Future Students

Information for Incoming International Students

Flag waving crowd

Every year, Saint Mary's welcomes students from all over the world. It's an exciting time.

To help with your adjustment, we provide an Orientation (Welcome Weeks) on a variety of subjects about life in Canada. Welcome Weeks will begin on Tuesday, January 2nd until Friday, January 12th. More detailed information will be posted soon.

Welcome Weeks at Saint Mary’s will help set you up for success as you start your studies.  During your first week, you will engage with support systems and resources, meet student leaders, and participate in a variety of fun and informative activities. As you take part in the fun and excitement of joining Saint Mary’s, you will also experience our campus atmosphere of respect and belonging that is so important to our university community. 

Our main goal is to help you achieve success, a sense of respect and belonging, a balance of responsibilities and all the fun and excitement that transitioning to university life should include.

Welcome Weeks At-A-Glance: More detailed information will be posted soon.

January 2nd

Info Booth (all day)

Residence Move-In Date (scroll down for more info)

Campus Tours (every 30 minutes)

Service Expo (you will be able to open bank accounts)

International Students Info Sessions (Study Permit, Visas & Working in Canada, etc)

Welcome Reception

Social Drop-In Event @ the Gorsebrook Lounge


January 3rd

Info Booth (10am-4pm)

Classes Start

Service Expo (you will be able to open bank accounts)

Campus Tours (every 30 minutes)

Safe at SMU

Shopping Trip (Halifax Shopping Centre)

Movie Night & Trivia Night @ the Gorsebrook Lounge


January 4th

Info Booth (10am-4pm)

Welcome Back Breakfast



January 5th

Info Booth (10am-4pm)

Get Your Nova Scotia ID Card Trip

Shopping Trip (Micmac Mall)

Ice Skating @ Oval


January 6th

SMUSA Ikea Shopping Trip


January 8th

Info Booth (10am-4pm)

Santamarian Ceremony

Transfer Student Event

Dodgeball Event @ The Homburg Centre


January 9th

Student Society Expo @ the Library

Boardroom Cafe


January 10th

Indigenous / International Potluck 

Upstander Training


January 12th

Deans/Academic Advisors Info Sessions

Late Arrivals Orientation - email international.centre@smu.ca to sign up


January 19th

Nova Scotia Appreciation Night @ The Gorsebrook Lounge


If you are arriving after January 5th, please make sure to sign up for the Late-Arrival Sessions. Please come to the International Centre on the 3rd floor of the Student Centre and we will be happy to help you get involved in the continuing program of Welcome Weeks.

Once Welcome Week has ended and you are focusing on your classes, you are invited to continue developing your skills through our First Year Experience program. By promoting academic support systems, sexual and mental health, wellness and healthy living, intercultural engagement, as well as extracurricular involvement in sports and societies, Saint Mary’s University shows its commitment to student success. You can learn more about that program when you arrive.

How to Prepare for Your Arrival on Campus

1. Welcome Weeks for International Students:

Submit the  Sign-Up Form if you are planning to attend the Welcome Weeks.

2. FREE Airport Pickup:

We offer a free airport pickup service for all our new incoming international students. Submit the Airport Pick-Up FormIn order to take advantage of this service, you must submit your complete airport pick-up request form at least 5 working days before you arrive in Halifax.

NOTE: The University will be closed for the Christmas holidays from Wednesday, December 20 to Tuesday, January 2. Therefore, if you are arriving in Halifax before January 6, you must submit your complete airport pickup request form by Friday, December 15 to ensure that we have enough time to process your request and reserve a taxi for you.

3. International Student Mentorship Program:

Would you like to make a friend at Saint Mary’s before you arrive in Halifax? The International Centre offers a mentorship program to help and support you transition to life at the university and Halifax helping you to make the adjustment to social and academic life at Saint Mary’s. The mentorship program offers you the opportunity to make friends, learn about other cultures, and creates a campus that is welcoming and inclusive. Complete the Mentorship Application Form and we will match you up with one of our mentors who will communicate with you by email. Don’t pass up this great opportunity to have a mentor and make a new friend!

4. Residence Move-In Date:

International students will be able to move into residence on Tuesday, January 2nd from 9am onwards.

If you are attending the Welcome Weeks and staying in residence, but are arriving in Halifax before Tuesday, January 2nd, you will need to find temporary accommodations. Click Here for information on temporary accommodations in the Halifax area. We strongly suggest that you make reservations before your arrival.

NOTE: If you are staying in Residence, but are arriving in Halifax later than Wednesday, January 3rd you must notify the Centre for Housing & Residence Life or you may forfeit your $500 deposit and lose your room assignment.

If you are planning to stay in residence, please ensure that you have paid all the necessary deposits and that your space has been confirmed.  If you are unsure, please contact the Centre for Housing and Residence Life as soon as possible to find out about the status of your application. The Centre may be contacted at residence.life@smu.ca, telephone 902-420-5598, or fax 902-496-8107.

5. Registration for Courses

Click here for information on how to register for courses.

Each student accepted to Saint Mary's will be given a Banner Pin Number. Use your pin number to log onto the Banner Self-Service – click here for the Self-Service Page. Once you have logged into Banner Self-Service, you can modify your personal information, register for courses, add/drop courses and monitor your progress through courses.

Once you are here on campus, you can consult with the academic advisors for the Faculty in which you will study, i.e. either Arts, Business or Science.

6. Payment Options, Due Dates and Transferring Money to Saint Mary's

  • Interact Online payment Option Through Self Service Banner - "Preferred Method"
  • Online Banking or Telebanking
  • International Payments – Travelex
  • Bank Transfer
  • Cheque or Money Order
  • Paying in Person

Click here for more information on paying your school fees.

Please include your full name and Student ID when paying and transferring money. If you are paying residence fees, it is helpful to notify the residence office after the payment or transfer is made.

7. Saint Mary's University Student ID Card

To obtain your Student ID card go to the Information Desk in the Library. Learn about the documents needed to get your SMU Student ID card.

8. Opening a Bank Account in Halifax

You need to make an appointment at the bank and bring two pieces of photo ID (e.g. passport, NS ID Card, Saint Mary's student ID card, etc) and proof of a local address. If you transferred a large amount of money to your Saint Mary's student account you can withdraw excess funds once your tuition and fees are paid. Submit a request to Financial Services and it may take roughly a week for Financial Services to issue a cheque to you.

We are here to help you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the International Centre or visit our office on campus.