International Students

St. Thomas welcomes students and faculty from around the world and we have a growing and vibrant international population on campus. We currently have approximately 120 international students on campus representing over 35 countries.

Where is St. Thomas located?
Canada 's Climate
Canadian Diversity - Respecting our Differences
Immigration & Visa Requirements
Employment in Canada
Working in Canada after completion of your degree
Health Insurance
Health Services
International Student Advisor
St. Thomas University International Student Association (STUISA)
Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions, there are a number of ways to receive assistance:

Where is St. Thomas is located?

St. Thomas University is located in the capital city of New Brunswick, one of Canada's most picturesque and exciting provinces. Situated on Canada's east coast, New Brunswick offers many breathtaking landscapes as well as modern technologies.

Fredericton , New Brunswick's capital city, is home to St. Thomas University and provides the perfect blend of historical landmarks and contemporary architecture. From the spacious city parks to the up-tempo nightlife, Fredericton has something for everyone. For more information on Fredericton and New Brunswick please visit

Canada 's Climate

Canada 's climate is characterized by its diversity, as temperature and precipitation differ from region to region and from season to season. Most Canadians live within 300 kilometres of the country's southern border, where mild springs, warm summers and pleasantly crisp autumns prevail at least seven months of the year.

The seasons dictate the look of the land: according to whether the natural environment is in a state of dormancy or growth, Canadians may be alpine skiing...or water skiing. While seasonal change signals fluctuations in temperature and the number of hours of sunshine, the shifting position of air masses also plays a part. The usual air flow from west to east is often disrupted in winter when cold, dry air moves down from the Arctic, and in summer when warm, tropical air moves up from the southeast. Added to these factors are the effects of mountain ranges, plains and large bodies of water.


Canada has two official languages: English, the mother tongue of about 59 percent of Canadians; and French, the first language of 23 percent of the population. A full 18 percent have either more than one mother tongue or a mother tongue other than English or French, such as Chinese, Italian, German, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Ukrainian, Arabic, Dutch, Tagalog, Greek, Vietnamese, Cree, Inuktitut, or other languages.

Canadian Diversity

Canada 's experience with diversity distinguishes it from most other countries. Our 30 million inhabitants reflect a cultural, ethnic and linguistic makeup found nowhere else on earth. Approximately 200,000 immigrants a year from all parts of the globe continue to choose Canada, drawn by its quality of life and its reputation as an open, peaceful and caring society that welcomes newcomers and values diversity.

Diversity has been a fundamental characteristic of Canada since its beginnings. At the time of European settlement there were more than 56 Aboriginal nations speaking more than 30 languages. As the French and then the English colonized Canada, treaties were signed that acknowledged Aboriginal nationhood. Linguistic duality was enshrined in law at the earliest stages of the development of the Canadian federation. At a time when it was accepted practice to establish sovereignty through war and cultural domination, there were enough Canadians who believed in the virtues of accommodation and mutual respect to ensure that, with some exceptions, Canada would develop peaceably and the foundations of its diversity would be preserved.

Canada 's future depends on maintaining and strengthening its capacity to bring together peoples with many differences--even grievances--and building a peaceful society where no one's identity or cultural heritage should have to be compromised. Canada's approach to diversity is based on the belief that the common good is best served when everyone is accepted and respected for who they are, and that this ultimately makes for a resilient, more harmonious and more creative society.

Immigration & Visa Requirements

International students require a student authorization (the official term for a student visa) issued outside of Canada. To obtain a Student Authorization, the applicant must show evidence of acceptance by a Canadian educational institution. The applicant must be in good health and character and must have sufficient funds to study in Canada, including return transportation and a valid passport.

It is necessary to apply at least three months before the registration date of the education institution you are attending in order to complete the student authorization procedures on time.

Your Student Authorization entitles you to reside in Canada for the purpose of pursuing your course of studies at a university or college. When you apply for your Student Authorization, you should apply for the length of your programme so that you will only have to pay the fee once. For example, if you are in a four-year programme, apply for a visa that will be valid for four years. You should contact the Canadian Embassy in your home country to apply for your Student Authorization. The Canadian Consulate or Embassy in your home country gives you a letter authorizing you to receive a student authorization. When you land in Canada you must show CIC officials the following documents:

  • your student authorization from Canadian immigration authorities
  • a valid passport
  • your evidence of acceptance at St. Thomas University
  • evidence of adequate funds
  • a valid visitor visa if required
  • any letters or papers used to obtain your student authorization.

In some cases, you may be required to take a medical examination with a doctor designated by the Canadian government. The Visa Officer in your country will provide more information on this requirement.

After verifying your documents, an immigration official will then staple either a white or yellow copy of the Student Authorization into your passport. Please remember to update your authorization. Do not let it expire. You need at least three weeks for processing the renewal.

International students changing institutions within Canada may be required to apply for a new Student Authorization. Consult a Canada Immigration Centre or the International Student Advisor.

For clarification on any of these points, please consult your nearest Canadian Consulate or Embassy, or the St. Thomas International Student Advisor.

Employment in Canada

International students are permitted to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week. To be eligible, students must be registered full-time and have completed one year of study at St. Thomas University. This is a great opportunity for International students to gain valuable experience in the Canadian labour market while completing their studies.

On-campus employment opportunities at the university are available for all students. International students may compete for employment but there are, unfortunately, no guarantees. In addition, earnings from part-time employment are insufficient to cover tuition and other costs. Part-time jobs should be used to earn spending money and gain work experience. Many students work for Food Services, Residences, Library and Security to name a few.

Generally, these on campus positions are limited to 20 hours per week for all students, ensuring that students’ academic endeavours are not negatively affected. Job postings are found on the bulletin board in Student Affairs, as well as on the Current Student Notice Board.

