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Student Life in Winnipeg

Here are some handy tips to help you settle into your new home. If you need any support, our friendly team of Student Success Advisors is here to help. You’ll also receive a lot of great information during Orientation, the Month of Welcome, and through various workshops and sessions hosted during your ICM program.

If you’re wondering about where to live, visit our accommodation page for our top recommendations for new students.

Public transportation and bus passes

Getting from place to place in Winnipeg is easy! Winnipeg Transit’s bus routes can take you all around the city.

ICM’s classes are located on the University of Manitoba’s main campus also known as the Fort Garry Campus. Both Winnipeg Transit’s Navigo tool and Google Maps will show you a timetable of where you need to go and at what time. Here are more Winnipeg Transit travel tips. 

ICM students can purchase a post-secondary bus pass which offers you a discounted monthly rate.

You will need to get a student ID card to be eligible to purchase the pass. Once you obtain the student ID card, you can then purchase a post-secondary bus pass at the University Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) Service Centre in the UMSU University Centre (ground floor) on campus.

If you require a bus pass immediately, or will only take the bus occasionally, then you are recommended to purchase a regular peggo card and load e-cash onto it. You can purchase a regular peggo card online or in-person at any of the locations listed on the Winnipeg Transit website. You can then add e-cash onto the card online.


There are many different banks and credit unions in Winnipeg. Large financial institutions in Canada include CIBC, BMO, TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Scotiabank. While most banks offer special student rates and complimentary online banking services, be sure to understand the fees, interest rates, and other important information associated with your account(s).

To open a bank account in Canada, you will need to make an appointment at the bank or credit union of your choice. Bring your passport, study permit, ICM student ID card or Letter of Offer and Letter of Acceptance, a Letter of Enrolment from ICM, and official documentation verifying your Canadian address (such as a phone bill, tenant agreement, or UM Residence contract).

To learn more about banking in Canada, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

When it comes to Canadian currency, coins are available in the following denominations:

  • $0.05 = 5 cents (nickel)
  • $0.10 = 10 cents (dime)
  • $0.25 = 25 cents (quarter)
  • $1 = 1 dollar (loonie)
  • $2 = 2 dollars (toonie)

As the one-cent coin is no longer in circulation, cash payments are rounded, either up or down, to the nearest five-cent increment. Payments by credit or debit card will be charged to the cent.

Canadian bank notes, or bills, are available in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. Not all vendors accept $100 bills, so it is best to carry smaller ones. Debit and credit cards are widely accepted.

We typically recommend students carry C$200 in cash on you when arriving in Canada, but please refrain from keeping large sums of cash on your person once you are living here.

Purchases in Canada are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST). Note that these taxes are not usually indicated on the price tag and will be added to the price of most goods and services when you pay.

Groceries and food delivery

Winnipeg is known for its restaurant scene but to help you keep you on budget, learning how and where to grocery shop and cook at home is a key skill. While there are many different grocery stores in the city, listed below are a few that have delivery options as well. You can also use Google Maps to search for a grocery store nearest to you.

For food delivery options, you can download apps on to your phone and add your current address for food delivery. If you have a credit card or visa debit card, you can pay online. If not, some do accept cash on delivery.

If you’re looking to dine out off campus, Peg City Grub can help introduce you to Winnipeg’s food scene. On campus, check out the University of Manitoba’s Dining Services page.

Mobile phones

More commonly known as a cell phone in Canada, several mobile providers operate in Manitoba. Below are some of the major companies you can get a cell phone plan or SIM card from. They all have different rates and plans. We suggest contacting them directly to ask about their student plans and find the best deal and plan for your preferences. Compare plans to find what works best for you and your budget!

PhoneBox is proud to partner with ICM to offer all students high-quality phone plans with a service tailored for students’ needs in Canada for an affordable price. Prepaid and monthly phone plans in Canada starting at $35 a month. For more information, please check with a Student Success Advisor.

Mobile providers often provide discounted plans for students but may also require you to sign a contract of 1-2 years. However, mobile phone contracts may not be permitted to exceed your study permit validity. This means, if your study permit will expire within two years, a prepaid plan may be required and for this, you may wish to bring a smartphone from your home country (or purchase one in Canada at full cost).

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