Before You Travel

Preparing for Your Journey to Lakehead

Preparing for your journey to Lakehead University and Canada is an exciting and important process. Information on this page will help ensure a smooth transition from your home country to your new university home. 

International Centre with Students

On This Page

Book Your Travel Pre-Departure Planning Airport & Arrival Travelling During COVID-19 

Given the dynamic nature of travel during a global pandemic, the information on this page may only be as relevant as when it was published. You are responsible for remaining informed of current travel requirements, restrictions, and/or other influencing factors that may impact your travel planning.

Book Your Travel

When booking your travel to Lakehead, ensure that you arrive in time to attend Orientation. This is an important step in your transition to university. At orientation you will not only receive critical information, you will also get to know students in your program and other programs who are from Canada and around the world.

Thunder Bay Campus

You should book your flight from your home country directly to Thunder Bay (YQT).  There are no direct international flights to Thunder Bay, so you will have a connecting flight through a different city. Most likely your port of entry will be Vancouver (YVR), Toronto (YYZ) or Montreal (YUL). 

Important: Please allow plenty of time between your time of arrival at the Port of Entry and the time of departure for your connecting flight to Thunder Bay. It can take several hours for you to clear the Canada Customs and get your study permit. We cannot provide exact times as it varies greatly depending on individual situations, but we recommend a minimum of 4-5 hours between your connecting flights. 

Orillia Campus

When travelling to the Orillia campus, your port of entry will most likely be the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The Orillia campus is approximately a 1-hour-and-30-minute drive from the Pearson International Airport.

When to Arrive

Due to the dynamic nature of travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions may change and affect your travel to Canada. Please keep informed on the Government Canada website and, if needed, consult one of our International Recruitment Advisors prior to booking travel.

Depending on whether or not you are fully vaccinated before you travel, and depending on the quarantine regulations in place at the time of your travel, you may need to arrive a minimum of 2 weeks before classes start. If you do not need to quarantine upon arrival in Canada, you should plan to arrive before Orientation. Your first day of classes will vary depending on the term you are starting and your program of study. For a list of academic dates including the first and last day of classes, please visit:

Pre-Departure Planning

We want you to be prepared and feel at home while studying at Lakehead University. Click each of the following categories to see our packing suggestions on what to bring/what to leave home.

What to Bring
  • Pictures from home
  • Prescription medication
  • Electrical converter
  • All required documentation for entry into and study in Canada
  • Numerous face masks including disposable and reusable cloth face masks.
  • Please ensure you travel with some Canadian funds until you are able to set up a Canadian bank account. There is a money exchange in the Toronto airport but there is NO money exchange in the Thunder Bay airport.
What You Can Buy Here

The following items are available to purchase once you arrive in Canada; however, some students choose to bring them from home:

  • Bedding: Bedsheets, Pillows, Blankets (Beds in the Thunder Bay residences are twin beds - 97 cm × 191 cm. In the Orillia residences, we have double beds - 137 cm × 191 cm.)
  • Towels
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Hairdryer
  • Warm clothing
  • Clothing Hangers
  • Computer
  • Alarm clock
  • Power bar
What to Leave at Home
  • Bedding
  • Cookware
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Pets
  • Expensive valuables
  • Illegal drugs
  • Weapons
Required Documents Upon Arrival in Canada
Carry the following documents and all other valuable items with you at all times rather than in your checked baggage. Entrance into Canada may be denied if any of your documents are missing or if any of the information on your application or letter of reference is incorrect.
  • Passport
    • Study permit or letter of introduction from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada
  • A printed copy of your original Letter of Acceptance (Offer of Admission) from Lakehead University - This can be found in your:
    • Undergraduate: myInfo portal, click on the Applicant section on the left, under "Phase 2: Admissions" click on "View My Offer."
    • Graduate: Graduate Application, click on "View My Offer"
  • A printed copy of Your Enrolment Verification Letter - This can be found in your MyInfo portal: Click on the Student section on the left, Under "Course Registration" click on "Enrolment Verification/Confirmation of Enrolment Letter." You may be asked to prove your current enrolment with a full course load.

