ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IMPACTED BY COVID-19

Last updated: October 7, 2020

If you’ve been impacted, directly or indirectly, by COVID-19, email student_support@sfu.ca to arrange a phone call, virtual meeting, or email follow-up with a Student Services case manager. Your case manager will work with you to coordinate appropriate supports and/or solutions. Examples of concerns or circumstances could include:

  • feeling unwell
  • food and/or housing insecurity
  • difficulty coping with stress or anxiety
  • difficulties engaging academically and/or virtually
  • staying socially connected when physically distant
  • safety-related concerns 

We have also included some general information about support options for international students below. In addition to the information on this page, please refer to the SFU COVID-19 resources for students website for a full list of resources for SFU students.

View Frequently Asked Questions for:

Financial support and food

Social and cultural support

Mental health and well-being

Resources for LGBTQIA2S+ students from international pathways

FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND FOOD

Where can I find information about financial support available to international students at SFU during COVID-19?

If you’ve been impacted, directly or indirectly, by COVID-19, email student_support@sfu.ca to arrange a phone call, virtual meeting, or email follow-up with a Student Services case manager. Your case manager will work with you to coordinate appropriate supports and/or solutions. Examples of concerns or circumstances could include:

  • feeling unwell
  • food and/or housing insecurity
  • difficulty coping with stress or anxiety
  • difficulties engaging academically and/or virtually
  • staying socially connected when physically distant
  • safety-related concerns 
You may also refer to the following resources:

Are international students eligible for any assistance from the Canadian government, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)? Where can I find information about government support?

International students can qualify for the CERB as well as certain other supports from the Canadian government if they meet all the eligibility requirements. The CERB has now ended; however, it is possible to apply retroactively if you were eligible.

For more information, please refer to the following resources:

Are international students eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)? Where can I find information about this?

Most international students were not eligible for the CESB. However, applications for this benefit are now closed.

Are international students eligible for the BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS)? Where can I find information about this?

Although international students were eligible for the BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) if they met all the eligibility requirements, this program has now ended as of August 31, 2020. 

For information on changes to BC's tenancy laws during COVID-19 (including information on your rights and responsibilities if you have been unable to pay rent) please see the BC Government website. You may also contact TRAC Tenants Resource and Advisory Centre for guidance relating to your rights as a tenant.

How can I get help to meet my day-to-day needs, such as food?

  • If you are a student at SFU facing the challenge of meeting your daily needs on a reduced income, the SFU Food Hub can help you with free groceries. Visit the SFU Food Hub website for details on how to access this resource.
  • Fraser International College (FIC) operates a small food pantry (Ahmed's Pantry) which provides food at no cost to SFU and FIC students in need. The pantry is located in Room 2200 of Discovery 1, and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-3pm.
  • Embark Sustainability's Food Rescue Program distributes produce to the University community on a weekly basis, for free or by donation. Visit the Embark website for details, including distribution schedule.
  • The SFU Farm-to-Campus Initiative at the SFU Surrey campus is a low-cost weekly subscription service that provides students with fresh, local produce. Register weekly and pay what you can ($3-5) for a bag of seasonal veggies. Visit the Farm-to-Campus Initiative website for details.

  • Undergraduate students: visit the SFSS website for information about their food bank program, as well as links to other community resources.
  • Graduate students: visit the GSS website for information about their emergency grocery card program and other supports.

How can I get support with finding employment?

Visit SFU Career Services' Employment and Career Support 2020 page for an overview of available resources, including information on how to book a phone or Zoom appointment with an SFU Career Educator.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL SUPPORT

How can I connect socially with other students while physical distancing or self-isolating?

ISS is offering a number of online events and opportunities to help you safely connect with your peers. See our Events and Programs page for information.

Students in quarantine may also join the Quarantine Student Connection by guard.meCARES - this is a professionally monitored, weekly student support group that offers a safe online environment for students to connect with each other during mandatory isolation.

You can also visit SFU's Community Connection page for other events being offered by the SFU community.

I'm a new international undergraduate student at SFU. How can I meet people and make friends?

Here are a few suggestions:

I'm a new international graduate student at SFU. How can I start connecting with my peers?

Here are a few suggestions:

Students with families:    

MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting my mental health. How can I access support?

What online resources are available to help me cope with stress?

SFU's Health and Counselling Services (HCS) unit has put together a list of Strategies to Manage Stress. You can also find many helpful resources on the HCS website.

RESOURCES FOR LGBTQS+ STUDENTS FROM INTERNATIONAL PATHWAYS

Are there any support and resources available for LGBTQIA2S+ students from international pathways?

Please refer to the following resources: