This research would not be possible without the cooperation and assistance of the institutions that are participating in the survey. This section provides detailed information about the survey methodology including ethical review, sampling, email distribution, prizes and timelines.

Ethical Review


CBIE has submitted an application to the Community Research Ethics Office (CREO), a Research Ethics Board (REB) that services Canadian not-for-profit organizations, governments, independent consultants, community organizations, community researchers, and others that want to maximize the ethical conduct of their research. CREO’s work aligns with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2, 2018). Once CBIE’s statement of ethics approval is obtained from CREO for the International Student Survey, it will be circulated to participating institutions to be used as additional information for internal ethics review processes.

Participating Institutions

Many institutions have institutional ethical review committees that assess requests for research with their students. Typically, ethical review committees require an overview of the proposed research, a copy of any correspondence that will be distributed to students, and a copy of the questionnaire to be used in the research. CBIE offers assistance to institutions in meeting this requirement. If an internal ethical review is required or advisable to complete this project at your institution, we highly recommend beginning this process as soon as possible to ensure the survey can be launched at the beginning of October 2023.


The web-based methodology is designed to reach a large sample of students. Institutions are being asked to send survey invites to their entire international student population.

CBIE uses the professional Alchemer account to gather student responses at participating institutions.

CBIE provides institutions with a generic survey link that can be embedded in the email to students. The institutions will be responsible for emailing their sample of students. It will not be possible to track which students have completed the survey. Each institution will be responsible for sending reminder emails to all students in the sample after sending the initial email invitations. We will provide a recommended time frame for communications and sample reminder emails that can be used.

The survey responses will be immediately accessible, but only to the CBIE researchers responsible for the design, administration, and delivery of the survey.

Secure Data

Alchemer offers Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, which works through a cryptographic system to ensure a secure connection between the client (student) and the server (where the responses are saved). SSL is commonly used for online banking sites to transmit secured information. A link with SSL encryption shows the ‘s’ in the ‘HTTP’ address.

Finally, Alchemer is compliant with Canadian privacy (all data resides on Canadian servers) and accessibility standards (W3C).

Connecting with Students

Institutions can use their preferred version of the email survey invitation that will be sent to students (CBIE will provide examples). The email content should appear exactly as your institution wishes it to, including any logos and electronic signatures. These features may help students to understand that the survey is genuine; however, some students’ email programs may not display embedded graphics, rich text formatting, or HTML formatting properly. Institutions are responsible for ensuring that the emails are formatted so that they will pass the spam filters of your institution.


To encourage students to participate in the survey, CBIE is offering five prizes of $ 1,000.  Winners will be randomly selected from the pool of international students who complete the survey. To be eligible, students must complete the survey, agree to participate in the draw and give permission to CBIE to contact them if they are one of the winners. CBIE will communicate directly with the winners via email to award the prizes.  Winners will be contacted via email after January 26th and no later than February 23rd, 2024. If students agree to share the news with their institution, we will do so via our contact at your institution.      

Institutions can further incentivize the survey specifically for their respective student population.  In this instance, institutions will need to notify their students, accordingly, select the winners and coordinate the prize logistics. Each student who completes the survey will receive a confirmation email that can be used as proof of having completed the survey (i.e. students can forward it to a specific inbox at the institution).