International Students

Arrival and Orientation

September 2020 International Orientation

  • International students should plan their arrival from September 2 - September 5, 2020.
  • Please be sure to read the Pre-Departure Guide information. An orientation schedule will be posted in August.
  • Please check back frequently as this page will be updated regularly.
  • If you have any questions, concerns, or challenges arriving between the designated dates, please email


Option 1: Join us on campus!

Option 2: Join us virtually!

Option 3: Defer your studies

Travelling to Canada


Travel Documents Checklist

  • A valid passport
  • A valid TRV or eTA
  • A valid study permit, or a study permit approval letter issued before March 18, 2020
  • Letter of Confirmation from the Registrar’s Office
  • Documentation to demonstrate that Nova Scotia is/will be your primary residence, such as the lease of your current residence/a recent payment to live in residence at Acadia, letters from your landlord, MSI card, NS Driver’s Licence, or your CRA Notice of Assessment
  • Self-isolation Plan
  • Written authorization confirming your permission to enter Canada. This can be obtained by emailing IRCC at:
  • Completion confirmation of Nova Scotia’s Self-declaration form.

Airport Pick-up

Airport pick-up is available to students only, whether you live in residence or off-campus.

  • Shuttles will be running from the airport to Wolfville, approximately 4-5 shuttles/day. Travel fees may apply.
  • Students will be required to book a seat in advance of their arrival.  Time slots will be available to book the week of August 10th. Please expect to receive details through your Acadia email.
  • Shuttles will operate within the Nova Scotia health and safety directives.
  • Acadia is coordinating with Airport Security to ensure there is a waiting area as students await their shuttle time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t meet the travel exemptions?

Consider joining us virtually from your home country until the border re-opens or you can choose to defer your studies. When the border does re-open, be sure to review your pre-departure guide and checklist.

Will I be allowed back into the country when it’s time to come back for school or will there be a travel ban preventing me from returning?

Travel restrictions are still in place, and if your study permit was not approved before or on March 18, 2020, you will not be allowed entry into Canada.

If I decide to study online from my home country, how will this affect my study permit and my eligibility for a post graduate work permit?

IRCC made temporary policy changes which allow students to begin the 2020 fall semester online and abroad, without it affecting their eligibility for a post graduate work permit (PGWP); and neither will time be deducted from the length of their PGWP. Please note that at least 50% of your program must be completed in Canada and you must have an approved study permit while studying in Canada for you to receive a PGWP.
Learn more about your study permit options.

Do I need a study permit to start my courses online?

As of right now, you do not need a study permit to study online. However, we strongly recommend that students apply for a study permit before beginning your online studies as there are some risks associated with beginning your studies without a study permit.

Please note:

  • Choosing to join us virtually does not guarantee your ability to obtain a study permit. If you choose to move forward with your studies without a study permit in place, you are responsible for affiliated tuition fees.  Please review Acadia’s financial policies prior to making your decision.
  • Students are required to have a valid study permit and temporary visitor visa before you can begin your in-person studies in Canada. Without it, you will not be able to join in-person classes at Acadia.
  • For applicants currently outside Canada who are scheduled to begin studying in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 semester but who do not have either a study permit or approval on their study permit application prior to the beginning of their program of study, time spent pursuing their studies online will not count toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit.

If you are willing to accept and acknowledge these risks, you are welcome to participate in online courses at Acadia.

How do I start my study permit application? Are they still processing applications?

You are required to apply online by creating an account with the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Visit the IRCC website to learn more  and to start your study permit application.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to accept applications, but applications are being processed at slower rates.  Processing times posted on the IRCC website are based on the normal processing times for an application, and it does not take into account any delays caused by COVID-19. Currently, there are no options to expedite processing of study permit applications. However, IRCC recently announced new measures to prioritize processing of study permit applications.

If my study permit gets approved before September, will I be able to come to Canada?

As of right now, international students who have not received a study permit or letter of introduction on or before March 18, 2020, will not be allowed to enter Canada. For more information regarding entry into Canada, please see the IRCC website.

I received the Biometrics Instruction Letter (BIL) as part of my study permit application. How can I complete this?

When Visa Application Centres (VAC’s) re-open, you must make a new appointment and carry your original BIL with you at your designated Visa Application Centre to show proof of payment. You do not need to request a new BIL. Since most VAC’s are presently closed, your application will remain open for 90 days or until you are able to provide the required biometrics- you do not need to request an extension. According to IRCC, no application will be refused or closed if you are not able to give your biometrics on the date indicated on your BIL.

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada's biometric information page and procedures page.

If I defer my program to next term (January/Winter 2021), when should I apply for my study permit and temporary resident visa?

If you decide to defer your program to next term, you should start your study permit and temporary resident visa applications as soon as possible due to delays in processing. Please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for more information.

If my (initial) study permit is refused do I get back my tuition money?

Choosing to join us virtually does not guarantee your ability to obtain a study permit. If you choose to move forward with your studies without a study permit in place, you are responsible for affiliated tuition fees.  Please review Acadia’s financial policies prior to making your decision.

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Important Links

 Pre-Departure Guide

 International Arrival Guide

 Fall Arrival Survey

 Self-Isolation Plan Template


International Students
Wong International Centre
27 Acadia Street
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, B4P 2R6