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Moving to a new country comes with stress and a number of challenges. BCIT is committed to creating a learning environment where students can thrive and succeed. Well-being at BCIT is approached from a holistic perspective using the Eight Dimensions of Well-Being. This framework emphasizes the importance of balancing one’s intellectual, occupational, physical, financial, psychological, environmental, spiritual, and social needs.

Mental health concerns and everyday stresses have been further amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important that international students take steps to prioritize their health and well-being during their transition to life in Canada and at BCIT.

Learn how and where you can access free resources and supports with the help of our guide below:

Self-care and Adjusting to Life in Canada

Arriving and living in a new country can come with both excitement and new challenges. Students may even experience culture shock early or later during this period of transition and adjustment. This phase of unfamiliarity and discomfort is normal and common as everyone adapts to a new living environment at their own pace. We encourage all students to take care of themselves by building and sustaining healthy habits and seeking professional help when they need it. Here are some examples of some general tips and guidelines:

  • Get enough sleep each night
  • Eat healthy meals at regular hours
  • Limit screen-time
  • Build and maintain social connections with family & friends
  • Get enough physical activity
  • Go outside and get fresh air
  • Reach out and contact a professional and people you trust for support

Learn how to de-stress by checking out a list of resources put together by Counselling and Student Development.

Stress Management Strategies

Students will inevitably face multiple stressors in their everyday life while managing school, work, and life responsibilities. The stress response is normal as it signals our bodies to adapt to deal with these stressors. Each time we adapt to a daily stressor, we develop the skills to be more resilient and cope with stress the next time we encounter it.

Stress can be both good and bad! Too much stress can lead to burnout, anxiety and panic while too little stress can lead to inactivity and a lack of focus and motivation. Developing resilience helps us adapt to challenges and setbacks and find ways to shift back towards more balance. It is important that students notice when stress appears, recognize imbalances in their lives, and take proactive steps to manage it.

Here are some examples of ways to cope with stress:

  • Calm breathing exercises
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Self-compassion
  • Staying connected to your community

Emergency and crisis support

If you are feeling unsafe and in an emergency situation, please call 911.

BCIT Campus Security: 604-451-6856 (24 hours/day)

Here2Talk: 24/7 free access to clinical counselling for students at 604-642-5212 or toll-free 1-877-857-3397.

Kids Help Phone: Crisis line support is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 or by texting CONNECT to 686868.

View additional information, emergency contacts, and community-based services on BCIT’s Student Health Services and After Hours & Critical Incidents page.

Resources and services at BCIT

BCIT has a number of services aimed to support the well-being of all students. Check out Health and Wellness for more information and details on different types of supports on campus.

Counselling & Student Development: All registered students at BCIT have access to free and confidential counselling services. BCIT counsellors are mental health professionals who can help and support students with anxiety, depression, relationships, stress reduction, and academic progress/pressures.

Early Assist: A confidential online platform that provides an opportunity to identify students who may be struggling personally or academically, and offer them appropriate support and services at an early stage.

Recreation Services: Check out BCIT’s recreation and fitness related programming and facilities that are available to all current students.

Student Life OfficeConnects students to resources and services that enhance their well-being, including Kick Start, BCIT’s orientation programming.

International Peer Mentoring: Peer support for new international students transitioning to life at BCIT.

Peer Tutoring: Get help with understanding your course material and learn from fellow BCIT students.

BCIT Student Association: Make sure to check out the wellness programs and resources offered by your student association.