Four things the International Student Support office can help you with

Moving to a new country is an exciting experience, but it can seem anxiety-inducing and difficult to figure out the ropes all by yourself. Luckily you don’t have to! The International Student Support office (or ISS for short) is there for you and is ready to help you with pretty much anything you need. I’m going to give you a glimpse of the things I was worried about when I was preparing to come to Ryerson.

Arriving in Canada

It’s no secret that planning an international move is hard – especially during a global pandemic. Keeping up with the travel requirements in place and making arrangements for your arrival can be tedious, to say the least. You may be having trouble determining whether you’re eligible to enter Canada, finding details on if a mandatory quarantine is required or simply being nervous about what to do once you arrive. Whatever the case is, ISS has your back. As travel restrictions change, ISS works to keep all Ryerson international students informed and provide support as best they can according to each student’s needs.

Immigration Support

Have you been endlessly searching the internet trying to figure out how to apply for a study permit? Or maybe you’re still confused about the terms of your permit? Well fear not, ISS is here to help. They’ll walk you through the details of having a study permit, how it works and any other questions you may have.

But that’s not all! For example, in the future, you might decide to take an extra year to graduate and need an extension of your study permit. Or maybe you’ve decided to apply for a co-op work term and need to apply for a co-op work permit. They can help you with that and all of your immigration needs, so don’t be shy to reach out to them.

Health Insurance

All international students in Ontario are required to be enrolled in the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), which has coverage comparable to that of OHIP (basically, insurance for Ontario citizens/residents). You can use your UHIP for doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency services, medical exams and treatments. UHIP’s preferred network includes many nearby hospitals and clinics such as St. Michael’s Hospital and Toronto General Hospital, which are within a walking distance or a short car ride away from campus. It also includes the Ryerson Medical Centre so you can access medical care without leaving campus, which is super convenient! ISS automatically enrols all international students and the fee is charged with your tuition so there’s nothing additional for you to do.

Filing Taxes

Like many others, I was familiar with my country’s tax system, but I had no clue how to navigate Canada’s when I arrived here. Fortunately, ISS hosts free tax clinics for all Ryerson international students. As students in Canada, we have to file taxes every year so make sure to make a mental (or physical) note of that so you don’t forget. In some cases, we can actually get money back as well. For instance, moving expenses can be deducted from your taxes. 

If you have any other questions, visit the International Student Support page. If you are an applicant coming to Ryerson this fall, send them an email directly to reach out and ask for guidance: issask@ryerson.ca. Good luck!

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