Things International Students Should Pack: The Ultimate Guide

Things International Students Should Pack: The Ultimate Guide

Getting an offer letter and study permit is the first phase of beginning your life as an international student. Then comes the second and the tedious phase. Packing and going to your destination. Going to a new country is a big step, and one of the questions that plague an international student’s mind is, “what do I need to bring when coming to Canada as an international student?” 

 There are many necessary things you need to carry with you when moving to Canada as an international student. We know you are worried, so we are here to help. Here’s a list of the things you need to carry to Canada. 


There are many necessary things you need to carry with you when moving to Canada as an international student. We are here to help you. Here is a list of the things you need to bring when coming to Canada as an international student.

Essential Things International Students Should Pack

Following are some of the important things to pack when coming to Canada as an international student:


You cannot leave the country without possessing the necessary documents. So double-check if you have taken all of them. Here are the documents that you will need.

  • Letter of acceptance from the university or college
  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • VISA
  • Academic transcripts and documents
  • Medical reports
  • GIC documents

Clothing and Footwear

clothes and footwear

How can you travel without packing your clothes, right? While taking clothes is important, you don’t have to take a lot of clothes as Canada is pretty inexpensive. And there are a lot of thrift stores where you can find trendy clothes at low prices.

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Pack comfortable clothes and don’t forget to pack a pair of formal clothes for interviews and presentations. We all know that Canada is very cold and you will have to wear thick jackets. But it is better to buy jackets in Canada instead of buying them from your home country as jackets from Canada are better suited to the climatic conditions over there. You can take other winter accessories such as socks, beanies, gloves, etc. 

Take a comfortable pair of shoes too as well as slippers. Don’t buy snow shoes from your home country; buy them from Canada instead. 


Laptops are a bit expensive in Canada, so it is better to bring one from your country. But if the laptop is for your study purposes, it is better to one from here. Your university website will have specifications for the required laptop for your program. Check the university before purchasing a laptop. Buying a laptop from here has some advantages such as free services, warranty, etc. 

Smartphones above 3G can be used in Canada, so you won’t have to ditch your old phone. Carry mobile chargers, a trimmer and its charger, and 2-3 universal adaptors for your electronic devices as the power outlets might not be like the ones in your home country. 

Kitchen Utensils


I can’t stress enough how important it is to take some utensils with you. You will have to cook your own food, and utensils are very expensive in Canada. So carrying basic things such as rolling pins, strainer, pressure cooker, and cutlery will be easy on your pocket. Buying them from Canada would cost you a lot of money. 


When you leave your country to study in Canada, you will begin to miss the food you grew up eating. So it is advised to pack some food you like, such as snacks, spices, packaged food, etc. Please note that you will have to declare the dried and packaged food that you have packed at customs, or else they will be seized, and you will have to pay a hefty fine.

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Keeping basic medicines with you is important as they might come in handy. You must take medicines for body aches, common cold, menstrual cramps, etc. Please note that you need to carry a prescription for the medicines, or else they will be taken away from you. So don’t forget the prescription.

If you are consuming prescription medicines, then make sure to carry a lot. And don’t forget to check if the medicines prescribed by your doctor are available in Canada or not. 



If you are a makeup junkie, then there’s a piece of bad news for you. Makeup is very expensive in Canada. Even drugstore makeup products are pretty expensive. So run to the nearest beauty store and grab all your favourite makeup products. 


Well, I don’t have to mention this specifically because who would forget to carry some money while travelling to another country? But how much money should you carry? Take enough cash for your initial expenses. Please note that if you carry over 10,000 CAD, you will have to declare it at customs or the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has the power to confiscate your money. Who would want that?

While MasterCard and visas are accepted all over the world, it is still advisable to carry some foreign currency with you. You can exchange foreign currency at foreign exchange desks, airport kiosks, and private money exchange businesses. 


Things like bedspreads, pillowcases, bath towels, etc., are very expensive in Canada. Hence, bring them from your country to save money. There’s no need to bring blankets from home as you will get comfy and thick blankets here in Canada, which will help you sleep well during the country’s harsh and prolonged winter season. The ones brought from your country might not be very helpful in Canada’s harsh climate.

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If you are carrying sharp objects like scissors, safety pins and knives, please make sure to keep them in your check-in luggage instead of your cabin baggage. 


How many bags can a student take to Canada?

The average weight international students are allowed to take to Canada is around 40-46 kgs. So it is advisable to carry two bags, each weighing around 23 kgs. So you can carry all the essentials. Make sure to check which items are illegal to carry with you before packing your bags, lest you end up in trouble at the airport. If you carry things that are prohibited, it might result in a delay in travel as well as the imposition of hefty fines.

Can international students carry snacks with them to Canada?

Yes, international students can carry snacks with them to Canada. When international students reach Canada, the initial days or months are hard as it takes time to adjust to eating a new cuisine. And they crave the food that they used to eat back at their home. So it is advisable to carry some snacks with you. Even if some snacks from your country might be available in Canada, they are really expensive here. So pack your favourite mouth-watering snacks.

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