The Hunter Gates Academy

Pre- Departure Guide

Glitter and Gold General Greeting Birthd

Welcome!

We are pleased to have you at The Hunter Gates Academy.  You will become familiar with Edmonton's capital region as well as the City of Beaumont.  You will make your own discoveries, but this material will help you to get started and to make some decisions before leaving. Please remember that once in Canada, The Academy staff is always available to assist you in finding the answers to any questions you may have.

 

Sincerely,

Hunter Gates

Director

INDEX

CONTACT INFORMATION 

YOUR FLIGHT 

Purchasing an airline ticket

Additional tips for ticket and flight 

Required documents 

Duty and Customs 

What to pack in your carry-on 

Luggage 

Luggage packing tips 

What to do if the airline loses your luggage 

 

TRANSPORTATION 

 

MONEY 

Spending money 

Exchanging/accessing money 

CELL PHONES + OTHER OPTIONS 

HEALTH ABROAD 

Health insurance in order to participate in our program

Hospitals

Pharmacies 

Contact lenses 

Insulin 

Immunization

Permission for emergency treatment

Food and diet 

Substance abuse 

MORE GENERAL INFO 

Weather 

Safety in Alberta 

Encountering intolerance while traveling 

Cultural differences 

Crime 

Water 

CONTACT INFORMATION (keep all this info in your carry-on)

Office Contact in Beaumont: (+1) 780 737 3003

When making local calls in Canada, omit the country code: (+1) when dialing Email: director@huntergatesacademy.com

CLASS LOCATION and Administration:

117-535 Magasin Ave, Beaumont AB T4X1V8 Canada 

YOUR FLIGHT

Purchasing an airline ticket

Do not purchase your ticket before receiving the official confirmation. We recommend reserving a flight that will arrive in Edmonton, Canada (Airport code YEG). Remember to shop around, there are tons of sites you can buy from. Please note that you can also purchase tickets from other local travel agents and online consolidators. Keep in mind that most cheap tickets often have restrictions and you may encounter difficulty in changing your flight dates or times. Please send us your flight itinerary once you’ve purchased your ticket. 

Additional tips for ticket and flight

  ● Since overseas flights do fill up (especially at the cheaper rates), it is advisable to start the process of looking for a ticket early.

  ● Mark each piece of luggage with your name and our office address (snail-mail address): c/o The Hunter Gates Academy, 117-5305 Magasin Ave, Beaumont, Alberta Canada T4X1V8 (your own address does little good when your luggage is lost and you need it delivered to you…)

  ● Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the flight. Don’t forget your ticket, or e-ticket confirmation, and passport.

  ● Keep a photocopy of your passport and ticket somewhere safe. If your passport or ticket is lost or stolen, it will be easier to get it replaced with a photocopy.

  ● ID at the airport must be a passport, and for students coming from the US and Canada, valid at least 6 months beyond your date of return.

Required documents

A valid passport is required if you are not a Canadian citizen. You should apply for a passport as soon as possible if you do not already have one. Approximately 6-8 weeks are needed for processing time, but be aware that the process may take longer, particularly during peak travel times. If you already have a passport, please check that it has not expired.

Duty and Customs

“Know before you go!” When returning home, make sure that you do not bring items that are considered prohibited or illegal by your country. You are responsible for knowing what is legal to bring home.

What to pack in your carry-on

  ● Important documents: passport and visa, IDs, directions to your destination (above)

  ● Phone numbers (contacts in Canada and your emergency number)

  ● Jacket or sweatshirt (planes get cold on long flights)

  ● A good book, magazine, travel guide, or an iPod

  ● Any prescription medicines (including contact lenses and glasses)

  ● Cash in Canadian Dollars (Canadian currency) for a snack, bus ticket, taxi, or whatever

ATTENTION: currently you can only take small amounts of liquids or pastes in your carry-on luggage - no more than 3.4 ounces or 100ml containers - and they must be stored in a clear plastic zip-lock bag (quart size).

