Living in London
- University fees: Tuition fees MUST be paid when you register at UWO. Please note that you will probably not receive any scholarship or teaching payments until the end of your first registered month.
- Social Insurance Number (SIN): A SIN number is required for every worker in Canada (this includes teaching on campus). Application forms are available at the Canadian Employment Centre, 120 Queens Avenue, London. Telephone: (519) 645-4354. Make sure you take your passport and a photocopy of your valid student authorization when you make your application. You must have a SIN number to be paid by the University.
- Income tax: International students are subject to Canadian taxation laws. As a long-term student you are eligible to apply for "deemed resident" status for tax purposes. Contact your supervisor or graduate secretary for the necessary documentation. Information concerning taxes is available from the Society of Graduate Students office (Room 260 - University Community Centre).
It is common for landlords to ask for 1st and last month rent upon signing a lease. You should therefore arrange to have enough money upon arrival. On the other hand, it is illegal for landlords to ask for a damage deposits. For more info on this, please go to the UWO Off Campus Housing Service. For more information on renting in London, please refer to Western’s Housing Mediation Service.
When signing the lease, you will most likely need to pay your landlord with travellers cheques, or by withdrawing cash with a credit card from your home country. This is due to the fact that Canadian banks ask you to provide a permanent address in London, before opening a checking account for you.
The concept of the “roommate"
In North America, many students share houses or apartments in order to make the rent less expensive, and also to get to know other people. It is thus common to find ads looking for “a roommate” or a “housemate”. Typically, sharing a house with other students means that everyone has their own room, and does their own grocery shopping and cooking.
All the rest is shared: other rooms (the bathroom, most of the time, and the kitchen and living room), cost of utilities, and house chores. Most of the time, roommates try to agree on house rules at the beginning of the year, so that things don’t get out of control.
If you are planning on living with roommates, you also should try to find other students that match your personality and schedule.. Usually, graduate students choose other graduate students or professionals as roommates.
Getting around London
All graduate students are issued a bus pass at the beginning of every term. Bus pass costs are included in your tuition bill, and all graduate students have to pay it, whether they use the bus or not. Remember that you will need to show your Western Student Card (together with your bus pass) when boarding the bus. For schedules and bus routes, please visit London Transit.
Climate and Clothing
Be prepared to experience a variety of climatic conditions during your stay in London. Temperatures can range from -20 Celsius in the winter to 35 Celsius in the summer. The Weather Network offers current and long-term weather forecasts to help you with planning.
We recommend that you purchase your winter clothing in London as local stores carry items best suited to Canadian winter conditions (for example, North by Northwest, Sport Chek, Sears, The Bay).
London has numerous attractions to keep you occupied beyond your studies. The list below will get you started.
- The Grad Club: Located on campus in Middlesex College, this graduate facility provides a relaxing place to escape from the rigors of academic life and to socialize with fellow graduate students.
- Shopping facilities: Masonville Place and Galleria Mall are two large shopping centres located within close proximity to the university.
- Recreation areas: There are numerous public parks within walking distance of campus. London also has museums, galleries and theatres that offer a taste of Canadian culture. For more, visit London's Culture and Recreation website.
- Movies: London has a number of movie theatres, some of which are very close to campus including Western Film and Silver City London.