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. Alternately, experience Calgary’s vibrant arts & culture.
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 will find great restaurants, shopping centres, 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.
This city has an outstanding record of public safety and is 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. Because of the dry climate, Calgary enjoys a lot of sunlight, and minimal rain. In the winter, warm Chinook winds provide a welcome breaks throughout the winter.
Hotels for Quarantine
International students must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada (starting from the date you arrive in Canada). If you are considering a hotel or motel for your quarantine, the Hampton Inn (traditional guestrooms) and Homewood Suites (suites with kitchens) offer our students discounted rates. Please review the links below for more information and to book your stay:
Bow Valley College does not offer on or off-campus housing, however we offer a list of resources for housing options, including, 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.
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 have an amazing cultural experience.
- 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 provide information on the rights of renters and landlords:
Medical Health Insurance
Students arriving before the start of class, must ensure they possess their own private medical or travel insurance that covers medical expenses in Canada. This coverage must be valid until the start of their term. After the start of their term, mandatory student insurance plans will come into effect.
For career students:
Career students can request a copy of their Gallivan insurance card from the Student Benefits Plan Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for additional information on the student benefits plan.
For ELL students:
All ELL students receive their Guard.me insurance cards via email within the first week of classes. If you do not have your card, please email email@example.com
For all students:
All students must enroll themselves in the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan when they arrive. Registration is not automatic.
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.
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.
Prince’s Island: One of the city’s best-loved parks, hosting festivals throughout the year.
Popular attractions around Calgary
Banff: Banff National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Winter sports and summer activities make it popular for tourists all year. Enjoy wildlife, as well as shopping and dining, in the town’s commercial centre.
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 kilometers. 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. Students who have filed their taxes, will receive a Notice of Assessment and can present this information to the Calgary Transit Office in order to be assessed on Low Income Bus Pass eligibility.
Note: The Notice of Assessment is the only accepted proof of income for International Learners at this time.