Student Guide and Resources
NIC prepared extensive information to assist you navigate your academic life, prepare for living in Vancouver and have a better understanding of Canadian culture. Access these resources through the topics below:
Health and Safety
Your safety is of utmost importance to us. The Vancouver Police Department has a wide range of tips for staying safe. https://vpd.ca/police/crime-prevention/for-individuals/student-safety.html Download Safety Tips for students provided from the Vancouver Police Department
Important Phone Numbers
If you have any concerns about your safety call one of the important numbers below.
- Ambulance, Fire, Police – 911
- Crisis Line – 604.872.3311 (this is a 24 hour emergency line)
- S.A.F.E.R – 604.879.9251 (confidential line for depression, suicide)
- Violence Against Women Crisis Line – 604.255.6344
- Women’s Crisis Line – 604.872.8212
- Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/ for medical and mental health emergency services
In British Columbia, basic health care coverage is provided by a provincial public health care plan.
This system makes it possible for all British Columbia residents to have access to necessary services such as hospital visits and doctor appointments without sacrificing personal funds to pay hefty medical bills. As a student with a study permit for at least one year, you are eligible to receive these benefits. Please see the next section for information about the Medical Service Plan and B.C.’s health-care coverage.
Before health-care coverage begins, there is a wait period consisting of the balance of the month that residency is established, plus two months. International students should carry private insurance until this wait period ends and provincial coverage begins.
Because of this wait period, we suggest students to enroll in a Private Health Insurance plan for at least 90 months. The plan New Image College offers to its students is from Guard.me.
This plan will cover if you have a new sickness or injury that first occurs AFTER the start date of your policy, your policy will cover these expenses:
They will pay for doctor’s visits to treat a new emergent condition in a doctor’s office or clinic. They will pay the doctor when you need to go to the Emergency Room.
When the doctor says you need to go to the hospital, or you need emergent medical care outside the regular clinic or office hours, they will pay for treatment at an Emergency Room (ER) at the Hospital.
Ambulance – When you are unable to get to a hospital for an emergent condition, they will pay for an ambulance to take you to and from a hospital or medical clinic.
Taxi – When you are unable to get to a hospital for an emergent condition, they will pay for a taxi fare to take you to and from a hospital or medical clinic.
When the doctor says you need minor tests (such as lab work, x-rays, or ultrasounds) to diagnose your new condition, they will pay for these tests. FOR MAJOR TESTS SUCH AS “CAT” OR “CT SCANS” AND “MRI’S” YOU MUST CALL THE ASSISTANCE LINE FIRST BEFORE YOU HAVE THE TESTS is DONE.
If you need to stay in the hospital, they will pay for all associated inpatient costs.
Coverage for dental work for the relief of acute pain and suffering.
If you are hit in the mouth or are in an accident and your own teeth are damaged, they will pay to repair or replace those teeth.
If you go to a doctor who gives you a prescription to go to the drug store to buy medicine from the pharmacist, they will pay for the medicine up to a maximum 30-day supply. We will NOT pay for refills of medication visits.
Exclusions – what is not covered
- Treatment or medication to maintain a chronic, ongoing condition (such as high blood pressure)
- Unstable Pre-existing conditions (please refer to the policy for details)
- Plastic or cosmetic surgery or procedures
- Any expenses before coverage starts or after coverage have expired.
- Medical services provided in your home country.
- Extreme activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, etc.
- Medications available without a prescription (over the counter or OTC medicines)
- Any treatment required due to use or misuse of alcohol or drugs.
Please note that this a summary of benefits only. Full details on benefits, exclusions and limitations are found in the complete policy available in many languages. The cost of this is $3/day. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your insurance plan.
For a period of 90 days, which is the minimum period we would recommend (starting from your arrival date), your total cost would be the following:
Total insurance: $270
Credit Card Fee 4%: $11.34
Final total: $294.84*
*Prices are subject to change. Please email email@example.com for the final quote.
MSP (Medical Services Plan)
British Columbia’s Medical Services Plan is a health insurance plan that pays for medically required services of physicians and surgeons and for dental or oral surgery when medically required to be performed in a hospital. In order to enroll and apply, you must access: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/eligibility-and-enrolment/how-to-enrol
International students with a study permit valid for a period of six or more months must apply for the MSP (B.C.’s health-care coverage) as soon as they arrive in British Columbia.
Through this application process, they will be enrolled and then invoiced for the new health fee. Before health-care coverage begins, there is a wait period consisting of the balance of the month that residency is established, plus two months. International students should carry private insurance until this wait period ends and provincial coverage begins.
Enrolment in the MSP is mandatory for all B.C. residents. The health fee is applicable to both minors and adults is $75.00 per month, per student. If the health fee is payable, a monthly invoice will be issued by Revenue Services of BC.
