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Online resources for international students

Pre-arrival Checklist

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So, you’re planning to travel to Canada to study at BCIT. It’s the start of an exciting new part of your life and you want to make sure to be well-prepared. Follow the pre-arrival checklist below to stay on track!

1. Study permit

A study permit is required for almost all international students coming to study in Canada. Visit IRCC – Study Permit: About the process for more information, and be sure to apply for your study permit as early as possible!

If you are already in Canada, studying in a different post-secondary institution, and will transfer to BCIT, you must notify IRCC of your school change.

You will need to submit your study permit to BCIT in order to meet our study permit requirement (unless you are eligible to meet an alternative requirement). Failure to provide proof of your study permit by the deadline could result in you being withdrawn from your program.

Due to Canada’s current COVID-19-related travel restrictions, even students coming to BCIT for only a single term (such as for Study Abroad and Exchange) would need to be approved for a study permit in order to enter the country.

2. Travel plans

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has introduced travel restrictions and additional requirements for any travelers arriving in Canada from another country. Carefully review and follow all of our Travel to Canada Guide steps, including submitting a BCIT Travel & Self-Isolation Plan to ensure that your travel plans are successful.

3. Housing

It’s never too early to begin researching housing options. Check out our Housing Guide for some helpful options and tips to get you started.

4. Medical insurance

International students must have basic medical insurance throughout their studies. Depending on the type of program you take at BCIT, you may be charged along with your tuition fees and enrolled in temporary private medical insurance with Guard.me International. Once you arrive in BC, you should apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) as soon as possible.

5. Connect with a Peer Mentor

Participate in our International Peer Mentoring program by registering a mentee. International Peer Mentoring is a free peer-to-peer social support program that connects new international students starting their first term at BCIT with a mentor who is a continuing student in good academic standing. Please note that registration is required, and spaces are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis.

6. Register for the Orientation Events

Make sure to register for all International Orientation events. The orientation events cover a wide range of important topics, including travel requirements, housing, medical insurance, study permits, working in Canada, and local knowledge and culture.

7. Get orientated

Take advantage of all the various orientation resources available for BCIT students, including:

8. Stay tuned

In the months before your program begins at BCIT, you may receive important information in your @my.bcit.ca email inbox. Make sure to check these emails and to respond as required.

Check out the International Student Update – a monthly newsletter for the international student community at BCIT with news relating to IRCC updates, travel, student services, and more.

Following BCIT and the Student Association on Facebook is another a great way to keep up-to-date.

9. Resources for newcomers

Visit WelcomeBC – Before you move to BC for some useful tips and resources available for newcomers to BC.