IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AT VIU STARTING IN FALL 2020

The Government of Canada has now closed the border to most foreign travellers effective March 18, 2020. This is being done as a precautionary measure in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, it is unknown how long the borders will remain closed.

We know that many of you have questions about what this situation means for you and we wanted to let you know the following information.

 

Fall Classes:

Will my classes in September start as scheduled?

At this time, our hope is that classes scheduled to start in August or September 2020 will proceed as planned. 

My offer to start my academic program this fall, is conditional on my upgrading my English this summer. If ESL classes are not held this summer, what happens to my acceptance to the academic program?

You will have the opportunity to do your ESL upgrading online between May and August 2020. More information on this is available at VIU’s ESL web page. Alternatively, you may request to defer your program start at VIU – please email study@viu.ca by April 24, 2020, and provide your name, VIU student number and program in the email request.

My offer is conditional on successfully completing high school. My school has been suspended and I do not know if/when I will receive my graduation certificate.

International Admissions has extended the deadline for original documents to be submitted any time before July 31, 2020.  

 

Travel:

What if I cannot enter Canada in time for the Fall term?

You will have the opportunity to defer your start to another term OR to request a refund. See our International refunds web page for the latest information on the special COVID- 19 refund policy which will be posted in the coming days.

 

Should I cancel my travel plans for the Fall?

While this is an individual decision, and dependent on Government travel advisories, VIU is not advising students to cancel their travel plans at this time.

I have not yet booked my travel for Fall term at VIU. Should I?

You may wish to wait a while given the current situation. If you proceed in booking your tickets, we strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation insurance that will cover all scenarios.

 

Immigration:

Should I still plan to apply for my study permit for Fall 2020?

At this time, we recommend that you proceed with your study permit application as usual.

 

Where can I get answers to my specific Immigration questions?

You should visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and their special COVID-19 page. If you have any VIU-specific immigration questions, you may contact VIU’s Immigration advisors at advising.international@viu.ca.

 

Health and Medical Insurance:

What does my VIU guard.me medical insurance cover?

Please review VIU’s guard.me medical insurance policy for further details.

Will my VIU guard.me medical coverage support me if I get sick with COVID-19 in Canada?

Yes. Current international students insured with guard.me who are sick continue to be able to access mobileDOCTOR for consultation from their home. You will need your policy number as well as a list of symptoms and how long you have had them. Expect longer wait times than usual.

If I arrive early, can I buy additional medical coverage to cover me before the regular insurance begins?

Yes. Please visit VIU’s guard.me medical insurance page for details.  

 

Refunds:

I don’t feel comfortable leaving my home and travelling to Canada at this time. Can I request a refund?

Yes, you can request a deferral OR a refund. Please see our International refunds web page for the latest information on the special COVID-19 refund policy which will be posted in the coming days.

Summer Programming:

Starting Graduate Level studies in Fall 2020?

For students preparing for Graduate Level studies (eg. Masters programs and Graduate Certificates and Diplomas) in September, and have the equivalent of IELTS 6.5 with no band under 6.0, you will have the ability of taking the online Graduate Preparation English (Grad Prep) from June 1 to August 28, 2020.  Note: this course requires you to be in Nanaimo from Aug 24 to 28 for Boot camp and final Grad Prep exam prior to the start of the Fall term. 

Starting Undergraduate or Diploma programs in Fall 2020?

For students preparing for undergraduate and diploma level studies (eg. Bachelors, Diploma and Certificate students) in September, and have the equivalent of IELTS 6.0, with no band under 5.5 to enter UP 5 English, you will have the ability to take an accelerated University Preparation (UP) English – Level 5 from July to August 2020.  Note: this course requires you to be in Nanaimo from Aug 24 to 28 for Boot camp and final Grad Prep exam prior to the start of the Fall term.

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