Free mental-health supports are available 24 hours a day for B.C. post-secondary students who may be coping with anxiety, depression and other concerns.

Here2Talk is a virtual counselling service that provides immediate mental-health support to students via the Here2Talk app, over the phone or through online chat.

Here2Talk supports overall well-being and mental health by providing students with the following:

  • 24/7 support: Confidential emotional support, including crisis intervention, available night and day via phone and chat.
  • Experienced professionals: Access to counsellors who have experience dealing with the common challenges faced by students.
  • No appointment needed: Call in or start a chat via the app or website.
  • Free to students: Access to professional mental-health and well-being support at no additional charge for students currently registered with a B.C. post-secondary institution.

The service is available to all part-time and full-time students registered in a public or private B.C. college, university, institute or trades program, whether they are in Canada or abroad. It aims to supplement any services students may already be accessing through their school or community.

Here2Talk provides counselling and support services upon request in various languages, such as French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Spanish and Arabic.

Since its April 2020 launch to July 2023, services have been accessed approximately 32,000 times. Seventy-three per cent of students said the service provided them with the support and tools they needed, while 65% said they would refer their friend or classmate to the service. Seventy-two per cent of students said the service improved their situation.

Additional resources are available to children and youth through Kids Help Phone. The organization provides counselling, referral and support for children and youth under 20. Professional counsellors are available to provide immediate and caring support to young people who are dealing with a problem, making a hard decision or concerned with feelings or mood. The service is free, confidential, anonymous and available 24 hours a day.

Learn More:

Chat sessions with a trained counsellor can be accessed by downloading the Here2Talk app or visiting:

  • Students can speak to a counsellor by phone, toll-free at 1 877 857-3397 or direct at 604 642-5212.
  • Students calling from outside Canada can dial 1 604 642-5212 (international calling charges may apply).
  • Kids Help Phone can be reached at 1 800 668-6868.

Kids Help Phone – Live Chat Counselling is available online in British Columbia, Wednesday to Sunday, from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. (Pacific time):

Are you currently an international student studying at a BC post-secondary institution? Want to inspire others by sharing your international student journey, gain valuable writing experience, and be eligible for a chance to receive a $1,000 towards your tuition? Apply now for a Study in BC Writer’s Award.


You must be a full or a part-time international student currently enrolled at a BC post-secondary institution.

It’s great opportunity for you to gain professional experience, build your portfolio, and earn $1,000 towards your tuition! The application deadline is Tuesday, October 17, 2022, at 11:59 pm PT.

Visit the SiBC Writer’s Award page to learn more and apply.

Foreign nationals with expired or expiring post-graduation work permits will qualify to work in Canada longer

Employers are facing unprecedented challenges in finding and retaining the workers they need during this period of economic recovery and growth.

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that international graduates with a recently expired or expiring post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will qualify for an additional or extended work permit to stay longer and gain additional work experience for up to 18 months. The PGWP Program allows international graduates to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Starting April 6, 2023, these measures will allow PGWP holders who wish to stay longer to opt in to a facilitative process to extend their work permit and will allow Canada to retain high-skilled talent.

Foreign nationals whose PGWP has already expired in 2023 and those who were eligible for the 2022 PGWP facilitative measure will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional 18-month work permit. Those with expired work permits will be able to restore their status, even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period, and will receive an interim work authorization while awaiting processing of their new work permit application.

Talented and skilled international graduates play a vital role in addressing Canada’s labour shortage, and those nearing the end of their PGWP are already well integrated into Canada’s labour market. The additional work permit will allow eligible applicants to continue contributing to the Canadian economy while gaining valuable work experience and preparing for the opportunity to apply for permanent residence.


“We need to use every tool in our toolbox to support employers who continue to face challenges in hiring the workers they need to grow. At the same time, we’re providing international graduates whose work permit is expiring or has expired with some additional time to stay in Canada to gain valuable work experience and potentially qualify to become a permanent resident.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Click here to learn more.

The International Education Division at Global Affairs Canada is pleased to announce the launch of the 2023 – 2024 Short-term Exchange Programs (SEP) scholarship competitions.

Available scholarships:

Short-term Exchange Programs Eligible countries/regions Details
Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program
Latin America and the Caribbean
Learn more
Study in Canada Scholarships
Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East
Learn more
Canada-CARICOM Faculty Leadership Program
CARICOM member states
Learn more
Canada-CARICOM Skills Training for the Green Economy Scholarships
CARICOM member states
Learn more

The competitions close on March 21, 2023.

Limit on off-campus work hours to be lifted temporarily

October 7, 2022—Ottawa—Employers are facing unprecedented challenges in finding and retaining the workers they need during this period of economic recovery and growth. The Government of Canada is continuing to take concrete actions to address current labour needs.

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced the temporary lifting of the 20-hour-per-week cap on the number of hours that eligible post-secondary students are allowed to work off-campus while class is in session.

From November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023, international students who are in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule. Foreign nationals who have already submitted a study permit application, as of today, will also be able to benefit from this temporary change, provided their application is approved.

This measure will provide many international students with a greater opportunity to gain valuable work experience in Canada, and will increase the availability of workers to sustain Canada’s post-pandemic growth. With more than 500,000 international students already in Canada available to potentially work additional hours, this temporary change reflects the important role international students can play in addressing our labour shortage, while continuing to pursue their studies. Study permit holders are still expected to balance their study and work commitments, as those who stop studying or reduce course loads to only study part-time are not eligible to work off-campus.

This month, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is also launching a pilot project to automate the processing of study permit extensions. The types of applications being included in this pilot have a consistently high approval rate, as all applicants have previously been approved to study in Canada. The pilot will involve a small group of applicants who could see their extended study permit processed much faster, with the goal of improving client service. Should the pilot be successful, it will be expanded in order to help reduce processing times and allow officers to focus on more complex applications.

Today’s announcement is part of a series of initiatives that aim to benefit international students and graduates, while supporting Canada’s broader efforts to improve client service and application processing times.

Other measures recently launched to benefit international students and recent graduates include:

With unprecedented interest in Canada from applicants around the world, IRCC continues to set the bar higher for immigration processing. Ongoing efforts and client service improvements by the department aim to strengthen Canada’s immigration system, shorten wait times, reduce application backlogs and improve the experience of clients overall.

Click here to learn more.