Current Students

Start your journey here

Welcome to the Rocky Mountain International Student Program! 

The information provided on this page is here to help you plan, prepare and make the most of your time in Canada. If you have any questions or concerns at any point before or after your arrival, please talk to your Homestay Coordinator. 

Get your documents in order

All international students need a passport, valid for at least six months beyond their planned date of departure from Canada.

To enter Canada, most international students need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), depending on country of citizenship. Canadian citizens (including dual citizens), Canadian permanent residents, US Citizens, and US Lawful Permanent Residents do not need to apply for an eTA or visa. 

Depending on the length of your stay in Canada, you may also need to apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. Consult the Canadian government website for more information about when and how to apply. 

When you have been approved for a study permit, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  This approval letter is not your study permit.  When you arrive in Canada, you must tell the officer about your approved application and show a printed copy or electronic version of the letter. Then the officer will issue a study permit. Check the dates and your personal details for errors before leaving Immigration. 

Plan your travel


Be sure to review the Important Dates for your program year before booking your travel to/from Canada. Arrivals and departures outside our mandatory travel dates will incur an administrative fee and nightly homestay charge.  Late departures will not be permitted under any circumstances. 

If your natural parent(s) will be picking you up at the end of your stay, they must arrive no later than the final mandatory departure date. 


When booking connecting flights, please allow a minimum of 2 hours at your port of entry (the first Canadian airport you land at). You will need plenty of time to clear customs and immigration before continuing on to your final destination. 

Designated airports

Designated airports for arrivals and departures are as follows:

Golden, Invermere, 

Kimberley, Cranbrook, 

Fernie, Sparwood

Canadian Rockies International Airport

(YXC – Cranbrook)


Kelowna International Airport

(YLW – Kelowna)

Airport transfer at start/end of program to/from the designated BC airport is included in fees.  Transport at any other time to/from an airport will incur an additional fee of $150 each way.

With the exception of RMISP's Calgary Airport Shuttle offered on specific dates/times, no airport transfer by staff or host families to/from Calgary (YYC) is permitted for any community or any purpose due to legal/insurance reasons. Students are not permitted to arrange private transfers or travel alone.


Prepare for life in Canada

Student Handbook 2024-25 

Review the handbook for information on the following topics (and more): 

  • Weather
  • Homesickness and Culture Shock
  • Money and Shopping
  • Canadian Culture, Customs, and Etiquette
  • Life in Your New Home
  • Tips for Living with a Host Family
  • Safety and Security
  • Transportation and Travel
  • Communication with RMISP
  • School Attendance
  • Program Activities

Pack your bags

Be mindful of your airline's baggage limits and try not to overpack so you can bring souvenirs home at the end of your stay. If you will be bringing more than one large suitcase and/or skis, please advise your host parent in advance so they can ensure they have space to transport them home from the airport.  

At check in, confirm whether your checked baggage will go all the way to your final destination.  

Carry-on Luggage Packing List:

  • Passport 
  • ETA or study permit approval letter
  • Custodianship documents 
  • Letter of Acceptance 
  • Wallet with some cash and a credit card
  • Phone and charger
  • Homestay profile and contact information 
  • StudyInsured card
  • Change of clothes 
  • Medication 
  • Laptop (optional)
  • Refillable water bottle and food/snacks
  • Limit liquids/gels to 100 ml or less, and all liquids/gels must fit in a clear 1-liter bag

Arrive in Canada


Use of the ArriveCAN app is optional, but submitting an Advance Declaration through ArriveCAN may save you time clearing customs at your arrival airport. Learn more and download the app before you travel: ArriveCAN


Everyone arriving in Canada is required to go through an interview with a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer when they arrive in Canada.  CBSA will want to ensure that you have all of the proper documentation to enter Canada and will ask questions regarding the items you are bringing with you into Canada.  For information regarding the required documents, please see the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website HERE .   

Receiving your Study Permit 

Students who are attending school in Canada for longer than 5 months must apply for a Study Permit in advance and pick up their permit at the first port of entry (airport) into Canada. You must show the officer your official letter of invitation – that document is not your permit!  Students who may extend their stay beyond 5 months should also apply in advance for a study permit and pick this up at the airport. 

When picking up your Study Permit at the airport:

  • Make sure you have all of your documentation handy and organized 
  • Follow the signs upon arrival to Canada Border Services/Customs/ Immigration/ Baggage
  • Present your passport, study permit invitation letter, and all other documents to the CBSA agent
  • Receive your study permit and ensure that the information is accurate and correct, and that your permit is secured where you will not lose it before transiting to your next flight or exiting the arrivals hall 

If you have applied for a study permit, you must not leave the airport of your first port of entry into Canada without the permit. 

Students staying for less than 6 months must have all appropriate visitor permits/eTA to enter Canada. 

Arriving at your final destination

All students will be met by their host families or an RMISP staff member. Look for a sign with your name on it.

