- Check in with Home Stay (if applicable) – If you are staying with a home stay, be sure that you follow the instructions for airport pick up and if necessary call your home stay to inform them of your arrival.
- Check in with Home Contact – Call the family member or close friend with whom you have arranged a regular communication schedule and inform them that you have arrived safely. If you are staying with a home stay family, it is important to discuss telephone privileges with them at the beginning. Calling long distance on a regular basis can become expensive, and you will likely be asked to pay for the calls that you have made. In many cases it is a good idea to purchase a local cellular phone with a long distance plan that suits your needs.
- Settle into Home Stay or other Accommodation – Take some time to rest and organize your new home. As you unpack your belongings, take time to ensure that you have everything you will need. If you discover that something important has been forgotten, such as a prescription medication or important document, it is better to discover this as soon as possible so that you have time to have your family member send it to you right away.
- Visit the College – If you have not yet selected and officially registered for courses (if you do not have a course schedule, you are not registered), please visit your advisor at the college as soon as you arrive in order to register for courses. If you have not already applied for medical insurance, you must do this before you will be permitted to register for classes.
- Attend College Orientation Session – The date of the orientation session will be printed on your acceptance letter to the college. Attendance on this day is mandatory, and it will help you to learn about the college and the resources available to you as a student. If you have not already applied for medical insurance, please see Student Services to apply for it after the orientation session.
- Secure Finances – It is usually better and less expensive to open a local bank account than to use a foreign account. The bank may require a letter from the college to confirm your status as an international student, and you can request this letter from the admissions office. If you are planning to use an international credit card (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) it is a good idea to use it to make a purchase soon after you arrive. If there is any problem with the card, discovering this early will give you time to find a solution.
- Explore your New Home – Before you leave your new home, remember to write down the address and telephone number and always carry it with you until you have it memorized. Take a walk around your new neighborhood to get your bearings on the area, have a ride on the bus or SkyTrain, visit the grocery store, get to know your host family, roommate, or neighbor.
The Vancouver Tourist Information Centre is located next to Canada Place at Waterfront SkyTrain station. Here you can pick up a copy of the Official Visitors Guide to Vancouver, as well as maps and other useful information. The various staff members speak many languages, and the Tourist Centre is open 7 days per week, regularly from 8:30am – 6:00pm.