Admissions Information FAQ

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Applying to SMUS

Is SMUS still accepting applications?

Yes, we are. Although we are at capacity in certain grades and programs, we continue to welcome applications for all grades. SMUS admissions is set up to process applications and conduct testing remotely. Start your application using our online application form.

What is the latest possible date that we can make our enrolment decision?

Enrolment decisions may be extended on a case-by-case basis. For those requiring a study permit, the earlier the better. Please email Alexis Lang Lunn, Director of Admissions at [email protected] to discuss your personal circumstances.

What if I sign the enrolment contract and my financial circumstances drastically change? Can I get the deposit and any money paid toward tuition back?

SMUS is looking at all options to assist families.

What if we enroll and then my child is unable to actually begin or complete the school year. Will we get a refund?

Depending on the reason and date of withdrawal request, a prorated refund may be considered.

Can I pay international student tuition in installments?

For an international student, payment is always in full. For circumstances related to COVID-19, please contact Alexis Lang Lunn, Director of Admissions by email at [email protected] to discuss your personal circumstances.

Travel, Study Permits and Health Insurance

Can students travel by themselves to Canada?

Yes, students may travel unaccompanied to Canada. Unaccompanied minor policies vary by airline. Please check the policy specific to the airline your child will be flying with for more information. Read more about minor children travelling to Canada on the Government of Canada website. We will ensure all students reach their quarantine hotel safely.

My child will be travelling alone. Will there be a bus picking up students from Victoria International Airport and taking them to their quarantine hotel? 

Arrangements will be made by the school for new students and their families to transfer you from Victoria International Airport (YYJ) to your designated quarantine hotel. Returning students are advised that the safest method of travel is by taxi from the airport to your designated quarantine hotel. The hotel will be aware of your arrival and will advise you of the necessary quarantine procedures.

How do students get from the Vancouver International Airport to Victoria?

Please book connecting flights through Vancouver International Airport (YVR) through to Victoria International Airport (YYJ). Please allow a minimum of 3 hours between your flights to cross the Canadian border. You will need to tell the Canadian border agent that you have a connecting flight to Victoria and that Victoria is your final destination (where you will quarantine, if you are an international traveller). Please also make sure that your flights are flexible/changeable.

Can we travel to Victoria by ferry after arriving at the Vancouver International Airport?

We request that all families fly into Victoria International Airport. The school cannot arrange transportation between the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), the ferry and the quarantine hotels.

Will I be able to get a visa or study permit for my child, as I hear some governments are suspending this process?

While we understand that other countries, such as the United States have suspended processing F1 (study) visas for students, Canadian embassies and consulates around the world continue to process study permits for students coming to Canada this fall. They have, however, advised families to start the process as soon as possible, as delays should be expected. Please visit the Government of Canada website for further details.

My child doesn’t have a study permit yet. When can they start school?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is responsible for issuing study permits, so we are actively watching their communications to help provide SMUS families with up-to-date information to answer this question. We are expecting that some students will arrive later than September 10 and, as such, we have restructured our three-term linear school schedule to be six shorter terms in order to accommodate these students – even up to December or January without adversely affecting their school year.

I'm travelling from the US but do not have my study permit yet, can I still attend SMUS in September?

Currently the advice from IRCC is that you are exempt from Government of Canada travel restrictions if you bring a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit, if you’re coming from the United States. If you are coming from another country, you should bring a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020. Please note regulations are changing quickly and you should continue to monitor the Government of Canada information.

We started the study permit process but visa offices are closed due to COVID-19. Is there anything we can do when they open to help the process move faster?

The latest communication from the Government of Canada indicates that to ensure permits are processed as quickly as possible, they will be providing priority study permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online. We encourage families to complete the application process as soon as possible. Please note that you are only permitted to submit online study permit applications at this time; paper applications are not currently accepted. If you are unable to give your biometrics due to a service disruption in your country, the IRCC is giving applicants an extension until biometric collection sites reopen.

