There are lots of accommodation options for international students, both on-campus and around Calgary. Below are some resources to help you find the right home during your time at UCalgary.
Understand Government Requirements
If you're returning to Canada for school or are starting your studies in Canada, you'll need to follow all health and travel guidelines in place at the time of your arrival. While circumstances may change, it’s important to plan for your arrival in Calgary by understanding current requirements, including mandatory self-isolation.
Watch the video: IRCC New Requirements for People Entering Canada
Review these important websites before you plan your travel for up-to-date requirements:
Mandatory 3-Night Hotel Stopover
Effective February 22, the Government of Canada is requiring travelers entering Canada to stay 3-nights in a designated hotel quarantine location, while awaiting their COVID-19 test results. For more information, please visit:
- COVID-19 mandatory hotel stopover: Booking and list of government authorized hotels
- COVID-19 mandatory hotel stopover: About
Isolation Accommodations and Information
Whether you're planning to live on-campus in Residence Services, or off-campus in a privately arranged apartment or house, you’ll need a plan if any self-isolation is required before you arrive in Canada.
- If you’re planning to live in on-campus residence, visit the Residence Services website
- If you’re planning to live off-campus, you’ll likely need to arrange short term accommodation to meet any isolation requirements. Learn more below.
Expenses: make sure you account for this possible expense when budgeting your funds for your first few weeks in Calgary.
Cell phone or internet access: you must go directly to your hotel accommodation, so you will not be able to purchase a Canadian cell phone right away. We recommend bringing a wi-fi compatible laptop or cell phone (which you can keep on “airplane mode” to avoid charges) in order to access the internet while you are isolating. You’ll be able to access key UCalgary services through the ISS website and via email advising as long as your hotel has wi-fi.
The University of Calgary has arrangements for special self-isolation room rates with several hotels. Please review the options below:
- Best Western
- Comfort Inn & Suites
- Days Inn
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- Sandman Hotel Calgary Airport
- Sandman Signature Calgary Downtown Hotel
- Additional rates for airport and University area hotels
Are you student planning to arrive with family? Review these rates:
More arrangements may be added in the coming weeks.
What should I do in self-isolation?
While you're staying safe and self-monitoring for symptoms, there are lots of ways you can start to get acquainted with the UCalgary community and resources. Even though we can't meet you yet in-person, there is a team of staff and student leaders working to support you from a distance. Learn more about ISS services, programs, & events here.
ISS will share information on things to do while you're in isolation, such as virtual activities, helpful information to review, important "to-do tasks" to get settled, ways to connect with peers (through the Welcome Centre or International Student Mentorship Program), and more.
Visit this page for information on what to do while in self-isolation.
Other helpful webpages
When you arrive in Calgary, you may need to arrange a short-term place to stay if you arrive early (before on-campus Move-in Day) or to give you time to find a long-term off-campus rental.
We strongly recommend that you plan to stay somewhere short-term, to avoid agreeing to a long-term rental without first meeting the landlord, visiting and inspecting the property, and testing out commute options from the property to UCalgary campus.
There are a few options for temporary housing, depending on factors such as your budget, convenience/distance to campus or the airport, and comfort level with sharing spaces (private or shared accommodation). We recommend you reserve a temporary accommodation before you arrive in Calgary, as there can be high volume at start of fall term (Late August, early September).
- Stay with family or friends
- AirBnB rental
- Hotel on-campus (Hotel Alma) *closed until May 2021*
- Hotels near campus
- Age restrictions: before you make a reservation, confirm if there is an age restriction for check-in. Some hotels & AirBnB require that you are 18 years or older to check-in
- Student discounts: ask about any special student rates and what identification or proof you may need to bring with you (eg. an enrolment verification letter or your UCID card
Hostels can be a cheap option for shared dorm style accommodation; while not located super close to campus, both are easily accessible by public transit. You may need to bring a lock with you to keep your personal belongings safe—check websites for details and rates.
Hotels near Campus
These hotel options are located near 16th Ave NW, close to the University of Calgary, near the Banff Trail train station. They are also close to restaurants. Single room rates range from $50-200 CAD per night, depending on the time of year.
