Information for International Students

Publish date: April 9, 2020

Message to Students About Graduation

North Island College has made the difficult decision to postpone our June Graduation ceremonies due to the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although June is still several weeks away, planning for the ceremonies takes considerable time and organization. For this reason, we needed to make a decision based on current Provincial Health Officer guidelines, which prevent large gatherings and require social distancing of 2 metres.

Please remember to apply for your credential in order to have it mailed to you. See NIC’s Graduation webpage for information on how to do this.

NIC will still be acknowledging in writing all of our Award recipients in June. This includes two awards that are currently open for nomination until May 15th : President’s Community Engagement Award and the Lieutenant-Governor’s Silver Medal Award. We invite all who meet the requirements to complete the nomination form. See myNIC announcements for further information.

The College is considering alternate graduation ceremony dates and formats. We would like to hear from you, our graduates, before we make any decisions. Please share your views by completing a very short survey before April 30.

Please continue to check the NIC website as well as your NIC email regularly for updates. If you have questions, please email


Kathleen Kuhnert
Associate Vice President Student Services & Registrar

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that many courses around the world are interrupted due to the COVID-19. At this time please submit the documents that you have been issued up to this point. This may include transcripts from all grade 11 and part of grade 12 courses and interim/partial/predictive results. When forwarding this information to NIC International Admissions, please indicate the documents you are unable to obtain at this time and if you know, when you can expect to receive them.

This depends on what documents you can provide to us. After submitting your online application to NIC through Education Planner BC, please contact us at attaching all documents you have from your recent education and let us know what you cannot produce at this time. Once we receive this information we will advise you on the next step.

We understand that online IELTS or TOEFL assessment may not be readily available in your location. We are offering the Duolingo English Test in lieu of IELTS or TOEFL at this time to meet NIC’s admission requirements, and you must achieve the minimum of 105 in the Duolingo English Test to meet the English admission requirement of IELTS 6.0 (overall score). If you have submitted the Duolingo English Test score below 105, we require you to wait for 3 weeks prior to re-testing.

If you achieve and submit the score of 125 or higher in the Duolingo English Test for admission, you will receive $1,000 CAD towards the first term of tuition. Please note that this score must be submitted as the first English assessment score for admission. We do not accept re-submitted scores for this award.

The situation is changing every day due to the COVID-19, and we cannot predict what will happen for September 2020. At this point, we are processing applications assuming you will be arriving in Canada and starting your study in September 2020. Should situations change, we will inform every applicant of their next steps.

If your study permit remains in process at the time of your September start date, you have the option to defer your intake to January 2021 or the next available intake. As we get closer to the September start, we will communicate with you on the next steps.

Please first go to Government of Canada’s website and read the information. If you have general questions about study permit application after reading the website, you may write to us at Please note that NIC does not provide immigration services and does not apply for study permits or inquire about your existing study permit application on your behalf. For this, please connect with an education/immigration agent in your area. You can also look for some of our partner agents HERE.

We recommend you not travel to Canada until the borders have re-opened. If you decide to come to Canada during the border closure, you will need to make private arrangements for accommodations. You will need to follow all travel advisories for entering Canada including and quarantine measures.

Yes, Canada Homestay Network continues to work with NIC. Before applying, we recommend that you read the information on Canada Homestay Network and their updates on COVID-19, as there may be some restrictions on their services.

There are many factors: spread of the COVID-19, border closures, study permit application processing time and availability, and more. It is not possible for us to predict what is going to happen in September 2020. As more information becomes available to us, we will inform you. Please keep checking your personal and NIC emails for more updates.

For the upcoming Fall and Winter terms, NIC intends to offer a full complement of courses to support you in achieving your academic goals. This will, of course, be done with public health guidance and safety in mind. Many classes and learning spaces are now being reviewed to ensure physical and social distancing requirements can be met.

If you have further questions, please write to us at and we will respond to you within 24-48 hours. Please note that we are unable to respond to your questions on Saturdays, Sundays or Statutory Holidays.

