International Students Return to School – Canada

After nearly two years of online learning, international students are returning to campus this fall. What will studying be like for international students this fall 2021, given the multiple hurdles provided by the pandemic?


Options to learning

Students and faculty have both despised and praised online learning throughout the pandemic. While some students wished to return to the classroom, others appreciated the convenience of online study. Many post-secondary schools were obliged to upgrade their online learning platforms in response to the pandemic, allowing students to be taught from the comfort of their own homes. When possible, schools are seeking to keep online choices for students who prefer them or provide hybrid options. This will be determined mostly by the sort of course; for example, classes that require hands-on experience versus those that can be completed fully online.


Requirements for vaccinations and health advice

Students who have not completed the entire series of a Canadian-approved vaccine must quarantine for 14 days once they arrive in Canada. Many schools are enacting their own vaccination policies, requiring pupils to be completely vaccinated before returning to school. This means that non-approved vaccine recipients may need a Canadian-approved vaccine to gain entrance to their post-secondary institution. After students have completed quarantine and tested negative, some post-secondary administrators are extending assistance to international students to ensure that this process runs smoothly.


“We have a health team on campus that works with them to get the vaccine. Gary Hallam, Conestoga College’s vice-president international and executive dean in Waterloo, told CBC News, “We also teamed with some local pharmacies to make it easier for them.”Because post-secondary colleges are developing their own vaccination policies, students should verify with their schools before beginning this fall.As health guidelines change, post-secondary colleges may adjust their requirements.


Travelling to Canada

Arriving in Canada for studies will be a huge difficulty for some students. Traveling to Canada for the fall semester will require navigating different connections and cancellations due to the suspension of flights from India to Canada. India is the primary supplier of international students in Canada. Many of these students are forced to plan intricate travel itineraries to go to Canada for their studies because of the airline restriction. Not only does this significantly increase travel expenditures, but it also increases the danger of illness.


Meanwhile, with shifting travel regulations, it is critical that all overseas students plan ahead for their arrival in Canada. In order to enter Canada, international students must make sure that their designated learning institution (DLI) has a COVID-19 preparedness plan in place. Students should also bring the following documentation with them to the border to establish that they are not subject to the current travel restrictions:


  • Valid study permit
  • Medical exam (if required)
  • Letter of acceptance from DLI
  • Proof that you have the funds to support yourself in Canada
  • Pre-entry molecular test results
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