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Personal finance

Our offer and advice to help you succeed in your studies in Canada

June 1, 2022

Are you getting ready to study in Canada? Its renowned education system and friendly communities make it a great country to live in. While this adventure is full of wonderful discoveries, a few questions will undoubtedly come to mind when the time comes. Let us enlighten and guide you!

Offer for students

Desjardins has an offer to help you with your studies in Canada. This offer includes:

  • Free monthly plan with unlimited transactions Credit card that could include a cashback or rewards program1

You’ll also benefit from a network of advisors to guide you throughout your studies in Canada, a wealth of online tools and an extensive network of ATMs to manage your finances.

Before you move

With Desjardins, you can start the account opening process online before you leave. When you arrive in Canada, simply go to a Desjardins caisse or the Montreal airport to finalize opening your account and retrieve your payment methods. Having an account in your host country will make your arrival and the management of your finances much easier, such as depositing your scholarships and paycheque, and paying your housing costs. In addition to avoiding transaction or currency exchange fees, you’ll also be able to transfer money in advance so you can access your funds when you arrive.

Check out these details on the different payment methods, the Canadian financial system and the cost of living. Take the time to find out about government requirements, required permits and the various costs to consider once in Canada. It’s also a good idea to find out about the weather, especially if it’s very different from the one you’re leaving; the seasonal temperature fluctuations can sometimes be surprising!

Housing and services

Depending on where you move and the dwelling you choose, some services may or may not be included, such as heating, electricity and hot water. You can easily pay the monthly fees for some of these services using your account. You can also automate your recurring payments to make life easier and avoid forgetting them! Directly through AccèsD, our online transaction site and mobile app, Interac transfers or between people let you securely transfer amounts to your landlord or roommates, for example. You can use your debit and credit cards to pay for food, transportation and outings with recent acquaintances in your new homeland!


It’s common to have part-time work while you’re in school, often around 20 hours a week, while meeting the requirements and conditions of your work permit Student jobs may or may not be related to the field of study. Restaurants, retail and customer service are common sectors due to the large number of positions and flexible schedules around school hours. Look for businesses or services that are relevant to your interests, then find out about jobs available directly from these providers. Many organizations also offer scholarships that can provide attractive additional income. They are usually directly related to schools, and you can easily find information on their websites.


Keeping a budget is a great way to manage your income and expenses. The My budget management tool provides a clear view of your income and expenses and helps you keep track of them. It also helps you reach your goals thanks to a savings function that lets you set your savings goals.

By having a good idea of the various fees you’ll have to pay and the income you expect to receive, you’ll be able to prepare a sensible budget that will give you clarity and peace of mind.

When you arrive

Take the time to open your account online, gather all this information and plan your budget before you leave so you have a good plan in place. This planning can free up more time when you arrive to explore your new campus and neighbourhood. You’ll be able to arrive and settle in with peace of mind, knowing that you have access to your funds when the time comes.

Throughout this process, Desjardins is available to answer your questions and provide advice as needed. Feel free to request information (French only).

Interac® and Interac e-Transfer® are registered trademarks of Interac Corp. Used under licence.

*PLUS is a trademark of Visa International Service Association and used under licence.

1. This promotional offer is for student members. This includes members between the ages of 18 and 21; members ages 22 to 25 enrolled in a full-time college or professional program at a recognized educational institution in Canada; and members who are full-time students at a Canadian university, regardless of their age. If you get this offer, The fee waiver only applies to the Unlimited plan. For withdrawals at non-Desjardins Interac† and Plus*-affiliated ATMs, fees of $1.50, $3.00 or $5.00 may apply. Some ATM operators may charge additional fees. They must inform you of the fee via an on-screen message before processing the transaction. You then have the option of cancelling the transaction. These fees are added to the withdrawal amount and paid directly to the ATM operator. For more information, see the Service fees page.