COVID-19 applicant FAQs

Last updated Jan. 19, 2021

We know you have many questions about George Brown's COVID-19 response and how it will affect your application and learning. Below you'll find FAQs on a range of topics, including how we're delivering programs, information on financial aid and tuition, student supports and more.

FAQs for international applicants
If your question isn’t addressed, please email ask.george@georgebrown.ca.

*UPDATED* I haven't applied yet and I’m not sure if I should. What should I do?

Don’t put your future plans on hold. We're committed to the health and safety of our students and we’ve started a slow and gradual return to campus based on direction from the government and public health officials. 

We anticipate all aspects of programs will be fulfilled before graduation. The timing of when certain components of a program can be completed may shift depending on guidelines from public health officials. 

Spring/SUMMER 2021 

How we deliver programs for our Spring 2021 semester (starting May 10) will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates. 

FALL 2021 

How we deliver programs for our Fall 2021 semester (starting Sept. 7) will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates. 

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*UPDATED* I heard some in-person classes are resuming. Does that affect me?

How we deliver programs for our Spring/Summer and Fall 2021 semester (starting May 10 and Sept. 7) will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates. 

Can I accept my offer and change my mind later?

Spring/SUMMER 2021 semester 

We encourage you to accept your offer. You have until May 21, 2021 to withdraw from a program with a partial refund. 

FALL 2021 semester 

We encourage you to accept your offer. You have until Sept. 20, 2021 to withdraw from a program with a partial refund. 

Accept your offer

Can I defer my acceptance to a future semester?

Domestic students with offers for the Spring/Summer 2021 or Fall 2021 semesters who want to defer to a future intake should contact admissions@georgebrown.ca. Your request will be reviewed based on availability and capacity. International students should contact their admissions officer (as per the contact details on your offer letter) or send an email request to intladmissons@georgebrown.ca.

*UPDATED* Is there a chance part of the spring/summer semester will be delivered on campus?

How we deliver programs for our Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 semesters will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates. 

We have begun a gradual, phased return to campus, and will continue to do so as public health authorities and government indicate that it is safe.  

*UPDATED* What can I expect for the spring/summer semester?

How we deliver programs for our Spring 2021 semester will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates. 

Find program contacts below if you have questions about the spring/summer semester:

Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology

Centre for Business

Centre for Community Services & Early Childhood

Centre for Construction & Engineering Technologies

Centre for Health Sciences

Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Centre for Preparatory & Liberal Studies

Continuing Education

What will the Fall 2021 semester look like?

How we deliver programs for our Fall 2021 semester (starting Sept. 7) will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates. 

How will I get the hands-on learning I expect from college?

Providing hands-on opportunities for students to develop skills is a vital part of how we deliver learning at George Brown. But protecting the health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance during this unprecedented time for the college, the province and the country.

We've begun a gradual and phased return to campus, based on guidance from public health authorities and government, providing access to our labs and facilities for small groups of students that require limited instruction.  

What about programs with work integrated learning (FIELD PLACEMENTS, CO-OP, INTERNSHIPS, ETC.)?

Many of our employer partners are hosting virtual and in-workplace (if appropriate) work-integrated learning and co-op placements. Students can contact their program coordinator to confirm the status of work-integrated learning opportunities. 

Can I apply for Academic Upgrading?

Visit georgebrown.ca/academic-upgrading for more information. 


Financial Aid and Tuition

Will changes due to COVID-19 affect OSAP eligibility?

You can visit ontario.ca/osap for more information and to submit your application. To learn more about OSAP and George Brown Financial Aid, visit georgebrown.ca/apply/financial-aid/osap.

We encourage you to accept your offer and we hope to welcome you soon to the George Brown community.

Will there be tuition reductions because programs are delivered online?

While the learning format is different, we remain committed to helping you build the skills and experience you need to kick-start your career. Tuition fees support the cost of academic program delivery, including instruction, assessment and administration, all of which is still taking place. These fees also support the many student support services that are now being delivered online, including virtual counselling sessions, tutoring, career advising, Accessible Learning Services and more. Tuition is not specific to location or mode of delivery. With this in mind, we will not be offering discounts for the Winter 2021 semester. This applies to both domestic and international students. George Brown remains committed to helping students successfully complete their programs, and we will continue to ensure that learning outcomes are met while programs are being delivered online.

Given that college’s buildings are closed, and also that students are not able to access the Athletics & Recreation facilities, the college will waive the Athletics & Recreation and the Athletics Building Capital fees ($78 per student) for Winter 2021 semester, as it did for the Spring and Fall 2020 semesters. All other fees will continue to be charged, since services continue to be offered to students.

Will student grants or awards in the upcoming school year be impacted by COVID-19?

Student grants and awards continue to be offered. Please refer to the college’s Awards and Scholarships page for more information on applying for bursaries and scholarships.

