International students often face unique situations because of their status as temporary residents, and can feel lost during emergencies because of their lack of familiarity with the country. The Queen's University International Centre (QUIC) has a web page devoted solely to health and safety for incoming international students.
The QUIC, in conjunction with Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS), also provides cross-cultural counselling to international students looking for guidance or help adjusting to life in Canada. Call 613-533-2893 for an appointment with Arunima Khanna.
Additionally, the QUIC offers non-academic advising to international members of the Queen's community. Stop by QUIC (in the John Deutsch University Centre), Monday through Friday, 1 pm - 4:30 pm (no appointment necessary), if you have questions or concerns.
QUIC is your best resource for safety planning information; but in the meantime, here are a few tips for international students in Canada:
- Temporary resident status necessarily means a different relationship with the law than permanent residents enjoy. International students who run into trouble with the law face additional penalties, on top of customary ones. Also, having a problematic legal record makes applying for future Canadian visas more difficult.
- Don't use your passport as your main form of identification in everyday life, to avoid losing it or having it confiscated or stolen. For students who don't have drivers' licenses or other accepted forms of identification, apply for the BYID card from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). The ID costs $30 and is accepted as a valid form of identification for anyone between the ages of 19 and 35.
- In the case of an emergency, contact the Kingston Police immediately (911). The phone operator will continue talking with you until help arrives. For other emergency contact information, see the Safety Resource List.
- Don't leave drinks—alcoholic or non-alcoholic—unattended. Any drink in any location can be drugged, so ensure you are watching all of your beverages, not just alcoholic ones.