Getting Here

Students come from all across the world to study here. We're so glad you'll be joining us.

Before You Arrive

Apply for a study permit

Find out all the documents you will need and how to apply for a study permit.

Apply for a Study Permit

What to bring

Prepare for arrival in Canada

Check out our list for tips on handy supplies for life in Canada and our student handbook.

What to Bring

Find a place to live

Getting Here

By air

Explore flights from Vancouver to Castlegar through Air Canada.

Search flights from Vancouver to Trail through Pacific Coastal Air

By bus

Search bus service from Vancouver to Castlegar or Nelson at Mountain Man Mike's.

Arrival pick-up services

There is a pick-up and reception service available for students arriving by air and by bus. This service costs $100–$180 and includes:

  •       Airport pickup

  •       Help with grocery shopping

  •       Setting up a bank account

If you would like this service, please fill out the application form and send it back to the international student services coordinator

Settling In

Medical insurance
Tenant insurance

Tenant insurance protects your personal belongings against theft, fire, flood and vandalism.  

  • Selkirk College will not assume responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged personal items.

  • Homestay families are also not responsible for students’ personal belongings.  

  • If there is a fire or theft in your home and you have not insured your belongings, it will be your responsibility to replace any items that are damaged or lost.


  • Insurance to cover damage by fire, flood, theft or vandalism on $5,000 worth of property will typically cost about $100 per year.

  • The amount you pay is referred to as the premium.

  • Your policy will describe what it covers. If something is not written in the policy, then it is not covered.

  • Some policies will have a deductible. This is the amount of money that you will pay if you make a claim.  Any amount over the deductible will be paid by the insurance.

For your records, you should make a list of every item you own, record how much the item is worth and the serial number (if it has one). Taking a photo of valuable items can help if you need to make a claim.




  • Nelson: RBC Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Credit Union, Scotia Bank

  • Western Union Nelson: Safeway and Walmart

Get around the region
  • Nelson to Castlegar: 44 km

  • Vancouver to Castlegar: 620 km via Crowsnest Pass Hwy 3

  • Kelowna to Castlegar: 309 km via Crowsnest Pass Hwy 3

  • Calgary to Castlegar: 622 km via Crowsnest Pass Hwy 3

For transportation around the region, visit BC Transit.

Staying Safe and Avoiding Scams


Most student rent apartments, houses or single rooms off campus. Ads for accommodation are placed on many different websites, and may look legitimate.

Here are some warning signs and things to be aware of:

  • If a landlord or owner of an apartment seems to be rushing or pressuring you, this may be a scam. Do not transfer money if you are not sure.

  • Do not transfer money to a bank account that is not in the name of the owner.

  • Be wary of landlords or owners who do not ask you for references.

  • Be wary of landlords or owners that live in a different country and are not local.

  • Make sure you see the house or apartment. Be wary if the landlord or owner gives an excuse why you can’t see the house or apartment.

  • It may be a scam if a landlord or owner seems to be saying “yes” to all your requests, such as “can you reduce the rent a little?” Or “can a friend or two stay in my room with me?”

  • Be wary  if the landlord doesn’t want to meet you.

Learn more about being a tenant. Find out more about rental scams.


The branch of the Canadian federal government that handles tax returns is the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CRA will not call, text or email you unless you have contacted them first and started a file. Their method of communication is by mail.

If you receive income while you are a student, you will need to file an income tax return. The CRA provides a list of typical scams.

A few signs that you are being targeted by a scam are text messages, emails or phone calls/phone messages that:

  • Claim to be from the CRA, but contain personal information such as your name, social insurance number, etc.

  • Ask you to click on a link and provide personal information.  

  • Ask you to send money to the CRA for your taxes.

  • Threaten fines, imprisonment or deportation if you don’t click on a link, pay money, etc.

  • Ask you to pay taxes with prepaid credit cards, gift cards, etc.


Criminals target international students about their immigration status. The Government of Canada has a list of typical scams and ways to spot a scam, and outlines ways to protect yourself.

A few signs that you are being targeted by an immigration scam are text messages, emails or phone calls/phone messages that:

  • Seem to be threatening or aggressive.

  • Threaten to deport you if you don’t click on links or send money.

  • Take you to a website with a strange URL that doesn’t seem right.


Messages sent by text or email that are meant to impersonate well-known banks or mobile companies urging you to click on a provided link to avoid certain issues are often scams. Unfortunately, some students have fallen victim to these scams, leading to financial losses from their bank accounts.

If you suspect that you have received a text or email that is fraudulent and attempting to get your banking information, you should report it immediately to your bank. Do not click on links that you suspect are not from your bank. 

Banks do not normally text their customers. In addition, if you receive an email claiming to be from your bank, you should hover over the email “name” to see the actual email address. Email addresses can be renamed “CIBC bank” or “BMO support centre” although the actual email address is not from your bank.

It is important to regularly review your bank statements, monitor your account activity, and report any unauthorized or suspicious transactions to your bank immediately. You should be cautious about sharing personal and financial information.

Job searching

You might find a job offer posted on Facebook or another community sites. Sometimes these job offers are scams. It’s important to be able to recognize some warning signs to identify these scams, and know what to do in order to avoid fraudulent job offers.

Warning signs:

  • Limited information on their Facebook profile: Recently created account, no photos, no location, no friends.

  • Unrealistic salary/unusually high pay for a part time job: If the job offer seems “too good to be true,” this could be a warning sign.

  • The interview process can only be completed by email or chat: If the interviewer won’t connect with you in person or over video chat, this could be a warning sign.

  • Extremely fast job offer: If the job is offered to you within a very short time, and the employer didn’t follow up on references, this could be a warning sign.

  • Potential employer asks you to purchase Apple gift cards or other online currency to be reimbursed later.

  • Potential employer asks how to access your banking information.

How to avoid fraudulent job offers:

  • Thoroughly research the company offering you the position: Does the company have good reviews? Are the profiles of the employees authentic?

  • Check the salary, benefits and hours: Does this position offer the standard amount of pay for jobs with this type of skill set?

  • Connect with the employer in person or over video chat.

  • Never give out your banking login details to a potential employer.