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Travel Beyond Kingston

If you are looking for information about getting around Kingston, please visit the Transportation page of the Guide.

Health/Travel Insurance and Care

Though nobody hopes or expects to need health insurance, bad things can happen, even on the shortest of trips.   The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) that is mandatory for all international students, scholars staff and faculty offers only limited coverage when travelling.   This is particularly the case when you leave Canada but even within Canada you may be expected to pay the hospital directly and then apply for UHIP to reimburse you.   Outside of Canada, UHIP coverage is limited to the cost of service in the province of Ontario. The cost of medical care in the United States is MUCH higher than in Canada.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate medical coverage if you choose to leave Canada at any point in your time at Queen’s.   The supplemental health insurance plans offered by the student governments include some travel coverage. It is very important to find out what is and is not covered by their supplementary plans.

If you are not covered by either of the student government supplementary health care plans (exchange and School of English students who do not opt-in) and do not have other comparable coverage, you should purchase private health insurance.   A list of potential insurers can be found here.

Out-of-province prescriptions

If you travel to another province or territory and receive a prescription for medication, you must have the prescription “filled” at a pharmacy in that province or territory. Pharmacists in Ontario are not allowed to fill out-of-province prescriptions.   If you have an out-of-province prescription that cannot be filled, you will need to see a doctor in Ontario to receive a new prescription.

Hospitals that accept UHIP (outside of Kingston)

If you have UHIP and want to travel away from Kingston, check the Preferred Provider Network on the UHIP web site. Always be prepared for an emergency; take your UHIP card and some claim forms.

If you are in an emergency situation and are taken to a hospital that does not accept UHIP, the UHIP plan will pay 100% of the hospital’s bill for a bed and services only for the first 4 days. When this sort of emergency arises, ask the hospital, as soon as possible, to contact Sun Life toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-565-0464 (in Ottawa call 613-741-3661).

If you need to stay longer than 4 days because of your emergency, and if the hospital charges more than UHIP will pay, you will be required to pay any additional charges not covered by UHIP.

 

Transportation Options (Beyond Kingston)

Making travel plans early can save you a lot of money. Determine what day and time you would like to leave and/or arrive back in Kingston. If you are flexible regarding the travel dates you may be able to save money.

Tricolour Bus

This is a Student-run Bus Service that has buses going from Queen’s Campus to and from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa every weekend from September to March. Tickets cost less than the most public bus services but their schedule is more limited. Tickets can be purchased at Tricolour Outlet on the 2nd floor of the JDUC. A one-way ticket to or from Toronto is $38, Ottawa is $27 and Montreal is $38 (sales tax is added to all ticket prices).

Coach Canada and Megabus

Coach Canada is a bus company that has a wide variety of destinations and times in their schedule. You will have to get to the bus station at 175 Counter Street, except if taking the bus between Queen’s Campus to Pearson International Airport in Toronto. One-way student tickets to Toronto and Montreal are approximately $40, but return tickets are sometimes cheaper than two one-way tickets. Further information is available at the Coach Canada website. For travel beyond the Coach Canada service area please check with Greyhound Bus Service.

Coach Canada’s Megabus service requires you to book online but may offer tickets to Toronto or Montreal for as little as $1 during sales.

VIA Rail

Canada’s passenger rail service travels to many locations and offers youth fares for those between the ages of 12 and 25.  Regular VIA Rail travellers might consider their 6-pak travel card for savings up to 50%. Tickets can be bought at travel agencies downtown, the Kingston train station, or through VIA’s website. An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is only required to qualify for these discounts for students that are older than 25. Information about the ISIC is available on our Personal Identification page.

Facebook Queen’s Rideshare Group

If you use Facebook for social networking, it can be very helpful for finding rides. This group is exclusive to Queen’s students, and you can both find and place postings for rides available or needed. Be aware of your safety as you are riding with someone you do not know

Car Rental

There are a number of rental companies available in Kingston. The Queen’s University International Centre does not recommend driving in Canada due to the dangers of driving under laws different from those that you are used to.

If you feel you must drive while you are here, more information is available from our “transportation” page.

When renting a vehicle, it is important to ask the company a number of questions.  Some useful questions include:

  • Do you rent to people less than 25 years of age?
  • What is the cost of insurance? What is the deductible (amount to be paid when making an insurance claim)?
  • Does the insurance coverage allow you to drive the car outside of Canada?

Look under “Automobile Renting” or “Car Rental” in the yellow-pages of the telephone book (or, more likely, their website) for a list of companies.   If you decide to drive, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website which provides information on rules of the road and road safety.

For short-term rentals (hours), car share services could offer a less complicated process.  Vrtucar has vehicles available in Kingston.  These services require a membership fee in addition to their hourly rental fees, but are not too expensive for short trips in and around Kingston.

Flying within Canada

Air Canada and WestJet are the two main air carriers in Canada. Air Canada is the only airline that flies directly out of the Kingston Airport. Tickets can be booked through their respective websites or through a travel agency.

 

Visiting the United States

Our Visiting the United States page has visa-related information.   Pay special attention to the Health/Travel Insurance information above as health care costs in the United States are very high.

 

Further Questions?

If you have further questions, after reviewing the information above, advising is available (without an appointment) from the International Student Advisers at the Queen’s University International Centre from Monday to Friday between 1:00pm and 4:30pm.

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