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 will begin on Tuesday, January 3rd - Click the  for the complete 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  for the complete schedule of events.

International Student Sessions At-A-Glance: 

January 3rd

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

Global Welcome Lunch

International Student Sessions

Campus Tour

Shopping Trip


January 4th

Shopping Trip


January 5th

Shopping Trip


January 6th

Shopping Trip


January 7th

Shopping Trip


January 8th

Shopping Trip


January 13th

Shopping Trip

 Late-Arrival Sessions

Get Your Nova Scotia ID Card

Nova Scotia Appreciation Night


January 20th   

Get Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)


If you arrive after January 3rd, 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 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:

We offer a free airport pickup service for all our new incoming international students. Submit the Airport Pick-Up Form

NOTE: The university will be closed for the Christmas holidays from December 22nd until January 3rd. Therefore, if you are arriving in Halifax before January 9th, you must submit your complete airport pickup request by December 14th. NOTE: If you are arriving in Halifax before January 9th, but do not submit your online airport pick up request form by December 14th, we CANNOT guarantee that we will be able to provide free airport pickup for you.

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. Residence Move-In Date - January 3rd

International students will be able to move into residence on Tuesday, January 3rd from 9am onwards. 

If you are attending the International Student Sessions and staying in residence, but arrive in Halifax before Tuesday, January 3rd, 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, January 4th 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, 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.