At Selkirk College Canadian and International Students study side-by-side in over 60 different programs
Our students come from all across the world to study at Selkirk College. Learn how to apply to Selkirk College as an International Student. For more information on what to expect see the International Student Handbook.
Prepare to arrive
Before you depart:
1. Apply for a study permit (if necessary)
Ensure you have all the immigration documents (study permit, temporary resident visa) you need to enter Canada and study in Canada before you leave home.
Find out more on how to apply.
2. Plan where you will live
Apply early, student housing fills up quickly and homestay applications normally should be received at least one month before you plan to arrive. Selkirk College does not arrange or monitor for off-campus living.
3. Airport pick up services
There is an airport pickup and reception service available for students arriving at Castlegar Airport and living in Student Housing in Castlegar, Nelson or Off Campus Accommodation. This service costs $100 and includes:
1. airport pickup
2. help with grocery shopping
3. Setting up a bank account
If you would like this service, please fill the application and send it back to International Student Services Coordinator.
If you are arriving from Vancouver or Calgary, the Castlegar Airport is only a short 1 hour flight away. To learn more about the Castlegar Airport visit: www.wkrairport.ca
What do I bring?
Warm clothing for winter (In December, January and February temperatures are between -1 and -10 degrees Celsius).
Cool clothing for spring and summer (in July and August temperatures are between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius).
A valid passport or travel document.
Documents you will need to present to immigration upon arrival in Canada.
Credit card (if possible).
Enough money to pay for books, basic medical insurance, food, accommodation, and spending money while you are in Castlegar.
Power adapters for any electronic devices you bring. In Canada we use 120 volt power and have North American style outlets with 2 flat prongs and a round ground plug. Electronic devices from other countries will require an adapter in order to work in Canada.
Nelson to Castlegar: 44 km
Vancouver to Castlegar: 620 km via Crowsnest Pass Hwy 3
Kelowna to Castlegar: 309 km via Crowsnest Pass Hwy 3
Calgary to Castlegar: 622 km via Crowsnest Pass Hwy 3
What banks are available to me?
Castlegar: CIBC, Credit Union, Bank of Montreal
Nelson: RBC Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Credit Union, Scotia Bank
Western Union Castlegar
Western Union Nelson: Safeway and Walmart
Study and Work Permits
You are responsible for maintaining your immigration status and obeying Canadian immigration regulations while studying in Canada.
Check your immigration documents (study permit, work permit and / or temporary resident visa) to make sure they are accurate and up to date. Know when they expire and plan to renew them at least 2-3 months before. A valid permit allows you to you to remain in Canada while you study.
In most cases, you must get a study permit if you want to study at Selkirk College. Learn more about how to apply. If you apply through an agent, they will help you through this process.
If your course or program is six months or less, you will not need a study permit. If your study permit will expire before you plan to leave Canada you must extend it. Your application to extend must be received by Immigration before your previous study permit expires, otherwise you will lose status in Canada and you must stop studying immediately. If this happens, talk to The International Student Coordinator.
How to Renew or Extend your Study Permit
Apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta 60-120 days before your current study permit expires.
Apply online or by mail. To apply by mail, pick up an application form from the International Student Services Coordinator’s office.
Check the processing times when you apply; often it takes less time if you apply online.
Applications made online or mailed to Vegreville must be sent from a Canadian address.
2. Have the International Student Coordinator check your application before you submit it.
3. Once you get your new permit, see The International Student Coordinator so she can make a copy.
You will need to send or upload several documents with your application:
An official letter confirming your student status, and your program length.
Proof of funds. This could include a letter from your bank or employer, evidence of scholarships or other funding, or poof of sponsorship from an individual or institution.
Photocopy of your passport. A copy of your photo page, plus all stamps made in your passport for entries to Canada
Proof that you paid the application fee. If you apply online, you can pay with a credit card. You can also pay in cash at a bank by picking up the receipt form from the International Student Services Coordinator.
Expired Study Permits and Implied status:
If your permit expires while you are waiting for your application to be processed, you have “implied status” in Canada until you receive a response. It is important that you remain in Canada until you receive your new document. If you leave Canada, you may not be able to re-enter without a valid permit.
Transferring from another institution:
If you already have a valid study permit for post-secondary study in Canada, you may use that study permit to study at Selkirk College (unless otherwise noted on the study permit). As a post-secondary student you can transfer between programs and institutions (both public and private) without applying to change the conditions of your study permit.
