International students

Each year, thousands of students from around the world come to British Columbia to study and to learn English. If you wish to study in B.C., follow these steps:

1.    Apply 

Decide where you want to study and then apply to the institution for admission. Use EducationPlannerBC to get information about different schools and programs. To apply to more than one institution, visit the Post-Secondary Application Service of British Columbia. Check the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials to confirm that your school is recognized by the Government of British Columbia and to find out how your academic credentials are accepted in B.C.

Once you are accepted, the institution will issue an acceptance letter.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help with costs; check with the school.

2.    Get a Study Permit

If you plan to study in B.C. for more than six months in a row, and if you are not a permanent resident, you will need a study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC.

If you have questions about study permits or temporary resident visas, contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate responsible for your region.

3.    Get Organized

When you arrive in Canada, you will need to show the following documents to the Canadian Border Services officer:

  • valid passport or travel document
  • letter of introduction from the visa office where your study permit was approved (this letter contains your permit reference number)
  • valid temporary resident visa (if required)
  • copy of the letter of acceptance from the post-secondary institution in British Columbia where you have been granted permission to study
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in British Columbia
  • letters of reference or any other documents recommended by the visa office where you applied

Visit LearnLiveBC for more information on scholarships and special programs for international students.

Learn more about education in B.C.

Work While You Study

Did you know that international students can work while they study in British Columbia?

If you would like to earn extra money while gaining Canadian work experience, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and LearnLiveBC websites to learn more about Work Permits for Students. You may be able to work up to 20 hours a week while studying in B.C.

The experience you gain while working in B.C. could improve your chances of becoming a Permanent Resident after you graduate.