Here's information to get you started on your day-to-day living in Canada as an international student.
We recommend you arrive in Canada with some Canadian dollars.
Credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere in Canada (e.g., VISA and MasterCard). Debit cards are also commonly accepted.
If you need to withdraw money, you can use Automated Teller Machines. Most ATMs accept bank cards with the Plus or Interac symbols.
Cost of living
You'll need to pay for living expenses while you study at Royal Roads.
To help you plan, we've estimated the costs of living for a single student for one month.
You can convert your currency into Canadian dollars before you leave home and once you arrive. Speak with your bank about options.
One option is a bank-to-bank transfer, from your home bank to your new bank in Canada. This option takes some time; make sure you have some Canadian currency with you while you wait.
We recommend that you open a bank account in Canada.
Below is a list of some of the most common banks. The university does not endorse any specific bank; the list is for information only.
- HSBC Bank Canada (Chinese version)
- Royal Bank of Canada
- TD Canada Trust
- Bank of Montreal
To open a bank account, you'll need to show identification such as your passport.
Someone at the bank will help you choose the right bank account for you while you are studying in Canada.
You can also apply for a credit card through the bank.
Mobile phone plans are available with contracts of different lengths — month-to-month, long-term or pre-paid/pay-as-you-go.
Shop around and compare plans. Here are a few providers:
- Phone Box
If you live on campus or nearby, you'll be close to Thrifty Foods, a grocery store within walking distance.
The Real Canadian Superstore is a five-minute drive or 10-minute bike ride from campus and has groceries, gifts, clothing and household items.
The ABR Store on Blanshard Street carries Philippine and Asian products and fresh vegetables.
Damascus Food Market on Hillside Avenue specializes in halal meats and groceries.
Indian Grocery on Douglas Street offers online ordering and delivery as well as a store to shop in.
The Real Canadian Wholesale Club on Viewfield Road is open to the general public. It stocks a good range of Indian and Asian groceries at discounted prices.
Fisgard Market at 550 Fisgard in Victoria's Chinatown is well-stocked with Chinese ingredients and fresh vegetables.
Fujiya on Shelbourne offers freshly made sushi and Japanese groceries, including frozen fish and fresh vegetables.
Fairway is a large grocery chain in Victoria. Its Quadra Village and Shelbourne locations carry an excellent selection of Asian, Mexican and European groceries.
Shopping centres in Greater Victoria: