Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions will be updated to reflect changes in governmental and college responses to COVID-19. 

Students having trouble navigating a college-related problem, or cannot find information needed through the FAQ below, can use the student self-referral form to request help.

FAQ: All students

What are the start and end dates of the winter term?

Most Conestoga courses, including courses comprised of a combination of in-country and out-of-country students, will begin the week of January 18 and end May 1.

For more Academic Dates, please visit the registrar's office

Will there be a Student Success Week during the winter term?

Student Success Week is scheduled for March 8 to 12 for most programs.

Some apprenticeship and workforce development courses, as well as programs with irregular start dates, may have classes during this time. 

How will the winter term be delivered?

The winter term will be delivered in either remote, hybrid or on-campus format.

Conestoga will deliver as many courses as possible remotely. Courses that cannot be offered fully through remote delivery will be delivered through a combination of remote and on-campus delivery. Courses in which remote delivery is not possible will be offered entirely through on-campus delivery.

Only students who have classes scheduled on campus will be pre-approved to be on campus.

Visit the academic delivery plan for more information.

What are the start and end dates of the spring term? 

Most Conestoga courses will begin the week of May 17 and end August 21.

For more Academic Dates, please visit the registrar's office

How will the spring term be delivered? 

The spring term will be delivered in either remote, hybrid or on-campus format. 

Only students who have classes scheduled on campus will be pre-approved to be on campus. 

Visit the academic delivery plan for more information.

I am required to be on campus for in-person learning. What should I expect?

Conestoga has re-opened a limited number of campus facilities to support learning activities that cannot be completed remotely.

We’ve added a number of new procedures to protect the health, safety and well-being of our college community. For more information on what to expect, visit Campus access.

Only those required to be on campus for in-person teaching, learning or essential work purposes will be admitted.

Do I need a parking permit?

Students that require access to campus for learning activities do not require a parking permit at this time.

Please park in a designated parking space in the area closest to your entrance.

Do all courses delivered remotely have a class time scheduled for a certain day and time?

Courses delivered remotely will include some form of real-time virtual classes or drop-in times as well as asynchronous (self-directed) components.

Expectations regarding course delivery and participation will be communicated by faculty members at the start of the term and included in the instructional plan of your course.

Where can I find information about the delivery format for non-post-secondary programs, i.e., apprenticeship, LINC or academic upgrading?

Students in LINC and Academic Upgrading programs will receive information from their program teams regarding delivery.

Apprenticeship students should check their program page for information on delivery format.

What technology do I require for remote delivery?

Technology requirements for programs are posted on program web pages.

Students in remote and hybrid delivery courses will require a device, webcam functionality and reliable Internet access.

I have a field placement or co-op scheduled. What should I expect?

The format for co-op and field placements will be determined and communicated to students by program teams.

Can I live in residence for the 2020-2021 academic year?

Conestoga Residence will be open to students for winter 2021. 

Please visit FAQ: Residence for more details about safety measures, living arrangements and move-in day. 

Are Continuing Education courses still offered?

Continuing Education will continue to be offered in a remote/online/alternate delivery format.

Where can I order my books and course supplies for classes?

Physical and digital books can be ordered from the online bookstore with free shipping within Canada.

Once you receive your timetable, log into the bookstore kiosk by entering your student number to see your personalized booklist. Select the items you wish to order, add them to your cart and proceed to check out.

You can add any required supplies or uniforms to your cart.

For questions about resources, please visit the bookstore FAQ or email bookstore@conestogac.on.ca.

How do I get my student ONE Card?

Student ONE Cards are available in both digital and physical form. 

Visit the ONE Card website for further information about obtaining your card.

What protocols are in place to respond to identified COVID-19 cases on campus?

Conestoga has developed comprehensive protocols to respond to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases on campuses and sites.

Please visit COVID-19 resources for more information.

It is important to remember that a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case is personal health information and must be treated confidentially. Please do not share the personal health information of other individuals, which includes identifiable details (i.e., name) or details that would lead to their identification (i.e., program/department).  

I am finding it difficult to navigate the remote learning environment. What should I do?

The majority of programs at the college use eConestoga to organize and present course offerings to students digitally. You can help familiarize yourself with eConestoga through the following videos:

Further support for using online college resources can be accessed by making a remote tech support appointment.