For more information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/accessing-health-care/health-fee-international-students
Health Care Options
Emergency Care: In the event of serious illness or injury requiring urgent attention, you should visit the nearest emergency department immediately. When visiting an emergency room, patients are seen to on a priority basis. Patients who need immediate care, receive medical attention first. This means that if your emergency is not immediate, you may wait several hours. Prior to visiting the emergency department, if you would like to view estimated wait times: http://www.edwaittimes.ca/WaitTimes.aspx
Ambulance: Call 911 if you require an ambulance. If you do not have appropriate coverage (such as through Guard.me) you may be billed for the cost of the ambulance ride.
HealthLink BC – 24/7 Health Advice You Can Trust: Call 811 for a free, 24-hour service which provides advice and health information over the telephone. Anyone in Britich Comlumbia with a health concern can dial 811 to speak with a registered nurse. They will assess your symptoms and let you know if you should visit a pharmacist, walk-in clinic, urgent care centre, or emergency room. Health Link support is offered in over 200 languages.
Family Doctor: A family doctor is the best option for ongoing medical care with continuity. Research shows that continuity in patient care – developing a relationship with your family doctor – provides better health outcomes for patients. Family doctors advocate for you and work with specialists and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care. They also work with you to prevent illness and promote healthy living. You can find a Family Doctor accepting new patients by clicking here: https://bccfp.bc.ca/for-the-public/find-a-family-doctor/
Walk-In Clinics: these are clinics that do not require you to book an appointment. Walk-in clinics are suitable for addressing mild concerns such as sprains, cuts, mild pain, ear infections, and flu symptoms. Be aware the walk-in clinics tend to be remarkably busy. The closest walk-in clinic to New Image College is:
Coast Medical Seymour Street located at 1018 Seymour Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 3M6. (604) 569-3632. https://coastmedical.ca/vancouver-seymour-street/
Yaletown Medical Clinic http://www.yaletownmedicalclinic.ca/
New Image College recognizes the importance to promote and provide mental health support services and resources throughout this period as the physical, social, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing of students/faculty/staff may be impacted by COVID-19. We have put together a set of options for all:
Connects you with mental health support when you need it. Through this program, all students currently registered in a BC post-secondary institution have access to free, confidential counseling and community referral services, conveniently available 14.7 via an app, phone, and web.
Wellness Together Canada:
Get connected to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counseling with a mental health professional.
It is online professional counselling resource with access to licensed therapists. Convenient, discreet, and affordable.
Suicide Prevention Resource Centre:
Canadian Mental Health Association:
BC Division 1-800-555-8222
Mood Disorders Association of BC:
Youth Support :
Online crisis chat line for youth and young adults in BC
Anxiety Disorders Association:
Early Psychosis Intervention Program:
Provides assistance to young people who recently developed psychosis.
BC Partners for Mental Health and Addiction Information: https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/
Suicide and substance-use information
It is important to us that you succeed in your studies and career and we understand that the pressures of everyday life can be overwhelming at times. With that in mind, students and alumni can avail of on-campus confidential counseling courtesy of New Image College. Our counselor, Bill Dyck, is a registered clinical counselor who has over 45 years of experience in the field and is known for being skilled and easy to talk to. Speaking with a counselor can help clarify concerns or situations and open new ways of dealing with them. To book this complimentary service, please contact the Granville Campus’ Front Desk.
lease see below a variety of resources if you identify as a member of the the LGBTQ2S+ Community:
Here are a few resources for our Indigenous students who seek culturally related support:
If you are sexually active or plan to become sexually active, we encourage you to educate yourself on all aspects of sexual health to keep you and your partner(s) safe. Sexual health encompasses a number of issues, such as:
- Contraceptive methods/birth control/pregnancy prevention
- Prenatal care
- Prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
- Consent (this is key to establishing healthy sexual relationships. Consent is an active, explicit, ongoing, voluntary, unimpaired and conscious choice and agreement to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent applies to all forms of sexual activity, from kissing and fondling to sexual intercourse. If consent is not given, it is a case of sexual assault. It is important to note that consent is an active concept; an absence of a ‘no’ does not imply consent—only a ‘yes’ qualifies as consent. Consent may be given or withdrawn at any time before or during the sexual activity. Furthermore, consent must always be obtained regardless of pre-existing relationship or sexual history. Consent applies universally to all persons regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs
In Canada, smoking is banned in most indoor and public spaces. If you smoke, you are expected to adhere to the city of Vancouver smoking bylaws. Please be respectful and smoke only in appropriate, designated areas. Make sure that cigarette ash and butts are disposed of appropriately; do not litter.
When consuming alcohol, please drink responsibly. The legal drinking age in British Columbia is 19. It is illegal to sell or distribute alcohol to minors.
Cannabis is legal in Canada. However, we recommend you inform yourself of the laws of your own country. You must be 19 or older to use cannabis. It is illegal to sell or distribute cannabis to minors. In addition to this, you can only purchase cannabis from licensed retailers.
Impaired driving and marijuana-related penalties could result in serious consequences for immigration status of temporary residents such as international students.
Partaking of certain drugs such as mushrooms, methamphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin, is not only illegal, but potentially extremely dangerous. It is also illegal to be found possessing or distributing these drugs. More information about controlled and illegal drugs, their uses, effects, and mental and physical health risks: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-use/controlled-illegal-drugs.html