Luggage

Regardless of the program, try no to pack excessively. You will need sweatpants and a few t-shirts good for working in the studio and mostly black, enough to be able to go for a week without doing laundry. And remember, you can always shop for what you need in Canada!

Luggage packing suggestions

  ● LAYERS. Focus on mixing and matching layers. If you are coming here during summer the temperature is in between 23°C (74°F) and 10°C ( 50°F), but it can get to 81°F (27°C). In winter the coolest months are January and February with a temperature that goes between -12°C (10°F) and -40°C (-40°F).

  ● SWEAT PANTS AND CLOTHES APPROPRIATE FOR PHYSICAL WORK. You’ll be always working dressed in black. You also will be in class most of the day and opportunities to do laundry might be few and far between.

  ● MP3 PLAYERS, iPods, LAPTOPS are a good idea so that you can enjoy some of your favorite music. Make sure to bring an adaptor if your appliances require so. We suggest you buy all the adaptors you might need, prior to your departure.

Luggage packing tips

  ● Roll your clothing when you pack. You can fit more in a suitcase and your clothes will be less wrinkled.

  ● Pack an extra bag in your luggage to use on your return trip home. You will usually leave with more than you came with. Be aware of airlines’ weight and space regulations regarding luggage. Airlines provide a limited amount of space for luggage, especially for overseas flights. Please be aware of the regulations as the airline may charge you extra to transport luggage that exceeds set limits.

What to do if the airline loses your luggage

  ● Report missing items to the proper authorities at the airport. Look for the lost luggage information desk in the baggage claim area of the airport in which you arrive.

  ● Ask them to deliver your bag to The Hunter Gates Academy 117-5305 Magasin Ave, Beaumont Alberta - Canada T4X 1V8

  ● Give them this phone contact information: +1 780-737-3003 They will print out a page with your lost luggage information, that will have your claim reference number. Do not lose this piece of paper. We will need this document to help you follow up with the airline, once you arrive on site.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation from Edmonton Airport to Beaumont is fairly straightforward. Once you collect your luggage you will find yourself in the airport hall. We will be there to pick you up.  Please look for a friendly face that is holding a card with your name on it.  If you need assistance, there is a customer service desk on the arrivals level.  There are also car rentals at the airport, should you wish to have your own transportation while in the Edmonton area.  You should make arrangements prior to leaving your home to assure there is a car waiting for you upon your arrival.  Academy staff will still meet you at the airport to assure that your arrival in Canada is a smooth one.

 

MONEY

The currency in Canada is the DOLLAR. You can check currency conversion rates online at www.xe.com.  Spending money: You will need to budget for accommodation, general transportation, meals, souvenirs, personal trips, and other incidentals.

Exchanging/accessing your money

Major credit cards: cash advances are available from most ATM machines all over the world for those who hold VISA, MasterCard, or American Express cards. You will be charged an unknown interest rate on cash advances, thus we recommend withdrawing the largest amount possible (usually $200) each time so as to avoid being charged repeatedly. Please contact your credit card company for details. Debit cards from your local bank: cash advances are available from most ATM machines. Before you leave, contact your bank to find out the exact international locations of machines connected to your card’s network. 

Exchanging your own currency for the Canadian dollar will not offer an optimal exchange rate. Also, banks hold specific hours of operation and due to your class schedule, there may not be sufficient time during the week to exchange currency. Traveler’s checks are not suggested. In addition to inopportune hours, banks will apply a fee for exchanging traveler’s checks. Most shops do not accept traveler’s checks.  

