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International Student FAQ: COVID-19 Impact on International Students

Last updated: September 16, 2020 9:35AM

International Student Corner

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Quarantine/Arrival Information

Through the efforts of the Quarantine Readiness Team, Algoma University has been registered with the Government of Canada as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) with a Provincially Approved Quarantine Readiness Plan. This plan outlines the steps required when an international student attempts to enter Canada as a member of the Algoma University community, and provides details on how our institution is prepared to support these students.

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Campus status

Following several weeks of consultation with and feedback from faculty, staff, students and administration, as well as a review of directives from public health, government and other authorities in our communities, Algoma University is announcing that classes for the Fall Term 2020 will not be held face-to-face at any of our campuses (Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton, Timmins).

Please view official Communication Memo (June 11).

An academic advisor will be reaching out to you to assist with the registration process. To contact an advisor yourself email advising@algomau.ca. Please ensure to include your full name and student number in the email, so you are easily identifiable by staff.

Fall 2020 classes will be offered through remote and/or online delivery. Please view official Communication Memo (June 10).

At Algoma University, we’re committed to helping you continue learning with an array of online courses that span degrees, disciplines and fields. Now is the time to stay home and keep learning. With small class sizes, Algoma is bridging the gap between a virtual education and a personalized education. For more information, please view the Online/Remote Learning page.

To learn more about specific services and guidelines applicable to the Brampton campus, please visit the Student FAQ: COVID-19 Impact on Brampton Campus page.

To learn more about specific services and guidelines applicable to the Sault Ste. Marie campus, please visit the Student FAQ: COVID-19 Impact on Sault Ste. Marie Campus page.

International Bursaries

A $2,000 bursary will be provided to all existing and incoming International Degree Students registering for the 2020 Spring and 2020 Fall semesters. The $2,000 bursary is set at $1,000 per 15-credit semester (or $200 per 3-credit course) and is valid for two consecutive terms of study (2020 Spring and 2020 Fall or 2020 Fall and 2021 Winter).  This would also be applicable for the 2021/2022 academic year, which can add up to a maximum of $4,000 over the two years.

A $3,000 bursary will be provided to all existing and incoming Graduate Certificate program students for the 2020 Spring and 2020 Fall semesters. The $3,000 bursary is set at $1,500 per 15-credit semester (or $300 per 3-credit course) and is valid for two consecutive terms of study (2020 Spring and 2020 Fall or 2020 Fall and 2021 Winter).  This would also be applicable for the 2021/2022 academic year, which can add up to a maximum of $6,000 over the two years.

Bursaries will be automatically applied to student accounts, there is no requirement to apply for these bursaries.

Bursaries are prorated each semester based on the number of 3-credit courses (to a maximum of 15 credits). For a Degree student enrolled in 9 credits, their bursary for that semester would be $600 ($200 x 3).

Bursaries are prorated each semester based on the number of 3-credit courses (to a maximum of 15 credits). The maximum bursaries per semester are; $1,000 for degree students and $1,500 for certificate students.

Yes the bursary is applicable for 2 terms of study, for the following two academic years of study for a maximum of 4 terms, therefore you will receive the bursary for the 2021Fall/2022 Winter terms.

Yes the bursary is applicable for 2 terms of study, for the following two academic years of study for a maximum of 4 terms.

The bursary is only applicable to the 2020-21 (20SP, 20F, 21W) and 2021-22 (21SP, 21F, 22W) Academic years for a total of 4 terms, at this time the bursary is not applicable for academic years beyond 2021-22.

Students beginning their first term of study in the 2021 Winter term will only be eligible for the bursary if studying in a 2 year Graduate Certificate Program.  The value of the bursary is $1500 per term based on 15 credits.  Students studying in a degree bound program OR a 1 year Graduate Certificate Program are not eligible for the international bursary.

The bursary will be applied  to the first term of study resulting in the value of the bursary being issued directly to the student, via electronic money transfer to the student’s Canadian bank account.

Bursaries will be automatically applied to student accounts, after the withdrawal date of the semester has passed. At that time students’ accounts will be reviewed to determine if the bursaries result in a refund. These refunds will be issued either through Email Money Transfer (EMT) or through wire transfer.

I sent the deposit outlined in my offer letter.  Now the fees are less.  How will I get back my excess deposit.

Payment & Registrations

As a result of the strain on the international student community, the University is continuing to work with the federal and provincial governments to understand whether there will be a financial relief strategy put in place. We will communicate with you as soon as we have this information.

In the meantime, the University has taken the following immediate measures to ease the financial strain on our international students:

Given the situation, the university is not requesting the full semester fee as a deposit for International students working toward certificates.  Current students registering for the Spring semester are only required to pay a deposit of $1,000, rather than the full deposit of over $10,000.

We have deferred the date for the payment of your full fees to June 1st, 2020, coinciding with the delayed Spring term. Students in need of financial assistance should email accounts@algomau.ca.

There will be no tuition increases for International or Domestic students in the 2020-2021 school year.

