International Students | Student Updates | Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates | UNB

International students

What you need to know

UNB has collected important federal and provincial information to provide all new and current international students considering travel to Canada / UNB for the Fall 2020 term.

During times of uncertainty and frequent changes in policies, we advise you to be flexible with your planning. Contact our International Student Services teams in Fredericton or Saint John if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to support you in every way we can.

Self-isolation plan

Every student coming to Canada in the fall must have an approved self-isolation plan in place. Complete this document and send it to Hillary Nguyen (hillary.nguyen@unb.ca) at UNB Fredericton or Ase Kelly Berg (akberg@unb.ca) at UNB Saint John for review. Once approved, you will receive a letter supporting your travel to UNB. Bring this letter, along with your self-isolation plan with you when travelling to Canada.

Self-isolation plan

Frequently asked questions

We've collected frequently asked questions about the fall term for international students on arrangements for alternate methods of learning, study permits, on-campus support services, and more.

COVID-19 updates from IRCC

The Canadian Bureau for International Education have issued a document aimed at answering many questions about immigration related to the COVID-19 pandemic for new and current international students. The COVID-19 Updates from IRCC document represents a summary of policy and procedure updates that has been created in cooperation with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Universities Canada, and Colleges & Institutes Canada.

Isolation and quarantine

If you have travelled outside Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days upon returning.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, use the Government of New Brunswick's self-assessment tool and call 811 if advised before calling or visiting any health facility. 

If you live in residence, stay in your room as much as possible and email resadmin@unb.ca or call 453-4800. You will be given assistance from residence staff.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool

Health coverage

If you have New Brunswick (NB) Medicare, you are covered the same as any NB resident. At the moment your health coverage We Speak Student (for undergraduate students) and Student VIP (for graduate students) remains in effect. 

Your first point of contact for up-to-date information on Coronavirus measures in New Brunswick should be New Brunswick Public Health.

Please review the frequently asked questions (FAQ) for more information on guard.me international health and travel insurance.

UNB Health Centre and Counselling Services

Fredericton campus: Students can access private online self-help 24/7 at: TAO (Therapist Assisted Online). You can sign up with your university email address, using enrollment key: Unb1785!

Saint John campus: Students can access mental health support at realcampus.ca/unb or call 1 877 390 REAL (7325) any time they need.

Health Centre: UNB FrederictonUNB Saint John

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

I have a health concern that is not related to COVID-19. Someone suggested I should go to the emergency room to see a doctor. Is there any other option?

If you have Medicare:

If I am not feeling well, how do I know if I have COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) have included:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia (a lung infection).

Remember that it can take up to 14 days to show symptoms after being infected with the virus.

If you are having symptoms and are unsure if they could be related to COVID-19, complete this online Self-Assessment.

  • If you think you may be having symptoms of COVID-19, call the telephone number 811 to arrange for testing in your area.

If you do become sick, monitor you symptoms at home. Follow your usual routine for when you are not feeling well:

  • Rest,
  • Drink plenty of water,
  • Take over-the-counter cold or flu medication,
  • Stay home and away from other people.

If I get sick and I'm alone at home, who can help me?

The thought of becoming ill when you are alone is scary. The best strategy is to do everything you can to stay healthy, and prevent exposure to the virus. This means:

  • Practice social distancing: Stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people.
    • When a person coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you will breathe in these droplets.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Always wash your hands before preparing, handling, serving, or eating food.
  • Practice coughing/sneezing etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
  • Eat a healthy well balanced diet, and drink plenty of water.
  • Get adequate sleep every night.
  • Get some exercise every day.

You can prepare yourself for the possibility of becoming sick by planning ahead. If you do get sick (with coughing/sneezing or a fever), it is important that you stay home and away from other people. You can prepare for this in several ways:

  • Refill prescriptions so that you do not have to go to a pharmacy if you do become ill.
  • Stock up on essentials and non-perishable supplies to have at home. Shop for extra supplies so that you do not need to go out if you are feeling unwell.
  • If you have small children, think about who you could help provide their care if needed. This could be a family member, friend, or neighbour you trust.
  • Communicate with family and friends via telephone or internet. Talk to them about a “buddy system” in which you agree to check in on each other and run essential errands if you become sick.

If I move to another Canadian province, how will I find a family doctor?

Each province has its own process for finding a new family doctor. Some provinces currently have a waitlist, and others do not.

Here are the ways to find a family doctor across the country:

I do not have a mask or gloves. Do I need to wear these to protect myself?

Medical face masks must be worn by healthcare workers, and are not recommended for members of the public. Wearing a face mask alone will not prevent spread of COVID-19, but it could be one way to reduce the spreading the virus from yourself to other people. The most important ways to protect yourself are to practice good hand hygiene and to continue social distancing.