CELL PHONES + OTHER OPTIONS

It is recommended that students purchase an international phone card to carry with them. This would allow you to make phone calls once in Canada and be in direct contact with the office during their time in Alberta and keep in touch with their families. New and used phones are available at reasonable rates and once activated students may receive calls for their entire stay at no additional cost. We advise participants to check with their current provider to see if their cell phones will work internationally and what are the rates for incoming and outgoing calls once they’re in Canada. For US students we also recommend getting a calling card from one of the numerous American long-distance carriers. Using an American calling card for calls to the US is another reasonable method of phoning. Previous students have brought international calling cards from America only to discover that they didn’t work with Canadian phones, so check with your carrier before you purchase one!

HEALTH ABROAD

It is solely the participant’s decision and responsibility, and not that of The Hunter Gates Academy, to determine, in consultation with his/her physician, whether his/her physical and mental condition permits them to participate in studying abroad. If any accommodation is required, the participant should submit appropriate documentation prior to his/her participation in the program. We may not be able to accommodate all individual needs or circumstances. Any information that you disclose regarding medical history will remain confidential with the appropriate members of the core staff on site. If you are living with a chronic illness, and especially if you are currently on any type of medication, we strongly encourage you to discuss it with us in order to better prepare support services during your stay. Should you have health issues that are pre-existing or that spontaneously occur, please notify us.

Health insurance in order to participate in our program

Insurances will typically cover up to 80% of non-emergency visits abroad. This of course depends on what type of insurance you have. You will need to keep the Canadian doctor receipts and fill out a claim form for third party reimbursement. If you need to see a specialist (dentist, gynecologist, etc.) in a private office, you need to be prepared to pay upfront from $60 to $200 (estimates), and then wait to get reimbursed. Emergency room treatment is covered for emergency-related issues only. If someone decides to use a Canadian emergency room for non-emergency visits, they will be examined, wait (at least) a few hours, receive treatment, and then will need to pay, depending on what services are rendered.  Participants are responsible, financially, and otherwise, for any medical bills incurred as a result of medical treatment.

Hospitals

In the event that you are absent from class and require emergency attention, seek out the nearest emergency room located in front of all major hospitals. The doctors will be able to provide aid even if a translator is not available.

For Medical Emergencies contact is 911. This is a 24-hour service. If you need to go to the hospital during business hours, a staff member will assist you. Depending on the gravity of the situation, an ambulance may be called. If an emergency situation arises after normal business hours, you will need to contact emergency services and DO NOTIFY US IMMEDIATELY! You should carry your insurance policy number and medical information concerning allergies, medications, blood type, immunization history, eyeglasses, or other prescriptions. A good place to keep this information is with your passport. For any chronic medical condition, it is advisable to wear a medic alert bracelet.

PLEASE NOTE: If you find that you need to see a specialist, you will be responsible for paying for transportation as well as the doctor’s fees.

Pharmacies

Participants who regularly take any medication should bring enough to last throughout the program, as well as the prescriptions themselves. Get generic descriptions of the compositions of the medications you take from your doctor, just in case you lose your medication while you are here. This includes—but is not limited to—birth control, insulin, and psychotropic medication. Participants are advised to bring a personal first aid kit and include Bactine and Neosporin for minor cuts and abrasions, and Imodium for temporary diarrhea. In addition, we advise you to bring any standard medication with you like Brufen, Tylenol, Advil, Bug bite topical ointment/insect repellant (mosquitoes can be intense in the summer). We also recommend that you take a multivitamin and bring an extra supply of Vitamin C. You should consult your primary care physician before taking any supplements.

Contact lenses

Students who wear glasses or contact lenses should take an extra pair and your current prescription written out by your eye doctor just in case you have to get new glasses. Do not put any prescription medications or eyewear in your checked luggage.

Insulin

Students who regularly take insulin, allergy, or other shots, should pack a good supply of syringes; not all sizes are available abroad. Include a doctor’s note with syringes as they can be construed as drug paraphernalia.

 

Immunization

Currently, travel to Canada does not require immunizations.