Please call 250-334-5021. If you do not get an answer, leave a voicemail and someone will call you back as soon as is possible. Be sure to leave a phone number so that we can call you back.

Counselling Services will be available through telephone or Skype appointments only. Please book your appointment online or contact Student Services to make an appointment:

  • Campbell River/Mixalakwila: 250-923-9700 or toll free 1-800-715-0914
  • Comox Valley: 250-334-5000 or toll free 1-800-715-0914
  • Port Alberni: 250-724-8711 or toll free 1-800-715-0914

For additional or out-of-hours support, the following resources are available:

  • Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888
  • Vancouver Island Crisis Text: 250-800-3806
  • Keep.meSAFE: 1-844-451-9700 or download the free My ISSP app
  • KUU-US Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717
  • Here2Talk (24/7 counselling support for post-secondary students)

In an emergency, please call 911.

The Government of Canada launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has translated 10 questions and answers about CERB into multiple languages so that international students and others can get the information they need, in the language they are most comfortable with. In addition to this, the Public Health Agency of Canada also has a list of resources relating to COVID-19, many of which are available in multiple languages. Fact sheets, infographics and videos with key public health advice on COVID-19 are added and updated regularly.

NIC cannot advise you on EI (Employment Insurance) or Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), please check the Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan on the Government of Canada website to find application and eligibility information.

Yes, there may be funds available to help you with your studies as an NIC student, whether that's for groceries or accessing a computer. Please contact to inquire about financial aid options.

The 2020/2021 timetable was updated on May 25, 2020 for the fall and winter terms. The Fall 2020 Program Delivery Overview describes how each of NIC's programs will be delivered. Go to to access the updated timetable with the new delivery method for each course. To register for Fall 2020/Winter 2021 courses, you must first pay a $500 tuition deposit through your myNIC account. You can book a phone appointment with an international student advisor or email to find out how to plan courses for Fall 2020/Winter 2021.

Please contact an International Student Advisor by emailing or by booking online (phone or skype appointments only) to discuss your situation. A Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor will be able to advise you.

Both MSP and Guard Me will cover COVID-19 related illness. Please make sure your MSP is valid. If your MSP has expired while waiting for a study permit extension, please contact Jennifer Barth at for Guard.Me enrollment.

Travel outside of Canada is not recommended at this time. If you leave, you risk the chance that you will not be permitted back into the country until the Government of Canada has opened the borders. At this point, we do not know when that will be. Alternate delivery of class content may not be possible internationally for a variety of reasons.

One of our advisors can support you remotely with this request. You can book a phone appointment with an international student advisor or email

You can access the Confirmation of Enrollment Request on the Student Services website. Please scroll to the bottom of the page and select the appropriate form. Once completed, please send an email with the complete form attached to The request will be submitted for Student Records for processing and the letter will be emailed as a PDF to your NIC email. If you need a Confirmation of Enrollment Letter for a study permit extension or co-op work permit, in addition to above two steps, please book a phone appointment with an international student advisor.

One of our advisors can support you remotely with this request. You can book a phone appointment with an international student advisor or email

As per IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada), “if distance learning makes up less than 50% of your study program, you may be eligible for a PGWP. Any distance courses completed outside of Canada won’t be included in the length of the PGWP”

As per the tweet from IRCC on March 13 “International students in Canada, take note: courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to #COVID19 will not affect Post Graduation Work Permit Program eligibility for a post-graduation work Permit

You can book a phone appointment with an international student advisor or email to find out if you are eligible for a scheduled break.

Travel outside of Canada is not recommended at this time. If you leave, you may not be permitted back into the country until the Government of Canada has opened the borders. At this point, we do not know when that will be.

Please connect with your CHN relationship manager and check their website for related information.

Yes, all international students must have medical insurance to study in the Province of BC. New students in BC, studying at NIC will be enrolled in temporary medical insurance with Guard.Me for 90 days when your program begins. All international students are required to apply for MSP upon arrival in BC and will serve the required waiting period before they are eligible for benefits. To apply on-line please visit Medical Service Plan - BC. Enrolling in MSP, paying premiums, and ensuring current coverage MSP is the students responsibility.