Home » Financial tips for international students pre- and post-arrival

Financial tips for international students pre- and post-arrival

by UNN Feed

As an international student, the government of Canada requires you to have the proper financial support for the length of your study. 

This requirement is based on Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada guidelines, which state that you need $20,635 (or $15,278 if you’re studying in Québec), which is 75% of the low-income cutoff (LICO) set by Statistics Canada for your cost of living including rent, food, and tuition. 

It may seem challenging, but our financial tips below will help you prepare before you leave your home country and after you arrive. 

Pre-arrival financial tips for international students in Canada

Start saving money in a high-interest bank account in your home country. When the money is ready, you must transfer it into a guaranteed investment certificate to improve your chances and speed up the process for a student visa or study permit in Canada.

Read more about Canada’s Student Direct Stream program. 

Step 1: Open a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

Canada has many banks where you can open a GIC, but “the big five banks” are the most common, with trustworthy reputations dating back centuries.

The big five banks are: 

  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank). 

Any deposits into these banks are insured with the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation for up to $100,000. 

You earn interest on your money while it waits for your arrival in Canada. 

Scotiabank is Canada’s most international bank, with 2,700 locations globally. Based on the number of GICs funded, they’ve helped more international students than other banks. Maybe it’s thanks to their easy online application process. 

Step 2: Plan to live in Canada

Canada has a broad range of weather depending on where you go to school—from the misty rains in British Columbia and Nova Scotia to the humid summers of Toronto and the snow piles of…

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