Living in Calgary
Calgary is close to the world-famous Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park. It is home to over a million people and is the fourth largest city in Canada.
Calgary offers visitors activities all year. Enjoy the beautiful views while hiking, biking, or skiing. Or check out the cultural and artistic scene.
The city hosts many events, including the annual Calgary Stampede in July. Bow Valley College is in the heart of the city's busy core. You'll find great restaurants, shopping centres, and many artistic and cultural attractions. Minutes away is the Bow River. It has beautiful views from the park and a never-ending pathway system you can walk, jog or bike along.
Calgary is a great place to do business and start your career. Many Canadian and international head offices are here. The city's economy is expected to create 244,000 new jobs over the next decade.
It shows one of the highest average wages of any other city in Canada. We've had the lowest average unemployment rate of major Canadian cities for the last 10 years. As a result, Bow Valley College students have found employment soon after graduation.
This city has an outstanding record of public safety. It's ranked as one of the top cities in the world to live.
About our weather
Calgary offers an opportunity to enjoy and experience all four seasons. The winters are cold. The summers are hot. Because of the dry climate, there are lots of sunny days and very few rainy ones. Additionally, the warm Chinook winds give us breaks from the cold during winter months.
Bow Valley College does not offer on or off-campus housing. But we can help you find out what your options are. Use this list to find about homestay, rentals, and student housing at SAIT.
Please note that Bow Valley College is not affiliated with any of these companies. We cannot guarantee the quality of service or accommodation.
Hotels for Quarantine
International students must must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada (starting from the date you arrive in Canada). Bow Valley College signed a contract with Hampton Inn (traditional guestrooms) and Homewood Suites (suites with kitchens) hotels to offer our students discounted rates check the links below for more information and to book your stay:
Homestay and student residence
- Pick Homestay and Airport Pick-up: Bow Valley College students receive a discount with Pick Homestay. It allows international students to live with a host family and experience the new culture as a member of the family.
- Canada Homestay International: Allows international students to live in a Canadian home as a member of the family.
- SAIT residence: Bow Valley College students are eligible to live in SAIT residence.
- Places4Students.com has partnered with SABVC to ensure that you can find affordable off-campus housing.
These websites will give you information on the rights of renters and landlords:
Medical Health Insurance
To be adequately protected for medical health insurance coverage, students should have both basic and extended medical insurance plans.
Basic Coverage for all students: Alberta Health Care
Alberta Health Care Insurance is a basic health care coverage that is administered and governed by the provincial Government of Alberta. All eligible recipients are required by law to be covered by this insurance plan.
Students must enrol themselves for Alberta Health Care Insurance when they arrive and establish a residence in Alberta, registration is not automatic. For specific details on Alberta Health Care Insurance benefits and how to register please refer to the website health.alberta.ca.
Other links of interest:
To find health care information, please visit Alberta Health Services' website.
Extended Health Care
Health insurance is provided through the Student Association of Bow Valley for students enrolled in certificate, diploma and post-diploma programs. This insurance is mandatory and included in tuition and fees every semester. For more information on Extended Health Care coverage, click here.
Popular attractions in Calgary
Calgary Tower: Go 626 feet to the top of the tower for stunning, 360-degree views of the city and Rockies.
Glenbow Museum: One of western Canada’s largest museums. The exhibits focus the heritage and history of the Canadian west.
Calgary Zoo: Animals and birds from Canada and around the world.
Stephen Avenue Walk: A national historic district. Over 1000 shops and some of Calgary’s best restaurants and pubs are here.
Calgary Stampede: Every July, the old west comes alive with this citywide celebration. There are chuckwagon races, rodeos, rides and grandstand shows.
Eau Claire: Home to the bustling Eau Claire Market and one of the city’s best-loved parks, Prince’s Island.
Popular attractions around Calgary
Banff: Banff National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Winter sports and lots of summer activities make it popular for tourists all year. See wildlife, mountains and lakes. Furthermore, the town of Banff has great shopping and restaurants.
Lake Louise: What makes Lake Louise one of Canada’s most famous destinations? The beautiful blue-green, glacial water of Moraine Lake.
Jasper: Jasper National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's also one of North America's largest natural areas at 11,228 square kilometres. Visitors can see glaciers, canyons, waterfalls and wildlife. The clear lakes, forest and mountains surround the friendly town of Jasper.
Learn more about Calgary and Alberta
With our downtown location, there are a variety of options for getting to and around the campus. For more information on our commuter options visit our Getting Here and Around page.
Bow Valley College does not provide discounted monthly transit passes. For further information on transit passes and tickets kindly visit the Calgary Transit website found here.
International Learners that have never filed taxes in Canada are not eligible for the Low Income Monthly Pass. In the event you have a Notice of Assessment from taxes filed, please present this information to the Calgary Transit Office in order to be assessed on your eligibility to purchase the Low Income Bus Pass.
Note: The Notice of Assessment is the only accepted proof of income for International Learners at this time.