Update 11: ILAC update on COVID in Canada

November 18, 2020

From the desk of Jonathan Kolber 



I’d like to share with you my expectations regarding COVID-19, vaccines and testing that I believe will positively impact international student mobility to Canada. 


After speaking extensively to leading medical professionals in our community, I am optimistic about safe travel, in person study and developing herd immunity in 2021. Below is my expected timeline of events: 


Lockdown – Within two weeks

Canada needs to avert a hospital capacity crisis and I expect the country will have no choice but to go into lockdown again next week until the end of the year.  

This will help our industry and community get to the other side of the pandemic. We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and we have a plan on how to get there.  


Vaccines – December 2020

Two vaccines with 95% effectiveness will be ready and approved for use in Canada. The Canadian Government has already purchased 20 million vaccines from Pfizer and 50 million vaccines from Moderna. Other vaccines under development include not just needles, but nasal spray and a vaccine that can be swallowed. For live updates, follow the New York Times COVID19 Tracker


Initial distribution – January 2021

Distribution will take time due to challenges in delivery. The most vulnerable populations will be vaccinated first: the elderly, people with compromised immune systems and frontline healthcare workers. 


Distribution to general population – Spring 2021

Vaccinations will be distributed to the general public starting in March, but it will take time. By late summer, the population is expected to approach herd immunity, which occurs when 60-70% of the population has either recovered from COVID or has been vaccinated.  


Rapid testing – Early 2021

We expect Canada will offer rapid testing at airports, meaning arriving students will be able to get tested on the spot with results in 15 minutes.   


Return to normal – September 2021

We expect COVID will be tamed and life will mostly return to normal, with students in Canada studying in classrooms without masks.   


Is the vaccine safe?

I am not an expert, but I will be the first in line to take it.  There is not a single doctor that I am aware of who does not support the safety and importance of this vaccine. 


I hope this helps with your planning and recruitment of students to Canada in the new year.  


At ILAC, we look forward to recruiting pathway students in time for a healthy September 2021 intake for public sector higher education programs. 












Update 10: ILAC receives approval to reopen to international students outside of Canada

November 10, 2020


ILAC is now on the approved list of designated learning institutions (DLIs) that have reopened to international students from outside of Canada. Thlist also includes ILAC’s Higher Education division made up of ILAC International College, Sterling College and Canadian Tourism College (CTC). 


International students who have or have been approved for a study permit and are travelling to Canada for a non-discretionary or non-optional purpose are now able to attend courses at ILAC schools in Toronto and Vancouver. 


In order to reopen to international students who aren’t currently in Canada, Ontario and British Columbia had to review ILAC’s COVID-19 readiness plan to ensure it protects the health and safety of all students, staff and the ILAC community. ILAC’s readiness plan includes safe and comfortable accommodation arrangements for the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for new students. 


“We’ve been safely running in-person classes since July,” says Jonathan Kolber, CEO of ILAC. “Now we’ve come full circle and are ready to receive international students who aren’t currently in Canada. It’s been a long road and our team has worked tirelessly to make it happen.” 


Over the past few months, ILAC has successfully provided quarantine accommodation in Toronto and Vancouver for more than 70 international students who arrived in Canada during COVID-19. Overall, ILAC students have reported feeling happy and safe during their mandatory self-isolation, whether they stayed in homestay, residence or in a hotel. 


The complete list of institutions is available on the IRCC web page for international students affected by COVID-19 restrictions and is updated on a regular basis.  


For more information contact Bogie Anaya, Head of Public & Media Relations | bogie@ilac.com 


Update 9: ILAC gets the “green” light to reopen its campuses in Toronto and Vancouver

September 1, 2020


ILAC has officially reopened its campuses in Toronto and Vancouver, in accordance with Ontario government health and safety guidelines. All students, teachers and staff will continue to follow ILAC safety protocol, which includes temperature checks upon entrance into the buildings, mandatory face masks, social distancing, regular hand-washing, medical-grade air filters in each classroom and hand-sanitizer stations. 


