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‘Well prepared’

Memorial approved to welcome new international students, oversee travel and isolation requirements

Student Life

By Jennifer Batten

Memorial University has been identified by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada as one of the designated learning institutions with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan and is now permitted to welcome new international students to campus.

This means the university can support international students who meet the requirements for travel to Newfoundland and Labrador and who agree to complete the 14-day isolation period in the care of Memorial University and in campus residence buildings designated for self-isolation and quarantine purposes.

‘Detailed and rigorous’

“Working with government and post-secondary partners in the province, we have created a detailed and rigorous COVID-19 readiness plan to support the arrival, self-isolation and support of new international students,” said Dr. Mark Abrahams, provost and vice-president (academic).

“We take our responsibility for the health, safety and well-being of any arriving international students, the Memorial community and the greater local community very seriously. We are well prepared to manage the arrival of students who choose to travel here to attend Memorial. It is important to note that we will be operating in a primarily remote and online teaching and learning environment in winter 2021, and so travelling to Newfoundland and Labrador is not a requirement. We continue to welcome and support all students, no matter their location.”

Required 14-day isolation period

Memorial’s COVID-19 readiness plan, drafted in collaboration with the provincial government, outlines how Memorial will provide information on health and travel requirements to international students before they arrive in Canada; help students through their 14-day quarantine in Memorial’s designated residence building; provide guidance and assistance in acquiring necessities such as food and medication; and ensure students have access to all the supports they need to begin their studies during this time, including mental health supports, peer networking, academic advising and more.

After students coming from abroad complete the required 14-day isolation period at Memorial’s designated student residence, they will move to their pre-arranged accommodations, which in most cases will be off campus.

“There are international students who had planned to come to Memorial for whom remote learning is not an option right now.” — Dr. Sonja Knutson

Memorial will be responsible for ensuring new international students arriving in the province receive COVID-19 testing on day 12 of the quarantine period.

Student Residences on the St. John’s  and Grenfell campuses will continue to operate at a significantly reduced capacity in winter 2021. On the St. John’s campus, Macpherson College and Paton College will remain closed. However, Burton’s Pond apartments will be open to new and returning students. At Grenfell Campus, the chalet apartments are open.

“I am delighted that our provincial and federal governments have taken this important step,” said Dr. Sonja Knutson, director of Memorial’s Internationalization Office.

“There are international students who had planned to come to Memorial for whom remote learning is not an option right now. These measures can help these students and others to come to Canada to have a safe and rewarding learning experience.”

Information on international student arrivals can be found here.


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