Tia's Advice: End of First Term

UVic Global Community Newsletter: November 27, 2017

Tia's Advice is a section of the UVic Global Community Newsletter that includes valuable information and important dates for undergraduate and graduate international students in the following categories: degree-seeking, incoming exchange and incoming study abroad/visiting.

Are you leaving UVic after first term?

Maybe you are finishing up your UVic degree program. Maybe you plan to take a break from your studies at UVic. Or, maybe you will return home to finish your program after spending a few months studying at UVic.

If you plan to attend the convocation ceremony in June, and you want to invite a guest who needs a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada, you can request an invitation letter for your guest to include in their TRV application. Family and friends can also watch your convocation ceremony as a live webcast.

No matter your reason for leaving UVic, take a moment to consider the following questions.

Will you stay in Canada?

Make sure your status in Canada matches the reason for your stay.

To work:

  • Many international students who complete a degree program at UVic will be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit AFTER completing all program requirements.
  • Degree-seeking students who plan to take a break from their program of study at UVic should visit or contact the International Student Centre to discuss employment options.
  • Exchange students and study abroad/visiting students who want to work in Canada before returning home can explore various employment options on the the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Career Services is a wonderful resource available to all UVic students and alumni. They can help you search for employment and navigate your career in Canada.

To study:

  • If you already have a valid study permit, be sure to notify IRCC that you are changing institutions. Or, if your study permit will expire soon, apply to extend it.
  • If you do not already have a study permit, you will probably need to apply for one. Visit the IRCC website to determine whether or not you will need a study permit.

As a visitor:

As a permanent resident:

  • Visit the IRCC website to learn about the programs available for immigrating to Canada permanently.

Think about which other documents you might also need to update: Health Insurance, Social Insurance Number, etc.

Will you leave Canada?

Ideas for keeping your stuff out of the garbage:

Other things you may need to take care of before leaving Canada:

  • If you are leaving permanently, and you have BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, you must cancel your account.
  • If you are leaving temporarily, and you have BC MSP coverage, contact Health Insurance BC at 1-800-663-7100 and ask to speak with an enrolment specialist about your options.
  • If you have extended health insurance through the UVic plan for undergraduate students, visit the UVSS Info Booth in the SUB to discuss your options.
  • If you have extended health insurance through the UVic plan for graduate students, contact the GSS Office in the Halpern Centre to discuss your options.
  • Do you live on campus? Have you connected with Residence Services for guidance about moving out?
  • Do you live off campus? Have you given your landlord or roommates written notice about your intentions? Make sure you understand your responsibilities as a tenant.
  • Consider all Canadian accounts that are in your name, such as your bank accounts, mobile phone, hydro, internet, cable, etc.

Whether you spent four months or four years at UVic, your time here will have influenced your perspective of the world. You might think that moving to a new country and culture was the most challenging part of your international student experience, but returning home after spending time away is often just as challenging.

It is common for international students to experience a transition called "reverse culture shock". Module 2 on the What's Up With Culture website can help you prepare for this transition. The content is written for students returning to the United States, but it is valuable for anyone who has studied abroad.

Will you continue your studies at UVic in January?

Take a moment to consider your plans for winter break.

Will you stay on campus?

If you live on campus, and you plan to stay in your dormitory building or cluster unit during winter break, and you have not yet requested permission, please contact Residence Servcies as soon as possible to request permission.

Will you work in Canada?

Information about employment options for international students can be found on our website. Make sure you understand the restrictions associated with each option and do not work without the proper authorization.

If you have any questions, please visit or contact the International Student Centre BEFORE starting to work in Canada.

Will you travel outside Canada?

Please verify that your documents are in order BEFORE leaving Canada. You will need them to re-enter Canada, no matter the duration of your trip.

If you need a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada, but you intend to return to Canada without a valid TRV after a visit only to the United States, please print Part 9, Division 5, Paragraph 190(3)(f) from Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and carry it with you. If you will return to Canada on an airplane, please contact the airline to make sure they are aware of this regulation. Otherwise, you could be prevented from boarding the airplane and returning to Canada.

Please also ensure that you have adequate travel insurance:

  • If you have extended health insurance through the UVic plan for undergraduate students, learn about your travel coverage online or visit the UVSS Info Booth in the SUB.
  • If you have extended health insurance through the UVic plan for graduate students, learn about your travel coverage online or contact the GSS Office in the Halpern Centre.
  • If you are not covered by either of these plans, or another comparable plan, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance.

More information about health insurance for international students can be found on our website.

If you plan to visit a country other than your country of citizenship, contact that country's nearest Consular Office for information and instructions.

Are you returning to your studies at UVic in January?

If you attended another college, university or language school in Canada while on a break from your studies at UVic, you must notify Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) about your plans to return to UVic. Follow the instructions on the IRCC website to submit a notification.

If you are currently outside Canada, please verify that your documents are in order BEFORE re-entering Canada.

Are you starting your studies at UVic in January?

Congratulations on your admission to the University of Victoria (UVic)!

Visit our website for valuable information that will help you prepare for a successful start.

When you arrive on campus, please visit the International Student Centre in University Centre B272 to pick up a welcome package.

Please also register for fun and informative orientation events. The International Student Welcome will take place on Tuesday, January 9 and is one of many events designed to help you have a smooth transition to UVic.

If you have questions about any of these topics, please visit or contact the International Student Centre.

Important Dates

November 30: Last day of winter session first term classes for students in the Faculty of Law.

December 1: Last day of winter session first term classes for students in all other Faculties.

December 1: Classes will be cancelled from 11:30am to 12:30pm and UVic will host a Walk to End Gender-Based Violence to acknowledge and commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

December 4: Winter session first term exams begin for all Faculties.

December 15: Deadline for undergraduate students to apply to graduate for spring convocation.

December 15: U-Pass privileges begin for winter session second term.*

December 18: Last day of winter session first term exams for all Faculties.

December 24: Christmas Eve.

December 25: Christmas Day.

December 25: Winter break begins. UVic services will be closed for winter break.

December 26: Boxing Day.

December 31: New Year's Eve.

* Incoming exchange students do not automatically receive U-Pass privileges but can opt in by purchasing a UVSS or GSS membership package.

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