If the issuance of a study permit is delayed or we cannot leave the country, can a student learn online and then start physically at the school in January 2021?

We understand the need for flexibility and as such are planning for every possible contingency in this regard. Our commitment remains to the continuity of learning for all our students during the period of disruption.

When does the health insurance plan start?

The health insurance we purchase on the student’s behalf goes into effect on August 1, 2020.

Quarantine and Quarantine Accommodation

Are students allowed to stay alone at the hotel?

Yes, students who are travelling alone will be able to quarantine alone at the Hilton DoubleTree hotel. There will be SMUS staff available to them at all times.

Can students quarantine in a room with parents and/or siblings?

Yes, family members can quarantine together in the same room.

Can my child quarantine with another SMUS student in the same hotel room?

No, students are not able to quarantine with other students unless they are siblings.

Can students leave the hotel or their hotel room for food or drink, or for fresh air?

During the period of quarantine, students and families will not be able to leave their hotel room. Information about the Quarantine Act can be found on the Government of British Columbia and Government of Canada websites.

What portion of the hotel accommodation will SMUS be covering?

SMUS will be covering up to CAD $1,000 of the accommodation costs. We ask that you please keep your hotel receipts.

If we choose a different hotel than recommended, will we still receive $1,000 to assist?

Yes, this subsidy can be used to cover up to CAD $1,000 for the hotel or vacation rental of your choice.

Can we quarantine in a friend’s home instead of a designated hotel?

Yes, you may self-isolate at any place of your choosing so long as you and they are complying with the Quarantine Act.

Can students quarantine in Vancouver?

Most students will quarantine in Victoria but if a student is accompanied by a parent, the family can choose to quarantine in Vancouver.

If we quarantine for 14 days in Vancouver, can we travel to Victoria by ferry?

Yes, once the quarantine period is over you can travel to Victoria by ferry.

Will parents or siblings be allowed to enter SMUS campus after quarantine?

Yes, parents and siblings will be allowed on campus to assist students with moving into boarding.

What is the plan if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed during the quarantine period?

Those affected will continue to be isolated and we will adhere to Public Health guidelines.

If we arrive late, can we still participate in the SMUS quarantine program at the hotel for two weeks?

Families that are arriving after August 31 will have to make their own self-isolation arrangements, but we are exploring the possibility of a second quarantine period for families that are arriving later.

Orientation and Getting Started

Is the orientation process, beginning August 25, mandatory for all new boarding students?

Yes, all new students are expected to take part in our virtual orientation program.

Will there be activities for boarding students to do during orientation?

Yes, we are planning for activities that will be fun and engaging, while aligning with the Government of British Columbia’s health guidelines.

If I am not travelling with my child, how can we purchase school uniforms and accessories? 

All students must order their uniform online beginning on August 17. Instructions will be given at that time to help with this process. If changes are required after arrival, the uniform shop will be scheduling appointments in-person beginning on September 8.

Will students be able to open a bank account and a phone plan on their own in Canada? 

Yes. Details are available on the appropriate Beginning Life as a Boarding Student page on our website.

During The School Year

If the school needs to move to online learning during the school year, will boarding students return home?

If that were to happen, our plan is to keep boarding students on campus.

Will the boarding houses remain open on long weekends and during holidays?

Yes, SMUS will be keeping our boarding houses open throughout long weekends and holidays.

Where will students stay during winter break if they can’t travel home or if parents can’t travel to Canada?

The school is considering a number of options, but we are looking at keeping our boarding houses open through the holidays if there are travel restrictions in place in December.

Will there be a reduction in fees due to students not being able to attend in person?

Fees will be prorated after October 10, 2020 for students who, due to travel restrictions, are unable to join us at the start of the school year.

Contact Information

If you have questions about admissions at SMUS at this time, please contact Alexis Lang Lunn, Director of Admissions at [email protected].