Student Information

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International Programs in West Vancouver in September 2020

We would like to give students and their families some illustrative examples and web-based resources to help better understand what life might be like in during September 2020 edition of West Vancouver’s international programs.

This information may change with short notice, so please bookmark this page and refer to it often.


All students must fill out the Student Arrival Details Form.

We are assuming that a 14 day quarantine will be required and are therefore recommending to all students to arrive on Monday, August 24, 2020.

You may have some questions about what to expect when you arrive to YVR Airport in terms of their COVID-19 protection practices, safety measures and International arrival expectations. Please click here for YVR website which covers these topics as well as other frequently asked questions.


Please regularly check our orientation webpage for latest updates on schedule.

The Government of Canada has put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act. The format of the Orientation for new students will depend on whether the Quarantine Act is still in force. Orientation may be in person, remote learning or a combination of both.  At this time, we are unable to predict specifics around Orientation.

Please refer to the following websites for more information.

The provincial government of British Columbia controls both the health and education sectors and has worked to have a comprehensive plan for the re-starting of schools. Please refer to the website below for more information on the current stage (Stage 3 of 5 as of June 1).

The first day of classes is still Tuesday, September 8. If the Quarantine Act is still in place, students should arrive on August 24 to start school on September 8.

Schools will accommodate late entries if students are unable to start on September 8, 2020. The later a student arrives at school the more impact it may have on their ability to adjust their course selections. Counsellors have programmed students based on their course selections provided in their applications.

Until there is a vaccine, education will continue to be delivered differently than before; classes may be in person, offered remotely or a combination of both. Students need to bring their own personal devices (computers). A tablet or phone will not be sufficient.

Ensuring children have time for outdoor play is important and recess is expected to continue. The Provincial Health Officer (PHO) has reassured students and parents that playgrounds are a safe environment as long as appropriate personal hygiene practices are observed before, during and after outdoor play.

Students will no longer be permitted to attend school when they have evidence of colds or fever. If students attend in this condition, they risk being sent home from school. Students who have allergies should be mindful of how to manage them. If a student chooses to return to their home country prematurely, we will end their program with West Vancouver Schools. Remote delivery of instruction will not be provided to repatriated students.

When students miss school, it will still be their responsibility to contact teachers and make up missed work or assignments.

There will be protocols in place at the schools regarding mandatory hand sanitizing, washing, and social distancing that students will be asked to follow. This may look different in each building, classroom, grade level and subject area.

Masks are personal choice. At this time students are neither encouraged nor discouraged from wearing masks in schools. Masks are not supplied by the school district to students.

Large scale ceremonies, school wide assemblies and activities will not proceed until our health authorities grant permission. For example, it is possible that in-person graduation parties or celebrations will not be allowed.

Please see some web resources below.


Language Limousine is the student arrival airport pickup service, available for new student arrivals. It is unknown at this time if the Language Limousine pickup service will available upon your arrival. Click here for a detailed notice of their pickup procedures. Note that service is available for the first time a student arrives to YVR only and is coordinated by the Homestay Coordinator (

Quarantine planning is a high priority for the International Programs team and plans or responsibilities may be updated weekly so please check this site often.

At present, there is too little information to know if quarantine programs will be still in place during August and September 2020. As of June 1, it is the responsibility of the student and their parents to make quarantine arrangements at their own cost. Arrival flight information, supervision plans, and all other information regarding isolation location must be in place and communicated with the International Programs staff prior to arrival.

If the student has been placed with our homestay program and a district homestay family is willing to accommodate the student in their home for a quarantine period, expectations must be clearly outlined and agreed on by all parties involved. Additional cost may also apply. A student’s quarantine family may or may not be the permanently assigned host family, depending on availability.

With 14 days of quarantine upon arrival you won’t be able to set up your personal cell phone. It is essential to bring an additional device, such as laptop or tablet to be able to communicate via email with our staff, as well as family and friends back in your home country.

Students will be very curious what to expect when they walk into their new homes when they arrive in Vancouver. Each homestay family may have their own rules and guidelines on how they choose to protect the health and safety of their homes and families.

Students will be expected to adhere to those rules outlined by their individual homestays.

