COVID-19 Updates

Student Life

Student services designed to keep you healthy


Welcome back! You'll notice some big changes. All residences will offer single rooms, and dining facilities will feature self-checkout and new seating arrangements.

Though some things will be different, our goal is to preserve as much of our campus experience as possible. Each of us will need to change our typical behaviour and rethink how we conduct our studies, our work, and our social lives. These plans can and will succeed because we are a community that cares greatly for each other and for this institution.

Key Points

  • Residences are being reorganized.

    We're changing the residence experience to promote safety and hygiene. There will be single rooms only, floors will be split into 'bubbles' in some situations, and you will likely have an assigned washroom. A plan has been developed to quarantine students who have or may have been exposed to COVID-19. They will use a separate washroom, and we will provide them with food delivery, supplies, and support during the isolation period.

  • Campus dining is changing.

    We will adhere to all Nova Scotia and local health guidelines and enhance our food safety and sanitation processes. Utensils will be individually wrapped, as will grab-and-go items. We anticipate food service locations will be open, with most locations providing a quick pick-up service.

    Meal hall will seat fewer people at once, with scheduled meal times based on the class timetable. We will clean meal hall more frequently and eliminate self-serve and buffet-style options.

  • Civic and community engagement will continue.

    Students from across the University participate in volunteer community activities and service learning, working closely with local organizations. Protocols will be developed that allow these activities to continue and conform to University guidelines to ensure safety.

  • There will be ways to stay active.

    Though Varsity events, club sports, and some intramurals have been suspended for the Fall Term, the Acadia Athletics Complex will be open in September. The complex, which includes the Fitness Centre, will open subject to new health and hygiene protocols and booking procedures. In addition, our Athletics staff are developing new fitness and recreational programming for students that meets NS Public Health and sport-specific guidelines and requirements.
Female RA's and Welcome Week leaders cheer for students to enter War Memorial House during Move-In Day 2019.

Student Life Update

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I arrive if I am going to live in residence?

Residence Arrival Dates

  • Wednesday, September 2 – Saturday, September 5: Residences open for international students. All students must arrive in Nova Scotia by September 5 to accommodate self-isolation.
  • Friday, September 4 – Saturday, September 5: Residences open for all new Canadian students who need to self-isolate.
  • Saturday, September 5 – Friday, September 18: 14-day self-isolation period in residence.
  • Saturday, September 19 – Sunday, September 20: Residences open for all new and returning students who do need not to self-isolate.
I am an international student and I don’t know how to plan my travel to campus. Can you help?

Our International Student Advisor will work with you on your itinerary to ensure a safe and coordinated welcome to campus. Please email international@acadiau.ca. You can also review an updated list of all academic dates for the fall by visiting Acadia's Registrar’s Office.

I have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Is there any financial help available?

Government Supports for Students

On April 22, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced comprehensive support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan will help provide the financial support needed this summer, help students continue studies in the fall, and help many get the experience they need to start their careers.

These measures include launching:

  • the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.
  • the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students and recent graduates gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID 19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.

The Government of Canada will expand existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months. In addition, to help students continue their studies in the fall, the government will:

  • double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
  • broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
  • enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
  • increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
  • extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.

More information will be available on Canada's Economic Response Plan website.

Student Relief Fund

Many Acadia students are facing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, challenges with rent, groceries, transportation, and lack of summer employment opportunities could threaten their ability to return to their studies in the Fall. Recently-announced government emergency funding initiatives will certainly be important sources of support, but Acadia is committed to helping ease the road back to campus with a Student Relief Fund to provide additional bursary support to returning students.

Acadia has established a Student Relief Fund and will accept applications for support up to June 15, 2020. Special COVID Student Relief Bursaries will be in variable amounts based on the number of applications received and the funds available for distribution. Bursary application forms will be sent to all students entering their second, third or fourth year of full-time study in their first undergraduate degree by the Scholarships and Financial Aid office.

To support Acadia students, please visit giving.acadiau.ca/COVID

Acadia Students' Union Emergency Loan

The Acadia Students’ Union Executive have approved emergency funds to be available for all currently enrolled Acadia students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The loan may be up to $500, repayable over 12 months, with no interest.  Apply to the ASU.

I moved out of residence early because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Is Acadia offering refunds for residence and meal plans?

Under the Pandemic Residence and Meal Plan Credit Program, Acadia will credit the accounts of students who lived in residence and had 5-day or 7-day meal plans, and who had to leave early as a result of the directive, in the amount of up to $900. Please note that this is a flat amount to be credited to all eligible students who left residence between March 15th and March 31st, and that Acadia is not providing individually calculated credits.

Eligible students will be notified by email from Student Accounts. Please note the following:

  • No action is required by you - the credit, in the amount of up to $900, will be posted to your student account automatically in August 2020.
  • If you choose to defer your return until January 2021, the credit will remain on your account.
  • If you are a graduating student with no outstanding account balance and no registrations for September 2020, you will receive a cash refund in the amount of up to $900.  This will be sent to you automatically once the credit is applied to your student account. You do not need to apply. If you have an outstanding balance in your account, your refund will be applied against your outstanding balance and any net amount will be refunded to you.
  • If you decide not to return to your studies at Acadia in September 2020, you may apply for a cash refund in the amount of up to $900. Details about how to apply for this refund will be shared at a later date.
  • All credits and refunds will be processed automatically by Acadia’s Student Account office – again, no action is required of you to receive your credit.
What does this mean for my student loans and other financial requirements?

The government is suspending payments of Nova Scotia and Canada student loans from March 30 to September 30, 2020. The suspension is automatic. The Nova Scotia Student Assistance office remains operational, applications are being assessed, inquiries responded to, and funds are being issued. They have moved to online services only (no phone calls). Use the ‘Ask Us’ feature in MyPATH for secure inquiries. If you don’t have a MyPATH account, you can send questions to stuasst@gov.ns.ca

The deadline to file your income tax and benefit return has been extended from April 30 to June 1, 2020. The deadline to pay any 2019 balance has been extended to August 31, 2020.

The Employment Social Development Canada (ESDC) website is a great resource for information related to the federal government benefits and services and new support programs.

I have stopped working because of COVID-19. Is there any support for me?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid.

The benefit is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020.