Before You Arrive

Loyalist College staff are available to assist international students prior to coming to Canada as we want to make your stay in Canada as easy and enjoyable as possible. The following information will help you prepare for your arrival to Canada.

1. Booking your flight

The Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, is located approximately two hours from Belleville and is the recommended airport for pick-up service. 

Important Dates


Winter 2021

Spring 2021

Fall 2021

Arrival Dates

after January 2, 2021

After April 15, 2021

after August 15, 2021

First Day of Classes

January 11, 2021

 May 10, 2021

September 7, 2021

Last Date to Arrive *

See below

See below

See below

* Due to COVID-19, it is mandatory that students entering Canada complete a 14-day quarantine period under supervision of Loyalist College. For details, please see our Travel to Canada web page.

Students arriving for a January start should NOT plan to fly during the Christmas holidays. The College is closed the week between Christmas and the new year, so it is recommended to book flights after January 2 to avoid holiday fees and complications. View the Academic Schedule.

2. Airport pickup service

The College can arrange to have you picked up at the airport upon arrival. This service is provided for a fee of $150 CAD (*prices vary). To arrange for pick up, please download and complete the Airport Pickup Form and return it to the International Centre.

3. What to bring

It is important to check with the airline to ensure you understand baggage allowances and item restriction.  Electrical currents in Canada are different from most other countries, so it may be better to purchase electronic appliances within Canada.  Please do not place anything of value in your luggage (money, jewelry, etc.) and be sure to carry it with you at all times.

For a complete list of what you can and cannot bring into Canada, please refer to

The following is a suggested list only.  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, which can vary from below zero to 100 degrees depending on the season
  • Informal clothing for class – both men and women wear slacks, blue jeans, sweatpants, etc.
  • More formal clothing just in case – dress or skirt for women, shirt and tie or suit for men
  • National dress, instruments, or other traditional material for international activities
  • Outdoor clothing such as light/heavy coats, rainwear, umbrella, hat, scarf and gloves
  • Pictures of family or other things you love from home, for comfort and encouragement
  • Medicine until you become familiar with what is available in Canada
  • Prescription, doctor’s instructions or medicine with English translation, if necessary
  • Record of immunization
  • Favourite spices or any non-perishable foods
  • Canadian currency to cover immediate costs such as rent, textbooks or groceries (we recommend at least $800 CAD)

Pre-departure Checklist

Prior to leaving your home country, ensure that you have:

  • Appropriate visa and immigration documentation
  • Loyalist College Letter of Acceptance (LOA)
  • Valid passport and study permit authorization
  • Carry-on bag with emergency personal items in the event that your luggage temporarily does not meet your destination in Canada
  • Name and address of the people with whom you are staying, if you are not staying in the Loyalist College Residence
  • Notified the International Centre at Loyalist College with flight arrival time to the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, if you require transportation services from the airport

International students may wish to bring information about their country and traditions to share with other students, faculty and the community to enhance intercultural education.

4. Housing assistance

We understand that having a comfortable place to live while attending College is important.  However, finding a place of your own for the first time can be a challenge.  Loyalist College offers on- and off-campus housing options to fit your preference and budget. Please visit Housing Options for more information. 

5. Currency considerations

When you arrive in Canada, try to have at least $400 – $800 (CAD or USD) in cash. A currency exchange service is usually available at the Toronto airport from 5 – 12 am. We also recommend that you carry enough travellers’ cheques or bank drafts to cover at least your first month’s expenses, as there will be extra costs in the first month (such as rental, damage deposits and books) and this can amount to $1,000 – $2,000 CAD for a single student. Do not depend on bank cards etc. as your only source of cash. Sometimes banks will put a hold on funds for a few weeks; it is very important that you can access money for your rent and living expenses right away.

6. Immunization

Some programs, as part of the admissions requirements, and to meet legislation for placement in various community facilities, require the submission of the Loyalist College Immunization Record.  This must be completed and returned directly to the Health Centre. It is advisable for all international students to bring proof of immunization and medical records to Canada regardless of whether it is required for your program.  Please visit the Health Centre for more information.

7. Preparing for the weather

It is important to be prepared for the climate in Belleville. Southern Ontario has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Useful information can be found at:

Winter clothes

  • Coats:  A good, warm coat will be your most important item of clothing. We suggest a thick waterproof coat.
  • Boots: We suggest you buy boots with a thick lining and thick rubber soles that will not slip on the ice. Thin-soled, unlined boots do not provide the warmth required during the winter months.
  • Gloves or mittens: Wool or fleece-lined mittens keep your fingers warmer than gloves; a good brand for warm gloves and mittens is “Thinsulate.”
  • Hat and scarf: Make sure your hat covers your ears and that the scarf is long enough to wrap around your neck. The scarf should be made from wool or another warm material. Silk scarves will not keep you warm.

Clothing materials

  • Wool: Known for its warmth and worn in the winter and late fall, wool socks and sweaters are great for the winter.
  • Cotton: A light and soft material, many clothes in Canada are made from cotton. Cotton underwear, socks, shirts, pants etc. are good for summer, spring and fall.
  • Polyester: Good for exercising and sports, polyester pants, jackets, shirts etc. In the winter, wear polyester “fleece” for warmth.

Navigating Canada During COVID-19

  • Please review the International Student Arrival Guide from Apply Board for important information and considerations for travelling to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Consider getting the ArriveCAN app. This new Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) tool reduces wait times at Canadian ports of entry and limits points of contact. The app works in airplane mode and allows you to save your information to submit upon arrival at the airport or border.
  • For Loyalist College updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation, visit

Any other questions on how to prepare for your arrival to Canada?

To make arrival arrangements, please email the International Centre at