The information on this page is to help you understand what is happening in British Columbia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial updates:

The Province of British Columbia is aware of the significant pressures that many students are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and is actively working to determine how best to support students in this unprecedented time.

Information about all COVID-19 provincial support is available on the BC government website, including on child care, children and youth; education; employment and finances; housing and monthly bills; health care and mental health, and more. Updated information about federal and provincial benefits for individuals and businesses is available online.

Post-secondary Institution Supports and Services

Many post-secondary institutions are providing student housing, financial, and other assistance, including bursaries and emergency funding for international students. International students should connect directly with their institutions to inquire on supports and services.

Mental Health and Wellness

  • The Government of British Columbia launched Here2Talk, a new mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free single-session services by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Download the Here2Talk app, visit: here2talk.ca, or call toll free 1-877-857-3397 or direct 604-642-5212.  More information.

​Health care

Medical Services Plan (MSP) Response to COVID-19

  • To support international students on study permits, the BC government has made temporary changes to MSP coverage policies.
  • If your study permit is about to expire and you are still in Canada, you can apply to IRCC for an extension.
  • If your study permit has expired and you no longer have MSP coverage, you may be provided temporary MSP coverage if you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Contact Health Insurance BC to request this temporary coverage. This temporary coverage will be valid until April 30, 2021.
  • If you were previously issued a Temporary Coverage letter that is set to expire October 31, 2020, and you remain in BC with implied status, you can contact Health Insurance BC to request a new letter valid until April 30, 2021.
  • Learn more about BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan.

Federal updates:

Global Affairs Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Public Health Agency of Canada

  • List of resources relating to COVID-19 translated in multiple languages. Fact sheets, infographics, and videos with key public health advice on COVID-19 are added and updated regularly.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), in collaboration with Canadian public health experts, has developed this guidance for post-secondary institutions administrators and local public health authorities (PHAs).
  • COVID-19 guidance for schools Kindergarten to Grade 12 – this guidance provides information for both public and private institutions providing K-12 education programs in the classroom setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Information on required testing and quarantine requirements for travellers arriving to Canada by land and air (February 12, 2021 update)

Transport Canada

Launched for the first time in 2012, our annual Study in BC photo contest continues to be a great success and continues to break records on the number of submissions submitted. Thank you to all the BC international students and alumni who sent in their heartwarming photos. We love seeing the way you live, study, and play in BC.

Congratulations to our 2021 winner, Shaula Delgado!

Shaula is an international student currently living in Vancouver. She has a bachelor’s degree in Nursing at the University of St. La Salle, Philippines, and is currently enrolled in business administration at Acsenda School of Management. Shaula was a student athlete during her university years playing football. She was awarded the Corps d’ elite for being the most outstanding student in team sports. Her love of football was influential in finding value in hard work, discipline, determination, and camaraderie.

“I chose BC as a study destination because the education system is ranked among the best in the world. Canada has a diverse culture, and it is also considered a peaceful, safe, and orderly country. It’s an honour for me to live and study in BC. I believe the learnings and experiences I gain here will provide a foundation to carry on my family’s legacy. My dream is to create a name for myself and build my own business to help people reach their goals,” says Shaula.

Congratulations again, Shaula!