Self-Isolation Supports for International Students

How do I plan for self-isolation if I am travelling internationally?

If you're returning to Canada to continue your studies or are starting your studies in Canada, you must follow all health and travel guidelines in place at the time of your arrival. While circumstances may change, it’s important to plan for your arrival in Calgary by understanding current requirements, including mandatory self-isolation.  

Watch the video: IRCC New Requirements for People Entering Canada  

Review these important websites before you plan your travel for up-to-date requirements:  

The Government of Canada announced that effective November 21 all travellers entering Canada must submit their information through ArriveCAN electronically prior to boarding their flight. For more information, please visit here.

Mandatory 3-Night Hotel Stopover

Effective February 22, the Government of Canada is requiring travelers entering Canada to stay 3-nights in a designated hotel quarantine location, while awaiting their COVID-19 test results. For more information, please visit:

The Faculty of Graduate Studies, through the support of the Graduate Students' Association (GSA), is offering logistical and financial support to graduate students for their 3-night mandatory hotel stay. For more information about this support, please visit here. For questions, please contact

If you are a graduate student who has already booked or finished your hotel stay, the GSA has an emergency bursary available to help financially support you with the costs you incurred.

Depending on where you are entering Canada, you will need to meet the provincial and federal requirements demonstrating that you have a plan for your self-isolation once at your final destination in Canada.

  • If you are entering the province of Alberta directly from an international location, learn more about the Alberta Self-Isolation Plan requirements here:
  • If you are entering Alberta after arriving in another Canadian province, please review any requirements through that province. If you cannot easily locate that information online, contact the ISS advising team at

The University of Calgary has created a quarantine information webpage to help students know the steps of what to do before, during and after their arrival in Canada.

Accommodation Arrangements for Self-Isolation

Whether you're planning to live on-campus in Residence Services, or off-campus in a privately arranged apartment or house, you’ll need a plan if any self-isolation is required before you arrive in Canada.  

  • If you have a guaranteed spot in on-campus residence, visit the Residence Services website 
  • If you’re planning to live off-campus, you must arrange short term accommodation to meet any isolation requirements.

Learn more about options through our Housing page:

  1. Review the government requirements for isolation above to ensure you make arrangements that meet those requirements and your needs.
  2. Consider how you will arrange to meet needs such as:
    • Expenses: make sure you account for this possible expense when budgeting your funds for your first few weeks in Calgary (consider cost of accommodation and grocery or meal delivery)
    • Grocery and meal delivery: research your accommodation to determine whether these services are included; if not, learn more about local options on the Shopping page, also view the apps below for grocery and food delivery services.
    • Payment options: bring an international credit card (Visa or Mastercard) to allow for smooth online payment for any items that you need to buy remotely while in self-isolation 
    • Cell phone or internet access: you must go directly to your self-isolation accommodation, so you will not be able to purchase a Canadian cell phone right away. We recommend bringing a wifi-compatible laptop or cell phone (which you can keep on “airplane mode” to avoid charges) in order to access the internet while you are isolating. You’ll be able to access key UCalgary services through the website and email advising as long as your accommodation has wifi. Please visit our Cellphone page for more information.

In order to follow the Alberta Self-Isolation guidelines, you must travel directly from the airport to your self-isolation accommodation without stopping. The most-direct option would be to take a taxi or ride-share (Uber). Another option is to take public transit, depending on where your accommodation is located. If you’ve arranged hotel accommodation, check to see if they have a special taxi rate or a shuttle service provided.

Learn more about travelling from the airport to UCalgary campus or your accommodation here:

What can I do while self-isolating?

While completing your self-isolation period, it’s important that you monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms, take time to check in with family or friends back home, rest and relax after your travel, and start getting connected with UCalgary staff, students, and resources.

The information below can help you consider some activities or resources to help fill your time in self-isolation. Of course, along the way, if you have any questions or concerns, contact the friendly advisors at International Student Services (

Your physical and mental health and well-being is the most important. Before you travel, we recommend you review the helpful resources on the Alberta Health Services website so you know what symptoms to watch for and what to do if you have any minor or emergency concerns. In particular, please review:

Important & Emergency Contacts:

  • Stay in touch with your family or friends to let them know how you are doing
  • If you get symptoms, have non-emergency concerns about your health or questions about COVID, call Health Link 811.
  • If you are severely ill and in need of immediate medical attention call 911 and inform them that you may have COVID-19. 911 is the number for emergency services in Canada (ambulance, fire services, police).

Medical Insurance

Learn more about arranging medical insurance:

Wellness Services

Learn more about the services and support available for UCalgary students through Student Wellness Services:

If you want to get a “jump start” on some tasks you’ll eventually need to complete to help your smooth adjustment to life in Calgary, there are some tasks you can complete remotely or online. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with these tasks, that’s okay! You can complete them once you have finished your self-isolation time. Along the way, if you need help or have questions, our team is here for you.

  • Review the New International Student Checklist and consider submitting documents online for:
    • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    • Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)
  • Explore setting up a Canadian bank account remotely. Learn more here.
  • Explore setting up a Canadian cell phone plan remotely. Learn more here
  • Start your online search for a long-term off-campus accommodation (if needed). You can use this time to research what’s available and possibly schedule viewings for once you are done your self-isolation time. Do not rent accommodation without first viewing it and talking to the landlord/other roommates. Learn more here.
  • Visit the Welcome Centre website and talk to the student staff remotely with any questions. Learn more here.
  • Review and register for any orientation programming for new international students. Learn more here. There’s lots of content available online to work through at your own pace.

While you are in self-isolation your health and well-being is most-important. We also recommend you consider ways you can stay in touch with others remotely, fill your time with fun or relaxing personal hobbies, and prepare yourself for your studies at UCalgary. Some suggestions include:

  • Bring a favourite book, video/computer game, or light activity with you. Or, consider how to access these online.
  • Sign up for an International Student Mentor! They can help answer questions you may have about studies as a UCalgary student. Learn more here.
  • Review the ISS Events Calendar to check out upcoming remote events. Learn more here.
  • If you belong to a faith community or want to learn more about how to practice while in isolation, visit the Faith and Spirituality Centre website here.
  • Check out some virtual Zoom backgrounds from different locations on the UCalgary Campus:! It’s a fun way to feel connected to campus even if you’re studying remotely or off-campus. Learn more here.
  • Take a virtual tour here.
  • More information about exploring campus remotely will be added by August 12! Please check back.