The Public Health Agency of Canada advises: Wearing a non-medical mask, including homemade cloth masks, in the community has not been proven to protect the person wearing it. However, the use of a non-medical mask or facial covering can be an additional measure you can take to protect others around you. Note: Non-medical/cloth face masks should not be placed on young children under age 2.

If you choose to wear a non-medical face mask, remember to wash your hands before applying the mask and again immediately after removing the mask. A mask should fit closely on the face, and should never be shared with other people. Avoid touching a face mask while wearing it. A cloth mask should go directly into the washing machine after removing it. Masks can be laundered with other items using hot soapy water.

Gloves are not needed when you practice good hand hygiene. This means washing your hands for 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, after contact with any surfaces touched by other people.

  • Always wash your hands before and after touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • To wash your hands properly, follow these steps:
    • Wet your hands and apply liquid soap or clean bar soap,
    • Rub your hands vigorously together, scrubbing all skin surfaces,
    • Pay special attention to the areas around your nails and between your fingers,
    • Continue scrubbing for at least twenty seconds,
    • Rinse your hands and dry them well.

Practice social distancing (remaining at least 6 feet away from other people), and avoid any contact with people who are sick. Stay in your home as much as possible.

  • When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets.

Practice proper etiquette when coughing or sneezing

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your arms or tissue
  • Wash your hands and dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage.

Everything feels so uncertain right now, what can I do to manage this?

These events are unprecedented in our lifetimes and we are all learning how to handle it together. This means that all the things we used to count on or planning for are either now cancelled or uncertain. It is normal for this to make us feel anxious and worried. 

Despite all the things that are out of control around us, there is still lots we can do to keep ourselves healthy and well.

One way to cope with uncertainty is to focus on those things that you can control and can help make you feel better. For instance, develop a routine for each day that involves things that help you feel accomplished or make you feel good. This can be anything from baking, cleaning or working on the assignments you have right now.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by feelings of worry, there are several things you can do to help.  Grounding helps to calm and focus our mind when we are feeling anxious and distracted. Try using one of the basic grounding techniques from the list below.

  • Take ten slow breaths. Focus your attention fully on each breath, on the way in and on the way out. Say the number of the breath to yourself as you exhale.
  • If you wake during the night, remind yourself who you are, and where you are. Tell yourself who you are and where you are. What year is it, what age are you now? Look around the room and notice familiar objects and name them. Feel the bed you are lying on, the warmth or coolness of the air, and notice any sounds you hear.
  • If you are sitting, feel the chair under you and the weight of your body and legs pressing down onto it. Notice the pressure of the chair, or floor, or table against your body and limbs.
  • If you are lying down, feel the contact between your head, your body and your legs, as they touch the surface you are lying on. Starting from your head, notice how each part of your body feels, all the way down to your feet, on the soft or hard surface.
  • Stop and listen. Notice and name what sounds you can hear nearby. Start with the closest or loudest sounds. Gradually move your awareness of sounds outward, so you are focusing on what you can hear in the distance.

Another tip is to limit your exposure to news and social media. There is so much information coming at us daily about the impact of the Coronavirus. It’s not wrong to want to stay informed, but make sure you aren’t compulsively checking news sites and stick to reputable sites for your information.

If I leave Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic and return to Canada, will my insurance cover me if I get sick?

If a student was asymptomatic and unaware that they had contracted COVID-19 prior to departure and they become ill after their arrival in Canada, they are eligible for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy.

If the student was symptomatic or diagnosed with the illness prior to departure, certain pre-existing limitations may apply depending on the normal terms and conditions of their policy.

My New Brunswick Medicare card expires at the end of April. What do I do?

Medicare coverage is based on study permit, enrollment letter and your presence in NB. You will only be covered for COVID-19 emergency and high-level emergency during the pandemicas long as your Medicare is valid. If your coverage expires, you will NOT be covered by Medicare and you must purchase private insurance provided by guard.me.   This information has been approved by NB Medicare.

My application for Medicare was still being processed before the COVID-19 outbreak. What will this mean for my health insurance coverage?

The Medicare office is not able to process applications at this time as are in COVID-19 emergency state. Students who have not received Medicare coverage yet are advised to continue to purchase guard.me insurance for international Students.  This information has been approved by NB Medicare.

I do not have Medicare and I am concerned about medical expenses if I get sick in New Brunswick. Should I just go home now instead?

guard.me insurance will pay the cost of hospitalization if it is medically required.

Note: Your guard.me policy has a “home country exclusion.” This means that your guard.me policy does not cover you for medical expenses in your home country.  You will not be eligible to make claims or seek re-imbursements for expenses incurred in your home country.

