General information for future international students

I would like to share my experience entering Canada with you.

As you may have already found out, in most cases you will have to stop over in Toronto to get to Windsor. What I didn't know before arriving in Toronto is that also in Toronto my documents will be checked and my final residence permit / work permit will be issued. So be prepared to have the conversation in Toronto Pearson Airport regarding the documents for your stay in Canada. 

I thought it was good to have a short transfer time from Toronto to Windsor.  Unfortunately, this was my undoing and I missed my planned onward flight to Windsor. But the very nice staff of the airline made it possible that I could take the next flight to Windsor. So, I arrived with about 5 hours delay, but I arrived and my luggage was already there. If this happens to you, don't panic. Every employee at the airport was always trying to help me.

To view UWindsor essential services and tools, check out our resources checklist for students

I suggest that you have a comfortable time of about 3 hours at the Toronto Pearson Airport. Often you will have to wait at border control or if your first flight is delayed, it is better to have some time before your next flight on to Windsor. After you have passed the border control you will find things to do, to pass the time at the airport.

I also wrote down some important information, when I spoke to the International Student Advisor who assists International Students majoring primarily in Engineering. They sent me a short list with the contact information and who to contact in the different departments for all kind of students. (see the attached pdf document) They also briefly gave me some information that you as a future student need to be aware of. For example, you need a health insurance for the time you are in Canada and you also need to set up a student account for the University of Windsor. You can find more information in the following link  or on the website "University of Windsor Future Students". Also you have to apply for your social insurance number (SIN), if you want to work in Canada. You can easily apply for it in a Service Canada Centre at the Windsor City Hall or online. You can find more information on the official website of the Government of Canada.

You will also need to open a Canadian bank account. You can do this at a bank branch in Windsor. Don't forget your important documents like passport, residence permit, study permit and so on for your appointments. For all other questions, such as what documents you need to apply for a visa, how long it takes and what else you need to consider, I advise you to inform yourself in detail on the site of the Government of Canada (

Flags on poles

You'll find these flags when you walk along the Detroit River near the University of Windsor

Sun setting over Ambassador Bridge

View of the Detroit River and the Ambassado Brigde near the University at sunset