I am feeling unwell. What should I do?

If you are concerned that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please use the online self-assessment to determine what actions to take. Visit Region of Waterloo Public Health, or your local public health agency’s website, for general information and recommendations on COVID-19.

Conestoga’s Medical Care Clinic can act as the primary care provider for international students, as well as domestic students who do not have a family doctor.

For mental health support, please visit Counselling Services.

FAQ: International students

As Conestoga continues to respond to COVID-19 updates, the International Office recognizes that this is an especially difficult time for international students.

We know that you have many unique questions related to your studies, visa, health insurance and other aspects related to your studies at Conestoga.

We will continue to add to this FAQ as more questions arise and more information is known.

The International Office is here to support you. If you have questions that have not been addressed, please reach out to the contacts below:

Immigration

What is the status of Conestoga's COVID-19 readiness plan and being listed as an approved designated learning institution (DLI)?

Conestoga has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.  

Visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for more information. 

Is my Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) affected by moving to online studies?

Courses of study delivered in an online-only format because of COVID-19 will not affect PGWP program eligibility.

Please visit IRCC for up-to-date information.

Will there be any processing delays in my application for renewal of my Study or Work Permit during COVID-19?

Processing times may be affected due to impacts of COVID-19. If you need to extend your status in Canada, it is recommended that you submit an application as soon as you're ready to avoid delays. 

Current and future studies

I plan to travel to Canada for my studies at Conestoga. What do I need to know?

Eligible international students planning to enter Canada for studies must carefully read and understand each section of the mandatory Safe Arrival and Quarantine Plan to help successfully abide by Canadian government COVID-19 protocols. 

All air travellers arriving into Toronto Pearson International Airport will be required to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test is in addition to the negative pre-boarding test result required to travel to Canada.

Effective February 22, a mandatory three-night hotel quarantine at an approved location is required upon arrival for all air travellers entering Canada. The hotel must be pre-booked prior to departure and costs are at the expense of the traveller. Once a negative COVID-19 test result has been received, travellers will be required to finish the remainder of their 14-day quarantine at their secondary location.  

Please consult the Government of Canada's Immigration and Citizenship for more information and prior to travelling, in addition to the plan and resources outlined through the college’s international office to support a safe arrival and transition to Conestoga.

Can I study online if I return home?

We recommend that you stay in Canada during this time to complete your studies. If you choose to return to your home country, remember that access to online materials may be a challenge as each country’s network infrastructure may be different. It is important to consider the risk of travel and challenges related to leaving and returning to Canada.

Please be aware of travel restrictions to Canada by checking the Canada.ca website.

What if I decide to go home to finish the semester?

If you decide to go home, please contact an International Student Advisor at internationaladvisor@conestogac.on.ca to let them know you plan to leave Canada to complete your semester at home. 

Financial assistance

Are there government supports for international students?

International students who meet the eligibility criteria laid out for Employment Insurance (EI) may qualify to receive this financial support. International students who are currently in Canada, who have worked the minimum number of hours and who meet the minimum income threshold can apply.

Health and wellness

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

If you think you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use the self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care.

Conestoga’s Medical Care Clinic acts as the primary care provider for all international students. Please email medicalcare@conestogac.on.ca from your Conestoga email account if you require medical support through a phone or video appointment.

To find answers to related health insurance plan questions, please view the FAQs listed at the top of the Studentcare website.

Who can I contact if I have a question about COVID-19?

If you have questions or concerns related to the current COVID-19 situation, please email covid19questions@conestogac.on.ca

If you need help from the International Office, please reach out to our Transition Coordinators at internationaltransition@conestogac.on.ca   

Who can I speak with if I am feeling anxious and unsure?

You may want to connect with friends and family online or over the phone more frequently. Currently, public health officials are recommending we take social distancing measures. 

Conestoga’s counselling and peer support services are available for remote appointments to help students take care of their mental health. Please email counselling@conestogac.on.ca through your Conestoga email account to book a phone appointment. You must be currently living in Ontario to access this service.

You can also access a variety of supports online and over the phone:

  • Good2Talk: Call 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868
  • Big White Wall: An online peer-to-peer support community
What does physical distancing mean?

