Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:04 pm

In your opinion, is it better being in a homestay or renting a house with some brazilian friends?
There are always advantages and drawbacks in being in a homestay or renting a house.
In a homestay you can get more contact with other people, improve your English a lot, and if the family is Canadian, get more contact with the Canadian culture. In addition, you do not need to buy furniture, which is a good point because you do not need to worry about selling the furniture when you go back to Brazil. It is quite possible however that the houses are not very close to the university (You can handle it since there is tcc), and you will need to open to a new culture, new food, and some rules set by the family.
About living with Brazilians, on one hand, it is good because the culture and food are similar among the regions of Brazil. It is still possible to practice English at home if your Brazilian housemates are willing to, but it depends on the person of course. On the other hand, if you rent a house without furniture, you need to buy and sell it after, or maybe find another group of Brazilians to rent the house after you. You can also find a house that already comes with furniture, it depends on the houses that you find.
There are some houses where Brazilians are living now; they can post on Facebook, and new people can just continue their leases.
Another option is to rent a furnished room in a house, where you share the kitchen and bathroom with other people who rented other bedrooms. In this case, you don’t need to rent the whole house, only your bedroom, which diminishes the responsibility. There are houses where the landlord (the owner) is Brazilian and others are not.

How is the process of renting a place to stay in Toronto?.

UofT has a very good guide to get you started on your housing search. The guide for off-campus housing can be found here:
A lot of critical information can be found here, be sure to read everything carefully and remember that the Dons and the CIE are there to help you!

The majority of the leases (contract with the landlord) last at least for one year, generally beginning in September, which is the beginning of the school year. However, you can also find one that lasts for a smaller period of time. Independent of how many months is your lease, most of the landlords ask for the first and last months rent, and in some cases there is a security deposit that should be returned to you at the end of the contract. Remember to read the lease agreement and confirm all the extra expenses like ratio, water, internet, furniture, and heating for example. Also, remember to ask what can happen in case you need to move out before the end of the contract, because you never know what can happen during your year, and it is very common to have to move for a huge number of reasons.

The university has some program to help find a home in Toronto?
The university has a Housing web portal, which can be accessed at:
It is only available after having an UtorID. However, in the past CIE has created a temporary login for CSF students to begin their search prior to them having their own logins, and so check your emails for more information from the CIE.

Do we have access to the website that helps students to find off-campus housing? If so, when do we receive a login and password to access it?
Yes! you can search in the uoft database website (historically, students have received an email from the CIE with the link and the password that we should be used to access the website before you have your personal student account information), there, the students are always posting houses and bedrooms to rent. In addition, there is a group on facebook called “housing”, it’s one of UofT groups, so you need to have your UofT email account to access (you can create your email when you arrive in Toronto and make your UofT Tcard).
Other sources of information are the websites ( and ( You can also search for the groups of Brazilians on facebook (“Brazilians in Toronto” and others), where not only science without borders students are members, but also Brazilians who moved to live in Toronto to live, work and study.

Where is the best place in Toronto to rent an apartment, considering the transport to the university and price? In which neighborhood students usually live (cheap and close to the university)?
The amount of rent you pay is usually a function of distance, the closer the more expensive. Therefore, you have to choose what you value the most. The neighborhoods that CsF students usually choose to live are Little Portugal, St Clair West, St. Jamestown (Ontario Street buildings) and mainly Downtown. The advantage of living in Downtown is the proximity to the campus and to other city facilities (malls, public libraries, restaurants), but keep in mind that the prices are higher. Little Portugal is a good option to pay less and stay close to the best market options (WalMart, No frills, Nosso Talho, etc.). Other distant neighbourhoods can be even cheaper, but then you’ll spend more time to get to the campus.


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