Packing List for Canada: Essentials to Carry For Study Abroad as an International Student

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Wondering what goes into your packing list for Canada as an international student? As you prepare for this exciting new chapter to study abroad, packing can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered. This comprehensive packing list is your one-stop guide for all the essentials you’ll need as an international student in Canada. From conquering the cold winters to acing your classes, we’ll ensure you have everything to thrive in your new academic home. Let’s unpack the must-haves for your Canadian study-abroad experience!


Packing List for Canada for International Students

For the most part, the essentials on your packing list for Canada depend on the country’s student life, culture, and regulations, along with the climatic conditions and your lifestyle. Let’s explore what essential items you will need to pack in your suitcase before your big takeoff:

Essential Documents

Here are the necessary documents that international students must bring with them while relocating to Canada for overseas education:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Study permit
  3. Letter of Acceptance
  4. Proof of financial support
  5. Travel and health insurance
  6. Airline tickets
  7. Medical records and vaccination documentation
  8. Academic transcripts
  9. Proof of English language proficiency
  10. ID card (driver’s license)


Canada’s weather varies depending on the season and region. Here’s a breakdown of the clothing essentials for international students moving to Canada:

  1. Comfortable, casual clothes: Jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts.
  2. Undergarments and socks
  3. Pyjamas
  4. Sportswear or activewear
  5. Rain gear: Raincoat or lightweight rain jacket
  6. Winter clothes: Warm jackets, hats, scarves, mittens
  7. Summer clothes: Shorts, T-shirts, swimsuits


Here’s a list of electronic gadgets that you can add to your packing list for Canada:

  1. Laptop and charger
  2. Mobile phone and charger
  3. Universal power adapter
  4. External hard drive (optional)
  5. Headphones/earphones
  6. Portable Charger (Powerbank)(optional)

Personal Care

Here are some essential personal care items international students can add to their packing list for Canada:

  1. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  2. Shampoo and conditioner
  3. Soap or body wash
  4. Deodorant
  5. Lotion
  6. Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
  7. Feminine hygiene products (if applicable)
  8. Razors or shaving cream (if applicable)
  9. Hairbrush or comb
  10. Makeup
  11. Medications


Here are some additional items you might consider packing for Canada, depending on your individual needs and preferences:

  1. Small first-aid kit
  2. Towel
  3. Water bottle
  4. Bed sheet set (optional)
  5. Favourite snacks and drinks (limited quantities)
  6. Adapter for your SIM card (if needed)
  7. Small notebook and pen (for jotting down important information)

To get a list of more specific items to have in your packing list for Canada as an international student, you can refer to this free downloadable PDF.

What NOT to Add to Your Packing List for Canada

While your packing list for Canada can afford to include the above items, several categories are banned or restricted for international students moving to the country. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Firearms and weapons
  2. Illegal drugs and narcotics
  3. Pets
  4. Endangered animals and animal products
  5. Counterfeit goods
  6. Hate propaganda and child pornography
  7. Food and agricultural products
  8. Plants and plant products
  9. Medications without prescription

Baggage Limit for International Students Going to Canada

Another big concern after your checking off every item on your packing list for Canada is the luggage weight. Generally, international students can carry a total of 40-46 kgs of luggage, with students in the economy class allowed 23 kgs per bag. However, the luggage for students travelling in first-class must not exceed 32 kgs

Remember, these limits can also vary with the type of airline you choose to travel. So make sure you read the airline’s travel guidelines beforehand and pack accordingly.

study abroad packing list for canada

Packing List for Canada: Travel Finances

Figuring out your travel budget is yet another important aspect in your packing list for Canada. Students must have around CAD 3,000-4,000 ready at hand to cover the travel expenses to the country. While there’s no limit to the amount of cash you can carry, you need to declare any currency or monetary instruments that total CAD 10,000 (or equivalent) or more to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) upon arrival. 

Packing List for Canada: Additional Tips

  1. Ensure you have all your essential academic and travel documents, especially the ones in your carry-on luggage.
  2. Pack a change of clothes, toiletries, medications, and any entertainment (books, downloaded movies) in your carry-on for easy access during the flight.
  3. Utilize packing cubes to organize your belongings effectively and maximize space in your luggage.
  4. Rolling clothes instead of folding can help save space and prevent wrinkles.
  5. Pack a reusable water bottle and comfortable travel essentials like an eye mask, neck pillow, and lip balm.
  6. Buy bulky winter clothing or bedding like pillows and comforters once you arrive in Canada to free up space in your luggage.
  7. Pack a small travel-sized kit for the initial period, as you can buy most toiletries and personal care items readily in Canada.
  8. Review your airline’s baggage allowance and restrictions on liquids and electronics to avoid any last-minute surprises.
  9. Download movies, music, or audiobooks for offline entertainment during the flight, especially for longer flights.
  10. Packing can be stressful, but stay calm and prioritize essential items. 


Q1. How much winter clothing do I really need?

Ans: Canada gets cold! Pack a warm winter jacket, hat, scarf, mittens, and thermal underwear. But remember, you can buy bulkier items after you arrive in Canada.

Q2. What electronics should I bring?

Ans: A laptop and charger are essential. A universal power adapter ensures compatibility with Canadian outlets. Consider a portable charger and headphones for on-the-go convenience.

Q3. Can I bring my favorite snacks from home?

Ans: Snacks are allowed in limited quantities. Declare them at customs and check regulations for specific food items. Stock up on familiar treats once you settle in.

Q4. What toiletries should I pack?

Ans: Travel-sized versions of your essentials like shampoo, conditioner, and soap are ideal. Remember, most toiletries can be purchased in Canada.

Q5. Are there any items I can’t bring to Canada?

Ans: Yes, fiirearms, illegal drugs, and endangered animal products are strictly prohibited. You can also check the Canada Border Services Agency website for a full list of restricted items.

We hope this blog gave you complete insight into the packing list for Canada for international students. For more such content on student life abroad, subscribe to Leverage Edu today. Thank you for reading and happy packing!

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