Physical distancing means making changes in your everyday routine to minimize close contact with others, including

  • avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings,
  • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes,
  • limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g., older adults and those in poor health), and
  • keeping a distance of at least two arms' length (approximately two metres) from others as much as possible.
I live with roommates. How can I practice physical distancing?

Have open communication with roommates about physical distancing: 

  • Do not invite friends or guests to visit your house/apartment 
  • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face 
  • Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces with a disinfecting cleaning solution
  • Greet others with a wave instead of a handshake, hug or kiss 
  • Minimize outdoor trips and go to grocery stores at off-peak hours

Visit Canada.ca for more information on physical distancing.

Housing

I don’t have housing. What can I do?

If you don’t have a place to stay, please visit our housing databaseweb page and YouTube channel for housing search resources. Please reach out to our International Transition Coordinator team at internationaltransition@conestogac.on.ca for additional housing support and resources.

I am struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19. What should I do?

Communicate your concerns to your landlord via email or phone. Inform them of your intention to pay rent and that your ability to pay has been affected by COVID-19 (i.e., lay off, job loss).

I can’t pay rent due to COVID-19. Can my landlord ask me to leave right away?

You may not need to leave your housing right away, as different rules apply depending on your situation. Please visit Steps to Justice for information on what you can do if your landlord asks you to leave. For further support, please email the International Transition Coordinator team at internationaltransition@conestogac.on.ca.

I am not able to pay my utility bills due to COVID-19. What can I do?

If you pay for heat, electricity or water in addition to your rent and are struggling to pay due to COVID-19, call your utility company to ask if they offer assistance. 

Brantford

Cambridge

Guelph

Kitchener

Waterloo

Where can I get more information on housing laws?

For further information on housing laws and COVID-19, access Steps to Justice COVID-19 Housing LawLandlord & Tenant BoardCommunity Legal Education Ontario - Housing Law or Legal Aid Ontario.

FAQ: Residence

Conestoga Residence realizes the COVID-19 pandemic may leave students with many questions about residence. To ensure that students in residence have a safe living environment, our services have made adaptations to operations based on recommendations from Public Health.

Please reference the information and frequently asked questions below. Further questions can be directed to info@conestogaresidence.ca.

Safety measures in place at Conestoga Residence

Housekeeping

Conestoga Residence has increased cleaning and disinfecting standards to continue exceeding Public Health guidelines and so students feel comfortable in their new home. Our enhanced cleaning practices include using an electrostatic sprayer and increased frequency of disinfecting high-touch surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations are available at entrances and throughout the residence.

Front desk

As the front desk is a primary hub for students to ask questions, seek support and access resources, Conestoga Residence now has plexiglass shields at the front desk to keep both students and staff safe.

Room style changes

Students living in residence will not have a roommate during the winter 2021 term. This will continue until it is deemed safe to change.

Events and community

Residence Life staff will continue to run events to ensure students feel supported, engaged and connected. Communities will stay connected virtually as we work within Public Health guidelines to bring unique and innovative initiatives to continue enhancing students’ residence experience.

Can I live in residence this year?

Conestoga Residence will continue to be open for students in winter 2021. We will continue making changes to provide a safe environment that is conducive to your academic success.

Will I have a roommate?

Students living in residence will not have a roommate during the winter 2021 term. This will continue until it is deemed safe to change.

I no longer plan to live in residence. Will I receive a refund for my residence fees?

Typically, refunds are granted as per the Termination and Cancellation Policy within Conestoga Residence’s Student Resident Agreement. In recognition that these are unprecedented times, we are working with students who are cancelling their residence application to establish appropriate outcomes.

Please contact info@conestogaresidence.ca for more information.

What kind of screening will I need to complete when moving into residence?

Prior to moving into residence, students will be required to complete the pre-screening available on the Conestoga Mobile Safety App. Those who are unable to complete the pre-screening will be screened upon arrival, but are likely to face additional delays in gaining entry. All students must pass the pre-screening, including the question asking if they have been outside of the country in the past 14 days.

Can a guest visit me in residence?

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, guests are not currently permitted in residence. We encourage students to make use of public spaces in the surrounding area to safely meet up with friends or family while taking appropriate safety precautions.

If I want to defer my program to spring/fall 2021, will I be guaranteed a spot in residence?

