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.

Welcome Weeks mark the beginning of your life at Saint Mary's!

As a new student, you will enjoy Welcome Weeks filled with social events and educational activities designed to help you make connections with your fellow students, the residence or off-campus Saint Mary’s community, and faculty and professors.

Welcome Weeks will begin on Friday, August 31st until Friday, Friday, September 14thClick here for more detailed information.

As part of Welcome Weeks, The International Student Centre offers a variety of sessions, activities and events specially designed to assist and help you with your adjustment to SMU and Halifax. We strongly recommend you to attend these sessions.   

International Student Sessions At-A-Glance:

August 30

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

August 31

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

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

Global Welcome Reception 

September 1

Global Welcome Breakfast

International Students Information Sessions

Parents Meet & Greet

Global Welcome Luncheon 

September 8

Mayor of Halifax Welcome Reception for International Students

September 14

Get Your Nova Scotia ID Card Trip

September 21

Session for Late Arrivals - email to sign up

Get Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) Trip

How to Prepare for Your Arrival on Campus

1. Welcome Weeks:

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.

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:

If you are attending the International Student Sessions and are staying in our residence, you will be able to move into your room as early as Thursday, August 30 anytime after 9am as long as you sign up for the International Student Orientation by Friday, August 1.

If you are attending the International Student Sessions and staying in residence, but arrive in Halifax before Thursday, August 30, you will need to find temporary accommodations. Click Here for information on hotels, inns and beds & breakfasts in the Halifax area. We strongly suggest that you make reservations before you arrive in Halifax.

If you are staying in Residence, but are arriving later than Wednesday, September 5, you MUST notify the Centre for Housing & Residence Life no later than Wednesday, September 5 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 Centre for Housing and Residence Life 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.

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.