Aloft Calgary University
2359 Banff Traill NW
Best Western Village Park Inn
1804 Crowchild Trail NW
Toll free: 1-888-774-7716
2369 Banff Trail NW
Toll Free: 1-866-789-2581
Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Calgary University
2231 Banff Trail NW
Toll free: 1-888-432-6777
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Calgary NW - University Area
2373 Banff Trail NW
Book online or call:1 877 660 8550
Hotel Alma (on-campus hotel)
*Hotel Alma is closed until May 2021*
This is a convenient option, since the hotel is located on the University of Calgary main campus.
169 University Gate NW (on-campus, free breakfast offered, attached to the dining center)
Telephone: (403) 220-3203
Toll Free: 1-877-498-3203
Living on campus is a great option for international students. Students who choose to live on-campus do so because it allows you to be conveniently located close to your classes as well as other campus resources and provides great opportunities for meeting other students. It is also possible to arrange living in residence before you arrive in Calgary. If you’d like to live on-campus, we encourage you to apply right away, as space is limited.
The types of residence options available to you differ depending on your year of study, and what most appeals to you. This also means that you’ll be living with people experiencing the same things – learning how to do laundry, writing a thesis or being away from home for the first time. Our residence rooms are fully furnished, and some have cooking facilities. The university also has a Dining Centre, where students can purchase a meal plan.
Spots in residence fill up quickly, so apply as soon as possible! Apply Here. Applications typically open in December for the following year. Contact Residence Services for more information, or to be added to a waiting list. You can contact them via email or phone at 403.220.3210, or check out more information on their website ucalgary.ca/residence
Navigating the housing market in Calgary can be tough, it may take some time to find the perfect place. Here are some tips to help with your search:
- Arrive two weeks to a month before classes begin to arrange your off-campus housing.
- Be sure to book temporary accommodation before you arrive so you have a place to stay while searching for permanent housing. The start of semester can be a busy time around campus and the city so try to make these arrangements well in advance. Go options include staying with family, or booking a hotel, hostel, or an AirBnB.
- Visit the accommodation in-person and meet the landlord and any potential roommates before committing to the property.
- If something feels off, the landlord will only communicate via email, they’re not willing to let you view the apartment before paying a deposit, or the place just seems to good to be true – it probably is.
- Make sure you know what your commute to campus looks like – can you walk, or do you need to take public transport?
What types of rental accommodation are there in Calgary?
- High Rise Apartments – most apartments have full kitchen facilities and may even come with a dishwasher. Often apartment buildings may have communal facilities like a common space, pool or gym. Laundry facilities are also usually available although typically they are shared.
- Walk-Up Condos – apartments in smaller two or three storey buildings.
- Suites – A separate section of a larger home. There is usually a kitchen but may not always be laundry facilities. Often these are in the basement of a home and so there may not be as much natural light.
- Shared Accommodation (house/apartment) – sharing rental costs can be considerably cheaper, however you may not have as much privacy.
What area of Calgary should I live in?
- Neighbourhoods in Calgary are designated by what quadrant of the city they are in. The University of Calgary is in the NW quadrant of the city – meaning that you likely want to avoid neighbourhoods in the deep south, unless you want a long commute.
- Some of the closest neighbourhoods, where lots of students tend to live include:
- Capitol Hill
- Picking an area is going to depend on what’s available, as well as your lifestyle and whether you want to live downtown or closer to campus.
- When looking at housing, remember to consider Calgary weather! While a 20-minute walk to campus is great in the summer, it’s a little less enjoyable in the middle of winter. Ideally you want somewhere that is easily transit accessible – the c-train can be more reliable than buses in the Winter and gives you more opportunity to explore what Calgary has to offer.
Where should I look for off-campus housing?
- You need to purchase content or tenant insurance. It helps to address any lost property or expenses if your belongings are lost or damaged.
- If you bought insurance before coming to Canada, check your policy to see if content insurance is included.We recommend you obtain a few estimates before selecting a contents insurance coverage provider.
- Before you move in to your accommodation, you and your landlord need to agree to the terms of your rental agreement in a contract. This contract is called a rental agreement. A written agreement is strongly encouraged.
- There are laws in Alberta that specifically relate to landlords and tenants. Make sure that you know what your obligations are as a renter, and what is allowed of your landlord. More information can be found here.