COVID-19: Information for International Students

Prepare for your journey to Lethbridge College

We care about you, your student experience, and success!

We look forward to welcoming you to southern Alberta, Canada and to Lethbridge College. This pre-arrival information provides valuable details to help you prepare for your exciting journey to Lethbridge College. If there is anything we have not covered on this page or through the following links, or if you have any questions, please contact us.

New Student Orientation and Welcome

Welcome to Lethbridge College!

Fall 2020 student orientation will be on Tuesday, September 8 and will be online. Information will come in the following days. In the meantime, be sure to visit our new student checklist page where you can download a printable checklist to help make sure your semester start goes as smoothly as possible.

Whether you are new to Lethbridge College or have been with us for a while, please take a moment to explore resources available to you in the New Student Orientation Module in your Canvas account before beginning your classes on September 9th. You will learn about Lethbridge College, make new friends, and be provided with information about the following:

  • Classroom expectations and Canadian college culture
  • Academic conduct
  • Study permits, health insurance, etc.
  • and much more! 

If you would like to view our campus in advance, visit our Google Virtual Tour any time and day of the year. 

More information

If you have questions regarding arriving in Canada and transitioning into life in Lethbridge, please see our Arriving in Canada page, download our International Students Arrival Guide, and/or contact us. For information on how to get to Lethbridge and Lethbridge College (from Calgary Airport or Lethbridge Airport), download our Arrival to Lethbridge guide.

    About Lethbridge

    About Lethbridge

    Lethbridge is a safe, vibrant community of more than 100,000 people. Lethbridge is currently the third-largest city in Alberta. It is large enough to provide many amenities found in larger centres – upscale shopping, dining, and live local entertainment – but small enough to remain a safe, secure place to live.

    Set against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the location puts you in the heart of a four-season playground. Running and hiking trails, parks, and nature reserves are all within minutes of our campus while the mountains are just a short two-hour drive away.

    For a closer look at Lethbridge and its amenities, visit the City of Lethbridge and Explore Southwest Alberta.

    What is a coulee?

    You are going to hear this word a lot while in Lethbridge. It refers to a steep-sided, V-shaped valley or ravine. Coulees are distinct formations created by glacial erosion or continued wind and water erosion. Coulees offer many beautiful walking paths and distinct views, and they are home to local wildlife like the whitetail deer.

    What is a Chinook?

    This is yet another word unique to southern Alberta. A Chinook is a warm, west wind that predominates the weather patterns of the region. It is the result of westerly winds from the Pacific Ocean losing moisture over the Rocky Mountains. The winds descend as warm, dry gusts onto the prairies.

    Chinook is a Blackfoot word that means "snow eater." With warm wind comes increased temperatures and a Chinook is often a welcome reprieve from the snow and ice of winter.

    Travel to and living in Lethbridge

    Travel to and living in Lethbridge

    Below you will find important information about housing in Lethbridge. In addition to arranging your housing and travel, it is important to make preparations for living in Lethbridge. Please review the information through the following links before you arrive so that you are prepared. 

    1. Recorded pre-arrival webinar for international students: This recording of our 2018 webinar provides valuable, detailed information on travel to Lethbridge; housing (campus residence; living with a family; city housing); childcare needs; immigration; health care and health insurance; banking; and Lethbridge College services.
    2. Lethbridge Newcomer’s Guide: Here you will find useful information about the city of Lethbridge including living here, getting around the city, leisure and much more.
    Housing

    Housing

    Now that you have successfully been accepted into a program and have your Canadian Study Permit, the next step is to consider possible housing options. It is important to think about what type of living arrangement would fulfill your needs as a student.

    Note: all costs are estimates and subject to change

    1. On-campus housing

    The most effective way to get connected to Lethbridge College is by living on campus.

    Benefits:

    • simple to get to and from classes
    • quick access to campus services (cafeteria, library, and Learning Café, etc.)
    • helpful in acquiring healthy study skills by living with other students
    • easy to meet other college students and enjoy campus life

    Estimated costs per month (vary depending on accommodation selected and availability):

    • $660 - $960

    How to apply: It is your responsibility to apply directly to Residence. You must submit an application early to reserve a place as space and accommodation choice can be limited. Please refer to the Residence Life site for exact housing prices, floor plans, and application requirements. 

