Helping International Students Handle Delays & Closures
Getting your immigration documents might seem daunting now, but universities are adjusting their deadlines.
Like many universities across Canada, Concordia University in Montreal welcomes thousands of international students every year. Now that the COVID-19 epidemic has closed down government and educational institutions all over the world, many prospective students are left wondering how to proceed with planning their first year at university. Concordia has published a frequently asked questions page for students, which is updated regularly, to address common questions about how the university is responding to the crisis.
Common questions from international students
International students in particular are faced with a daunting set of circumstances. They need to submit immigration papers, final grades from their home institutions, plan their travel, and secure housing — all from their home countries, thousands of kilometers away. Questions like, 'Will I be allowed to travel in tem to start the term?' and 'Will my study permit be ready in time?' are causing anxiety for international students, on top of the existing worries that surround a global pandemic.
Immigration and visa documents
At Concordia University, the admissions and enrolment team are doing their best to accommodate the delays and closures that affect international students. Students who plan to start their classes in September 2020 can submit their immigration documents and final grades through the summer months.
If students still haven't succeeded in securing their immigration documentation by August, they have the option of deferring their first semester to January 2020. To do this, students may email the admissions officer responsible for their file (their contact information is at the bottom of the offer letter), and request a deferral.
English language proficiency tests are another hurdle for many international students. As health concerns have closed testing centres all over the world, many students are left wondering how they can take these required tests before starting their university careers. In light of this situation, Concordia is now accepting results from the Duolingo online English test, which students can access from home.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing crisis. Most institutions, including Concordia University, plan to hold their Fall 2020 classes in-person. However, this plan may change as it becomes clear how best to keep our communities safe. All admitted students will be kept up to date on changes as they happen, via email.
Above all, students should rest assured that we are all in this together. Universities across Canada are working hard to make sure that students will have access to classes by the safest means possible. By standing together and remaining patient, we will endure this challenging time.