About Canada

Canada is the second-largest country in the world, with an area of about 9,980,000 square km (3,894,500 square miles). The country has ten provinces and three territories, with a population of over 30,000,000.

Canadians are proud of their multicultural heritage. All races and cultures have equal status and rights in the country by law. The official languages of Canada are English and French. English is the most commonly spoken language in Alberta.

Courtesy Calgary Economic Development

🛫 Before you come to Canada

Apply for your study permit and TRV or eTA

Once you have paid your tuition deposit and received your confirmation letter, you may apply for your study permit and temporary resident visa. We recommend you apply early!

Arrange accommodations

Whether you are living on campus, off campus or with family, ensure that you have at least your first few nights’ stays confirmed before arriving in Calgary.

If you want to live on campus, check out our on-campus residence. In addition to offering rooms for the year or semester, residence also offers hotel-style accommodations if you need a convenient place to stay on a short-term basis upon arrival in Calgary.

Prepare for arrival in Calgary

Prepare for arrival and review the documents you will need to travel with. Make sure to pack your immigration documents in your carry-on luggage.

Review the Canadian Border Services Agency website to plan your trip across the border.

Create a budget

Familiarize yourself with living costs in Calgary and develop a budget to manage your finances.

As a newly accepted student, you may be eligible to apply for entrance awards.

Stay up-to-date

  • Keep note of all important dates, such as fee payment deadlines
  • Review the tuition payment methods, including CIBC International Student Pay.
  • Check your email for important pre-arrival messages from SAIT and the International Centre. Add SAIT email address (@sait.ca) to your safe sender list so you don’t miss any important news.
  • Take a virtual tour to familiarize yourself with SAIT campus 

🛬 Arriving in Calgary

When you arrive at an airport in Canada, you can expect to answer some questions from a Canadian border services officer. Answer calmly and truthfully.

Your study permit (and co-op work permit, if applicable) will be printed upon entry. Take a moment to review that the information is correct.

Conditions of your study permit (and co-op work permit, if applicable) will be printed on your documents. If there are none, please confirm with the CBSA officer before leaving the airport.

Transportation from the Airport

Several transportation options are available from the Calgary International Airport (YYC) into the city.

Public transportation is the cheapest option, while a taxi or TNC operator is generally faster and will take you directly to your destination.

Calgary Transit provides public bus transportation to and from Calgary International Airport (YYC). 

Route 300 connects from the airport terminal to downtown, and Route 100 connects from the airport terminal to McKnight- Westwinds LRT Station (LRT Blue Line).

Purchase a ticket

You must purchase a boarding pass (ticket) at the terminal before boarding a bus.

Ticket vending machines are at Door 15, Pillar 32 and Door 1, Pillar 7. Debit, credit and coin payments are accepted.

The fare costs $10.75, including all-day access to all Calgary Transit buses and CTrains.

Boarding the bus 

From the domestic terminal, board at Bus Bay 7 or 8 (located across the roadway on the arrivals level).

From the international terminal, board at Bus Bay 32 (located on the outer curb on the arrivals level).

On-demand, around-the-clock taxi service is available at Calgary International Airport. 

Fares are based on meter rates. Under normal driving conditions, the approximate fare from the airport to downtown is approximately $40 - $50 CAD. Depending on how far you are travelling, your fare may be more or less expensive.

Taxis can typically accommodate four or five adult passengers, but vans are available to assist if you travel with additional passengers or excess luggage. 

From the domestic terminal: taxi stands are located on the arrivals level outside of doors 1 and 6.

From the international terminal: taxi stands are located on the arrivals level outside doors 16 and 17.

TNCs provide affordable transportation by connecting passengers with drivers exclusively through a website or mobile app.

To request TNC services, you will need to use the providers' mobile app or website.

After arranging your ride on the app, you can meet your driver at a designated zone on the arrivals level outside Door 1 or Door 12. 

Authorized TNC operators at the Calgary International Airport include Cowboy Taxi and UBER

Settling into your new home

If you arrive in Canada in the winter, pack a warm jacket – the weather will likely be cold, and you may arrive in the snow.

Have the address handy for your first night’s accommodation. If arriving at night, you might want to have snacks with you for your first night, as stores and restaurants in your neighbourhood may be closed.

Once you arrive at your destination, remember to check in with friends or family back home so they know you have arrived safely.

Applying for healthcare insurance 

If you are a student studying in Alberta with a valid study permit, apply for your Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) immediately upon arrival.

You must be registered for this plan to receive insured hospital and physician services.

To apply for AHCIP:

  1. Download the application form for AHCIP coverage.
  2. Gather and provide your supporting documents, including those that prove Alberta residency, your identity, and your legal entitlement to be in Canada.
  3. Submit your application in person or by mail:
    • You can bring your application and supporting documents to an authorized registry. There is no charge for this service.
    • You can send your application form and copies (front and back) of your documents to the AHCIP office address. Processing times can take up to six weeks.
      Alberta Health
      Attention: Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan
      PO Box 1360, Station Main
      Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2N3

Make sure you show your personal health care card along with photo identification when accessing healthcare services.

🙋🏻‍♀️ Attend International Student Orientation

Your first chance to connect with the International Centre staff and meet fellow international students will be at orientation

Attendance is mandatory for all international students. You will be emailed registration information for orientation the month before your classes start.

Contact us

International Centre

AA206, Heritage Hall, SAIT Main Campus


Monday - Friday | 8 am - 4:30 pm

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.