NEW International Students Guide Winter 2024 Durham College has offered me the chance to pursue Project Management after nine years of work experience. This course offers a great course structure, learning possibilities, and is well suited for international students. This has provided me the chance to polish my skills and help me re-enter the educational environment. Students at Durham College have excellent opportunities to open up during talks and feel more at home in a Canadian setting. The course is taught by a superb and encouraging faculty that is ever eager to teach more. Professors are open-minded and welcoming to everyone. The best part about this place is that they place a strong emphasis on both academics and personal growth. The faculty at Durham College goes above and beyond their call of duty to support the students and provide them with any additional support, guidance, or advice they may require along the path. College career services provided at Durham can help you construct a resume in the Canadian format and can point you in the proper path. Enjoy being a member of the Durham family. Sri Sai Ramya Tholeti Project Management student Congratulations on joining a diverse community of learners! We can’t wait to welcome you to the Durham College (DC) campuses, situated on the beautiful lands that we share with the Peoples of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. DC is committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment where each of you can access the resources and services that you need to achieve success. Read on carefully to set yourself up for a great first semester at DC. Arriving STEP 1: UPDATE YOUR STUDY PERMIT STATUS Once you’ve accepted your Letter of Acceptance and paid your tuition to DC, you should immediately begin the process of obtaining a study permit. After being approved for a study permit by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), you will receive a port of entry letter of introduction and will be automatically issued a temporary resident visa (TRV) if you are from a visa required country. Keep us updated using the Visa Status Update. This must be completed by January 12, 2024. You must update your study permit status along the way, meaning you must use the above form when you apply for a study permit, when you receive your study permit approval, and when you receive your study permit. STEP 2: PLAN YOUR TRAVEL For all travellers entering Canada by air, land or marine mode, click here to stay up-to-date with the travel regulations. While making your travel plan, you can choose to use the free DC arrival services (while space is available), or make your own arrival arrangements. The DC arrival services are offered for bookings from Sunday, December 17, 2023 to Sunday, January 7, 2024. To book the DC arrival services, click here. Once we receive the maximum number of reservations, the service will no longer be offered. To make your own arrival arrangements, you can find the shuttle options from the Toronto Pearson airport here. As soon as you’ve booked your flight, complete and submit your International Arrival Form. Register and join our “Arrive in Canada” workshops to learn about the resources and services available to you. These online sessions will also provide information on: Travelling to Canada Housing Health insurance Making new friends Finding a part-time job When you arrive in Canada, you will meet a border services officer who will make sure you meet some basic requirements. To enter Canada, you must provide the documents listed here, including but not limited to: A valid travel document (e.g. passport) The port of entry letter of introduction (i.e. your study permit approval letter) The Letter of Acceptance from DC Any other documents the visa office told you to bring Valid immigration medical exam results, if applicable Proof that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay As soon as you arrive in Canada, you should update your address and contact number through MyDC (see Step 5 for more information on MyDC). Note that when you update your Canadian phone number on MyDC, area code is the first three numbers in your 10-digit phone number. Housing STEP 3: FIND A LONG-TERM PLACE TO LIVE You can choose to live on or off campus during your studies at DC. It is highly recommended that you start your search early and secure a place to live before you travel to Canada. You should consider finding a suitable place close to campus and easily accessible by regular and frequent public transit (Durham Region Transit). Check your campus location here. Below are the housing options available. Click here to learn more about each option. On-campus residence Off-campus residence Homestay Health insurance STEP 4: UNDERSTAND YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE International students are enrolled in a mandatory health insurance plan, with coverage beginning January 1, 2024. Student VIP provides basic insurance coverage for illness, injury or medical emergencies, and extended insurance coverage for other medical services such as prescription medication, dental, vision care, travel coverage and other treatment providers (chiropractic, massage, physiotherapy, etc.). If you are living in Canada with dependents (see here for more information), you may consider purchasing insurance for your family. To “opt” family in, you must contact the provider directly between January 1 and January 31, 2024. For additional information, please contact the Durham College Student Association (DCSA) by phone: 905-721-1609 ext. 3988, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or through live chat. Getting ready for school STEP 5: NAVIGATE DC TOOLS DC Connect is your online class homeroom. This is where you will access the online components of each of your courses, including your course material such as course outlines, lectures, assignments, grades and other content shared by your professors. Watch this video to learn more about DC Connect. To access DC Connect: Go to DC Connect login page. Use your student number as your username and network password to log into your account. If needed, your network password can be reset here. Contact Service Desk if you need assistance. DC Mail is your official email address used by DC to communicate with you. You are expected to use your DC Mail to reach out to your faculty or college staff. To access DC Mail: Go to DC Mail login page. Use your student number as your username and network password to log into your account. If needed, your network password can be reset here. Contact Service Desk if you need assistance. MyDC is a web-based portal for you to access important administrative and academic information as well as to manage your personal information. To access MyDC: Go to MyDC login page. Use your student number as your username and network password to log into your account. If needed, your network password can be reset here. Contact Service Desk if you need assistance. STEP 6: REGISTER FOR A TIMETABLE Registration for Winter 2024 opens from November 28, 2023. Click here for the web registration dates. The last date to register