Before you study in B.C.

Last reviewed: March 12, 2024 

Come to B.C. to study

Every year thousands of international students come to British Columbia. Our teachers and institutions are ranked among the best in the world. The cost of studying here is lower than in many other locations. B.C. provides a high quality of life, beautiful surroundings, and welcoming and safe communities. 

Visit Education in British Columbia for information on the range of education B.C. offers.

Post-secondary schools include universities, colleges, institutes, technical schools, and private institutions. If you want to study at a post-secondary institution in B.C., follow these steps:

1. Pick a study program & choose a school
Decide where you want to study and then apply to the institution for admission. Use EducationPlannerBC to get information about different schools and programs.  
2. Check your international qualifications
If you are attending a post-secondary institution, 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.
3. Apply to the school / institution
Each school or institution will have different application requirements. The quickest way to apply is by contacting the international education office of the school you wish to attend.
Find a post-secondary institution, or use EducationPlannerBC to apply online to up to four public post-secondary institutions. 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. Visit LearnLiveBC for more information about special programs for international students, as well as scholarships.
4. 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 to apply for a study permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
5. Organize documents
When you arrive in Canada, you will need to show documents to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. Visit the CBSA website for more information on what documents you’ll need.