Contact information for Lakehead University: 

  • Thunder Bay Campus: 1-807-631-4123 (during your travels and arrival) 1-807-627-8701 (after you arrive)
  • Orillia Campus: 1-705-801-9963

Airport & Arrival

As a new incoming undergraduate or graduate Lakehead international student, arriving at our Thunder Bay or Orillia campuses, you may be eligible for our airport pick-up service.  For the Thunder Bay campus, this service brings students, via taxi, from the Thunder Bay Airport directly to their accommodations either in residence or off-campus. For the Orillia campus, this shuttle service will take you from the Toronto Pearson International Airport to your accommodations in Orillia. We cannot provide this service for students arriving to Billy Bishop Airport.

This service is a one-time use only and students must submit their application at least four (4) business days before their arrival date.

How to Book Your Airport Pickup

Once you've submitted Lakehead University International's Arrival Form, our dedicated International Student Services team will provide you with further arrival instructions, contact information, follow-up appointment instructions for the following day and your taxi voucher/shuttle arrangements. The airport pick-up service can take you to campus residence or off-campus accommodations within your campus city (Thunder Bay or Orillia, or Barrie for Lakehead-Georgian students). Please reference your welcome package email for important information on Government of Canada travel requirements.

Airport Arrival Application Form 

Thunder Bay Arrival Details
Thunder Bay Transportation:
  • Our Transportation provider (Roach's Taxi) will transport new students from the airport to their accommodations. Drivers will only accept the taxi voucher our students present and the transportation is charged directly to our Lakehead University account. You must have your voucher printed, they will not accept electronic copies.  If you do not have your printed voucher with you, you will be responsible to pay for the taxi out of pocket. 
  • When you arrive at the Thunder Bay airport you will collect your luggage and head outside.  There is a taxi wait line just outside the exit doors.  You will wait there for the next available Roach's Taxi.  Provide the driver your voucher and the address of your accommodations (on or off campus).  There will be no stops along the way, only a direct route.
  • Lakehead University has verified that all transportation provided has a plan to have been sanitized appropriately after each transport. Additionally, Lakehead University has verified with the transportation company the cleaning products used including the driver's confirmed use of PPE.
  • All vehicles have installed plexiglass barriers to ensure social distancing and protection for both driver and passenger.
Orillia & Barrie Arrival Details
Orillia Transportation:
  • Students arriving to Pearson International Airprot in Toronto and going to Orillia (or Barrie, for Lakehead-Georgian students) for the first time are eligible to receive complimentary public shuttle service to your on- or off-campus location.
  • Lakehead University uses Simcoe County Airport Service, They are a member of the Ground Transportation Association of Ontario, and are licensed by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. You will meet your driver at the airport terminal.
  • The drive from Pearson International Airport will take approximately 90 minutes to Orillia and 75 minutes to Barrie, depending on traffic. Your transportation will be pre-booked and prepaid. You will check in with the transportation company at the airport and detailed information will be provided. Please be sure to check your Lakehead email account for this.

Travelling During COVID-19

Lakehead University is looking forward to welcoming new students to campus! As part of Lakehead University’s COVID-19 Readiness Plan, there are important procedures and protocols that you must follow and must be aware of as a Lakehead student travelling from outside of Canada.

Effective October 1, 2022, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:

  • submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
  • provide proof of vaccination;
  • undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
  • carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
  • monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada.

Transport Canada is also removing existing travel requirements. As of October 1, 2022, travellers will no longer be required to:

  • undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or
  • wear masks on planes and trains.

For more details, please visit this website.

Entering Canada 
As you prepare to travel to Canada, you must be fully aware of any travel restrictions that may affect you. The Government of Canada website is the best place to check for up-to-date travel restrictions.
Lakehead's COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Learn more about Lakehead's COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for students, faculty and staff.