for a timetable is January 12, 2024. You can register if you are still waiting for your study permit to be processed. You can refer to the tutorial on MyDC to learn how to select a timetable. STEP 7: PARTICIPATE IN ORIENTATIONS International Student Orientation (ISO) consists of two parts: ISO online mini modules and ISO general session. ISO online mini modules are offered through DC Connect. It is required that you complete the modules by January 7, 2024. To access the modules: Go to DC Connect login page. Use your student number as your username and network password to log into your account. The “Winter 2024 Home@DC International Student Orientation” will be there for you. Click into it and get started. ISO general session, offered in-person, is mandatory for all new international students. Time and date: January 5, 2024 at 9:30 AM Eastern Time. Register here by January 4, 2024. Program Orientation is for all new DC students (international and domestic). You will meet your faculty, fellow classmates and discover important details about your program of study. Visit here to find out the time and location. STEP 8: ACCESS CAMPUS ID AND U-PASS All students are required to have a campus ID, as it is needed to gain access to buildings. DC has a digital campus ID card system called OneCard. To set up your OneCard, follow the steps here. The U-PASS program provides students with unlimited travel each semester on Durham Region Transit (DRT) and is paid for through ancillary fees for the academic year for all eligible, full-time students. To access your digital U-PASS, follow the steps here. STEP 9: PURCHASE YOUR BOOKS Here’s how to purchase your books: Navigate to “BOOKS FOR TERM” on MyDC. Select Term using drop down list. For further steps, refer to Online Ordering. It’s recommended that you wait until you have attended the first day of each class before removing the wrapping from your textbooks. Course textbooks cannot be returned once they have been opened. Click here to see options for purchasing e-textbooks. STEP 10: ATTEND CLASSES You can refer to the tutorial on MyDC to learn how to view/print your timetable before January 8, 2024, the first day of school. It is the timetable you have registered for, and it shows the room of a class, the name of your professor, and the length of the class. Check DC Connect regularly. Professors usually post announcements on DC Connect before the first class. If you can’t find your class information, send an email to your professors on DC Connect, and remember to use your DC Mail to communicate going forward. Student Academic Learning Services (SALS) is here to help you reach your academic goals. Schedule an appointment with them if you want to improve your computer skills, English language skills, writing skills, and more. Click here to learn what academic integrity means, what an academic integrity alert is, and what your rights and responsibilities are when you are studying at DC. While the above are steps you are required to take, the information below is for your reference and is meant to help you get the most out of your college life. Working in Canada while studying APPLY FOR A SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER A social insurance number (SIN) is a 9-digit number issued by Service Canada. You need a SIN before starting work in Canada, to file taxes, as well as to access government programs and benefits, if eligible. To be eligible for a SIN, you must have a study permit with at least one of the following conditions: “May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.” “May work 20 hours per week off campus or full time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.” “May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies.” You can only get a SIN after you have arrived in Canada. To apply, click here. UNDERSTAND YOUR WORK ELIGIBILITY You may be eligible to work in Canada while studying as a full-time student, if your study permit includes a condition that says you can work on or off campus. You can only start working in Canada when you start your study program and you have a SIN. You can work as many hours as you want for on-campus work, in addition to working off campus, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements for working on campus. You can work up to 20 hours per week for off-campus work during regular school semesters. You can work full-time if you are on a regularly scheduled break. You must be a full-time student both before and after the break to work full-time, unless the semester after the break is your final semester. FIND JOB OPPORTUNITIES Connect with the Career Development office to access the career supports and services available to you. You will learn about the job opportunities on or off campus. You will also receive guidance on writing your resume, preparing for job interviews and achieving success in the workplace. Getting involved APPLY FOR A PEER MENTOR The International Peer Mentorship Program provides welcoming mentorship opportunities to first semester international students by matching them with an upper year mentor, who acts as a resource to answer questions, connects mentees with campus resources and services, and offers social support. A peer mentor can also be a first friend which will help you navigate homesickness and culture shock. Click here to apply to get a peer mentor. Mentees and mentors will be matched based on the program of study, common interests or both. APPLY TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to your campus or community, and can also help you gain valuable skills that will serve you well in your job search. Contact us to express your interest in becoming a volunteer with the International Education office. Our office will share volunteering opportunities on or off campus. ENGAGE WITH CAMPUS LIFE In partnership with campus partners, the International Education office offers a number of events, activities and workshops each semester to help you navigate the student experience and have fun while doing so. Click here to see what is happening this winter. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook. Durham College Student Association (DCSA) is your student association, providing high quality campus engagement and services for all DC full-time students. Read more about what DCSA has to offer here. Whether you want to unwind after a long day of classes, are simply looking to work up a sweat, or are a high performing athlete looking to compete, DC offers a wide variety of athletic and recreational services. Visit here to learn more. To get a glimpse into all the campus services, click here. To learn a wide range of services to support you in all aspects of life as a student, from academic and health support to finances and safety, click here. Other helpful links Important Dates Student Advisors Durham College International YouTube Contact us Join our “International Ask-Us-Anything” online drop-in sessions every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the semester. Register here. Reach out to us using the Contact Us form. Chat live with an International Education office member.