What happens when my guard.me insurance expires at the end of April?

If you are going to be a registered student for summer, you will automatically be charged for UNB International Health Insurance with guard.me.  If you are still in New Brunswick and not taking classes during the summer term, you will have to purchase insurance directly from guard.me.  This policy has not changed from last year.

Will the guard.me insurance cover COVID-19?

“New and emergent conditions and medically necessary treatments are eligible” for coverage under guard.me. This includes fees for testing and treatment of COVID-19, or private-duty care by a qualified nurse if medically necessary and prescribed by a certified health professional.

Coverage for COVID-19 does not include costs associated with self-isolation or a mandated quarantine. Private accommodation and day-to-day expenses (food and non-emergency transportation) are not eligible for reimbursement.

Who can I contact if my question not listed here?

We recommend that you contact guard.me directly with your questions about coverage and review your guard.me policy. You should be ready to provide your name and guard.me policy number. 


I’m feeling lonely and isolated, what can I do?

The current reality means we are not allowed to physically connect with our friends and families outside of our immediate living circumstances. This obviously can make us feel lonely and isolated, especially if we live by ourselves. 

This means that we need to find alternate ways of connecting with others and that we make sure we do this everyday. This means connecting by voice, text or video. If you can, make sure you do connect using video with your friends and family each day, as it’s important for us to see the faces of others. You can even gather a group of your friends together at the same time for a group video chat to hang out, play games and laugh! You could even set standing appointments to get together everyday at a certain time. This could be great for you and your friends and give you all something to look forward to each day.

The internet also provides us with a variety of creative options for connecting with others while having fun. For instance, you can play a fun and simple version of Pictionary with your friends and family.

What are some mental health resources and support available to me?

For more tips and information on stress management, check out UNB Counselling Services and the UNB Health Centre websites, both include links to several resources for taking care of your mental health during uncertain times. 

If you find yourself needing additional support and feeling overwhelmed despite, you can schedule an appointment with UNB Counselling Services, by emailing counsel@unb.ca.   

If you require immediate attention, please call the CHIMO crisis line at 1-800-667-5005 or (506) 450-HELP (4357).

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.

Remember, even though we can’t get together physically, if we are creative and use the tools available to us, we can stay connected and socialize with our friends and family.

Check out UNB's Virtual Café in Teams to see a schedule of online groups and programs to help students connect and be well.


Where can I find new academic requirements?

Academic guidelines that include information on course withdrawal, course extension and credit/no-credit options can be found on the student page of the UNB COVID-19 website.  These guidelines include information around updated academic dates to complete the winter term, syllabus changes, exam information and other accommodations.

How do I adjust to studying in an online environment?

Please visit Strategies for learning using alternative delivery methods for more information on study strategies and resources that will help students succeed in a self-directed environment while learning remotely.

What is the status of current or future co-op placements?

Please contact your co-op or internship coordinator for all co-op placement and internship inquiries.

Who can answer questions relating to my Graduate Studies program or research?

Graduate Studies general questions around accessing research facilities and impact on the student’s program should be directed to the School of Graduate Studies at gradschl@unb.ca or the specific program officer for your field of study.

Where do I find COVID-19 Updates from IRCC?

The Canadian Bureau for International Education have issued a document aimed at answering many questions about immigration related to the COVID-19 pandemic for new and current international students. The COVID-19 Updates from IRCC document represents a summary of policy and procedure updates that has been created in cooperation with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Universities Canada, and Colleges & Institutes Canada.


With all the big changes, I really need a job. What programs exist for Summer employment?

  • Summer Work Integrated Learning Program (SWILP) *Undergraduate students only
  • SEED Program – Positions posted now! Every summer the provincial government has a summer employment program which is linked above. View and apply to the positions already posted. Keep in mind that employers may be trying to find ways to reconfigure these opportunities in order to maintain the physical distancing directive.
  • Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) - Apply to be considered for full or part-time job opportunities across the country through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP).
  • Research Affiliate Program - Work part-time as a research affiliate with the Government of Canada, while pursuing your studies. Conduct innovative research related to your degree or program, and gain experience with a federal department or agency.

Do you have any links for Job Search sites or other resource ideas I use to find work?

Job Boards: If these aren’t already part of your regular job search strategy, check the following links frequently to see the latest postings:

Government of Canada Job Bank - Search employment opportunities for students and youth with Federal, Provincial and Municipal Government

2020 Winter Fair for Summer Jobs & Graduating Students - In February CDEC hosted the above career fair. Access the listing of companies who attended this fair, go into each company and look to see if they have jobs posted on their websites and follow the instructions to apply.

Career Development and Employment Centre 

I’ve already graduated (or am about to graduate), are there any more opportunities for post grad International Students?

