International Students

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8. Packing your bags

Your departure date is fast approaching and you’re wondering what to bring.

Before you start packing, check with your airline about the maximum number of suitcases and maximum baggage weight permitted. You might also want to ask about the excess baggage surcharge. When you’re packing for a journey that will last months, it’s easy to exceed your weight limits! Of course, another option is to have your personal effects sent by air or sea cargo ...


Canada Customs prohibits the importation of certain items into the country. Before you leave, it is extremely important to find out what you can and cannot bring — including items of value. You can obtain this information from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Note that you may also be subject to certain regulations when you return to your country.

For more information:

Electrical appliances

If you plan on bringing along any electrical appliances, keep in mind that Canada uses a 110-volt/60-hertz system. European appliances, for instance, require a voltage converter and adaptor to operate in Canada. Laptop computers generally have built-in converters; however, you may need an adaptor to plug your power cable into a wall socket. Such adaptors are generally available at the airport.

Important documents

For security reasons, you are strongly advised to carry any important documentation (passport, CAQ, study permit, letter of admission, proof of financial resources) in your carry-on luggage. If possible, keep these documents with you at all times. These papers must be shown to immigration authorities when you arrive in Canada. Sadly, each year a certain number of unfortunate students lose their luggage with their papers. Don’t be one of them!


Do not carry large sums of money in cash with you, as students have reported thefts in the past.  Carry a small amount of cash on you for your first expenses.  The airport has a money exchange office as well as ATMs if you need to withdraw/change money.  We advise you to prefer travelers check and/or bank and credit cards for your major upcoming expenses.  

Carry with you (a) recent document(s) that proves that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada. Although this aspect has already been analyzed during the processing of your CAQ for studies and/or study permit application(s), the border agent could request a copy of these documents before admitting you to Canada.


Québec’s climate has four distinct seasons, with temperatures ranging widely between summer and winter. The province’s harsh winters are no secret; but you may or may not know that Montréal summers can be extremely hot and humid. Yes, you’ll need to be fully equipped for winter, starting with a good insulated coat, hat, mittens or gloves, scarf and lined boots, but don’t forget that you’ll need warm-weather clothing, too.