In the Know: End of First Term

UVic Global Community Newsletter: December 02, 2019

In the Know: Advice for International Students 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 this 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.

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:

  • You may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) AFTER successfully completing all your program requirements. Our international student advisers can support you to apply for a PGWP and discuss your work authorization while your application is being processed. 
  • If you want to take a break from your studies during regular academic sessions at UVic and stay in Canada, you should contact International Student Services to discuss potential implications on your student status and work authorization. 

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.

As an international student in Canada, the onus is on you to understand the restrictions associated with working in Canada, and never work without the proper authorization. 

Note: Working in Canada when you are not authorized may result in enforcement actions taken by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It could also negatively impact your current temporary resident status and any future applications you make under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations.

To study:

  • If you have a valid study permit and will transfer to another institution in Canada, you will need to notify IRCC when you change institutions. Or, if your study permit will expire soon, you must talk to your future institution to extend your study permit. 

As a visitor:

Will you move out of your current residence?

Ideas for keeping your stuff out of the garbage:

Other things you may need to take care of:

  • 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? Make sure you understand your responsibilities as a tenant.
  • Consider each account that is in your name, such as your bank account, mobile phone, hydro, internet, cable, etc. Do you need to update your address, or do you need to cancel the account?
  • If you will leave British Columbia (BC) permanently, and you have BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, you must cancel your account.
  • If you will leave British Columbia (BC) temporarily, and you have BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, contact Health Insurance BC by phone 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.

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". Refer to the “Going home after your study abroad experience” handout for information and tips to overcome the reverse culture shock. The content is written for students returning to Canada after time away from their home country, but it is valuable for anyone who has studied abroad.

Will you continue your studies at UVic in January, 2020?

Take a moment to consider your plans for winter break.

  • If you plan to work in Canada during the winter break (December 22 – January 5) refer to the information about work authorization for international students can be found on our website.
  • Always make sure you understand the restrictions associated with working in Canada, and never work without the proper authorization.

Note: Working in Canada when you are not authorized may result in enforcement action taken by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It could also negatively impact your current temporary resident status and any future applications you make under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations.

  • If you live on campus, and you plan to stay in Residence during winter break, and you have not yet requested permission, please email  as soon as possible to request permission.

Are you travelling outside Canada?

If you are currently outside or travelling outside Canada, please make sure your Canadian immigration documents are in order before you return to Canada. 

When you arrive at the Canadian port of entry, you will be greeted by an immigration officer. The officer may ask to see the documents listed below, so be sure to carry them with you. Visit the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website for some useful planning tools.

You could be refused entry into Canada if any of these documents are missing or if any of the information on them is incorrect:

  • valid passport or other travel document
  • valid entry document (if required)
  • valid study permit or letter of introduction from a Canadian visa office (if required)
  • admission letter from UVic or proof of registration
  • documentation to show proof of sufficient funds to study in Canada
  • typed list of all items you are bringing into Canada, including items sent separately (if applicable) 

Are you starting your studies at UVic in January, 2020?

Congratulations on your admission to UVic!

If you have a valid study permit and are transferring to UVic in September, you must notify IRCC about your institution change. 

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

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

All new international students should register for fun and informative orientation events. When you sign up for the major orientation events, you should also sign up for the International Student Welcome, which will take place on Friday, January 10, 2020.

For new undergraduate students, you can also complete an online pre-arrival orientation program before you arrive to campus. Every eligible student who completes the program by Wednesday, January 6, 2020 will be entered in a draw to win a $200 UVic bookstore gift card. 

If you have questions about any information discussed above, please visit or contact International Student Services (ISS).

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