I heard you’re moving to Canada for school; how exciting! As a rule of thumb, always check the SPC website before you buy anything because you might be missing out on awesome discounts. You’ll need a few things to make your first year successful. From tech, to furniture, to winter gear, here are your Canada essentials!  



The first thing you’ll need as a student in Canada is a phone and a phone plan. Major carriers in Canada include Telus, Rogers, Bell, Fido, and Koodo. All four have their pros and cons, so it’s best to research each one to find the best fit for you. In terms of your device itself, SPC members save up to 10% on select Samsung products. * As for your other essential electronics, a laptop is usually a requirement for most university/college programs. It’s important to invest in a quality machine and not break the bank. As an SPC member, you can save on products from HP, Lenovo, Dell, The Source, and Acer!   


Winter Gear (For when it’s time!) 

You may have heard that Canada can get quite cold. Whether you’re studying in Toronto or Winnipeg, you’ll need a warm coat and boots to get through nasty Canadian winters. First up, coat. Some things you should consider in a coat are a waterproof outer shell, mobility, cost, and insulation. Whether you’re using your coat for outdoor sports like skiing or just for getting from A-B, SAIL has an extensive range of coat options, and with SPC, you can get 15% off regular-priced items. *  

As well, boots are a must-buy for anybody living in Canada. With the snow and ice, good boots will help you stay warm and prevent you from slipping and hurting yourself. SPC has tons of options for you like UGG and Journeys, click here to see all our shoe partners! If you’re looking for a recommendation, check out MERRELL for an awesome selection of styles and affordable prices on winter boots. Plus, with SPC, you can get 15% off regular price + 20% off sale items. * Better yet, SPC+ members get 20% off regular price + 20% off sale items*!  


Academic Supplies  

School supplies are essential, so here are some things you’ll need; a backpack or bag, stationery, and certain items depending on your program requirements. Herschel Supply Co has a ton of great backpack and bag options that are fashionable and affordable; and if you’re an SPC member, you’ll get 10% off + free shipping! * For your stationery needs, you should check out Muji. Not only is it super affordable, but their products are aesthetically pleasing. SPC members get 10% off regular-priced merchandise. *  

BONUS: SPC might be partnered with your university or college library. Head to the main page and type in your university or college to see if you can get a discount on supplies, clothing, and books on campus!  


Home Furnishings  

If you’re moving into a dorm at school, you will be provided with a desk, bed, and closet, but that’s about it. On the other hand, if you’re moving into an apartment, it might not be furnished at all. Check out SHEIN and H&M for super cute and affordable home décor options, they’ve always been a go-to of mine. If you’re looking for more of a one-stop shop, WALMART is going to be your new best friend. You can fully furnish your apartment there, from bed linens to cutlery, to desks and dining room tables. SPC members get 10% off home goods purchases of $75 or more. *  

TIP: If you want more up-scale furniture, check out UMBRA. You can save up to 50%* on products as an SPC member!   


SPC Membership    

As you can see, having an SPC membership is essential to saving money as a student. SPC gives you over 450+ discounts at popular brands like Samsung, Adidas, H&M, Footlocker, American Eagle, The Body Shop, and so many more for only $11.99/year. As well as discounts, SPC has contests almost every month where lucky students can win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Learn more about the membership here!   


GIVEAWAY ALERT: Win a $50 Shoppers Drug Mart gift card and a FREE SPC Membership!  

How to enter:  

  1. Follow @spccard on Instagram  
  2. Tag a friend in the comments section of the pinned post (every comment equals an extra entry)  
  3. Leave a comment on the blog with a school essential (don’t forget to include your IG handle too!) 

The winner will be picked on June 16th, 2023   

49 thoughts on “International Student Essentials ”
  1. Electronics being first is so true! Staying connected with something like a laptop or Samsung phone is a great way to keep in touch with family when you’re far from home. So essential!!! @kim.zzo

  2. My favourite back to school essential is an iPad for awesome study notes and staying organized!!

  3. I think the ‘essential ‘ that international students require the most in Canada is a phone number and mobile plan (mobile if needed as well) so they can effectively communicate with everyone and have everything available on their fingertips.

  4. A good quality backpack that can last me an entire year and a good laptop for assignments.!👍👍👍

  5. My favourite back to school essential would be a notepad for lectures! My Instagram handle is @piggiethefoodie

  6. A great lip gloss is essential especially in the winter months when the weather changes. Instagram handle: @tejaonabudget

  7. My favourite back to school essentials would have to be pens of course! I just need that extra spark in my study notes with different colours to choose from, to make studying just a little more enjoyable 🙂

  8. My favourite back to school essentials would have to be pens of course! I just need that extra spark in my study notes with different colours to choose from, to make studying just a little more enjoyable 🙂

    Instagram: @rianna.jb

  9. As a newcomer international student in Canada, you have so many needs for basic stuff. Especially during winters. You try to save on one thing but you end up spending more somewhere else. Students are frugal and have so much going. It’s overwhelming. Times like these we need deals and discounts from spc more, and i wish i knew earlier about SPC card

  10. My number 1 back to school essential is a heavy duty backpack. (SPC can help with that!

  11. My school essential is my backpack!
    Following on Instagram @christinedm12

  12. My favorite essential is definitely the backpack! It can carry lots of stuff, my laptop, water bottle, jacket etc ❤️

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