Most host families strictly follow guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). When a student becomes part of a host family, it is expected that they will respect social distancing, practice good hygiene, and frequently wash their hands. They might also be asked to limit socialization with friends outside of the school building to avoid points of contact.

At the time of writing, students have a reduced curfew and are not authorized to go on or invite friends for sleepovers. Click here for more information on homestay rules.

There are several activities students can look forward to doing with their homestay families, despite the social distancing restrictions. Our homestays and all families have learned different ways to get creative in their homes when it comes to spending time together.

Games, movies, hikes and walks, in home workouts and lots of experimenting with cooking and baking are just a few of the ideas and feedback we have heard from students and families so far. It is exciting to hear about how our homestay families have gotten creative and used their time to make special memories with their students that they may not have had the time or chance to do otherwise.


All international students have medical insurance provided by either MSP or Guard.Me. Click here to learn more about medical insurance for international students.

In general, new, emergency, and medically necessary treatments are covered, but costs associated with self-isolation or quarantine are not. Please refer to the following links below for more details.

If you think you might have symptoms or need to see a doctor, please make sure to let your homestay parents know or review the following website for instructions provided by the government.

In BC, there are a lot of free resources, tools and services (in-person and virtual) provided by the government for youth to cope with the general anxiety or other mental health challenges arising from the COVID-19. Please click the following links for more information.

  • Foundry Virtual and Foundry North Shore: Free counselling, peer support, primary care and social services for youth aged 12-24
  • Teen Mindfulness by YMCA: Free six-seven week long programs online for young people aged 13-17 to cope with stress, worry and anxiety
  • WE Well-being: Free online resource for students, parents and educators to support social and emotional well-being
  • FamilySmart: Parent peer support and child & youth mental health navigation

For more mental wellness resources, please see Virtual Mental Health Supports During COVID-19.

Daily Life

Activities in and around Vancouver are starting a slow return to what we now are experiencing as “The New Normal”.  As each of the four phases will be carried out, it may be helpful to understand what daily life now looks like. Click here for a website which outlines what BC’s Restart Plan looks like as well as useful resources for information on travel, tourism, health and FAQ’s.

Our local bus company, Translink, has implemented a high level of daily cleaning measurements and is dedicated to ensuring their serviced comply with provincial health guidelines to protect customers and employees.

With the economy reopening and ridership increasing, wearing a mask is highly recommended as physical distancing is not always possible when using public transportation.

Cautionary measures and transit etiquette can be found here.

Cafes and restaurants are slowly in the process of re-opening with certain restrictions. What you might expect now when you go out to eat will be fewer tables available to allow for social distancing (two metres between each table). Many restaurants have installed barriers between tables, allowing for a safe distance between tables, servers and customers.

At present, there is a maximum allowance of 6 people dining together in a party. Most restaurants have continued to offer take out and delivery services.

Contact sports (soccer, football, rugby, wrestling, etc.) may not be held in 2020 because physical distancing is not possible. Conventions, live audience professional sports, or concerts in Vancouver will likely not be held in the 2020-2021 academic year. 

We have all been waiting patiently for grooming services to re-open! Now that hair salons, barber shops and some nail and spa services have returned to business, you can expect many changes to those personal services. Most salons have implemented mandatory mask use with the option to purchase a mask at the salon if you do not have one.  

Appointment booking times may require flexibility to allow for proper sanitation and lounge and waiting areas will likely be closed for use.

At this time, all recreation and fitness facilities are closed until further notice. This includes Spring and Summer programs such as tennis, dance, sports, summer camps, pool, ice rink and use of fitness spaces and equipments. Click here for the latest updates of West Vancouver Community Centre.

While grocery stores have continued to stay open as an essential service, it is only recently that retail stores and shopping malls are beginning to re-open as well. It is recommended to wear face masks, use hand sanitizers, and expect line-ups at your favorite shops. Each retail store seem to be handling merchandise in different ways. Some stores are allowing customers to try on or touch items while others are not. Different measures are being taken to ensure that touched items are properly sanitized. 

The following is a list of websites providing up to date information on popular tourist activities in the Greater Vancouver area:  

More tourist attractions and activities can be found on our Activities page.