Guidelines for Accompanying Family Members while at Coady

Participants attending educational programs at the Coady Institute may wish to bring their spouses / partners and dependent children with them to Antigonish during their study program.

In such cases, the participants are wholly responsible for all costs associated with accompanying family members, including visa and travel, meals and accommodation, health insurance and child care.

Visas:  The Coady Institute provides a supporting letter to the Visa authorities at the Canadian Embassy on behalf of the individual participant who has been accepted in an Institute program.  Foreign nationals have the right to apply under their own name for Canadian visas for accompanying family members, but this is not a process in which the educational institution has any standing or influence.  The concerned individual must provide the Canadian visa authorities with a personal letter that explains why they wish to have their spouse and/or children accompany them to Canada.  We are informed that including family members on a visa application may influence the visa officer’s final decision.

As part of this process, applicants will likely be required to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support themselves and accompanying family members during their time in Canada.  Given the short-term nature of Coady educational programs, family members will not likely be granted permission to work while in Canada.

Dependent Children:  In the case of a foreign national who has been approved to attend a Coady program and subsequently secures a visa for their dependent child, that visa will likely authorize their stay in Canada for the same period as the applicant’s course.  All minor children are entitled to pursue education at the pre-school, primary, or secondary level of study provided one of their parents is authorized to work or study in Canada.  However, the related logistics (registration, etc) and all related costs, including those of child care, are wholly the responsibility of the participant.

Accommodation while in Antigonish:  The residences at St Francis Xavier University are designed for single adults. Some multi-room apartments are available within the University residences but these are relatively expensive (CAD $120 per night for an apartment with three single bedrooms).  It is possible to secure more affordable and appropriate accommodation off-campus: for prospective renters, a related Facebook page is the best place to get started.  Furnished apartments can be found off-season at CAD $800 – $1,000 a month, while multi-bedroom homes are around CAD $1,500 per month.

Child care in Antigonish:  In Nova Scotia, there are a number of child-care options available, at least on paper. You can have your child cared for in a licensed child-care centre, or in a home that is approved by a licensed family home day-care agency. You may also choose unlicensed care where your child receives care by someone in their home or in yours. In Antigonish, there are multiple private day-care centres in including one on campus. These centres generally maintain working day hours (7:00 am to 5:30 pm), at a cost of approximately $35-$40 / day.  Some centres require a full week or longer term commitment, while others are more flexible.  In summary, the primary challenge with regards to child care in Antigonish is to secure a place for short-term or irregular day placements.  As such, it is important that incoming participants accompanied by children confirm child-care arrangements beforehand with the care providers.

Food while in Antigonish:  Coady participants have access to the University cafeteria for all their meals. The meal plan option is not available for family members, and purchasing cafeteria meals on a day-by-day basis is expensive. For those living off-campus with kitchen facilities, the cost of food for a family of four can be estimated at approximately $150 per week.

Health insurance:  Coady participants have emergency health insurance coverage under a special program secured for international students.  Accompanying family members may be required to show that they have health insurance to cover any medical issues that arise while they are in country.  Standard health insurance coverage costs approximately CAD $50 per week per person, but policies come with a wide variety of conditions and exclusions. None are likely to cover non-emergency dental care or eye care or medication or treatment for pre-existing conditions.

Tuition Fees: Fees paid by participants contribute towards tuition-related costs related to their programs. Coady bursaries (funded through endowments and donations) cover costs of room and board, medical insurance, etc.  Participants who choose to live off campus and/or not make use of University food services effectively forego their bursary award, and do not receive a rebate on their tuition.

For any related questions or issues, please contact