Once you arrive in British Columbia, it’s time to get set up so you can start living like a local!
Make sure to meet BCIT’s study permit requirement by submitting your study permit to the International Student Centre. In rare circumstances, alternative documentation may be acceptable.
BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)
Anyone who is a resident of BC for over 6 months is eligible and legally required to apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). You should apply as soon as you arrive in BC. Once your application has been processed and your coverage waiting period has passed you will receive a BC Services Card, which you can use to access medical services and also for identification purposes.
BCIT ID card & BC provincial identification
Every BCIT student should get a BCIT ID card, which allows access to student services at BCIT and student discounts throughout Canada. Learn more about BCIT ID cards and how to get one.
To go about daily life in BC, it’s important to have some local identification such as a Social Insurance Number, BC Services Card or Drivers Licence. Note that a BC Services Card will be mailed to you after you enrol in MSP.
myBCIT Online & myBCIT Mobile
myBCIT Online is a student portal where BCIT students can access their unofficial transcripts, tax forms, @my.bcit.ca email inbox and much more. Note that you can set up email forwarding from your myBCIT inbox to your personal email address.
myBCIT Mobile is the companion app, which offers some additional tools not available in myBCIT Online such as course information, chat groups, etc.
We encourage students to log in to both on a regular basis.
BCIT Student Success Hub & Language Support
Explore a wealth of information in the Student Success Hub about the many resources and services at BCIT to help you succeed both personally and academically.
Please visit the Language Support Services page if you need English language support.
Focus on your well-being
While transitioning to life in a new place can be exciting, it can also be full of challenges and you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or even home sick at some point.
Look through our Well-being Guide for international students to learn about resources to help you stay in good health, both physically and mentally.
A local bank account is important for being able to manage your money, pay bills, and use cheques or a debit card. Many banks offer free or discounted plans for students. See Payment Options for more information about making payments to BCIT.
Internet, phone & cable services
There are many service providers in Metro Vancouver that offer internet, mobile phone, landline phone, cable television, etc. You may be able to get a discount for being a student or by bundling together several services from one company. If a contract is required, make sure that you fully understand it before signing.
If you meet certain conditions including maintaining a full-time academic status, your study permit may authorize you to work in Canada. However, there may be limits on the location, types of employers, and/or hours that you may work per week.
Carefully review our Work Eligibility page for detailed information about this.
Explore the region
The best way to get to know a place is to explore it! Start with our Navigating Metro Vancouver Guide for information about the local area. Our Exploring BC Guide can help you plan for a trip outside of the city to one of the many incredible destinations around British Columbia!
Other resources for newcomers
Learn more by visiting the following sites:
- WelcomeBC – detailed information about the many resources available for newcomers to BC
- WorkBC – job listings and information about BC’s economy and labour market
- HelloBC – local travel information
- MOSAIC – a registered charity serving immigrant, newcomer and refugee communities in Greater Vancouver for the past 40 years