Immigration and Travel

Currently Canada has Travel Restriction Measures, or a travel ban, for all foreign nationals.  There is an exemption in place however for students who hold a valid study permit that was approved on or before March 18th.  If your permit was approved after March 18th, you will need to wait until the travel ban is lifted to travel to Canada.

While the Canada government has granted this exemption, in many cases travel is only deemed essential for students who are required to be physically present in Canada in order to begin or continue their studies.  Students who are studying exclusively online have often been refused when attempting to board their flights to Canada.

Algoma University has made the decision to offer all coursework online for the Fall Term.  As a result we are recommending that students wait until Algoma University announces the resumption of in-person coursework before making arrangements to travel to Canada.

We have developed a comprehensive plan to support all students who are travelling to Canada and ensure they follow requirements under the Quarantine Act and all Public Health protocols to quarantine on their arrival.  Algoma University’s International Travel Quarantine Plan has been approved by the Provincial Government after a review by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

View official communication memo (PDF)

Study Permit and Immigration Information

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have put special immigration measures in place in its response to COVID-19.  We encourage students to monitor IRCC’s website for the most up to date information.

Degree Students

Yes, you may begin or continue your studies online in the fall term. In response to COVID19, IRCC has allowed upto 50% of studies to be completed online, without affecting eligibility for the Post-Graduate Work Permit(PGWP) program.

Please note that you will need to have a valid study permit at the time of study in order for that study to be included in PGWP eligibility.  However, for most degree students, one or two semesters of study can be completed without a study permit without negatively impacting their PGWP eligibility.

 

Certificate Students

If you hold or have been approved for a study permit that was approved for our 2020 Spring Term or 2020 Fall Term you may begin your coursework online and still be eligible to use that coursework to apply for a Post graduate work permit. 

More on IRCC’s COVID Measures for international students: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/visitors-foreign-workers-students.html

If you have any questions about online studies and its effects on your eligiblity PGWP, please contact our immigration team by emailing immigration@algomau.ca.

IRCC has made changes to the PGWP program delivery to address the effects of COVID-19:

Students may be required to put their studies on hold or become part-time students due to course cancellations as a result of health and social distancing restrictions at DLIs. For the winter and summer 2020 semesters, when a student’s status changes from full time to part time due to changes in course delivery at a DLI, their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit will not be impacted.”

Upon request, Algoma University will provide a letter explaining the circumstances for the student to include with their PGWP application.

Students who wish to remain in Canada beyond the duration of their current status should do so within the recommended 30-90 days prior to their status’ expiration date. Students who will not be continuing their studies and will not be making an application for a work permit, but are unable to return to their home country due to travel restrictions should make an application to change their status to “visitor” before the expiration of their current status.

Certificate Students

Certificate students currently working off-campus are limited to 20-hours per week as per the conditions of their study permit.  The cancellation of face-to-face classes and the postponement of the Spring term do not constitute a scheduled break as defined in the Algoma University Academic Calendar.  Any off-campus work that exceeds this limit will constitute unauthorized work and could jeopardize your status in Canada.

Degree Students

Degree Students who were studying at Algoma University full-time in the 2020 Winter Term and will study full-time at Algoma University in the 2020 Fall Term, have a scheduled break that begins on April 22 and ends on September 8th.  During scheduled breaks, holders of study permits with off-campus work authorization are able to off-campus work full-time.   

All International students providing essential services

You are temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours if you are

  • a study permit holder in an academic session
  • eligible to work off-campus, and
  • providing an essential service

To see if your work is considered an essential service or function, check the Guide on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This measure is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2020.

If you have questions, our immigration professionals are here to help you. Please email immigration@algomau.ca.

Health Coverage (UHIP)

Yes, all international students who study Algoma University are enrolled in UHIP.

If you would like to confirm your eligibility or coverage, please email the UHIP Administrator at uhip@algomau.ca.

You can get more information by visiting the Algoma University website or directly visiting the UHIP website.

You should have received your UHIP card in an email, the subject line of the email from Sunlife reads: Here’s your University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) Coverage Card. If you did not receive your coverage card, please check your spam folder.

Please note you must PRINT your coverage card for it to be accepted. If you are having issues accessing or printing your card please contact uhip@algomau.ca.

All students ending their studies this semester have the option to extend their coverage for 2 months past their termination date. If you would like to do so please contact uhip@algomau.ca for further details.

Yes, students who have been directed to visit an assessment centre for testing should take a copy of their UHIP card and a copy of a claim form with them.

The claim form can be found here.

As per the Government of Ontario COVID-19 webpage, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 yet.

UHIP will cover emergency fees at hospitals and hospitalization fees, and drugs dispensed during hospitalization, see plan details.

UHIP provides minimal out-of-country coverage for emergency medical expenses (a medical emergency is an injury or illness that poses an immediate risk to a person’s life or long-term health). This may not be enough to cover your medical expenses (see Emergency Services outside Ontario or Canada).

We strongly recommend you look into additional private travel insurance.

Additional FAQ updates on academic accommodations, academic and non-academic support services, finances, travel and other areas of student concern will be added on an ongoing basis.