British Columbia is a safe study destination for international students.

Group of students


BC is generally a very safe place to live. It is still important to be aware of your surroundings and follow some general safety tips:

  • Never open your door to strangers.
  • Make sure that doors and windows are securely locked at night or when you leave.
  • Travel with a friend whenever you can and always plan ahead and get directions to where you are going before you leave.
  • Make sure to keep all valuables such as passport, credit cards, and wallet in a safe and secure place. Never leave them unattended. It is also a good idea to write down all of your credit card and passport contact numbers. Keep your list in a safe place so that if they do get lost or stolen you can quickly call them in to cancel and replace them.
  • If you plan on going to parties on or off campus please party safely and avoid excessive use of alcohol or taking drugs. Always make sure that one person in your group stays sober to help get everyone home safely.
  • Keep a list of local taxis, ride hailing, and non-emergency numbers such as campus security with you.
  • If you travel by bus a lot make sure to always have a current bus schedule with you so that you can safely plan your route.

Many institutions have security and “Safewalk” programs to help make sure you stay safe on campus. These services are often available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit your campus security or the international education office at your institutions for more information.

Frauds and scams

There are many scams targeted at students, and you can be particularly vulnerable as an international student in a new country. No one from any Government agencies, such as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Service Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), or Canada Security and Intelligence Services (CSIS), will ever contact you to ask for money, especially in the form of Bitcoin or gift cards.

Many scams and frauds attempt to imitate government services in order to gain access to your personal and financial information. It may be a scam if someone is:

  • Demanding immediate payment
  • Requesting payment with cryptocurrency or gift cards
  • Using threatening language
  • Sending you a link to click on
  • Asking for personal or financial information

Types of Government of Canada related scams and fraud

  • Phone call scams
  • Prepaid cards, bitcoin, e-transfer payment scams
  • Email scams
  • Text messages/instant messaging scams
  • Mail scams
  • Common scams aimed at newcomers to Canada

The RCMP website, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and Canada Revenue Agency have valuable tips on how to protect yourself.

If you suspect a phone call, email, rental, job offer, or anything else may be a scam, or if you have been the victim of a scam, you can safely report the incident to police and the Anti-Fraud Centre. You can also contact your post-secondary institution’s international student advisors for advice and assistance. Visit to learn more about avoiding scams as an international student.