UCW working to minimize COVID-19 challenges for students

UCW working to minimize COVID-19 challenges for students

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, University Canada West has implemented several measures to minimize the stress and challenges students are facing in these uncertain times.

New international students starting their studies in October 2020 now have the option to take all their first-term courses online from their home country. Previously, international students without a study permit were only eligible to start a single course online.

International students with or without Approvals-in-Principle (AIP) can start their full program online if they intend to arrive in Canada after travel restrictions are lifted. Students without AIP must apply for a Canadian study permit by September 15, 2020.

UCW also updated its refund policy to give new international students the peace of mind to start the Fall 2020 Term online, even if they don’t have a study permit yet. 

If students apply and pay their deposit by September 10, 2020, they can start all their first-term courses online from home while they wait for their study permit. 

Students will be issued a full refund, minus administration fees, if their visa application is denied.

Additionally, UCW is offering financial relief to students who are traveling to Canada and are required by the federal government to self-isolate for their first 14 days in the country.

The University is providing each student self-isolating in a hotel booked through Hotels.com with a $650 voucher. All students isolating will receive additional support.

“These are already uncertain and challenging times for our students,” said UCW President Brock Dykeman. “This initiative will help ease the extra financial burden our students now face when they come to Canada to pursue their education.”

In late 2020, the Canadian government announced further requirements for travellers entering Canada.

Starting January 7, 2021, all air passengers five years of age or older, will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling to Canada from another country.

All travellers must provide documentation of a negative laboratory test result to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada.

The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and it must be taken within the 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.

Anyone who receives a negative test result, and is allowed to enter Canada, must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Students arriving in British Columbia are required to submit a self-isolation plan, a legal commitment to self-isolate that is enforceable under the Public Health Act. The plan must include where the students will stay, how they will get there (it cannot be on public transit), how they will get groceries and how they will access essential services and medical care.

UCW has created a Pre-Arrival Package so students can prepare for their journey to Canada and UCW. The package includes a Pre-Departure Checklist and information you need to know before you leave, while in transit and once you arrive.

UCW has also compiled a list of isolation resources for incoming students including special accommodation rates for UCW students at various hotels in Vancouver (please note that Hotel Vouchers can only be applied to hotels booked through Hotels.com)

The hotel vouchers are valid for new students starting their UCW program in the Fall (October) 2020 Term in Canada, either face-to-face or online, and arriving within three months after the travel restrictions are lifted. Students who qualify and are travelling before Sept. 7 will get a $650 tuition credit in lieu of a Hotel Voucher.

Other conditions include:

  • Students must have a Letter of Acceptance from UCW for the Fall 2020 Term and an approved visa/study permit;
  • The voucher is for hotel use only and only valid for hotels booked through Hotels.com;
  • Students who do not complete four terms at UCW will be required to pay back the $650;
  • The voucher is not transferrable to other students;
  • Students who need to change or cancel a booking need to contact Hotels.com directly and pay any additional fees; and
  • Only one voucher is allowed per student.

Download the Hotel Voucher Application Form here.

In addition to the hotel voucher, UCW’s Student Affairs team will contact students to check on their mental and physical wellbeing, and provide them with online social, wellness and entertainment activities. 

UCW’s detailed reopening plan can be found on the website at ucanwest.ca/students/covid-19-updates/covid-19-safety-plan.

Any questions can be emailed to studentaffairs@ucanwest.ca.


Published on August 21, 2020.
Last updated Jan. 4, 2021.