Are there changes for the Spring 2021 semester tuition deposit?

In recognition of the continuing financial pressures caused by COVID-19, we have reduced the minimum tuition deposit fee for the spring semester by 50 per cent. This reduced deposit fee does not affect your tuition amount. 

New students who wish to register for the spring semester will now be expected to pay the following non-refundable deposit by Tues, March 9, 2021. Please refer to your Registration/Invoice Letter for specific instructions. 

  • Domestic students – $250 deposit (previously $500) 
  • Returning international students - $2,000 deposit (previously $4,000) 

New international students, please refer to your letter of acceptance for fee information and payment deadline. 

Is there a tuition payment plan for the Spring 2021 semester?

We recognize that COVID-19 has presented challenges for students, including unanticipated financial pressures, and so we have established a tuition payment plan for the Spring 2021 semester.  

The payment plan is available to new and returning domestic students and returning international students.  

Students can pay their Spring 2021 semester tuition in full on Friday, April 9, 2021, or in three instalments due on the following dates:  

  • First instalment — Friday, April 9, 2021  
  • Second instalment — Friday, May 21, 2021  
  • Third instalment — Friday, June 18, 2021  

How to sign up for the tuition payment plan  

Students can sign up for the Spring 2021 semester tuition payment plan on STU-VIEW. The application opens Monday, March 22, 2021. Students must be registered for spring semester programs to qualify. 


International students

Do I need to be tested for COVID-19 before travelling to Canada?

Yes. As of Jan. 7, 2021, the Canadian government requires all air passengers to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. 

Documentation of a negative test must be presented to the airline before boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. The test must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada. 

Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the 14-day quarantine.

Find more information at canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/12/pre-departure-covid-19-testing-and-negative-results-to-be-required-for-all-air-travellers-coming-to-canada.html.

I'm planning to travel to Canada. Do I need to get the iCent app?

Yes, George Brown College requires that ALL international students who are travelling from outside Canada to download the iCENT app. Downloading the iCENT app is mandatory as it is a requirement for George Brown college’s readiness plan that has been submitted to the provincial government.

Step 1 - Download the app
 

Watch a how-to video

Follow these steps to download the app:

  1. Visit the App Store or Google Play and download the app
  2. Enter Canada in the “Institution Country” field
  3. Enter George Brown College in the “Institution Name” field
  4. Use your email to register for the app, you will be sent an email with your PIN. Please remember to check your Junk Mail inbox
  5. Use your PIN to login the app

Questions or trouble logging in? Contact: support@iCentapp.com

Note: If you cannot access the App version of iCent, you can access the iCent App Content via web browser as well.

Google Android in China: We are aware that there have been some download issues for iCent in China. If you are in China, download the app directly.

Step 2 - Review and Submit

Within the iCent app, you will be required to review all the terms and conditions, including submitting all the mandatory forms such as quarantine plan, attestation form and emergency contact.

Step 3 -Daily Check-ins

As part of the George Brown college’s readiness plan, students who are quarantining for 14 days within Canada are now required to check-in daily in their iCent app. Students who fail to check-in daily, will be contacted by the college and those who fail to stay in communication may be reported to the Public Health Authorities and/or removed from their academic program of studies.

Step 4 - Mandatory Covid-19 Test

At the completion of the 14 days quarantine, international students will have to book a COVID-19 test at one of the designated assessment centres. Students will have to provide a copy of their COVID-19 test results to letstalkcovid19@georgebrown.ca immediately after receiving them. Only students who provide a negative COVID-19 test result or document from the public health authorities will be allowed entry to college facilities.

Students are responsible for transportation cost to the assessment centres. If students are found to be in non-compliance within the 14-day mandatory self-isolation period; and/or any cases of COVID-19 infection during the 14-day mandatory quarantine period, the college will coordinate with Public Health Authorities and other local authorities where necessary.

If you have any questions please contact us at intlsupport@georgebrown.ca.

*NEW* What immigration documents do I need to begin my studies at George Brown?

International students in Canada, Protected Persons, Refugee Claimants, or Convention Refugees, who are enrolled in programs that are longer than six months in duration MUST have the following in order to legally study in Canada. 

  1. Valid Study permit, or 
  2. Implied status for study permit 

If your program has a work integrated learning component (e.g. co-op, externship, field placement, etc.), a co-op work permit is also required. 

International students who are currently pursuing their studies from outside Canada AND have submitted their study permit application prior to their program start date (e.g. Jan. 11, 2021 is the first day of Winter 2021 term), can count the time studied abroad until April 30, 2021 towards their post-graduation work permit eligibility. 

Is there COVID-19 testing at Pearson International Airport?

