COVID-19 FAQ

COVID-19 Updates, FAQ's, and Resources

All University-funded or sponsored travel to countries outside of Canada is cancelled/postponed until further notice. This applies to faculty, staff, students and researchers, and includes international exchanges and placements.
Student safety is always our first priority.

Below we have outlined some of the frequently asked questions regarding study abroad and COVID-19. 
The University of Guelph has also created an FAQ page for additional questions

Please review the section below that pertains to your situation:

Please, also check out some of the Wellness resources we have gathered for you! 

UofG F20 Exchange Participants

Affected students received an email from the Centre for International Programs on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 informing them at their F20 exchange placement was cancelled. 

If you were an F20 excchange student and haven't already done so, please fill in this survey to indicate your decision of deferral or cancellation.

We have let all of our partner institutions know that we have cancelled both inbound and outbound F20 exchange programs. Therefore, your host university is aware that you will not be coming for the fall semester.

There is no cancellation fee for Fall 2020 exchange participants.

No cheques that CIP received for the $80 fee have been deposited. If you paid by cash, please email Dimitra, dstefo@uoguelph.ca, for more information. 

We are communicating with our partner institutions to determine which can accommodation deferrals to the W21 semester. Use the survey below to indicate your preference. If you wish to defer, we will contact you later this summer to follow up and begin this process. 

Survey to indicate your decision of deferral or cancellation.


UofG W21 Exchange Participants

On Tuesday, May 19th all F20 exchange programs at UofG were cancelled. As of right now, no decisions about the W21 semester have been made. We are cautiously optimistic about the W21 semester, but continue to advise students not to make any plans that cannot be cancelled or changed. CIP will assess the situation in early October, and until then we will continue with the host university nomination and application process, beginning in late August/early September. 

We will contact students in September regarding the next steps that they have to take. For example, host university applications, course approvals, etc.  

We base our decisions on the Government of Canada Travel Advisories and the University of Guelph's advice, among other information. We will provide you with updates as we have more information.

Starting in May some of our partner universities emailed us to let us know that they were cancelling their fall exchange semesters. As we received this information we informed any students that were affected. We will continue to do this for the W21 semester, if necessary. 

There is no cancellation fee for W21 exchange participants.


UofG W20 Exchange Participants

All students outside of Canada on study abroad, research, co-op, internships, etc. were informed of the University of Guelph's decision to advise all UofG members to return to Canada. 

We know it is currently very difficult to book flights and to organize your return to Canada. If you have been formally advised to come home, it means that the situation in your area is worsening and you should leave as soon as is practical to avoid possible negative consequences such as quarantine, travel restrictions that make you unable to leave, and difficulty accessing health care should you require it for any reason. If you choose to stay against our advice and that of the Canadian Goverment, the University cannot be responsible for any consequences of that decision.

 You have a couple of academic options:

  1. If you can make arrangements with your host institution and professors to complete your courses from home (probably by distance), you can remain registered as ‘on-exchange’ at Guelph and transfer your course credits as usual (Note that CIP can invigilate exams back in Canada if that is required)
  2. If you cannot complete your courses, contact cip@uoguelph.ca before April 29, 2020 and we will assist in arranging a tuition refund and withdrawal from the winter 2020 semester. After April 29, 2020 you will still be able to crop your courses, however, you will not be eligible for the tuition refund. Do not try to drop courses on WebAdvisor yourself, the Registrar’s office will take care of this for you provided you notify cip@uoguelph.ca.

Should you decide to stay in your host country despite this advice, your GuardMe Tavel health insurance may not cover you. 
Also, GuardMe insurance has issued a communique outlining changes to your coverage which are triggered when a pandemic is declared. Please go to https://www.guard.me/guelphinternational  read the information at the top of the page carefully to understand your coverage. 
You can also call the GuardMe COVID-19 assistance line to get information related to your specific situation:

Guard.me International Insurance COVID 19 Crisis Assistance Line
USA: +1-619-717-8549 (collect call)
Quote: Special Students CRC assistance 200227GRDME

Students who received a University of Guelph travel grant to fund their academic travel abroad will not be required to return scholarships if their trip was cut short because of COVID-19. Students who received a travel grant, but did not depart Canada prior to the recall, can submit proof of non-refundable expenses related to their trip to cip@uoguelph.ca and will be able to retain the amount required to cover those expenses.


