Resources for Prospective International Green College Residents (2020)

Resources for Prospective International Green College Residents*

*Information contained herein is excerpted from the sites mentioned below, and accurate as of June 30, 2020. Please refer directly to the governmental and UBC sources for the most up-to-date information.

All new UBC and returning international UBC students are strongly encouraged to review the International Student Guide and book an appointment to speak with an International Student Advisor as early as possible, well in advance of your intended departure date. Drop-in advising sessions are being conducted on zoom, and inquires are also accepted by email. Contact information is on this link: 

Key websites

  • Government Guidance

BC Centre for Disease Control

Province of British Columbia

Government of Canada

City of Vancouver


  • UBC Guidance

UBC – updates

UBC – broadcast messages

UBC Student Housing

UBC Faculty of Graduate + Post-Doctoral Studies

UBC International Student Advising

Resources available to students at UBC during the COVID-19 outbreak?

  • Additional Guidance

Vancouver Airport

Before you leave home

From the Government of Canada website:

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the government of Canada has implemented travel restrictions that limit travel to Canada. Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). Please contact Canada Border Service Agency at 1-833-784-4397 with any questions.

If you are an international student who has a valid study permit, or were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, you are exempt from the travel restrictions. If you are travelling to Canada by air, you need to pass a health check conducted by an airline before you will be allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 may not be allowed to enter Canada by air. When you arrive, your health will be assessed before you leave the airport.

Quarantine requirement

You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada, including

  • a place to stay
  • how you’ll
    • get to your destination
    • get your groceries
    • access essential services and medical care

This plan is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to enter the country. A border services officer will determine if you can enter the country. (Additional information about the plan is below.)

  • Travellers with approved plans will proceed to their home residence (or another identified accommodation) to self-isolate.
  • Travellers who submit plans that need additional support to execute safely (e.g., enlist volunteers to deliver groceries or fill prescriptions once at home) may be taken or directed to an accommodation site to begin self-isolation, while outstanding details of their plan are put in place. With an approved self-isolation plan, they may return home. Without an approved plan, they will remain at an accommodation site for 14 days.
  • Travellers who do not have a self-isolation plan or are unable to safely carry one out may be transported or sent to an accommodation where they can safely complete their 14-day self-isolation.

At the Airport in Vancouver

From the Vancouver Airport website:

  • Mandatory mask or face covering

All air passengers are required to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel. Travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose at airport screening points, when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by airline employees or public health officials.

It is each individual’s responsibility to have the appropriate face covering and there are a number of great resources including the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website with instructions for making an acceptable non-medical face covering.

You will be asked to remove your non-medical mask or face covering:

  • at the Customs Hall
    • you’ll need to remove your mask to have your photo taken at the Primary Inspection Kiosk
    • whenever a Canada Border Services Agency officer, Public Health Agency of Canada employee, or provincial/territorial official asks you to

How will you get to campus?

If someone is planning to pick you up, please note that only travellers with a valid ticket and employees may enter the airport, with exceptions made for those requiring extra assistance.

IMPORTANT: Passengers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 after arriving in Canada may not use public transportation to travel to their place of isolation. Public transportation is defined as a bus, train, taxi, subway or ride-sharing service. If you have symptoms that may be due to COVID-19, you are only allowed to take private transportation (e.g. a personal vehicle) to get to your place of isolation. If you do not have access to private transportation or a place to isolate, you will be directed to a quarantine facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

If you’re arriving in Canada and don’t have symptoms, you’re allowed to travel via public transportation to get to your place of isolation but should wear a non-medical mask or face covering, practice social distancing at all times and make no additional stops along the way. Available options at YVR include:

  • Taxis: Taxis and wheelchair-accessible vehicles are available at taxi stands located on Level 2 of the Domestic and International Arrivals Area at YVR. Due to decreased availability of taxis across Metro Vancouver, we are experiencing wait times at the airport.
  • Ride App Services: Lyft and Uber are both authorized providers of Ride App services at YVR. Follow the Ride App Services wayfinding signage to one of the pick up areas at International Arrivals, Level 2 or Domestic Arrivals, Level 2. Availability of vehicles at YVR has been consistent and wait times minimal.
  • Public Transit: Canada Line’s YVR Airport station is located above the parkade, across the curb from the Main Terminal. Follow the Ground Transportation signs marked Train to City. The first train leaves at 5:07 a.m. and the last train leaves at 12:56 a.m. For updated schedules and a trip planner, please visit the Canada Line website.

