Updated July 31st, 3:00pm PST
We understand that COVID-19 presents many challenges to starting a new program as an international student. Our dedicated staff are committed to making this transition as seamless as possible as we welcome you to your program. Please see below for information that may be applicable to you as you plan to start the fall 2020 term.
Most programs will be delivered entirely online for the fall 2020 term, but some programs will be blended – meaning there will be in-person and online components. See Admission During COVID-19: Fall 2020 Program Delivery Modes (PDF) for details.
If you are currently outside of Canada, you may be able to start your full-time program online from outside of Canada if your program is being delivered entirely online in the fall 2020 term. If your program is blended, you must prepare to meet all requirements to travel to Canada to start your program. Please see below for more information about ‘Traveling to Canada’. If you are unable to meet requirements to travel to Canada to start your blended program, you must notify your International Admissions Officer by emailing International_Admissions@bcit.ca.
New students starting their Part-time Studies program (PTS) are encouraged not to start their program from outside of Canada. With flexible course-by-course registration available three terms per year (fall, winter, spring/summer), new PTS students may defer their program start (course registrations) to a later term as outlined at Key Registration Dates.
For other relevant information, visit Admission During COVID-19
It is important to know if you are permitted to travel to Canada. Canada’s current travel restrictions may prevent you from being able to enter Canada until further notice.
To meet travel restriction exemptions as an international student and be able to enter Canada, you must:
1. Fulfill one of the following requirements:
- Hold a valid study permit, or
- Hold a Port of Entry Letter of Introduction (study permit approval) issued on or before March 18, 2020, or
- You are entering Canada from the United States and you hold a Port of Entry Letter of Introduction (study permit approval)
2. Provide proof that you are traveling for a non-optional or non-discretionary purpose:
- Provide a letter from BCIT that your program has a blended delivery mode. See Admission During COVID-19: Fall 2020 Program Delivery Modes (PDF) to check your BCIT program’s delivery mode. If your program has a blended delivery mode, contact International_Admissions@bcit.ca to request a ‘Confirmation of Essential In-Class Instruction Letter’, or
- Provide other supporting documents from yourself that prove you are traveling to Canada for a non-optional or non-discretionary purpose.
Temporary residents with the exception of US Citizens also require a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.
Visit BCIT Quarantine & Self-Isolation Plan to find a comprehensive guide for your travel to Canada plan and how to meet the Federal government’s quarantine requirement and British Columbia’s Self-Isolation Plan requirement.
Note that these travel restriction exemptions can change, check the updated travel restrictions regularly as you make travel plans.
You may contact Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) directly for more information.
Basic medical insurance coverage is mandatory for all international students throughout the duration of their studies in Canada. International students must have private basic medical insurance coverage for any period of time they will study at BCIT while they are not covered by BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). If International students starting their regular full-time program do not already have adequate medical insurance, they are charged a non-refundable $180 fee and are enrolled in three months of private basic medical insurance through Guard.me International Insurance.
COVID-19 and the ability for international students to travel to Canada have resulted in major changes to the Guard.me International Insurance enrolment procedure for newly admitted students in full-time programs.
Visit Private Medical Insurance for Full-time Programs to learn about the updated changes which will require you to confirm with us whenever you are able to make firm travel plans to come to Canada.
Counselling & Student Development is open and will continue to offer telephone and video appointments through the fall term to all enrolled BCIT students. If residing outside of Canada, students can call 604-432-8608 to book an appointment. Some service limitations may result due to jurisdictional, administrative, or clinical considerations, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Counselling & Student Development is open from 8:30am-4:30pm Pacific Time (PDT/PST) Monday to Friday.
For more information, visit Counselling & Student Development at BCIT.
The province of BC also provides Here2Talk, a 24-hour online mental health resource for post-secondary students who are inside or outside of Canada.
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.
International students enrolled in a full-time program (with the exception of the International Student Entry Program) beginning in the fall 2020 term can request to withdraw from their program by November 16, 2020 and receive a full refund of tuition fees (including the commitment fee, but excluding the application fee which is not refundable).
Students may submit their request to withdraw to International_Admissions@bcit.ca.
For more information, visit Refunds & Withdrawals at BCIT.