Students Studying on Exchange at UofG

Please inform the Centre for International Programs, through our survey, if you are planning to stay at UoGuelph until the end of the semester. Many on campus services have adjusted its service hours, please refer to the student services page for updated service hours.

If you are unable to leave residence due to extenuating circumstances (for example, due to current government travel restrictions), you must submit a Move- Out Extension Form as soon as possible. Follow the instructions given on the Student Housing Services COVID-19 website.

Note that since March 17, 2020, many of the UofG employees will be working by distance, including the Centre for International Programs staff. However, you can still reach us through email or Microsoft Teams (you can search for UoGuelph employee through the chat function by entering their name). If you need your learning agreement or departure form to be signed, you can email the forms to your EAA. For general inquiries, please email goabroad@uoguelph.ca.

We will be sending out your post-exchange grade report (via email) to the exchange coordinator at your home university after the semester is finished. They should expect to receive the post-exchange transcript by the end of January/early February if you came for the Fall semester, and by the end of May/early June if you came in the Winter semester or the Academic Year.

If you also want your own copy of the transcript, you can order the transcript by faxing the request form to Student Client Services.

See the update that was sent to all students living in residence for information. The refund amount will be deposited to your U of Guelph student account and should show within 2 – 6 business days after your move-out date. If you don’t see the refund on your account, please e-mail Housing Business Operations. shsbusop@uoguelph.ca

If there is a credit on your WebAdvisor account, you can email Student Financial Services accquest@uoguelph.ca from your uoguelph.ca email account to request a refund. Make sure to indicate that you are an exchange student and have returned home. Student Financial Services will e-mail you a form to fill out with your bank account information in your home country, and they will then send your refund to you by wire transfer. U of Guelph charges a $30 fee for sending a wire transfer, plus there may be other fees you may incur from your bank.

Questions about meal plan refunds can be directed to Kim Zinken kzinken@uoguelph.ca and will be decided on a case by case basis

UHIP coverage for eligible members remains unchanged. Visit the UHIP COVID-19 FAQ for more information.

If you are here on exchange, UHIP covers you until April 30, 2020. If you are unable to return home before that date because of travel restrictions, please contact cip@uoguelph.ca as soon as possible..

Students should follow the Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines, here.

If students are required to visit an assessment centre for testing, bring your UHIP card and a claim form. Claim form can be found here.

In Guelph, the COVID-19 assessment clinic is located at 65 Delhi Street. For more information pertaining to UHIP coverage please visit the UHIP FAQ page.


Wellness Resources

UofG Wellness Services

Urgent 24/7 Access

  • Here 24/7 at 1-884-437-3247
  • Good2Talk at 1-866-925-5454
  • HelpPhone at 1-800-668-6868, or if you prefer texting support, text UofG to 686868
  • myWellness powered by Inkblot offers online video counselling - your first session is free and your student health insurance/any family benefits can help cover the cost

Online Self-Directed Supports

App Supports

  • Woebot: an automated conversation agent who helps you to monitor your mood and learn about yourself. Use the referral code ONTARIO to get local resources, if needed.
  • Mindshift: CBT app for anxiety support


Additional Questions

For CIP

Please note that the CIP office is working remotely until further notice. If you need to get in touch with members of our office please see the contact list here.

For Guard.Me

If you feel the COVID-19 situation in your location is escalating and you require advice or assistance, please call the Guard.me COVID-19 assistance line:

Guard.me International Insurance COVID 19 Crisis Assistance Line
USA: +1-619-717-8549 (collect call)
Quote: Special Students CRC assistance 200227GRDME

This number will provide you with assistance related to:

  • When and how to seek medical assistance
  • General health and safety advice given your current location and travel situation
  • Coordination of  insurance benefits if you have a claim
  • If required, the crisis assistant will make arrangements for/coordinate evacuation and execute transport