Advice for students arriving to Canada

Please visit the B.C. Government website for more information. Upon arrival, all travellers should monitor themselves daily for symptoms including fever, cough, muscle aches, and difficulty breathing.

Students who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 also need to stay home or self-isolate for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms.

What to do if you develop symptoms while self-isolating?

Those who develop symptoms during the 14-day monitoring period should continue to self-isolate (stay in a room that is not shared with anyone else) and call their health-care provider or the provincial health line 8-1-1 to get tested. See more information about self-monitoring and self-isolation.

If you are feeling unwell, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.

Need information during self-isolation?

Students who are self-isolating may call 8-1-1 for additional health advice. Please also refer to the self-isolation page for more information.

If you are sick and depend on post-secondary housing, food, laundry, hygiene, or other critical services, please let your institution know that you are self-isolating so that they can help support you, including in your current studies.

Staying in isolation can be difficult and lonely. If you are isolated, keep in contact with friends and family through phone or computer.

The Provincial Health Officer asks you not to make assumptions about the risk of students, faculty or staff based on their ethnicity or travel history. You do not need to report people who are not self-isolating. If you have concerns, you can discuss them with your institution’s administration.

School events, outings and trips

Travel outside of Canada is not recommended at this time.  If you leave Canada, it is mandatory to self-isolate again for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

All public gatherings or events larger than 50 people have been ordered to be cancelled for now. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings or other similar events.

UBC Guidance - Prevention

What precautions can I take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections?

The advice from health agencies is:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Do not touch your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow, and then wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are ill to avoid spreading the illness to others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with an infection.
  • If you are ill, have symptoms of flu like a fever or cough, you should stay home.

What is UBC doing to minimize the risk of infection?

UBC has senior-level committees working to develop plans and responses to the evolving situation. We regularly consult with the BC Centre for Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health on how to detect and mitigate any potential cases on our campuses. We have appropriate measures in place, in the event that we are presented with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

To lower the risk from our campus environment:

  • Routine cleaning is scheduled daily and follows industry cleaning standards laid out by the Association for Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA), which are a blended approach designed to manage risk. Our cleaning standards comply with APPA’s best practices.
  • We have posted information to remind people of how to reduce the spread of infections and continue to monitor and refill our current hand sanitizer stations located in the main entrances.
  • We are encouraging all campus users to follow the best practices in self-care being shared by the BC Centre for Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health.

The university is also working hard to ensure that students, faculty and staff receive reliable and up-to-date information on preventive measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Is UBC distributing masks for people to wear to prevent the spread of infection on our campuses?

UBC is not distributing masks. Some members of our community may opt to wear masks, and we fully support their right to do so. We ask the community to be respectful of students, faculty and staff who choose to wear masks.

UBC Student Housing Response to COVID-19

Along with UBC, Student Housing has implemented plans to provide the best possible accommodation for residents given COVID-19 challenges and the fact that most classes will be held online during fall 2020.

  • I’m moving into UBC Student Housing in Fall 2020 and will need to quarantine (self-isolate) for two weeks. Can you help?

If you are arriving from outside of Canada, whether returning to campus or moving in for the first time, the Canadian Government requires you to quarantine (self-isolate) for two weeks. You cannot self-isolate in a shared unit in Upper Year residence or in a single room in First Year residence.

Housing may be able to offer students who have a Residence Contract a self-isolation suite either on-campus (depending on availability) or off-campus for the 14-day isolation period.

Self-Isolation accommodation packages (on and off-campus) can be booked online, here:

On-Campus | UBC Student Housing | Between August 15 and September 5

If a resident is assigned to a studio or one-bed unit, they may inquire about its availability for Early Arrival by contacting


For any other questions about residency at Green College, please contact Lyn Pedro, Membership and Accommodations Coordinator at