  • Facebook – If you have Facebook, you can do job search on there as well. If you look along the left-hand side of your screen, under explore, you should see a briefcase with the word jobs beside it. Make sure you have your location set for Fredericton and any company that posts a job on their page will show up here.

  • LinkedIn – If you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, we invite you to sta creating one. LinkedIn is the platform for connecting with companies and building your network of contacts. You will find many positions in the jobs section of LinkedIn. If you need help creating a profile, contact employment@unb.ca. You will find many videos on the internet and youtube.

  • Reach out to your past employers. You are already familiar with their company and they are familiar with you and your work ethic. Think about how you could assist them as they transition to providing their services online or through different means.

  • Reach out to Professors and Faculty. Often, professors and faculty hire students throughout the summer to assist them with research projects, summer camps and other types of positions. The best way to find out about these possible opportunities is to connect with your professors and faculty. Send them an email, let them know you are seeking summer employment, and ask if they have any opportunities.

I really feel I need more help on how to manage my employment/career options during this time – who can I talk to?

Student Services is here to support you during this time. Perhaps all of this has you curious about how you can help your community through volunteering or paid positions. Maybe you’re wondering what careers may be more in need during times of crisis or thinking about changing your career path. Maybe you just really need some income as your previous work has been negatively affected by the pandemic. The CDEC team is still here for one-on-one appointments to talk to you on the phone, work with you through email, or chat through a video call. Just email us at employment@unb.ca to book a time to connect with us.

CDEC is currently reaching out to our Employer connections to create a list of employment opportunities. We will post this list as soon as we possibly can. Check our Facebook page for updates.

Please contact the Financial Aid office for questions about any bursaries, scholarships, emergency funds/benefits as well as any government financial programs.

Where do I find COVID-19 Updates from IRCC?

The Canadian Bureau for International Education have issued a document aimed at answering many questions about immigration related to the COVID-19 pandemic for new and current international students. The COVID-19 Updates from IRCC document represents a summary of policy and procedure updates that has been created in cooperation with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Universities Canada, and Colleges & Institutes Canada.


How do I end my lease so I can go home? 

Leases can end in several ways:

  • A fixed term lease automatically ends at the end of the agreed period of time.
  • Week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year leases can be ended by either the landlord or the tenant by giving proper written notice.

Type of Lease

What is proper written notice?

Week-to-week

No later than the day rent is due one week before the tenant would like to end the lease.
For example: The lease began on Monday, March 2nd. The tenant wants to end the lease on Sunday, July 5th. The tenant must give notice no later than Monday, June 29th.

Month-to-month

No later than the day rent is due one month before the tenant would like to end the lease.
For example: The lease begins on February 1st. The tenant wants to end the lease on August 31st. The tenant must give notice no later than August 1st.

Year-to-year

No later than the day rent is due three months before the anniversary of the lease only.
For example: The lease begins on January 1, 2019. The earliest the tenant could end the lease is December 31, 2019. If the tenant decides to end the lease on December 31, 2019, he/she must give notice no later than October 1, 2019.

 

Please refer Services New Brunswick’s Residential Tenancies Tribunal for more details. 

I have lost my part time job and I do not have enough money for rent.  What does this mean for me?

On March 19, 2020, the Government of New Brunswick suspended the right of landlords under section 19 of the Residential Tenancies Act to require tenants to vacate for non-payment of rent, and the authority of residential tenancies officers under section 22 of that act to evict tenants for the same reason until May 31, 2020.

Where do I find more information about fall term at UNB?

Information on course delivery methods and answers to immigration frequently asked questions can be found on the fall term update.

My study permit will expire soon. How can I renew it?

Applying for renewal of immigration documents isn’t affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You are expected to keep your immigration documents valid, and you can apply online and upload all the required documents electronically. It is important that you apply for an extension of your study permit before your current study permit expires.

Currently, you will see very long processing times for study permit applications. However, if you apply for a study permit renewal before your current study permit expires, you will have implied status, which means that you can legally stay in Canada, continue your studies and even work under the same conditions as before until Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada has processed your application and made a decision about your situation.

If you need help with your study permit application, reach out to your campus immigration advisor. You an access a guide to help you with your extension of study permits.

When can I start working with a study permit?

You can start to work in Canada as soon as you begin your academic program if your study permit has the following notation:

May work 20 hours per week off campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Also, you can work full-time as soon as you have submitted an application for the PGWP, provided that:

  • you apply within 180 days of completing your degree,
  • your status in Canada is valid at the date when you submit your application,
  • you have maintained full-time status during your program in Canada AND
  • you have not exceed the number of working hours established by IRCC while studying in Canada

Important resources