Arrival to Canada

Student Life and the International Education Office are here to help our International Students from the application process to adjusting to life in Canada. Our International Student's Checklist is a great resource to ensure you are set up for success. 

Planning Your Arrival   Airport Pick-Up   International Preparatory Course (IPC) 

 Getting Connected   Adjusting to Canada 

Planning Your Arrival 

Keyano College wants you to be set up for success upon your arrival to Canada.  Below is information to help you get ready for your studies here in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Make sure to review the International Student's Checklist to ensure you are fully prepared. 

What to bring

Make sure you have packed the following important documents in your carry-on luggage. You will be required to present the following documents to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) when entering Canada.

 Required documents
  • Valid passport (or proof of citizenship of U.S. citizens)
  • Valid Canadian temporary resident visa (TRV), or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), if applicable
  • Letter of introduction issued by the Canadian visa office that approve the study permit application; this letter needs to be submitted to a Canadian immigration officer when you arrive at the port of entry to obtain a study permit
  • Letter of acceptance
  • Proof of funds available for your stay in Canada. Similar to what you have used for your study permit/visa application
  • Any other documents recommended by your Canadian visa office
 Optional Documents

 While the following documents are not required to travel to Canada, be sure to bring them if they apply to you. 

  • Medical and immunization (vaccination) records, translated if possible
  • Medical insurance policy (if applicable)
  • Driver's license or international driver's license, driving insurance records, and vehicle registration and insurance paper, if you plan to drive in Canada
  • Marriage certificate and/or proof of common-law status (if applicable)

You will want to secure housing prior to arriving in Fort McMurray. Keyano College has accommodations on-campus and conveniently located in downtown Fort McMurray. There is both single and family housing available. You are responsible for applying directly to Residence. For more information please contact one of our Resident Advisors.

Medical coverage
You will need an Alberta Health Care Identification Card and private insurance plan identification card to access the health care system in Canada.

Full time students are automatically enrolled in Health and Dental coverage with the Student’s Association of Keyano College (SAKC). You can apply in the Office of the Registrar.

It is important that you subscribe to the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) as soon as you arrive in Canada. 

Students authorized to stay in Canada for 12 months or longer are required to register with AHCIP. You will be eligible to apply and to receive coverage on the date of your arrival. You must register within 3 months of your arrival in Canada. A copy of your Study Permit and /or your Temporary Resident Visa will be required when you apply for AHCIP.

AHCIP pays for services provided by Physicians (doctors) and oral surgeons. It also pays a portion of the cost of treatment provided by optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, and physical therapists. It does not pay for naturopaths, or for medication or ambulance services.

Apply for AHCIP

You can apply for Alberta Health Insurance Plan by completing an online form, printing and delivering to a local registry agent or by mail:


Alberta Health
Attention: Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan
PO Box 1360, Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2N3

Tel: 403-310-0000 and then dial 780-427-1432.

Private insurance

If you don't qualify for AHCIP or you would like additional health coverage, you can purchase health insurance through a private company. Check out their rates and see if private health insurance works for you.



male and female international student with luggage happily smiling by the FLY YMM sign at the fort mcmurrya airportAirport pick-up

We are delighted to offer a complimentary airport pickup service for international students arriving in Fort McMurray for their first semester of study.  

Please be advised that we are now accepting Airport pick-up requests only for Summer 2024 semester intake. Airport Pickup Requests for Fall and Winter will be open at a later date. Please note the following:

Airport Pick-up Period: 

We will be offering Airport Pick-ups for Summer 2024 beginning April 21, 2024, and ending May 12, 2024. Airport Pick-up requests outside these dates will not be accommodated.

Airport Pick-up Service Guidelines: 

Please take note of the following details to ensure a smooth and hassle-free arrival:

Submitting a Request
  • Requests for airport pickup must be submitted at least five (5) business days before your departure to Fort McMurray International Airport (YMM).
    • Business days are from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm Mountain Time, excluding designated holidays.
  • Ensure all required fields in the Airport Pickup Request form are filled out and the information is complete and accurate. Required fields are marked with asterisks (*).
  • The Keyano Student Life Department will respond to your request within five business days. Please provide a WhatsApp number for contact during travel.
Last-Minute Requests
  • While we understand that last-minute travel changes may occur, we strongly advise making requests within the specified time frame. Requests made without five business days’ notice will be challenging to accommodate.

