Updated: December 7th, 2020
Check the links below for important and trustworthy updates from government agencies, health authorities and the BCIT community:
- Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students
- Government of Canada – Measures to support international students during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Government of Canada – Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial assistance for newcomers, temporary residents and refugees
- Government of Canada – Travel Advice and Advisories
- British Columbia – B.C.’s response to COVID-19
- British Colubmia – Medical Services Plan Response to COVID-19
- BC Centre for Disease Control – COVID-19
- HealthlinkBC – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Vancouver Coastal Health – COVID-19
- Fraser Health – COVID-19
- BCIT – COVID-19 Information for Students
- BCIT – Admission during COVID-19
- BCIT Student Association – COVID-19 Info Hub
Most programs will be delivered entirely online for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms, but some programs will be blended — meaning that there will be some in-person components. See Admission During COVID-19 and your program’s web page for details.
International students may be able to travel to Canada as long you meet all government requirements, regardless of whether your program is being delivered in a fully online or blended format. BCIT International has prepared a comprehensive 6-step Travel to Canada Guide to help you understand all of the requirements and plan for a successful trip and mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival to Canada.
As stated in the Travel to Canada Guide, any international student planning to travel to Canada must submit a mandatory BCIT Travel & Self-Isolation Plan. This includes new students as well as returning students who left Canada temporarily.
While it may be possible for students in certain programs that are currently being delivered in a fully online format to complete coursework from anywhere in the world with internet access, we strongly advise against traveling outside of Canada for the following reasons:
- The Canadian government is advising against all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
- Canada’s Travel restrictions and exemptions for international students could make it difficult or impossible to return to Canada Later. Furthermore, worldwide travel restrictions and flight availability could change with little notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- International students who are able to re-enter Canada must satisfy a 14-day quarantine requirement mandated by the federal government
- Leaving Canada could negatively affect your eligibility for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).
Visit Emergency Funds on the BCIT Financial Aid & Awards site for information about any funding that may be available.
International students may also be eligible for financial support through several government programs including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Child Benefit. For more information, see IRCC – Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial assistance for newcomers, temporary residents and refugees.
Visit BCIT Counselling – Mental Health at Home for some very useful information and tips for improving your mental health. You can also schedule a free and confidential virtual appointment to speak with a Counsellor.
The province of BC also provides Here2Talk, a 24-hour online mental health resource for post-secondary students.
BCIT’s Early Assist Program is another way for students who are struggling personally or academically to be connected with appropriate support and services at an early stage. You may refer yourself or another student whose well-being you are concerned about.
Although services have transitioned online and staff are working from home, the BCIT International Student Centre is open from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and we are ready to support you! Contact us!
As stated on the BCIT U-Pass page, “Students who are residing outside of Translink’s service area and who are enrolled in an eligible program listed on the Program Delivery page as 100% online delivery may request a refund. Refund requests from students living outside of the service area must be made directly to the Student Association.”
Visit our Post-Graduation Work Permit page for details include special eligibility measures due to COVID-19.
Regardless of the course delivery format, if you choose to drop, withdraw, or not attend your courses you will be considered as no longer enrolled at BCIT. See Academic Status for more information.
Please check Guard.me’s FAQ and Urgent Update re: COVID-19 for details regarding their medical insurance coverage for international students in Canada and COVID-19. Keep in mind that all international students staying in Canada for over 6 months should apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) upon arrival in BC.
You should contact Health Insurance BC to verify if you are still covered by MSP. You may be able to request to extend your MSP coverage while waiting for a new permit. See British Columbia – Medical Services Plan Response to COVID-19 for more details.
If there will be any gap in your MSP coverage, then you should make sure to purchase temporary private medical insurance such as Guard.me so that you are not in a situation where you are uninsured.