    2. Off-campus housing  

    Lethbridge offers several options for off-campus housing. If you have access to transportation or if you are willing to use the public transportation system, off-campus housing may be a good choice for you. Note that addresses will often indicate West, North, or South. The college is located on the South side of the city.

    Benefits:

    • provides independent living
    • offers the opportunity to live within the larger community 

    Estimated costs per month (can vary depending on accommodation):

    • $400 - $600 (private room in a house)
    • $650 - $900 (one-bedroom suite in a house)
    • $700 - $1,000 (apartment)

    How to apply: A good place to look for off-campus housing is online. Some good sites are www.kijiji.ca, Facebook, and property management sites. Check our pre-arrival webinar slides for information on your rights as a renter as well as the expectations and responsibilities of landlords. 

    3. Homestay  

    Canada Homestay Network (CHN) will connect you with a Canadian family in our Lethbridge community and you will be supported throughout your time of study in a new country.

    Benefits:

    • private bedroom in a house
    • includes three meals a day
    • offers excellent language immersion opportunities
    • provides a safe family-style setting and support, offering a relationship with a family who cares how you are doing
    • makes it easy to have true cultural immersion and Canadian experiences
    • is supported by the Canadian Homestay Network team – you can ask a question and receive quick responses 24 hours/day, seven days/week

    Estimated costs per month:

    • $800/month (does not include the registration fee and deposit)

    How to apply: Contact Canadian Homestay Network at lethbridgeinfo@canadahomestaynetwork.ca.

    Medical Insurance

    Why am I required to have medical insurance?

    Medical and dental treatments in Canada are not free. All Lethbridge College international students must have adequate insurance to cover the costs of any medical care or accidents while they are in Canada.

    What kind of healthcare coverage is required?

    International students may be eligible for Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) coverage. You will need to apply for AHCIP coverage upon arriving in Canada.

    Students who have a 12-month study permit and who will reside in Alberta for 12 months or more are eligible for AHCIP coverage.

    Students with study permits valid for more than three months, but less than 12 months, may be eligible for AHCIP coverage if their application is accompanied by a letter from the student confirming their intent to reside in Alberta for at least 12 months.

    If your application is received within three months of entry into Alberta, coverage is effective on the date of either entry into Alberta or the date signed on the study permit, whichever is later.

    If you are studying in Canada for less than 12 months, you must purchase a private health insurance plan through an insurance company or insurance agent in your home country or in Canada. If you will be applying for medical insurance in Canada, you must do so within five days of arriving in Canada. If you have been in Canada for more than five days, you must contact Broker Advantage at 1-877-294-1810.

    Please note that you will have to pay upfront for medical services and then submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement.

    Note: We do not recommend a particular plan or agent. We advise you to talk with two or three insurance agents and compare prices and services before making a decision on which plan to buy.

    What does AHCIP cover?

    For a full list of the services covered by AHCIP please visit their website.

    For services and associated medical costs that are not covered by AHCIP, please view the following webpage.

    How do I apply for AHCIP?

    1. Download the AHCIP application form.
    2. Apply in person at a registry office.

    Note: If you plan to apply in person, be sure to bring a piece of mail along with your current address in Alberta listed. Below are some of the registry offices located near the college where you can apply in person for AHCIP.

    Alberta Motor Association (AMA), Lethbridge
    120 Scenic Drive S.
    Lethbridge, AB T1J 4R4
    403-328-1181

    Astro Registry Services
    #100 542 - 7 Street S.
    Lethbridge, AB T1J 2H1
    403-320-6700

    Lethbridge Vehicle Licensing and Registry Ltd.
    Unit 109 2045 Mayor Magrath Drive S.
    Lethbridge, AB T1K 2S2
    403-329-1193

    Western Licence and Transportation Services Ltd.
    1328 Pacific Palisades Mayor Magrath Drive S.
    Lethbridge, AB T1K 2R2
    403-320-1030

    Lethbridge College Students’ Association Health and Dental Plan

    For costs not covered by AHCIP or medical insurance, Lethbridge College offers a health and dental plan. Students will automatically be enrolled in the Lethbridge College Students’ Association Health and Dental Plan if they are enrolled in nine or more credits for a regular term. Students do have the option to opt out of this coverage if they have alternate health coverage or insurance in place over and above what is required.