Stay healthy

RMISP has enrolled all students in StudyInsured™ health insurance. You will receive your insurance confirmation by email. Save it in a safe place. For more information, ask your Homestay Coordinator or visit our insurance website.


Online medical care is available for minor illnesses. 

Psychological counselling and support for personal or school related issues is available online or by mobile through our Stay Healthy at School Program.

More information will be provided at Student Orientation.  

Ski and snowboard

Ski Passes 

A season pass is usually a good value if you expect to ski or snowboard 10 days or more. All our local ski resorts offer early bird discounts. Check your local resort's website for more information and to purchase a pass. 


Students may choose to bring skis or a snowboard to Canada. Let your host parent know if you will be arriving with gear. 

New and used gear is available for purchase in most communities.  Ask your host parents for help. 

Request permission to travel

Generally, you need program permission, and in some cases also natural parents' permission, to travel during your stay in Canada (except when travelling with the program on regular monthly trips). Adult supervision (25 years or older) is required for all overnight trips. 

Day trips

Single-day trips within 500 km of your homestay, do not require notification or approval. For day trips exceeding 500 km, please let your Homestay Coordinator know when and where you are going, how you are getting there, the purpose of the trip, and who will be chaperoning. 

Overnight trips

Use the Trip Request Form to request permission for any overnight trip with host parent(s) or another adult. 

Trips to the US and other international destinations require natural parent permission.  RMISP will use the information you provide here to process the permission form. If the information provided is incomplete, trip approval will be delayed or denied.  RMISP will notify student and host parent(s) if/when the trip is approved. 

Student or host parent must submit this form at least 5 business days before the trip start date.

Trip Request Form

School trips 

Use this form to notify your Homestay Coordinator of any planned overnight trips with a school team, club, or class.  Your Homestay Coordinator will confirm the details with the trip leader and your natural parents will be notified. 

Students must submit this form at least 5 business days before the trip start date.  

School Trip Notification

Out-of-Community Sleepovers/Visits

RMISP students who want to travel more than 50 kilometers to visit or sleep over at the homestay of an RMISP friend must request permission at least 5 days in advance. 

The following rules and conditions apply:

  • Sleepovers may not exceed 2 nights.
  • Co-ed sleepovers are not allowed.
  • No homestay remuneration will be provided to the host family receiving the visiting student. These sleepovers are not considered respite.
  • If public transportation will be used for travel between communities, natural parent permission is required. RMISP will process travel permissions and notify student and host parents if/when approved. 
  • The host parent(s) of the visiting student must be prepared to pick up student at short notice if requested by the program. 

The host parent of the travelling student must complete this form at least 5 business days before the scheduled sleepover/visit.

Out-of-Community Sleepover


Make the most of your time

In addition to our monthly Program Activities, RMISP strongly encourages students to get involved in school and community clubs, teams and events.  

My Great Canadian Experience is an RMISP project that rewards students for sharing their experiences via blog posts, picture slide shows and videos. You'll learn more at Student Orientation and your weekly lunch meetings. Hear from some of our past participants at our student blog and on our youtube channel


Visit Vancouver at Spring Break

5-Day Vancouver Tour

March 25-29, 2024

$1,209 - $1,379 CAD (depending on number of students)

RMISP is offering an optional 5-day trip to Vancouver March 25-29, 2024. This is an exciting opportunity to see another part of beautiful British Columbia and get away with your friends during Spring Break.  

The trip fee of $1,379 includes transportation by motor coach, tour guide and chaperones, 4 nights hotel (quad occupancy), daily breakfasts, some group dinners and some activities (tubing at Silverstar Mountain, FlyOver Canada, Vancouver Aquarium, Apex Adventure Park). We will also visit Canada Place, Stanley Park, Granville Island and Metrotown Mall, Vancouver's largest mall. Itinerary is subject to change. 

  • Registration opens: mid-October 
  • Deadline to sign up: February 24, 2024
  • A minimum of 25 students is required to run this trip.  
  • More information will be provided at Student Orientation and at weekly lunch meetings. 

New Student Arrival Checklist


□  Apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV),  and a study permit, if required. 

□  Connect with your host family when you receive placement details.

□  Read your welcome emails from RMISP.

□  Save the RMISP emergency contact number (250-427-5985) in your phone.

□  Download the ArriveCAN app and submit an Advance Declaration (within 72 hours of your arrival to Canada) to save time clearing customs. 


Travel Day:

□  Carry a copy of your homestay address, host parent name(s) and phone numbers.

□  Carry your cell phone, charger, passport and wallet in a safe place.  

□  Let your host parent and homestay coordinator know if you miss a flight or have any problems. 


Arriving in Canada:

□  Have all documents ready to proceed through immigration. Make sure to show your study permit approval letter in order to receive your study permit (if applicable).

□  A host parent or RMISP staff member will meet you at your final destination. Look for a sign with your name on it.