The application fee for a Work Permit is $150.00. Please see Judy Coates, the International Student Advisor and St. Thomas representative for this programme, for applications and information. The applications are mailed from Student Affairs.

Working in Canada After Your Degree

If you have successfully completed a university programme, after graduation you may work for a maximum of one year in a job related to your course of study.

Health Insurance

It is compulsory for all international students at St. Thomas to purchase medical coverage (the cost is covered in your tuition fees). Medical costs are extremely high without proper medical insurance. When you register you must obtain the health insurance brochure and complete the appropriate forms to ensure that you are covered immediately. Read the form carefully to make sure that you understand exactly what items the insurance covers.

It is important that you bring your own medical records. If you have a chronic medical condition, ask your physician to write a short medical history for your new physician in Fredericton. This history should be in English.

Health Services

St. Thomas students have access to the University Students Health Centre which is located on campus. The Centre has its own nursing staff and doctors. There are also "After Hours" medical clinics on the north side of Fredericton at the Brookside Medical Centre and on the south side of Fredericton at 1015 Regent Street. Before you leave home, you should have a dental examination and any necessary dental work done. Dental care is not covered by your medical insurance and is very expensive in Canada. You are also encouraged to have an eye examination and obtain a second pair of glasses, if applicable.

International Student Advisor

St. Thomas University recognizes that adapting to a new cultural environment and a new education system presents many challenges to international students. At the same time, international students enrich the learning environment and cultural diversity.

It is the role of the International Student Advisor to assist new students in this transition through personal advising, provision of various programmes, referrals within Student Affairs and to other services. St. Thomas is also committed to the “internationalization” of its campus and enlarging the world view of all students. The International Student Advisor works with the St. Thomas University International Student Association (STUISA) and other groups, individuals and offices to foster this goal. For more information, contact Judy Coates, International Student Advisor at (506) 460-0382 or Her office is located in George Martin Hall, Room 302.

St. Thomas
University International Student Association (STUISA)

All international and domestic students are invited to become members of this association. Membership fees are nominal and help finance association activities. STUISA is a student-run organization affiliated with the St. Thomas Students’ Union. STUISA plans social activities over the year and special events to promote internationalization of the campus. Each year a multi-cultural fair is held on campus for the St. Thomas community. The executive members are elected each spring.

There are also other cultural associations for international students at St. Thomas, at UNB and in the Fredericton community. Please see the International Student Advisor for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does St. Thomas offer academic scholarships for international students?

Yes. St. Thomas offers numerous scholarships for which international students can apply. Applications for major renewable scholarships must be received by the Admissions Office by March 15. For information on our scholarship guarantee please contact the Admissions Office, Tel: (506) 452-0532, Fax: (506) 452-0617

2. When do I apply?

International applicants are urged to complete and submit applications and supporting documents by June 1 for the semester beginning the following semester. (Students applying for the January semester should submit all required documents by September 1). While applications will be accepted beyond that date, students risk having insufficient time to obtain student visas and other authorizations. Processing time at embassies can take up to three months.

3. Are there any International Student Clubs that I can join while at St. Thomas?

There are opportunities to join several clubs and societies such as: St. Thomas University International Student Association (STUISA), Muslim Student Association, India Association, African Students Union, Overseas Chinese Students Association, Turkish Student Society, Malaysian Student Society, Caribbean Circle, Indonesian Association, Singapore Students Society.

4. Where will I live?

Our five residences include Chatham Hall, Harrington Hall, Holy Cross House Rigby Hall, and Vanier Hall. Vanier Hall is a solely female residence, whereas Holy Cross, Chatham, Harrington and Rigby Halls are co-ed. Approximately 852 students live in residence. Each residence has common areas for studying and socializing. When you are living on campus, you may find it easier to take advantage of the social, athletic and cultural events held throughout the year.

If you are looking to live off-campus, information about apartments and rooms for rent can be obtained at . Apartments are also listed in the newspaper, and notices are often posted around the campus and on bulletin boards in stores and shopping malls.

5. English is not my first language. Is there a course I can take to improve my English?

Yes - For students who meet our admission requirements but have not yet fully mastered the English language St. Thomas University offers English language support. For further information, please visit the English as a Second Language programme.

6. What is there to do for fun outside of the classroom?

Outside the classroom you will find plenty of opportunities to enrich your studies by taking part in activities such as debating, drama, journalism, community radio and student government. St. Thomas also provides a variety of opportunities for informal social activities whether it is a Pub Night, Coffee House or Concert. You will find a variety of activities planned from every night and weekend.

In addition to on-campus activities, New Brunswick offers countless outdoor adventures. Get up close with whales, kayak the world’s highest tides, discover the joys of sailing, practice your swing on our golf courses, hike to the highest peak - Mount Carleton, ski more than 1,000 km (600 miles) of cross-country ski trails, and more.

The City of Fredericton has placed a high priority on providing green spaces where residents can participate in outdoor activities and spend time enjoying nature. The 457 hectares (1129 acres) of parkland include the natural forest of Odell Park, pristine Killarney Lake and the lush gardens of Wilmot Park.

Fredericton also has a market downtown where farm products and crafts are sold every Saturday morning until 1:00 pm. This is a very popular place to shop on Saturdays.

7. What student services are available?

At St. Thomas University, we understand that studying in a new country can be a challenging experience. Therefore, St. Thomas University provides many extra services, such as study skills workshops (writing skills, reading for analysis, using the library) and a programme of academic advising to assist you. You can also access the services of the International Student Advisor, Student Health Services and Counselling Services. Community contacts are available through Fredericton's Multicultural Association.