Most major Canadian cities have now been designated “green zones” on a Harvard scale for safely reopening schools, which means they pose a very low risk of coming in contact with COVID – 19. Communities with fewer than one daily new case per 100,000 people are considered green, which indicates that the virus is close to containment. 


Canada has extended international travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine until September 30th to limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 into the country. 


For more information about ILAC health and safety measures and return to campus guidelines, please contactinfo@ilac.comor visit theILAC Student Health & Safety Portal

Update 8: ILAC Reopening in Toronto

August 12, 2020


ILAC Toronto will be reopening its doors on Monday, August 17th! Students in Toronto will have the option of attending in-person classes (with online elective options) or continue studying virtually with ILAC KISS.


ILAC Vancouver has been running in-person classes since July 6th. A full-time schedule of on-site classes will resume in both Vancouver and Toronto starting Monday, August 31st, as part of the phased re-opening.


ILAC will continue to follow Canadian and provincial government and public health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff.


All students must observe the ILAC COVID-19 Safety Plan requirements while attending classes at any of the ILAC campuses.


For more information about ILAC health and safety measures and return to campus guidelines, please contact info@ilac.com or visit the ILAC Student Health & Safety Portal.


We look forward to welcoming students back on campus and let’s work together to stay #ILACSafe!


Update 7: ILAC Reopening - Accommodation & Self-Isolation Plan

June 15, 2020


ILAC is planning to reopen its physical campuses in the coming weeks and months. We are very excited to resume in-person classes in Vancouver starting July 6, and in Toronto once we have provincial approval.


ILAC has secured socially distant accommodation for all students arriving in Canada in accordance with Public Health guidelines and Languages Canada. Students who come to Canada this summer have the option of choosing to stay with an ILAC homestay family, at an ILAC residence or airport hotels in Toronto and Vancouver*.


Upon arrival in Canada, all international students will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, as per government regulations.




A select number of ILAC host families are ready to welcome students from around the world.

To ensure everyone’s safety, every student will be required to fill out an ILAC Consent Form before they arrive.




Students can choose from the following private accommodation for their 14-day self-isolation period:



ILAC is deeply committed to the safety of each and every staff member and student. Let’s all work together to stay healthy and safe.


*Additional fees will apply. Please contact your ILAC representative for more information.

Update 6: ILAC Reopening Plan – Phase 1

May 27, 2020,  3pm EST


ILAC is getting ready to reopen its campuses in Vancouver and Toronto in a socially distant, responsible way.



  • ILAC will move to a blended learning model consisting of both online and in-person classes

  • ILAC KISS classes will continue and in-person classes will be optional

  • Physical classes will be offered in Toronto and Vancouver with 3-4 students in a class

  • In-person classes will be offered twice a week and will gradually move to 5 days per week as we monitor the situation in Canada

Safety Measures:

  • Thermometers for taking student/employee temperatures at the main entrance

  • Social distancing inside all schools and classrooms

  • Masks will be provided to all students – we have 5000 in stock and 30,000 ordered

  • Students will be required to wear masks at all times

  • Medical grade air filters, (HEPA Filtration Units) as used by dentists and medical clinics, 180 in stock and 1 for each classroom and common areas which clean the air 4 times per hour

  • Hand sanitizers at all entrances and in stock

  • Regular hand washing protocol (signage across the building)

  • Disinfection through fogging and misting

  • Face shields for employees in high traffic areas and for teachers

  • Nurses on-campus to monitor all procedures are being followed correctly

  • Vancouver will allow for a maximum of 50 people per floor as per city guidelines (no information for Toronto yet)

Isolation Measures for New Arrivals:

  • Dedicated homestay families willing to quarantine new arrivals in both Toronto and Vancouver

  • Securing hotels that are setting up for self-quarantine

Expected Reopening Dates:

  • Vancouver will reopen first, we are optimistic about beginning Phase 1 in July

  • Toronto will reopen at the end of the summer, August or September

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide more updates as they become available.

Update 5: How ILAC is supporting students

March 18, 2020,  11am EST


ILAC offices are open in Toronto and Vancouver and our team is ready and available to help support students, teachers and partners.


