A Message to International Students from President Flanagan

President Bill Flanagan - 04 June 2021

Fall 2021 is on the way, and the University of Alberta is getting ready to welcome students back onto our campuses. With the rapid uptake of vaccines in Alberta and Canada, we are looking forward to re-opening our facilities and physically bringing our community back to Edmonton and the U of A. 

The U of A is a global university, and our international community forms a vital part of who we are. You belong to a rich community of more than 8,000 international undergraduate and graduate students from 137 different countries. You bring a wealth of perspectives to the classroom and lab, and your contributions make for a more vibrant, engaging and inspiring campus life for everyone. You are an essential part of what makes the U of A, Alberta and Canada, a dynamic and innovative place to study, work, and do research.

The past year has been a challenging one for all of us. I know that international students—especially those studying from their home country—have overcome unique obstacles. At the U of A we have been working hard to address the challenges that the pandemic has created for all of our students. This includes supporting students as they travel to Canada and helping them to meet quarantine requirements, and we will continue to offer these services for as long as they are needed.

The Government of Canada has committed to prioritizing study permit applications, and we are hopeful that this will enable most international students to come to Canada for September. It will be an exciting time on campus; we want you to be able to join us.

As we plan for Fall 2021, we are committed to creating a safe, healthy environment and ensuring that you have the resources you need to succeed at the U of A. We will continue to follow all public health guidelines as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While we are planning to return to campus in September, we also know that some students may have difficulties traveling due to issues such as study permit delays. The U of A will continue to ensure that international student services are available virtually, and that some remote learning options are available. As we have done throughout the past year, we will work with students who experience difficulties posed by the pandemic and encourage those facing challenges to reach out to us—either through your faculty office or through the advisors in International Student Services.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Bill Flanagan
President and Vice-chancellor 
University of Alberta

Resources for international students