bedding, towels, etc.
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Clothing for Canadian weather such as coats and boots, rainwear and umbrella, hat, scarf, gloves
    • Phones and laptops
    • Adaptors and other electronic gadgets (note that voltage in Canada is 110 volts, 60Hz)
  4. Make sure to pack photo albums of your family and friends, along with any other memorabilia that will comfort you when you are feeling lonely or homesick. If the music from your country or church cannot easily be found on YouTube, bring a CD or external hard drive with you that you can play at any time.
  5. Bring clothing that reflects your culture and background. These will be useful for international events which involve wearing cultural dress to show off and celebrate your nationality. Additionally, bring your flag. You can put this up for display in your room and talk about it with your Canadian and other international friends!
  6. If you enjoy cooking (and even if you don’t), pack some spices and non-perishable food items from home. In my first year of university I did not return home for two years and always craved my country’s food, so being able to cook with some things from home really helped me out. Make sure to declare these items at the airport so that they will not be confiscated (as long as you don’t bring any fresh vegetables or meat, you should be fine).

I hope you find this post helpful! If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to let us know below in the comments section or leave your name and email on the Contact page to get in touch with us. See you soon Internationals!

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