International & Exchange Student Guide

Living in residence at Western University is an experience like no other. Home to students from more than 121 different countries, our residences offer excellent amenities, academic support, a focus on promoting a safe living environment, and opportunities to make new friends. As an international or exchange student, the best place to live is on campus.

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Securing Your Residence Spot

Residence offers everything you need for a successful academic year. In fact, residence is guaranteed for all single, first-year students coming directly from high school who receive an offer to study full time at Western’s Main Campus. Upper-year students may also apply to live in residence in any building. Get more information on eligibility, and if you have questions contact us.

Are you an exchange student? Residence is home for you too!

Please be aware that the majority of students living in residence are first-year undergraduate students (17-19 years of age). You may find an upper-year building to be your preference.

Students at affiliated colleges including Brescia, Huron or King's are not eligible for residence at Western's main campus.

Full Academic Year Exchange (September-April)

Eligible exchange students attending Western for the full academic year will receive an offer of residence in the order applications are received, as long as spaces are available.

One Semester Only Exchange: Fall (September-December) or Winter (January-April)

Eligible exchange students who will be attending Western for one semester only may receive a residence offer, depending on availability. Note: Residence fees quoted are for eight months and will be calculated based on the number of days in the term (approximately half of the fee quoted).


Cost and Payment

Residence Room Rates

Room rates and meal plan costs can be found on our  rate chart. The prepayment to accept your residence offer must be received in the Housing office by the deadline indicated in your Residence Offer letter. You will find your residence charges along with any tuition charges on your  Student Center. Please ensure that the first instalment payment is received by the deadline to secure your residence spot. Visit our  Frequently Asked Questions for more information on our refund and withdrawal policy.

If you require a flexible payment plan, please email the Student Center finance team.

Meal Plan

meal plan is mandatory in all residences except in Alumni House or London Hall (for upper-year students). If you have accepted your offer to Alumni House or London Hall, you will have the option to opt out of a meal plan through the select a meal plan in the  myHousing Portal.

RezNet Internet Service

Western offers all residents the option to subscribe to  RezNet for secure internet connection right in their rooms. You will be able to subscribe for this service via the myHousing Portal when you accept your Residence offer.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Review all of our  dates and deadlines, as well as make sure you check your Western email for information from us. You will get instructions on how to activate your Western email after you accept your academic offer to study here.

Before you move in, also make sure to read the  Residence Contract. You will learn more about our  Commitment to Diversity, conduct expectations and community standards for all residents.

What to Bring to Residence

What to Bring

Packing to live in a new country can be challenging, but we make it easy for you! We suggest that you bring only the clothing and personal items you need to feel at home in Canada. Furniture is provided in every residence building, and you can purchase additional items (such as bed linens) that are more difficult to travel with once you arrive.

Here is how we help:

  • As part of our Residence International and Exchange Student Welcome Day, we arrange transportation for you to visit local stores and supermarkets and help you purchase cookware, linens, international foods, and other items.
  • Our packing list can become your shopping list. Review the items we suggest you might need for a successful year ahead in our Move-In Planning Guide.
  • You may order bedding, towels, and kitchen supplies through  Residence Linens and they will be delivered right to your Residence, ready for when you arrive. Ensure you review the Move-In Planning Guide for bed sheet sizes.

Moving in and Welcome Day Orientation

Move-In Date

We offer an early move-in option for International and Exchange Students who are moving into a Main Campus first-year or upper-year residence building at no additional charge. You are encouraged to move in early to have extra time to settle in and prepare for orientation and welcome activities. View the important dates and deadlines page to find your early move-in date before making travel arrangements.

If you need move in prior to the above complimentary early move-in days, you'll need to submit your request through the myHousing Portal and there will be a charge per night.

When you arrive to campus, you will need to go to Ontario Hall front desk to check in and get your keys. On the International and Exchange Student move-in days, there will be Housing Staff available to drive you to your building, show you to your room and help with your luggage.

International and Exchange Student Welcome Day

All incoming international and exchange students who are moving into a Main Campus first-year or upper-year residence building are invited to attend International and Exchange Student Welcome Day.

Welcome Day is an opportunity to meet other international students and University staff, as well as to receive important information about residence, Western, and London. This event is free, and lunch and dinner are provided. We also provide transportation to a large shopping centre in London so that you can buy any items you need like bed linens or groceries.

Welcome Day Program - August 31, 2019

9:00 a.m. Introduction & Campus Tours (Your own residence)
11:30 a.m. Presentation (Althouse Auditorium, Faculty of Education Building)
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Travel to Shopping Centre (Shuttle runs at 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.)
4:30 p.m. Last bus leaves Shopping Centre to travel back to campus
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Shuttle to International Grocery Store

Make sure you RSVP before the deadline.

Residence Closures and Holidays

Holiday Accommodations

You may choose to stay on campus rather than returning home during scheduled holidays throughout the year. We are happy to offer you a place to stay during University breaks. Residences remain open during the Fall Study Break and Reading Week.

Winter Break Accommodations

The University closes during the winter holidays and very limited services are offered. With the exception of international students, students are required to vacate residence 24 hours after their last December exam and go home for the winter break until residences reopen. International students who plan to stay over during the winter break need to request a stay via the myHousing Portal before the deadline. The University reopens in early January for all students.

For students living in residence the full academic year, an additional fee will be charged to students' residence accounts (with the exception of students living in Alumni House or London Hall) if they stay in residence during the winter break. International students who have accepted their residence offer will receive an email regarding the process to request winter break accommodations. Students who have been approved for this stay will also receive an email about expectations during their winter stay. Single term students are not eligible to request Winter Break Accommodations.

Moving Out of Residence

At the end of the academic year, all students must vacate their room within 24 hours following the date of their final examination or by noon on the residence closure date, whichever is earlier.

Fall Term students (September – December) must vacate their room within 24 hours following the date of their final examination or by noon on the residence closure date, whichever is earlier.

Staying in London During the Summer

If you plan to stay in London for summer courses or even before you start at Western, you can live on campus. Book through Western Summer Accommodations which offers daily, weekly and monthly accommodation options. Western Summer Accommodations is open to the public, so your family or friends can also stay here.

Living in London

London is a vibrant urban centre made up of beautiful, lively neighborhoods. In fact, few cities of this size bring so many diverse cultures, festivals and businesses together in a single place. London also offers a diverse climate with four distinct seasons to enjoy.

Public Transportation

  • If you're looking for easy access to the public transportation system in London, Western is lucky to have major bus routes that conveniently go through campus. Find your way around the city by visiting the London Transit website.
  • All full-time undergraduate students automatically receive a London Transit Commission bus pass. Your bus pass is your Western ONECard. Learn more about transportation on campus.
  • Looking to walk around campus? Take a look at some campus maps to help you find your way.

Preparing for Winter

Excited for winter? Looking forward to seeing snow? In order to enjoy a winter in Canada, there are some clothing items you should consider purchasing in late October/early November to help you stay warm. Consider wearing the following in winter:

  • Hat (Toque): a hat on your head can warm you up! Wear a warm hat, hood, or earmuffs to cover your ears.
  • Scarf: Sometimes coats and collars don't cover your neck. Consider protecting your neck from the wind by wearing a scarf.
  • Coat: Look for a waterproof and down-filled coat to keep you warm.
  • Mittens (gloves): Fleece lined and waterproof mittens are best keeping your fingers warm.
  • Socks: Help avoid frost-bitten toes by wearing wooly socks.
  • Boots: Keep your feet dry by wearing waterproof boots with good grips for the ice.