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Self-isolation requirement

Anyone arriving to BC from outside of Canada is legally required to self-isolate for 14 days.

See the International Student Guide – Travel to Canada (PDF) for more information.

Once you arrive in British Columbia, it’s time to get set up so you can start living like a local!


It’s never too early to start researching housing options for while you will study at BCIT. If you plan to live in rental accommodation, we suggest that you educate yourself on your legal rights and responsibilities by visit the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre website and completing their free, online Renting it Right courses.

BCIT ID card

Every BCIT student needs to get a BCIT ID card, which allows access to student services at BCIT and to qualify for student discounts throughout Canada. Learn more about BCIT ID cards and how to get one.

BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

All residents of BC are legally required to enrol with BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). You should apply for MSP 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.

BC provincial identification

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.

myBCIT account

myBCIT is an online student portal where BCIT students can access their class schedules, unofficial transcripts, tax forms, email inbox and much more.

Internet & phone 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.

Banking services

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.

Other resources for newcomers

Visit WelcomeBC for detailed information about the many resources available for newcomers to BC.

MOSAIC is a registered charity serving immigrant, newcomer and refugee communities in Greater Vancouver for the past 40 years.