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 International Student Sessions on a variety of subjects about life in Canada. These International Student Sessions are part of Saint Mary's Welcome Week. The sessions this fall will begin on Friday, September 2nd - Click the International Student Sessions Program for the full schedule of events.

Welcome Week 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.

Click the International Student Sessions Program for a full schedule of events.

International Student Sessions At-A-Glance: 

September 1st

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


September 2nd

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

International Students Sessions – Registration

Business Services & International Society Expo

Welcome to Kjipuktuk - an Indigenous Welcome & Smudge Ceremony

Global Welcome Reception


September 3rd

Rise and Shine Breakfast

International Students Sessions – Registration

Welcome Remarks - Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray President of Saint Mary’s

Parents Meet & Greet

Information Sessions

Group Photo

Global Welcome Lunch

Campus Tour

Healthy Start in the Park!


September 4th

Official SMU Residence Move-In Date (for all students)

Peggy’s Cove Trip



September 5th

Nova Scotia Appreciation Night



September 9th

Get your Nova Scotia ID Card



September 10th

Mayor of Halifax Welcome Reception for International Students



If you arrive after September 9th, 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 Week.

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. International Student Sessions

Submit the International Student Sessions Sign-Up Form if you are planning to attend the sessions.

2. FREE Airport Pickup: Arrange your free pick-up service 5 business days before your plane arrives at the Halifax International Airport.

We offer a free airport pickup service for all our new incoming international students. Submit the Airport Pick-Up Form if you would like to be picked up at the Halifax airport. In order to take advantage of this service, please submit your Airport Pick-Up Form at least five business days before you arrive in Halifax.

3. Cyber Pen Pal: If you would like to correspond with a Saint Mary’s senior current student, please submit the Cyber Pen-Pal Form.

4. Early Residence Move-In Date - September 1st (ONLY for international students who register for the International Student Sessions by August 5th)!

International students who register for the International Student Sessions by August 5th are able to move into residence early on Thursday, September 1st from 9am onwards. To access the early move-in you must be registered for our International Student Sessions  by Friday, August 5th. If you do not register for the International Student Sessions by August 5th, you will be able to move into Residence on Sunday, September 4th. 

If you are attending the International Student Sessions and staying in residence, but arrive in Halifax before Thursday, September 1st, 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 later than Wednesday, September 7th 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.