If you're travelling from outside of Canada to Waterloo, find out what you need to pack in your luggage and bring with you on your flight. 

Before you start packing

  • Verify your luggage restrictions with your airline.
  • Check which items the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) doesn't permit through Customs (e.g. firearms and ammunition, pets, plants, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and meat products).
  • Plan to pack two sets of clothing in your hand luggage in case your flight is delayed or if your luggage is lost in transit.
  • Prepare your non-medical masks and face coverings because it's expected that you'll put on a fresh mask when you arrive at the port of entry. 
  • Arrange to have approximately $3,000-$4,000 CAD in travel money (unless you've already transferred money to a Canadian bank). 
  • Prepare a packing list. Not only will this help you stay organized, but you’ll need to show this list to customs when you enter Canada. If you’re moving into Campus Housing, review their packing list.

Documents you should bring

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Make sure you have packed the following extremely important documents in your carry-on luggage. You'll be required to present the following documents to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer when entering Canada. 

  • Passport
  • Temporary resident visa (TRV) in your passport or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) number approval depending on your country of citizenship or be a United States citizen
  • Letter of Introduction (study permit approval letter) issued to you by a Canadian visa office (new students only) or a valid study permit (current students)

We recommend you also have the following documents in your carry-on luggage readily available for review. Connect with an immigration consultant if you have questions. 

Students entering Canada for the first time
Proof of tuition payment from Quest 
Proof of sufficient funds for at least your first year
Letter of acceptance
Proof of enrolment from The Centre if you’ve registered in courses for the winter 2023 term and/or studied online before entering
Address of where you'll be living long-term
Copy of your English language proficiency scores (bring a copy even if you’ve already mailed it to UWaterloo)
Official academic transcripts from past education (bring originals even if you’ve already mailed them to UWaterloo)
Other government-issued photo identification cards from your country
Official English or French translations of birth and/or marriage certificates if you're coming to Canada with your spouse/common-law partner and/or dependent children
Proof of a co-op job, if you're entering for a co-op work term

Valid immigration medical examination results if in the last 12 months you have lived for 6 months or longer in one or more designated countries or territories

Note: If the exam you completed for your study permit application has expired, or will expire before you enter Canada, you must complete another medical exam with an IRCC Panel Physician before arriving in Canada.

Students re-entering Canada
Proof of finances such as bank statements, Quest tuition receipt or proof of funding
Proof of enrolment from The Centre for the current and/or upcoming term
Proof of a co-op job, if you're entering for a co-op work term

Valid immigration medical examination results if in the last 12 months you have lived for 6 months or longer in one or more designated countries or territories

Note: If you’ve been outside of Canada for more than six months and lived in a designated country or territory, you must complete a medical exam with an IRCC Panel Physician before returning to Canada.

Items you should pack

  • Required documents to present when entering Canada
  • Books
  • Items that remind you of your home country (eg. flag, music or family recipes)
  • Medications
  • Toiletries
  • Weather appropriate clothes
  • Light bed linens (bed sheets, pillowcases, etc)
  • Laptop
  • Thermometer
  • Musical instruments (if you'd like to join an instrumental ensemble)

There's no dress code at Waterloo. Students here usually dress casually in comfortable and practical clothes. Bring whatever clothing you like, in the style that you are used to wearing. If you’re in a co-op program, you’ll need additional business attire for interviews and work terms.

The weather in Canada varies from season to season. Classrooms are heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer. However, we recommend that you bring different types of clothing to suit the changing climate outdoors. 

  • Spring and summer: Light-weight clothing is best
  • Spring and fall: Sweaters and light waterproof jackets are useful for cool and rainy days
  • Winter: Heavy jackets, scarves, gloves, hats and waterproof boots are essential

Items you can buy in Canada

We recommend that you buy bulkier or heavier items once you’ve arrived, especially if you have a luggage allowance. Items you can buy here include: pillows, towels, cleaning supplies, hangers, as well as winter clothes. If you’d like to ship items to Canada before you arrive, contact your Residence Life Coordinator (if you’ll be living in Campus Housing) or your landlord. You can also order room essentials from the W Store and have your shipment delivered by Campus Courier for free to your dorm (if you're living on campus).