     

    Immigration-related information

    You are solely responsible for maintaining your documents, immigration status, and obeying immigration regulations while in Canada.

    What immigration documents are required to study at Lethbridge College?

    There are three main categories of people in Canada: Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents. International students, foreign workers, and visitors are all considered temporary residents. Most international students studying at Lethbridge College require the following documents:

    1. Passport: If your passport will expire while you are in Canada, all of your immigration documents, your Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) and your Social Insurance Number (SIN) will typically expire at the same time. In most cases, you can only apply to extend these documents after you obtain a new passport. Passport applications can take up to three months, so apply for a new passport as soon as possible to avoid interruption to your studies.
    2. Study permit: If you are an international student, a valid study permit is required to study in Canada. You will not be required to obtain a study permit if you are accepted to a program that is less than six months in duration (e.g. one-term exchange students) and you will complete the program by the end of your original stay in Canada.
    3. Temporary resident visa (TRV): A temporary resident visa (TRV) is used only for entry into Canada. Only citizens of certain countries are required to obtain a TRV. It is strongly recommended that you maintain a valid TRV for the duration of your studies.

    Are you an international student coming to Lethbridge College from a Canadian high school?

    If you are an international student and are admitted to Lethbridge College from a secondary school in Canada, you must obtain a new study permit prior to starting classes at Lethbridge College. Your study permit for studying in secondary schools does not allow you to study at the post-secondary level. You can obtain a new study permit by following the same process as you would to extend your study permit.

    You must apply to change your permit as soon as possible and make sure you have a new study permit before you attend Lethbridge College. To expedite this process and ensure that you are able to obtain the necessary permit before classes begin, we urge you to apply to your program of choice early. If you are in Canada, you can apply to renew your study permit online. If you will not be in Canada in time to apply to change your study permit’s conditions, contact a regulated Canadian immigration consultant.

    If you already have a valid study permit for post-secondary study in Canada, you can use that permit to study at Lethbridge College. As a post-secondary student, you can transfer between programs of study and institutions without applying for a change to the conditions of your study permit.

    If you would like to bring your family to Canada with you or if you would like to invite them to visit, ensure that you have the proper documentation.

    Inviting your family to visit you in Canada

    If you have a family member (such as a parent) who would like to come to Canada temporarily, perhaps for your graduation, they may require a temporary resident visa (TRV). You can provide a document to assist them with their TRV application. This letter is referred to as a Letter of Invitation. See IRCC’s website for further information regarding the Letter of Invitation.

    Bringing your family to live with you in Canada

    It may be possible for you to bring your family members to come live with you in Canada for the duration of your studies. In most cases, “family” includes your spouse, common-law/conjugal partner, and/or dependent children. Family members typically apply to come initially as visitors. For further information about bringing your family to Canada while you study, please contact IRCC.

    Visas for family members

    Depending on your country of citizenship, your family members may need to apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) that will allow them to travel to Canada. If your family members are accompanying you to Canada, they can either apply at the same time as you or join you after you have arrived.

    To ensure that your family members travelling without you are admitted to Canada as visitors for the length of your study permit, be sure to send them with copies of your:

    • TRV (if applicable)
    • Passport
    • study permit

    They may be asked to present these documents at the Canadian port of entry.

    Applying for documents together as a family

    On many IRCC forms, there is an option to complete only one application for an entire family. Accompanying spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders can typically apply for open-work permits to last for the duration of their student partner’s study permit.

    When the study permit holder extends his/her study permit using the online MyCIC system, applications for new, or extension of, documents of accompanying spouses and all dependents can be made at the same time. There will be a fee for each document requested.

    Additional documents

    Some Canadian visa offices have additional requirements. Please check the website of the specific visa office you will be submitting your documents to and look for “Visa Office Specific Instructions” to clarify any further requirements.

    Send any additional documents to your family members so that they can present the documents right away to the Canadian visa office through which they will be applying. If your family does not need to apply for a visa, they should bring these documents to present at the border if necessary. Be sure to make and keep copies of these documents for yourself.

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)