Permission for emergency treatment

Participants must complete the Permission for Emergency Treatment form and the Health Information and Evaluation forms to enable our staff to be of maximum assistance should the need arise during your study abroad experience. The information provided will remain confidential and will be shared with the program staff, faculty or appropriate professionals only if pertinent to your own well-being. This information does not affect your admission to the program. We want to be informed of your needs before you arrive in Canada in order to provide you with support, appropriate referrals, and guidance. USA participants need to be aware of the State Department guidelines concerning areas to which you may travel. These guidelines prepare you for a safe trip and are updated regularly by the US Department of State. The guidelines can be obtained through the Citizens Services automated telephone information line (202-647-5225) or on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/.

 

Important: In our admission process, we do not discriminate against individuals living with mental and emotional challenges. However, for your own welfare, we ask that if you have had any such problem that could affect your participation in the program you should consult with a mental health professional before you leave to discuss the potential stress or other adverse consequences of studying abroad.

Food and diet

Students should become familiar with the dietary customs and availability of food in the host country. Those who regularly take vitamins, or feel vitamin supplements are advisable, should take a supply to last for the entire stay abroad since the specific brand may not be available or may be excessively expensive overseas.

 

Substance abuse

One element of the philosophy of our program is respect and care of the body, which is our primary instrument for our craft. As professionals, we expect the utmost maturity in behavior regarding choices that may ultimately harm the most important tool for your work. In addition, such behavior may ultimately harm the delicate rhythms of an ensemble and residential community.

Please note that although we recognize that you might be used to a certain drinking culture at your home, we consider excessive drinking (drinking with the intention of getting drunk or blacking out/passing out) dangerous for your professional and personal well-being. This does not mean that you cannot consume alcohol—that is ultimately your choice—but we ask that you do so responsibly and in moderation. If deemed necessary we reserve the right to intervene in a preemptive manner out of concern for the individual and the repercussions their destructive behavior might have on the overall group dynamic. If it is assessed that an individual is drinking excessively and such behavior is compromising their work, we reserve the right to ask the individual to leave the program with no reimbursement of expenses. If an individual exhibits physically damaging behavior due to irresponsible alcohol consumption (falling, tripping, alcohol poisoning) we reserve the right to expel them from the program with no reimbursement of expenses. Illegal drug use is not allowed and is grounds for expulsion from the program.

MORE GENERAL INFO

Weather

During the months of May, June, July, August, and September you are most likely to experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures. On average, the warmest month is July. On average, the coolest month is February. PLEASE NOTE: air conditioning is not used in the studio.

Safety in Alberta 

We highly encourage you to purchase a cell phone for your time in Canada in order to be contacted and/or to contact others in emergency situations. The accessibility of a cell phone will be extremely important while traveling, particularly if you plan to travel abroad before and/or after the program. Do not take risks that you would not take at home! Would you get into the car of a person you just met at a bar in town and to their friend’s party in the countryside? Then don’t do it here! Never accept rides from strangers.

Encountering intolerance while traveling

Sometimes going abroad we are concerned about how we will be viewed and received in other societies. The concerns include issues such as ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, and physical disabilities.  We are an international school and all are welcome here.

Cultural differences

One thing that may discourage you, in the beginning, is the language barrier but, generally speaking, Canadians are very helpful and will try to help you if you are trying to speak English. You will also have the opportunity to meet Canadian, interact with them, and exchange ideas in a cross-cultural context. Many Canadians want to practice other languages just as much as you would like to practice your English or French. This is only one aspect of the overall opportunity you will have to simultaneously learn from natives as they learn from you. Be respectful and patient in long lines or when ordering food. Be mindful of your appearance and body language.

Crime

While Canada is not a dangerous place, it is advised to take caution. Keep your belongings organized and together.  It is advised to so always carry money and passports on your person when traveling around.

Water

In Canada drinking water is sure to be safe. Bottled water is easily available if you feel so compelled.

 

Please, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! director@huntergatesacademy.com 

CLASS LOCATION: 117-5305 Magasin Ave, Beaumont, AB T4X 1V8

 Tel: (+1) 780 737 3003