International Undergraduate Students Arriving/Returning to Western in Fall 2021

After delivering our courses remotely for the past 16 months due to the pandemic, Western is ready to return to in-person classes starting in the Fall Term (September) of 2021. We are particularly excited to welcome students arriving (or returning) from other countries to join us for the full experience of our world-class learning environment.

New first-year students should have already received information from our Summer Academic Orientation on how to select and register in courses for the coming year. For additional information or assistance, please submit your questions using the Counselling Help Portal. Returning students should already know how to enrol in courses for 2021-22.

Although you have likely already been planning your relocation to Canada, we anticipate that many students may have experienced delays in their study permit applications and limitations on flight availability for international traveling. In addition, travel/quarantine planning with Western International is also required prior to your arrival in Canada. Despite these difficulties, we are pleased to learn that most of our international students are anticipating arrivals by early- to mid-September, prior to the beginning of classes on September 8.

Nevertheless, some of you will be required to quarantine for 14 days before you can attend in-person classes. Furthermore, there is also a small number of students who will be forced to arrive later. Hence, the Faculty of Science is preparing to assist these international students, with unavoidable delays in their arrivals, in beginning their undergraduate courses remotely with the hope that they will be able to transition to in-person learning by the end of September.

What will this “transition” from remote to in-person look like?

With a few exceptions (see information below1), all courses in the Faculty of Science will be delivered in-person. We do not have online options for students to complete these in-person courses remotely. However, many instructors will be posting their in-person lecture materials (such as lecture notes or screen/voice recordings) for remote students to access for a short period of time. Likewise, online submission of assignments may be accepted during the transition period for some courses.

Students are advised to look up the syllabus for the courses in which they are enrolled to see what options they will have. Course syllabi will be posted on departmental websites by September 8 at the following links:

If the information you need is not available by September 8, students may also: (a) check the course OWL site for announcements posted for the class; (b) contact their course instructors by email; and finally (c) contact the Department Advisors or Undergraduate Chairs of the department offering the courses.

1Western offers a small selection of Distance Studies/Online courses for reasons not related to the pandemic. However, these are typically not the mandatory courses required for students to progress in their programs. These optional Distance Studies/Online courses can be found using the Fall/Winter Academic Timetable 2021/2022, by selecting the“Subject” that you are interested in and choosing “Distance Studies/Online” under “Course Delivery Type”.

When is the “deadline” for international students to join Fall Term courses in-person?

In the Faculty of Science, many courses have essential in-person activities that students must complete in order to pass the course; for example, a minimum number of in-person labs or tutorials that must be completed; in-person presentations, and/or in-person tests and quizzes. These essential activities will determine the last date to join a given course in-person. The number and the dates of these essential activities will vary from course to course, and thus students are again advised to see the course syllabus for this information.

For students that can only arrive late in the Fall Term, what options do they have?

Students anticipating that they will be UNABLE to participate in-person by the end of September should now contact Academic Counselling for accommodations using the Help Portal. Sign in with your Western email and password. Create an inquiry under “Course Registration” and “Other”. Identify yourself as an international student expecting delays beyond September and describe your situation.

We may be able to offer academic accommodation for students to miss or defer a limited number of in-person activities, such as a midterm, but this needs to be pre-approved by Academic Counselling on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise, students should consider delaying their enrolment of in-person courses until the Winter Term (January – April). Students can still explore the option of enrolling in elective Distance Studies/Online1 courses that can be completed remotely. This may be necessary for students who need to maintain full-time status (minimum of 3.5 courses from September 2021 to April 2022), in order to fulfill an external requirement2 (such as study permit or funding). Note the last date to add Fall Term and Full-Year courses is September 16, 2021.

1Western offers a small selection of Distance Studies/Online courses for reasons not related to the pandemic. However, these are typically not the mandatory courses required for students to progress in their programs. These optional Distance Studies/Online courses can be found using the Fall/Winter Academic Timetable 2021/2022, by selecting the“Subject” that you are interested in and choosing “Distance Studies/Online” under “Course Delivery Type”.

2 Students with questions related to the conditions of their study permit and/or funding should contact Western International.

In general, each student’s situation is unique, and we encourage you to reach out to Academic Counselling via the Help Portal to discuss your options if you will not be arriving by the first few weeks of class or if you have specific questions about your course enrollment.

Please be advised that Academic Counselling is experiencing a high volume of inquiries. We will do our best to respond as soon as possible but may take up to one week.

Finally, bookmark this page and check back regularly. This is where the Faculty of Science will post updates for our international students experiencing travel delays.

Posted on August 26, 2021