The Ontario government is launching a new, voluntary and free border testing pilot program at Toronto Pearson International Airport for eligible international travellers returning to Ontario to help quickly identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province. 

Note: This program is in addition to the new Government of Canada pre-departure requirement for travellers bound for Canada to demonstrate proof of negative COVID-19 results from a test taken within three days prior to departure. That is, you are still required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to your airline before boarding the flight to Canada. 

Eligible travellers will be able pre-register (torontopearson.com/testing) for the program or proceed to get tested when they arrive at the airport. Those choosing to participate in the pilot will receive a free, self-collected lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and be supervised by a health care provider either in-person or by video as the traveller self-administers the test. Switch Health, a health service provider, will provide the monitored self-swabbing tests in a convenient and dedicated space in the airport.  

All international travellers will continue to be required to follow the federal requirement for a mandatory 14-day quarantine after arriving or returning to Canada, regardless if they have a negative or positive test. 

For more information, visit news.ontario.ca/en/release/59877/ontario-launches-innovative-testing-program-at-pearson-airport

I'm planning my travel to Canada for the Winter 2021 semester. What documents do I need to provide at the port of entry?

Please ensure you have the following documents available in your carry-on luggage when you arrive. You will be required to present these to a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer when going through Canadian customs and immigration: 

  • passport; 
  • valid study permit or POE letter of introduction (study permit approval document); 
  • a print-out copy of your Letter of Acceptance AND semester timetable (you can find it on STU-VIEW) AND your tuition payment receipt; 
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada;
  • ArriveCAN receipt (electronic or paper); 
  • quarantine site contact information, including cell phone number for the driver or transportation information; and 
  • a print-out copy of your quarantine plan.

In addition, George Brown College requires that ALL international students who are travelling from outside Canada to download the iCENT app. Downloading the iCENT app is mandatory as it is a requirement for George Brown College’s readiness plan that has been submitted to the Canadian provincial government.

Is George Brown on the list of approved Designated Learning Institutes (DLIs) for international students to travel/enter into Canada?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated their list of approved designated learning institutions (DLI) and George Brown College is now on that  approved list. 

You may now travel to Canada only if: 

  • You have documentation of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) performed within 72 hours of your departure to Canada,
  • You have a valid study permit or letter of introduction, and
  • You are attending a designated learning institute (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory where the DLI is located and listed on IRCC’s website.

Travelling to Canada

Please note that most of George Brown College’s January 2021 programs will be delivered online and so you are able to study in your home country. As per IRCC's Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility guidelines, students can pursue studies up to 50% online from abroad until April 30th 2021, if you have applied for your study permit prior to your program start date.

Students who are not already in Canada and who will be enrolling in a HYBRID program, which requires an in-class, in-person component will be required to travel to Canada.

International students who choose to travel to Canada should be aware of public health measures in place in Ontario to limit the spread of the virus in Canada. International students are required to follow all the guidelines and expectations upon arrival and during their studies, including having a suitable 14-day quarantine plan prior to arrival.

Accompanying family members of international students will be assessed by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer as to whether the purpose of travel in Canada is non-discretionary/non-optional.

Mandatory Next Steps

  1. DOWNLOAD the ArriveCAN app (available for IOS, Android or use the Web format) and submit your required information prior to departure. 
  2. DOWNLOAD the iCent app (available for IOS, Android or use the Web format) and submit your mandatory questionnaire, quarantine plan and emergency contact information 
  3. Review International Student Arrival and Quarantine Guidelines.

If you have any questions please contact us at intlsupport@georgebrown.ca.

What are my accommodation options if I need to quarantine when I arrive in Toronto?

George Brown College has identified certain accommodation options for students who are planning to travel to Toronto to attend their academic program of studies. Please visit here for accommodation options

Students are responsible for making their own accommodation plans by reaching out to the contacts (or arranging a private accommodation) prior to travelling to Canada. Students are also responsible for all fees/costs related to their accommodations. 

What new measures are there regarding Post-Graduate Work Permit Program eligibility?

Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented temporary changes to provide more flexibility on eligibility rules for the PGWPP (Post-Graduate Work Permit Program) to ensure international students can remain eligible for the program if they study online in Canada or from their home country. 

In Canada

  • Students pursuing studies from within Canada, whose academic studies have moved to an online-only format, will still remain eligible for PGWPP. 

Outside Canada

  • All programs: Students may study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future PGWP, provided 50 per cent of their program of study is completed within Canada (either online or in-class). 
  • Short-term programs: Students who have enrolled in a program that is between eight and 12 months in length with a start date from May to September 2020 will be able to complete 100 per cent of their program from abroad and still be eligible for PGWP. HOWEVER, time spent studying outside of Canada after April 30, 2021 will be deducted from the length of the work permit. 
  • Two eligible programs completed within two years (with one program starting in the 2020 Spring or Fall semesters): Students may study online from abroad until April 30, 2021 in the program that started in the 2020 spring or fall semesters, with no time deducted from the length of a future PGWP, provided 50 per cent of the combined length of the two eligible programs are completed in Canada (either online or in-class).  