If you plan to study at Selkirk College for less than 6 months, you can do so with a visitor record (also called a visitor permit). Even though a study permit is not required, you should consider applying for one. With a study permit it is easier to extend your stay in Canada if you decide to continue your studies past six months.
On-Campus: A work permit is not required if you have a valid study permit and you are enrolled full-time in a credit-granting program.
Off-Campus: Students in academic diploma programs may be authorized to work off campus with their study permit. It will indicate on your study permit if you are permitted to work off campus.
Co-op, internship and practicum: If you are required to work as an integral part of your studies or you are enrolled in a co-op program, you must apply for a co-op work permit.
Post-Graduation Work Permit: After you have completed all your program courses and received your final grades you have 90 days to apply for your post-graduation work permit. The length of the permit will depend on the length of your program.
To work off campus, you will need a valid off-campus work permit. If you qualify to work off campus, you will need to obtain the work permit before you begin your job. Visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada to find out more about the off-campus work permit and the post-graduation work permit.
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
Citizens of some countries require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada.
See www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp for a list of these countries.
If you are from a country that needs one, you should maintain a valid TRV while you are in Canada, but it is not mandatory.
A TRV may allow “single entry” or “multiple entry” and can only be obtained from a Canada visa office (consulate or embassy) outside of Canada.
All Selkirk College students must have medical insurance for the entire time they study through Selkirk College.
Basic Medical Insurance
All students must have basic medical insurance that covers them for the entire time they are studying at Selkirk College.
There are 2 kinds of Basic Medical Insurance International Students may have:
Private basic medical insurance:
Covers doctor visits, emergencies and hospital care in Canada. It can be purchased in Canada or in your home country before you arrive.
If purchased in your home country it must provide at least $1,000,000.00 CDN in coverage. If you did not purchase it in your home country, you must purchase it in Canada immediately.
If purchased in Canada, the International Student Services Coordinator can enrol you in Guard Me basic medical insurance before you arrive or upon arrival.
Cost: Guard me will cost $205 for the first three month (as of May 2016). To Learn more, see the International Student Services Coordinator.
Coverage: Information on what is covered by Guard Me basic medical insurance is available here.
BC MSP (BC Medical Services Plan):
BC MSP is basic medical insurance that all residents of BC have. It is also called a “care card”.
After you have been in British Columbia for three months, you can apply for BC MSP.
BC MSP gives you easier access to the BC medical system. Doctor visits, emergencies, and advice on medical issues are free.
See the International Student Services Coordinator to apply.
Cost: MSP costs $75.00 per month (as of January 2020), once you enrol you will be sent a bill each month.
NOTE: Your BC MSP will expire at the same time as your study permit. If you extend your study permit, you must extend your MSP coverage as well.
Visits to the dentist and dental costs are not covered by most Basic Medical Insurance. BC MSP does not cover any dental costs and some emergency dental expenses are covered by private basic medical insurance.
See the International Student Handbook for more information.
SCSU Extended Health and Dental Medical Insurance
All full time students (60% course load or more/14 weeks or longer) enrolled in University and College programs are required to have extended health and dental coverage. Every full time student, meeting the requirements, is automatically assessed the extended health dental coverage.
English Language Program International students will not be assessed the extended health and dental coverage.
English Language Program Domestic students will be assessed the extended health and dental coverage.
Cost: Extended medical and dental costs $279.00 per year and is automatically added to your tuition fees (cost as of January 2017). Even if you do not want this insurance, you must pay for it unless you can prove you already have the same coverage and opt out.
If you have any questions, please contact the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 250.365.1303 Castlegar 250.354.3239 Silver King 250.352.6601 Tenth St. or visit their website.
Travel Medical Insurance
Your basic and extended medical insurance will not cover you in the same way once you leave British Columbia. BC Medical (BC MSP) will not pay for all the health care costs you may incur when you travel outside the province, even if you stay in Canada. Read the Leaving BC Brochure to find out more information about what is covered and what is not when you leave the province.
You are strongly advised to purchase additional health insurance from a private insurer before you leave the province, whether you are going to another part of Canada or outside the country. Learn more at Medical Care Outside B.C.
Visiting the Doctor
To see a doctor in Canada you can go to a walk in clinic
or the hospital
if it is an emergency. Call 8-1-1
to speak to a nurse and get your health question answered free of charge. In the case of an emergency dial 9-1-1 to reach emergency services and request an ambulance.
Castlegar Hospital, Kootenay Lake Medical Clinic, Nelson Hospital, and Trail Hospital.