Prior to your travel if you are planning on staying:

  • In Keyano College Residence, ensure you have been assigned a room, paid your fees, and have a confirmed room assignment.
  • Off-campus, ensure that you have confirmed accommodation details and contact number and have arranged key collection.
Confirmation, Voucher and Arrival
  • Upon submitting your Airport Pickup request, you will receive a confirmation of your pick-up details along with phone numbers for emergency, changes, or travel delay contact.
  • You will be provided with a transportation voucher upon arrival which will take you directly from the airport to your accommodation with no stops in between.
    • PLEASE NOTE: If you have a large family and/or travelling with many pieces of luggage, we only provide a maximum of  two (2) taxi vouchers per student. Therefore, any additional travel or taxi costs exceeding this limit will be your responsibility to cover.  
  • A Keyano staff member will follow up with you on the next business day of your arrival to ensure a seamless transition to Canada.

Note: Travel restrictions are constantly changing. For the most up-to-day information, please visit the IRCC website. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Keyano College and wish you a safe and enjoyable journey! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us. Safe travels!


International Preparatory Course (IPC)

The International Preparatory Course (IPC) is an orientation course designed to help international students with the transition to life in Alberta, Canada and succeeding at Keyano College.

Topics covered will include, but not limited to:

  • Skills for academic success
  • Time and stress management
  • Canadian history and culture
  • Keyano College policies and procedures
  • Financial management
  • Community supports (including the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo)

All registered international students are automatically added to the International Preparatory Course. To access the International Preparatory Course, please click the following course title CEIPC 100/NOCR/0-2021/FALL/99 - International Preparatory Course and log in to Keyano’s learning management system – Moodle – using your Keyano username and password. For additional support and information on how to log in to Moodle, please visit Keyano’s Student Login and Email. We recommend completing the course on your computer/laptop for the best experience. If you plan to complete it on your smartphone, please download the Moodle app.

Students are encouraged to complete the course before the start of classes. 


Getting Connected

 Student Association Keyano College
Get connected with your fellow students through the SAKC your student association.
 Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre
Visit the Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre located right here on campus to access recreation facilities.  Students get special rates based on full-time and part-time status.
 Multicultural Services
Get involved in the Fort McMurray Community.  The Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo has many services available to newcomers.
Student Life
The Student Life Department at Keyano College is dedicated to helping you have an engaging and memorable college experience. Watch for updates on the Keyano website with events and programs happening throughout the school year.  You will have plenty of opportunities to meet fellow students and become a Keyano Husky!

Adjusting to Canada

 Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray is one of the most diverse cities in Canada and has a lot to offer to students. Whether you enjoy exploring the outdoors or prefer indoor entertainment, you will find activities and events in Fort McMurray to keep you busy. Check out this Things to do in Fort McMurray. Fort McMurray Tourism and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are also great resources. Check out these interactive maps to help direct you to important places such as grocery stores and places to shop.
 Culture Shock

Transitioning into college life can be difficult. In addition to the pressures to succeed academically students face, international students are also transitioning into a new culture. Culture shock is a normal reaction when you enter a new environment. It is common to experience a range of emotions from excitement and interest to frustration and fear. Keyano has support resources to help! 

Wellness Services have trained counsellors to assist Keyano College Students. The office is located in CC260, main campus. Contact 780-791-8934, drop in, or send an email for an appointment.  Hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 PM.

Accessibility and Accommodations can assist students looking for academic support, Accessibility Access, Accommodations, student life assistance and more.  The office is located in CC167 (across from the library). Call 780-791-8934, drop in, or email for an appointment.  Hours are open Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 PM.


The Academic Success Centre (ASC) offers free tutoring, study support, and academic skills support! The ASC is located in CC-119, and is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.