To be eligible for these measures, students must have a study permit, a study permit approval, or have submitted a study permit application prior to starting their program of study and must eventually be approved for a study permit. 

For more information, visit canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students.html#pgwp-eligibility.

*NEW* Can I extend my post-graduation work permit due to covid-19 pandemic in Canada?

As part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to support international students through this challenging time, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, recently announced that former international students who hold or held a PGWP (post graduate work permit) will have the opportunity to apply for an open work permit. 

Foreign nationals in Canada affected by the pandemic with an expired or expiring PGWP will have a unique chance to apply for another open work permit. These will be valid for 18 months and allow former international students to remain in Canada, continue to seek employment and build their future in this country.

Visit canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2021/01/government-of-canada-announces-new-policy-to-help-former-international-students-live-in-work-in-and-continue-contributing-to-canada.html for more information.

How will remote delivery learning schedules work for students in different time zones?

Whether course delivery is synchronous (in real time) or asynchronous (completed in student’s own time) is up to your program coordinator.

Once you’ve registered for your courses, connect with your program coordinator for details of remote delivery learning schedules.

Will I have health insurance coverage if I arrive earlier than my semester start date?

Upon request, insurance for new George Brown students shall commence 30 days prior to the effective date stated on the application on file with the Insurance Administrator, provided premium has been paid, if the Insured Person arrives prior to such effective date. Early arrival covers acute conditions that require immediate assistance, hospital/ER, walk-in clinic, doctor visits, hospitalization but excluding pre-existing conditions.

Students should directly contact the Student Association Health Benefits Office at healthbenefits@sagbc.ca with any health insurance-related queries.

Is there a withdrawal/refund policy for new international students starting in the Winter 2021 semester?

For most international students enrolled in the Winter 2021 semester, the standard George Brown College withdrawal/refund policy will apply. See the standard policy at  georgebrown.ca/international/accepted-students/withdrawal-and-refund-policy. The final date to withdraw with a partial refund is Jan. 22, 2021*.  

However, George Brown college will have an exceptional withdrawal/refund policy in place for new Winter 2021 International students (semester 1) who are studying online from outside Canada AND have applied for their study permit before the start of their program (Jan. 11, 2021).   

Students eligible under the exceptional withdrawal/refund policy can apply for a full refund of pre-paid tuition** (less $100 withdrawal fee) if: 

  • Your study permit application is refused; AND  
  • You have submitted the refusal document from IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to George Brown College (intlwithdrawal@georgebrown.ca) by April 16, 2021***

*For students pursuing studies from within Canada (online or in person) a study permit or implied status for study permit is required. Therefore, the Day 10 withdrawal/refund policy applies, which is Jan. 22, 2021.   

**The pre-paid tuition refund will not include some material fees and the health insurance premium. Students residing outside of Canada can opt-out of health insurance coverage for Winter 2021 term. The deadline is Feb. 4, 2021. Please visit studentassociation.ca/health for more information.   

***Students must contact the college via email (intlwithdrawal@georgebrown.ca) by April 16, 2021 with the IRCC refusal documentation in order to be eligible for the exceptional policy.  


Student supports and resources

Will there be a new student orientation?

Yes. Our Student Success team organizes an online orientation for new students. Find details at georgebrown.ca/current-students/orientation

How can I connect with students across the college?

While we’re off campus students can still connect with other students in the following ways:

Online learning is new to me. Where can I find support?

Check out our Online Learning site for tips and resources on how to be a successful remote learner. It offers five modules you can complete at your own pace.

Students can also find academic support at our Tutoring and Learning Centre (TLC). The TLC offers online services including real-time chats.

And our Library Learning Commons staff are available online to help students with research questions.

I have a disability and I'm worried about online learning. Where can I find support?

Students can register with Accessible Learning Services for academic supports. Accessible Learning Services provides academic, career, and well-being supports online or by phone.

Will I have to buy special software or equipment for an online program?

Students can connect with their program coordinators to confirm online technology requirements for their courses.

All full-time students have access to AppsAnywhere. You can find information at georgebrown.ca/current-students/websites-apps-and-technical-support/appsanywhere.

*NEW* How do I claim my e-books and e-texts?

Students who have ordered electronic text books can visit the George Brown College Campus Store's Textbook Claim and Downloads page.


Student residence

Will spaces in student residence be available for Spring/Summer and Fall 2021 semesters?

In order to promote health standards and practices, the residence is open at a reduced capacity.  

Find information about available spaces, other updates and how to apply at georgebrown.ca/current-students/services/residence