International Orientation

Fall 2018 International Orientation

Date: August 29-30, 2018

Location: BCIT Burnaby Campus (3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, BC)

Our Fall 2018 International Orientation is for all new international students beginning a full-time program at any BCIT campus in September 2018 (including incoming exchange students).

International Orientation at BCIT is a great chance to meet new friends while learning about on- and off-campus resources available to make your time at BCIT a success! The orientation will also cover important information for international students regarding medical insurance, study permits, working in Canada, campus life, and much more.


Please see the International Student Guide 2018 [PDF] for the complete orientation schedule.

Pre-Orientation Workshops – Wednesday, August 29th

How is Canadian culture different from your own? How do you tip at restaurants or take the SkyTrain to downtown Vancouver? Join our interactive pre-orientation workshops to find these answers and to learn more about what this beautiful part of the world has to offer!

The pre-orientation workshops are recommended for students who are new to Canada or the Vancouver area. Registration is not necessary.

International Orientation Day – Thursday, August 30th

Join us for a special ceremony to welcome you to the BCIT community followed by a free BBQ lunch and several info sessions covering topics such as working in Canada, understanding Canadian medical insurance, and taking care of your physical and mental health.

Students who are new to BCIT are encouraged to attend. Registration is not necessary.

International Peer Mentoring Program Kickoff Event – Friday, August 31st

Want to connect with other BCIT students? Our International Peer Mentoring program is an excellent opportunity to meet other BCIT students before classes begin. New students who register for this program will be matched with a mentor and will have a chance to participate in fun group activities!

Capacity for this program is limited so new students must apply to register. Please see the International Peer Mentoring page for more information.

Please note that program orientations are separate from International Orientation.

We look forward to welcoming you to BCIT! In the meantime, please see below for tips to help you before and after arriving in Canada. 

Tips for preparing before you arrive in Canada

  1. Apply for a study permit as early as possible, and an Electronic Travel Authorization, if you are required to have one.
  2. Purchase additional medical insurance if you are not already covered. International students beginning full-time programs in September 2018 will be automatically enrolled in International Insurance and will have coverage from August 24th until November 30th. If you will arrive before August 24th, it is your responsibility to arrange for temporary medical insurance to make sure you are covered. If you're not sure, please check with the International Student Centre.
  3. Research housing options and make sure you have somewhere to stay when you arrive.
  4. Book your airline ticket, and plan for local transportation from Vancouver International Airport to your accommodation.
  5. Learn about resources available for newcomers to British Columbia.
  6. Consider transportation options for getting to/from BCIT and familiarize yourself with local public transit or parking at BCIT.
  7. Register for International Peer Mentoring.
  8. Follow the BCIT International Student Centre Facebook Page for important news and updates.

Tips for a smooth transition after you arrive in Canada

  1. Settle in to your new accommodation and explore your new neighborhood. If you're staying in rental housing, make sure to get a signed copy of your rental contract and detailed receipts for any payments you make (learn more about tenants' rights in BC at
  2. Attend International Orientation, your program orientation and other BCIT Kick Start events.
  3. Read through the International Student Guide 2018
  4. Provide your original study permit or other status in Canada documents to staff at the International Student Centre at BCIT.
  5. Pick up your BCIT Student ID Card
  6. Apply for British Columbia's Medical Services Plan (MSP), BC's provincial health care system (not available for exchange students).
  7. Set up a Canadian bank account and learn how to manage your finances in Canada.
  8. Get connected with a phone and internet connection, and make sure to stay in touch with your family and friends back home – they care about you!
  9. Buy a Compass Card to be able to use public transit, and make sure to register your card at
  10. Get a BC Services Card/Driver's License, which is the officially recognized ID card of British Columbia (not available for exchange and study abroad students).
  11. Join the BCIT International Social Club and make new friends from around the world!