September 21, 2020. Public Canadian universities, colleges and polytechnics usually have their main arrival of students in the first week of every September. The second most important arrival period for students is at the beginning of every January after the Christmas and New Year’s break.

This year of course is unlike any other. While most institutions did not offer in-person classes for the September 2020 intake, at this point it seems that more institutions are planning a “hybrid” intake for January 2021. What does “hybrid” mean.

The objective is to combine on-line learning along with learning in classes or laboratories or other field work. The idea recognizes the importance of direct in-person learning while giving institutions the flexibility to adjust to realities around the pandemic. In this way, institutions can shift back to more on on-line learning if necessary.

An understanding of what institutions are hoping to achieve can be seen from this announcement made by Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, the President of Saint Mary’s University today:

Undergraduate lectures will be delivered online primarily for first, second, and third-year courses and the goal is for every discipline to have opportunities for on-campus experiences, including small class discussion groups, experiential courses, labs, seminars and tutorials. There will also be opportunities for graduate students to meet on campus and in-person in small groups. Other in-person activities will be designed to allow students to experience more peer-to-peer learning, build community, and increase overall engagement. 

For any students unable or not comfortable moving forward with in-person experiences during the Winter 2021 term, online options will remain available.


https://news.smu.ca/news/2020/9/21/saint-marys-university-announces-mix-of-online-and-in-person-classes-for-winter-2021
A segment from an announcement by Dr. Peter Stoicheff, the President of the University of Saskatchewan, helps to explain how the hybrid model is intended to give institutions flexibility to make sure health is the top priority:

The safety and well-being of our campus communities is our number one priority, and we will continue to work closely with public health officials as we move through the pandemic. For continued campus safety, all staff currently working remotely will continue to work remotely, until further notice. This helps ensure the health and safety for those students, staff and faculty who are required to be on campus.

https://covid19.usask.ca/all.php?utm_source=Authorized+Recruitment+Partners&utm_campaign=5a7a7756a9-counsellorupdate_Sept2019_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_244db58083-5a7a7756a9-193656961&mc_cid=5a7a7756a9&mc_eid=9f715cd616#September

However, there still remains considerable uncertainty about when international students might be permitted to travel to Canada. So far there is no news about this from the Canadian government. 

However, there still remains considerable uncertainty about when international students might be permitted to travel to Canada. So far there is no news about this from the Canadian government. 


Students who have received a study permit before March 18, 2020 are permitted to travel to Canada but only under very strict conditions. For students in this category, consult closely with the institution that granted you admission to make sure you follow the rules. 


For almost all other international students, you must still await an official announcement explaining what are the conditions to permit other international students to travel to Canada for their studies. This blog will post updates as soon as they are announced. Subscribe to the blog to make sure you don’t miss it.


Questions can be sent to blog@cuac.ca

Dani Zaretsky

CUAC Global – Founder / Director