Online Classes

Students at both ILAC and ILACIC are now participating in virtual classrooms. Each student will receive an email from their teachers inviting them to join the class via a link.


Teachers are excited to connect and engage with students in real-time while keeping the community safe from the spread of the virus.

Please contact online@ilac.com for questions on accessing the virtual classroom.



ILAC will offer a non-cash credit for unused weeks for students who want to leave early.  


Future students

Students who were planning to come to Canada can postpone their travel up to 12 months.


Please contact your local agent or in-market representative for information about how to postpone or cancel your studies.

Update 4: Canada Immediately Closing Borders to Foreign Travellers

March 16, 2020,  3pm EST


Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has announced today that Canada is closing its borders to all foreign travellers to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


ILAC recommends that all students planning to come to Canada from overseas should postpone their studies until after May 1, 2020.


Watch the press conference with Justin Trudeau and please stay tuned for more updates as they come in.

Update 3: Message from the CEO of ILAC Regarding Coronavirus

March 15, 2020,  11am EST


“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin Roosevelt


There is a lot of anxiety around the world at the moment but ILAC continues to be positive during this time. We know that the COVID-19 virus will pass and life will soon get back to normal. However, it is through social contact that the virus spreads.


As a result, we are telling students to stay home for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with the Canadian government advisory. All classes at ILAC Toronto and Vancouver and ILAC International College will be held online from March 16th until March 30th. All additional activities, including orientations and trips, will be postponed until further notice.


We encourage every school in Canada to do the same. In fact, it would be irresponsible not to.


ILAC teachers are ready and enthusiastic to teach and engage students online from the comfort of their homes. Administrative staff will be working flexible hours to take care of their children and families but will continue to support students and agents.


This decision is not based on fear but rather the responsibility and sensibility to protect the health and safety of all our students, teachers, homestays and staff. Instructions from the Public Health Agency of Canada state that anyone that comes to Canada will be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.


Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” During this time we will lead with strength and resilience as a company to protect our students and our community.


Staying calm and respectful and avoiding social interactions, practicing social distancing and following proper health precautions are the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus.


As we all know, Canada is one of the safest places to be in the world, with an excellent health care system that is well-prepared and citizens who are behaving responsibly.


Young and healthy students are safe here – let’s work together to keep it that way.




Jonathan Kolber

Update 2: Latest Coronavirus update from ILAC

March 4th, 2020


At ILAC we take the health and safety of our students, staff and homestay families very seriously. We are continually monitoring the development with respect to the Coronavirus (now referred to as COVID-19).


We are continuing with our heightened cleaning routines and availability of hand sanitizers throughout all of our Toronto and Vancouver campuses.


With evolving global cases of the virus, the list of affected areas beyond mainland China now includes Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Iran and Italy. We have advised our staff and students who have arrived from any of these affected areas to monitor their health for 14 days after their arrival in Canada for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing) associated with the virus.


Those who develop symptoms should contact:


Toronto Public Health Line: 416-338-7600

BC Provincial Health Line: 811


For more information, please visit the following resources:


Ontario Public Health

BC Public Health

World Health Organization updates on the virus

Government of Canada updates on the virus

Travel Advice and Advisories


We will continue to update everyone as new information becomes available.

Update 1: Latest Coronavirus update from ILAC

Updated: January 27th, 2020


As new developments emerge regarding the Coronavirus we are following the situation carefully and taking precautionary measures.


ILAC has implemented heightened cleaning guidelines, increased health-related signage and made hand disinfectants available to all our students and staff across our campuses in Toronto and Vancouver.


As is the usual best practice, we encourage students and staff to:

  • Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when needed
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • If you have a severe cold or the flu, stay home

The safety of our students and staff members is incredibly important to us and we will continue to update you as necessary.


For more information, please visit the following resources:

Ontario Public Health

BC Public Health

World Health Organization updates on the virus

Government of Canada updates on the virus

Travel Advice and Advisories


We will continue to update everyone as new information becomes available.

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