Unfortunately, it is too early to make guarantees about spring 2021 or fall 2021 residence accommodations. The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly evolving and Conestoga Residence continues to make decisions within Public Health guidelines.

FAQ: Employees

Employee frequently asked questions will be updated to reflect operational changes in governmental and college responses to COVID-19.

Conestoga continues to offer many services and supports remotely to students, employees and the community. Please visit Remote services for more information.

What are the start and end dates of the winter term?

Most Conestoga courses, including courses comprised of a combination of in-country and out-of-country students, will begin the week of January 18 and end May 1.

Will there be a Student Success Week during the winter term?

Student Success Week is scheduled for March 8 to 12 for most programs.

Some apprenticeship and workforce development courses, as well as programs with irregular start dates, may have classes during this time. 

Who will be on campus during the winter term?

Only those required to be on campus for in-person teaching, learning or essential work purposes will be admitted.

All students and employees seeking admission to campus will be required to complete screening and comply with established guidelines.

What should I do if I need to briefly be on campus but am not required to be on campus?

Employees that need access to campus for reasons other than in-person teaching, learning or essential work purposes will need to fill out the Access to Campus Request form (employee login required). 

Please contact Security Services for more information.

What are the pre-screening protocols to go on campus?

Prior to arrival, complete the pre-screening application available on the Conestoga Mobile Safety App. Those unable to complete pre-screening will be screened upon arrival but are likely to face delays in gaining entry.

If travelling by car, park in a designated parking space in the area closest to your entrance. Parking permits are not required at this time. 

Line up in a single file line at designated markings (2 m/6 feet apart) located outside building entry points. Sanitize your hands at the provided sanitizing station prior to entering.

Plan to arrive 45 minutes to one hour in advance of your scheduled activity to allow time for the completion of entrance procedures, including screening verification and temperature checks. Those who arrive late may be refused entry.

This process will be required each time you seek entrance to a campus building or facility.

What infection controls measures have been implemented on campus?

Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols have been introduced specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a safe and healthy campus environment and reduce the potential risk of infection transmission.

In addition to enhanced cleaning protocols, heavy traffic areas and common spaces, such as entrances, hallways and washrooms, will be cleaned multiple times daily.

All teaching and learning areas will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to the entrance of each group to minimize the potential risk of cross-contamination.

How have campus facilities been changed in response to COVID-19?

Campus facilities have been modified to ensure compliance with Public Health guidelines regarding physical distancing, protective equipment, infection control measures and cleaning.

Signage has been added to provide instructions and directional guidance as well to support physical distancing at entrances and in designated learning zones.

Hand sanitizing stations have been added at entrances, in shop areas and additional locations throughout all campuses.

Furniture and equipment layouts have been reconfigured to reduce density and capacity of communal spaces, including classrooms, labs, shops and studios used for instruction. Transparent barriers will be installed as necessary.

Will I be required to wear a face mask when on campus?

Students and employees will be required to wear face masks at all times while on campus.

Masks will be provided when you enter the building. You will not be permitted to wear your own mask.

Additional PPE, including gloves and gowns, face shields, and lab-specific equipment will be made available for designated activities on an as-needed basis.

What facilities are open on campus?

Common areas, food service outlets and on-campus services will remain closed at this time. If you are required to be on campus for an extended period, please bring any food you will require as well as a refillable water bottle. Water refilling stations will be available.

Washroom facilities will be available in designated learning zones.

What steps can I take on campus to reduce the potential risk of infection transmission?

Follow directional signage and designated pathways to proceed directly to your teaching, learning or work destination.

Maintain physical distancing while moving through hallways.

Keep your hands clean by washing them frequently with soap and water, or by using hand sanitizer located at stations throughout campus. 

What can I expect when leaving campus?

When you have completed your activity, exit the campus following the designated path.

Dispose of your mask in an appropriate receptacle as you exit and sanitize your hands.

What protocols are in place to respond to identified COVID-19 cases on campus?

Conestoga has developed comprehensive protocols to respond to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases on campuses and sites.

Please visit COVID-19 resources for more information.

It is important to remember that a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case is personal health information and must be treated confidentially. Please do not share the personal health information of other individuals, which includes identifiable details (i.e., name) or details that would lead to their identification (i.e., program/department).